Victory in the Garden -Good Friday

Victory in the Garden

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The Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem

 

There in the Garden

My Savior plead,

There in the Garden

My Savior knelt down and prayed,
“Father, not my will

But Your will be done”

There in the garden

My Lord surrendered

To His Father’s plan

Yet He had won

The Victor’s crown

There in the garden

My Savior wept

He cried bloody tears of surrender;

There in the garden

My Savior won over sin and temptation

Death and evil no more have dominion

There in the garden my Savior won the Victor’s Crown.

(Bible Reference :Matthew 26: 36 – 46)

Why the Western Wall?

“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place”.

Day 1

Day 2 Part 1

Day 2- Part 2

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love you. Psalm 122:6
On Day 2, after visiting the Garden of Gethsemane, we drove a couple of miles or so to the Western Wall.
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Peace be within your walls- Psalm 122:7

I saw a lot people- Israelis and people from other countries walking on the square outside the part of the ruins of the Old Temple. A portion of the wall, on the right side of the square is called the “Western Wall”. According to our tour guide and the tradition, the wall is part of the original temple built by King Herod 2000 years ago. It is the most holy site or sacred place for the Jews.

Why the Western Wall and Temple are significant?

The first Temple was built during the reign of King Solomon in Israel about 3,000 years ago. In 2 Chronicles 7 it says;

“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”  The Bible Gateway
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David visited the men’s prayer section of the Western wall.

 

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Vicki visited the women’s prayer section of the Wall.

We wrote prayers on small pieces of papers, and stuck them in the crevices of the Wall. Many people who come to the site do the same thing.  So I wrote on my a piece of paper my prayers – salvation of the Jews, revival in the church, and my family.  This is the most awesome spiritual experience I had so far. I was also surprised to see some young Jewish women- maybe 16 or 18 years old who were praying and doing the religious rituals, holding their small book, reciting prayers, at the Western Wall. What an awesome place!

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*According to the Western Wall Heritage Foundations,” the Western Wall has been the center of Jewish yearning and memory for more than 2,000 years. The only fragment of the Great Temple to survive the Roman destruction, the Divine presence has never departed from the Western Wall.” visit The Western Wall Foundation
Isaiah 56:7 “these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

In afternoon, we visited the Holocaust Memorial museum, outside the Old city in the business district. There were many overwhelming artifacts – names, photos, etc. of many Jewish people who perished during the holocaust in Europe from the 1930’s- 40’s.

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Holocaust Memorial Musuem

We also went to another part of the city, where a chapel is built to remember home of John the Baptist’s parents –  Zacharias and Elizabeth.  (Story in Luke 1: 57 – 66).

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St.John the Baptist Church

We saw frames where the prayer of Zacharias in Luke 1 was written in different languages.

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The prayer of Zacharias, (English version) John the Baptist Father. Luke 1:67-79

Then we went to another site in connection to the birth of Jesus and John the baptist. It is a chapel to remember the story when Mary visited Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-56

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The Church of Visitation

More stories later…

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Journey

Holy Land Journey – Part 2

Day 1- Holy Land trip

On Day 2 Tour –

On day two of the tour, still in Jerusalem, our bus drove up to a road that leads to Mt. Olives.  We all got off the bus, and stop at a place which has a breathtaking view overlooking the city of Jerusalem. The tour guide gave us a brief geographical sketch/background of Jerusalem city- the city gates, etc. The old temple wall, the old city wall, from Herod’s time to the Byzantine era. Some parts of the wall are still there from about 2,000 years ago.

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Still in Jerusalem city.

 

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A breathtaking view of the city on a hill, the city of King David.

Then we drove down the road, three miles or so,  to  to the church that preserved the “Garden of Gethsemane”.

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The Church of All Nations

It was the place where Jesus spent late night prayer before His arrest.

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The Garden of Gethsemane

Gethsemane means Olive orchard.

As soon as we entered the Garden area, and saw the rows of ancient Olive trees, I felt the strong presence of the Lord. It was an awesome presence, I almost cry in tears. I almost felt the agony of the Lord Jesus when He wrestled and prayed, “God’s will not my will..”

A time of surrender to God’s perfect will for Him, and for the salvation of many. The Spirit of revelation came to me, Jesus had actually won the battle, not at the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsemane- The prayer of surrender, absolute surrender to His loving Father, trusting Him, His Father for the best outcome. So, it was Jesus’ battle against human flesh and against Satan’s final temptation, He had overcome the battle, a complete surrender to the Father. Thus, the Father made Jesus triumphant or the Winner!

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Some of the oldest olive trees, about 2,000 years old.

Poem Inspiration from the Lord:

The Garden

There in the Garden

My Savior plead,

There in the Garden

My Savior knelt down and prayed,

“Father, not my will

But Your will be done”

There in the garden

My Lord surrendered

To His Father’s plan

Yet He had won

The Victor’s crown

There in the garden

My Savior wept

He cried bloody tears of surrender

There in the garden

My Savior won over sin and temptation;

Death and evil no more have dominion

There in the garden my Savior won the victor’s crown.

The Gethsemane garden is managed by the “Church of all nations”. Many churches from different countries contributed to the preservation of the site and built a beautiful and magnificent chapel/cathedral. In the middle of the chapel’s altar, was a rock that many believe was the rock where Jesus knelt and prayed in the garden.

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Inside the Church of All Nations, a painting of Jesus praying in the Garden.

 

Readings:

John 18:1-2

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciple over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered… Jesus often met there with His disciples.”

Luke 22 :39-44

 “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]

More stories and photos later from the trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Trip 01.2020

Part 1

From January 7-16th, 2020, the Lord has blessed us with a trip to the Holy Land. It was the most wonderful and awesome place we had been because of the presence of our Holy God.  There is so much to share. We have more than a thousand photos between two cameras! Since the Bible is so much part of our spiritual lives, it was amazing and fascinating to see actual places and sites that we have been reading about for many years.  We were with a tour group of 50 people from different parts of the USA. We praise and thank the Lord Jesus for blessing with this wonderful trip. And here to share some of the highlights.

Day 1-

We started in the city of Jerusalem.

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“Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! – Psalm 122:1-2

The Upper Room in Mount Zion-  located outside the southwest corner of the Old City wall. It is believed to be the room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-30; John 13)

 

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Our group at the Upper Room (inside a chapel)

South of the Old City wall, on the eastern slope of a hill that overlooks the area of Old City of Jerusalem, is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. The church was built in 1931, and is the traditional site of the Palace of Caiaphas, who was the high priest during the arrest of Jesus.  It was the place where Peter denied Jesus three times before a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26:57-75)

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The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
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St. Peter’s Church (Gallicantu)

Our group then drove a few miles, south of the city, to Bethlehem.

The Shepherd’s field –

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. … (Luke 2:8-20).

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A young shepherd boy allowed Vicki to carry his little lamb.

Then our group went to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem . A cathedral was built around the 3rd century on the site believed to be where Jesus was born.

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The Church of Nativity

 

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The rock, inside a cave, the stable where tradition says where Jesus was born.

“And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, (feed trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:1-7

More to share later.

 

 

 

 

Little Christmas Tree (A post Christmas reflection)

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“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year” as the song goes. However, it is also the busiest time of the year. But I would say, Christmas is still my favorite time of the year. After all it is the season and time to celebrate and remember that our Lord Jesus came to earth as a Baby. He left His heavenly kingdom to come to earth as a helpless baby so He could live with us and become like one of us. Just imagine – the love of God came down from heaven to earth to save us. Matthew 1:21 says, “she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

As already mentioned, sometimes Christmas can be the busiest time of the year. It’s only today, New Year’s Eve, that I took time to sit and write this reflection. Better late than never! 😊  Like some of you, we keep our ornaments up for a week or so after Christmas Day. In my native country of the Philippines, we continue to celebrate Christmas until Epiphany/Three Kings’ Day (usually the first Sunday in January). As we prepare to undecorate and pack up the ornaments, I would like to take time to reflect on the real meaning of this Christmas season. In a day or two, our Christmas decorations will be folded up and packed away.

Actually, this year, we decided to have a real/live tree as opposed to the small/artificial pre-lit Christmas tree that we have used for several years. Our real/live Christmas tree is a small fir tree, only about 4 feet tall. However, each of the ornaments hanging on the branches of our fir tree represents some fun memories and precious people. It is almost like going down “memory lane.”

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This ornament (photo above) is more than 50 years old! David made this little ornament when he was in kindergarten. His mom kept it all those years. It is a small bell, made from an egg carton.

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Others are little bamboo ornaments from David’s time in Saipan.

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Then, there is a little glass ball with the inscription “Saipan” on it. This is where David spent 18 years serving as a missionary engineer for FEBC Shortwave station.

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Another is a flat bell with the inscription “The Creels – 1978” from David’s parents, a gift from church members when they were serving in the United Methodist church.

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Then, there is an “Alaska” souvenir from David’s sister and her husband from their trip to Alaska in 2017.

 

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Next, there is an “I believe” star ornament from our Church Sunday school Christmas party from a couple of years ago, along with other ornaments from the previous 5 years of Christmas parties.

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Others are ornaments given by friends and neighbors through the years.

 

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One of my favorites is a “Bethlehem” olive wood nativity scene. We acquired this ornament at the annual “Homestead Hollow” event in Springville, Alabama a few months ago.

For me, this ornament represents the simplicity and true meaning of Christmas – Mary and Joseph with Baby Jesus on the night when the God came down from heaven to earth. From eternity, He stepped into humanity.

As we all fold and pack up our Christmas trees and other ornaments, may the true meaning and spirit of Christmas remain in our hearts. Let’s remember in this Christmas season, throughout the coming year of 2020, and always that Jesus is still the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) since “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the ends of the earth, (Travel Blog – Oct 12 – 27, 2019)

Reading: Acts 1: 1-8
Key verse: v.8

Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NKJV)

As Jesus fulfilled this word to His disciples,  it is still the same today with His followers:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” It is the plan and desire of God that all followers of Jesus be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so we can be witnesses for Him – with our family, friends, neighbors, and people of other places, countries, and to the ends of the earth.  God loves people of every nation, every country, language and ethnicity. God wants every person to know Him, His Word, His love and salvation through Jesus Christ.

In October 7-28, 2019, David and I had the privilege to travel to southeast Asia to visit and help our FEBC ministry fields. Photos from our travels to Thailand are in this post

Here are the highlights as we traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

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The growing and developing city of Phnom Penh

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FEBC’s Voice of Love FM 99.5

 

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David and the engineering team visited the Transmitter site of Voice of Love radio.
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Workers at the transmitter site.
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FEBC Staff chapel
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A ferry ride to cross the Mekong River
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Life on the Mekong River
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A visit to a silk factory
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The new Outside Broadcast (OB) equipment finally arrived after many days of waiting. Praise the Lord!
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Engineering team testing and working on the new OB equipment
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David & Mike testing the new OB equipment in the studio.
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Setting up the OB equipment to broadcast a live Christian concert via FM and Facebook live
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A thousand young people came to praise and worship Jesus in the concert.
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The Bible story from creation to Jesus’s birth was presented in the local language in their cultural context by the Bible Society.
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The cast of the Bible Story during the concert.  According to Franklin Graham, the country’s community of believers is growing, but approximately 98% of the 16 million people still need to hear the Gospel.

 

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A tuk tuk (taxi) ride to the FEBC office every morning.

We thank and praise the Lord for those who prayed with us during this trip. Thank you also for those who faithfully support us so we could serve the Lord and reach more souls for Jesus.