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ISRAEL : THREE

July 14, 2015

WEDNESDAY: This was such a special day. We visited several of the places Christ spent time during His final week. Our day started with a visit to Gethsemane. One thing that hit me during this trip was how close all these places I've read about actually are. I expected the Garden of Gethsemane to be somewhere out on its own, away from the busy city - that's how I've always imagined it when I think of it as a quiet place where Christ went to seek refuge. But Christ spent His final week in Jerusalem. I knew that, but somehow I hadn't realized that? All these places He visited, he walked to each one. They are all in the city, all close enough that there we were in Gethsemane and we could see the Temple Mount right behind us. Realizing how close everything is really helped me picture Christ walking from place to place. It helped me better imagine His final days.

This post is going to be full of songs because I can't help it - so many came to mind this day and helped me feel the Savior's Spirit so strongly, in that way sometimes only music can. The first one is a song I'm still learning. But some of the great-grandkids already knew it by heart and sang it for us in Gethsemane. 

Gethsemane:
1. Jesus climbed the hill / To the garden still / His steps were heavy and slow. / Love and a prayer / Took Him there / To the place only He could go.
Gethsemane / Jesus loves me / So He went willingly / To Gethsemane.
2. He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad / All the pain we would ever know. / While His friends were asleep / He fought to keep / His promise made long ago.
Gethsemane / Jesus loves me / So He went willingly / To Gethsemane.
3. The hardest thing that ever was done / The greatest pain that ever was known / The biggest battle that ever was won / This was done by Jesus. / The fight was won by Jesus!
Gethsemane / Jesus loves me / So He gave His gift to me / In Gethsemane.
Gethsemane / Jesus loves me / So He gives His gift to me / From Gethsemane.

After Gethsemane we made our way up to the Temple Mount and visited the Dome of the Rock. It was so neat to be on the Temple Mount and think of all the incredible people who had been there before us, all the people throughout the world who still hold that site as sacred, and all the amazing things we know are yet to happen there. We made our way down from the Mount and visited the Temple Institute, a Jewish organization dedicated to the rebuilding of the temple. We had a really intelligent tour guide from Chicago and I learned a lot from our visit there.

^^^ cutest matching in-laws

^^^ cutest tour guides/grandparents who let us live with them!

 ^^^ Pinnacle of the Temple where Christ was tempted by Satan.

That evening we visited the Garden Tomb, which again was right in the middle of the city. No more than three blocks from our hotel. I was so happy to be there, to see how beautiful it was, to feel totally peaceful as we all remembered our Savior, His perfect love and sacrifice. Honestly the thing I remember most was the perfect breeze I felt there. Nothing is more peaceful and comforting to me than a gentle breeze. The wind reminds me who is in control, who is watching me and protecting me, who will never leave me or ignore me, who loves me more than I understand.

Three songs came to mind as we visited the Garden Tomb and you can bet I'm going to post all of them with their lyrics. The first two are songs the kids sing in our church and the third is one of my favorite hymns - partly because it's my mom's favorite hymn and she cries every time we sing it, so I always think of her when I hear it. And partly because it is so, so beautiful. 

My Heavenly Father Loves Me: 
1. Whenever I hear the song of a bird / Or look at the blue, blue sky, / Whenever I feel the rain on my face / Or the wind as it rushes by, / Whenever I touch a velvet rose / Or walk by our lilac tree, / I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world / Heavenly Father created for me. 
2. He gave me my eyes that I might see / The color of butterfly wings. / He gave me my ears that I might hear / The magical sound of things. / He gave me my life, my mind, my heart: / I thank Him reverently / For all His creations, of which I'm a part. / Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

I Feel My Savior's Love:
1. I feel my Savior's love / In all the world around me. / His Spirit warms my soul / Through everything I see. 
He knows I will follow Him, / Give all my life to Him. / I feel my Savior's love, / The love He freely gives me.
2. I feel my Savior's love; / Its gentleness enfolds me, / And when I kneel to pray, / My heart is filled with peace.
He knows I will follow Him, / Give all my life to Him. / I feel my Savior's love, / The love He freely gives me.
3. I feel my Savior's love / And know that He will bless me. / I offer Him my heart; / My shepherd He will be.
He knows I will follow Him, / Give all my life to Him. / I feel my Savior's love, / The love He freely gives me.
4. I'll share my Savior's love / By serving others freely. / In serving I am blesses. / In giving I receive.
He knows I will follow Him, / Give all my life to Him. / I feel my Savior's love, / The love He freely gives me.

I Stand All Amazed:
1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, / Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me. / I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, / That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me / Enough to die for me! / Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
2. I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine / To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, / That He should extend His great love unto such as I, / Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me / Enough to die for me! / Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
3. I think of His hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! / Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget? / No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, / Until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me / Enough to die for me! / Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

3 comments :

leahjoan.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh my goodness I can't believe how stunning your photos and words are here! Israel looks amazing, and thank you for sharing those songs. I can really feel how peaceful it must have been to reflect on hymns like those ones in a place like that. also I'm obsessed with your blog design and everything, I'm really excited to follow along!

Erin van de Graaff said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you so much! This is one of my favorite more recent posts. I love blogging stuff like this - the stuff I really want to remember and share.

Jake said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How neat to visit the site of the most important event to ever occur. Wow!

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