Thursday, August 26, 2021

Baptism site of Jesus (Bethany Beyond the Jordan)

John 1:29-35

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”

    Urfa - a piece of history (Sanliurfa) تاريخ أورفا، مدينة الأنبياء

    A brief history of the ancient city of Urfa in Turkey, the city of prophets. This city has many names throughout the history, some of them are: Urfa, Şanlıurfa, Sanliurfa, Ūrhāi, Ruha, Al Ruha, Edessa, Adma, الرُّهَا‎ , Ūrhāi , Or'ha. It is a piece of history that might not be found in one source. This video in Arabic and subtitled in English. تاريخ أورفا، مدينة الأنبياء

    Wednesday, May 13, 2020

    Beyond Bethany Tours: Baptism at Bethany

    Beyond Bethany Tours

    Baptism in the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized.

    Temple within the Church of Mnt. Nebo

    Study the Bible & Qur’an:
    A Christian Perspective
    Teacher Josh has both a Masters of Divinity and Masters in TESOL. 

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    Thursday, December 6, 2018

    It Is Well With My Soul

    The American Colony Hotel Jerusalem 

    American Colony Hotel

    Horatio Spafford was an American Lawyer and Presbyterian church elder best known for the old hymn he wrote, "It Is Well With My Soul." What many don't know is the story behind this hymn and Spafford's relation to the Holy Land. In 1873, Spafford decided to take his family on a European vacation and chose England because his good friend, D.L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed due to business, but sent his wife and four daughters ahead. On November 22, 1873 while crossing the Atlantic, the ship was struck by another vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford's daughters. Only his wife Anna survived. Upon her arrival to England, she sent Spafford a telegram that simply said, "Saved alone." When Horatio Spafford sailed across the Atlantic to meet his wife in England, he went directly over the area in which his daughters had lost their lives. Heartbroken and shattered, he looked to God and out of his anguish composed the beautiful song we now know today, "It Is Well With My Soul."
    Horatio Spafford 

    Horatio Spafford

    When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrow like sea billows roll.
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blessed assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
    My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin not in part, but the whole.
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    Returning to the states, the Spaffords later felt like outsiders among their congregation. How many other Christians have felt out of place in the American church after suffering deep tragedy? The Spaffords left their Presbyterian congregation and began holding meetings in their own home, later naming the group "The Overcomers." In 1881, the Spaffords, along with 13 other adults from this group moved to Jerusalem and set up what became known as the American Colony. The group quickly gained the trust of the local Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities due to their philanthropic endeavors among the people of Jerusalem. They worked with and helped people, regardless of their religious affiliation and without proselytizing motives. Instead, choosing to live out and show the true meaning of love (I Corinthians 13).

    Today in Jerusalem, you can visit the American Colony Hotel started by this group. It is a 5-star hotel that was originally built in the 1870's by Ottoman, Pasha Rabbah Daoud Amin Effendi Al-Hussein for his four wives. In 1895, he sold it the group of American Christians who had come over with the Spaffords. In the early 1900's, the building was turned into a hotel. Today, the hotel is located between east and west Jerusalem, and is often the preferred hotel by many diplomats, politicians, and foreign correspondents. Famous guests include Lawrence of Arabia, Bob Dylan, and Tony Blair. Enduring countless challenges, the hotel has always been known locally as a neutral island, remaining outside the turbulent politics that surround it. Owned by neither Arabs nor Jews, but by Americans, British and Swedes, it has always had friends from all sectors of Jerusalem’s mixed society. Unlike any other place in the region, this hotel has become an oasis where Jews and Arabs can comfortably meet, and a favorite haven for international journalists, high-ranking officers of the United Nations, and diplomats from across the world. Is there any place else in the Middle East where these three groups can come together amicably? The American Colony Hotel is now managed by the hotels of Switzerland, but it is still owned and run by the descendants of the original founders.
    Horatio Spafford's headstone in Mount Zion
    Cemertery, Jerusalem.

    The Spaffords also retained their former home in the Old City and used it for charitable purposes, providing care to needy children over the decades. Today it houses the Spafford Children's Center, which runs medical care and infant welfare for local children. Horatio Spafford died in 1888, and today you can visit his grave in Mount Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem, outside the old city walls on the southwestern slope of Mt. Zion which can be reached after passing Jerusalem University College.

    Down through the ages, Horatio Spafford's faith and endurance continues to live on every time we sing his beloved, inspired hymn. This family went on to build a legacy, showing love and care to people of all religious backgrounds, building a bridge of peace in one of the most explosive countries in the world. May it serve as a reminder to us, how God can use the darkest moments in our life to launch us into our greatest destiny and change the world. Truly, it is well.