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Archive - 2010

SEARCHING FOR A SAVIOR

What would you be willing to do
To find the answer
The why, how, what, when and who
For a life worth living-that’s you

I would go anywhere, pay any price
Life is a fragile thing and is worth any cost
To get it right, to be whole and complete
To know I was on the right track, that I had value and worth

Amazingly Jesus is searching for you
He is the ONE that has made the first move
Jesus came in human form, lived just like us
Knowing the pain He would feel, He died for me and you

His death paid the price of our sin
He and the Father gave us the win
We can know the why how what when and who
Christ the Lord gives value to you

We are looking for a solution for the chaos in our life
Calm the fear of no meaning or losing or worthlessness
Christ is Lord of all and of us and He offers a solution
Ask Him into your life, confess your sin, live by His advice

Life will change day by day, Jesus will guide you, by His life and light
He will protect you even from yourself
One day, the most important day of your life
You will step into His presence, face to face for eternity

Clay Corvin December 25, 2010

COMING OF JOY (Lk 2:10-11)

The world is a fearful place
Things changing-no champion
People have no recourse for their life
All were ground down- stepping-stones to hell

Darkness covered the fields around Bethlehem
Shepherds were watching their flocks
A bright light, an angel, Fear NOT
The Shepherds were terrified

The angel announced
A Savior has been born in Bethlehem
He will deliver you from fear
His presence will bring peace and joy

We all struggle with brokenness
Our REDEEMER has come
Jesus will fix what is broken in our life
HE has come the victory is won

Regularly that cold hand of fear strikes at us
Jesus can deal with our fear
He brings strength and peace to our heart
His joy is available for our life

Claim your peace and joy
Live His power each day
Ask Jesus to come and give you life
Your life will be better each day

Clay Corvin December 11, 2010

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –FR- 26 NOV 2010

I experience a certain amount of sadness at the end of a trip. Friday would be a very fast paced day but then every day so far had been that way. We had lots to do to get ready to go. The luggage had to be down front at 9:30am for the guys to pick up and load on the bus. Several folks were trying to get final gifts and things done in the Old City. Several of us walked up to Jaffa Gate for a final coffee at Aroma. It had been our nightly rendezvous place for coffee and conversation. We would all meet at Jaffa Gate at 10am and off we would go. Everything went smoothly and all were accounted for timely.

Yad Vashem the Holocaust Museum was our first stop. This is a very sad stop and it breaks my heart every time. Man’s inhumanity to man is hard to comprehend. This level of evil is stunning.

We had lunch at the Israel Museum and then visited the Shrine of the Book and the Jerusalem model on the run. They closed at 2pm and we were hustling to get through.

The Garden Tomb was next. This is one of my favorite places in Jerusalem. The group took the tour and then we had a worship service. The Garden Tomb area is beautiful and is the perfect place to spend a few moments in worship. The tomb was empty and our hearts were blessed.

Elah Valley and the location where David and Goliath fought took us about 30 minutes to get there. Most collected a few stones. I’m amazed the place has any stones left. It was a good walk down the riverbed. Gilla plotted out the location of the Philistines, Israel and the activity. It’s a great story and the location is authentic.

Barry one of our pilgrims commented that “he had read the Bible all his life in black and white and now he would always read it in living color.” A journey through Israel brings the pages of the Bible to life. It is encouraging to take God’s Word and touch item after item as it is detailed in Scripture. A person will never be the same after they travel the land of the Bible.

We had a great dinner at Abu Nassar in Jaffa and then on to Ben Gurion Airport for our return to the US. In about 18 hours or so we would be home.

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -TH- 25 NOV 2010

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -TH- 25 November 2010

Our time in Israel sure has passed fast. It seems just yesterday we were leaving New Orleans for Israel and now that was a week and 1 day ago. The weather has been very nice the entire trip. A couple of days it was warm but for the most part it has been fine each day. We have also had very clear skies and atmosphere. We’ve been able to see without the sand or whatever in the air making things that are a few kilometers away to appear fuzzy. Crystal clear so my pictures in the desert and elsewhere should look great.

We left the Lutheran Guesthouse at 8am and met Gilla at the Zion Gate. Our first stop was the David’s Tomb and then upstairs to the Upper Room. The building is a Crusader building but tradition has it that this is the location of the Last Supper so it is a special place for us to have a devotional and sing. Stan did an exceptional job again as he led our devotional. It was special.

St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied the Lord Jesus was our next stop. Mel shared in the courtyard about his life and faith and tied it in with the struggle and heartache Peter experienced when he denied Jesus. We took pictures of the Roman Stepped Way and sang hymns in the church. A few minutes in the Gift Shop and away we went up to the Mount of Olives Overlook. We had a fantastic view of the entire Old City of Jerusalem. If you stood still and thought hard you could almost envision how it would have looked at the time of Christ. We traveled from the Mount of Olives to Mount Scopus and had lunch at the Hebrew University Aroma Coffee Bar. It was very good!

Haas Promenade located on the Hill of Evil Council, the traditional site where Judas met with the Pharisees to finalize his betrayal of Jesus, was our next stop. Ironic that the British would have their headquarters here during their period of the mandate and later the UN would put it headquarters here. The view of the City of David and the Temple Mount are spectacular. We left the Haas Promenade and traveled down to the Pool of Siloam then back up to the foot of the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Dr. Dukes led our devotional here. We left the Mount of Olives and went up to the Herod Gate (the Flower Gate) and walked down to Saint Anne’s Church and the Bethesda Pool. Don Richard led our devotional.

We were all tired. We came back to the Jaffa Gate. Some went to Aroma Coffee while others went to the Jewish Quarter to shop and some went back to the Lutheran Guesthouse.

Avner, our driver, picked us up at the Jaffa Gate bus stop at 5:30pm for our evening meal at the American Colony Hotel. The meal was very good. Dr. Dukes finished our Bible study –Encounters with Jesus in the Gospel of John.

THE LORD IS GOOD

Rev. 4:1-11 THE LORD IS GOOD

It’s not about me Lord
As much as I try
It’s bad and getting worse
Everyone has a hard time

It’s not about me Lord
I know this now
Every thought of my spirit
Is focused on Christ

It’s not about me Lord
Worthy is the lamb
Jesus my Savior
Has carries me now

It’s not about me Lord
It is a hard lesson to learn
Evil incarnate
Shrouds a self centered life

It’s not about me Lord
Help choose your way
I make a decision
Then go astray

It’s not about me Lord
Consequences demand
That I give up being hard headed
And become yours to command

It’s not about me Lord
How beautiful the day
When I recognize this place
Will only be a brief stay

It’s not about me Lord
Heaven soon I’ll see
The LAMB is the center
I surrender Lord today

Clay Corvin 26 November 2010
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ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -WE- 24 NOV 2010

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –WE- 24 November 2010

We don’t focus on relationships when we are at home. Work, church, family and many other things clamor for our attention. On a Pilgrimage (mission trip) you spend a lot of time with people. I really enjoy the interaction and relationship building on our trips. People get to know each other. Coffee times after the day is done, Bible study completed and dinner over are the very best events. It is a real joy!

Today was a busy day. I just looked at my pedometer and we walked 24,000+ steps. What a day and my feet feel it. That’s okay though because we criss-crossed the Old City of Jerusalem a multiplicity of times. I am tired though and will lay out our day for you.

Devotional at 7:30am and then we walked straight to the Temple Mount. We got there before 8am and were on the Temple Mount quickly. Gilla took us through the complete review of the Temple Mount visiting the precipice on the south east side of the Temple Mount, the Eastern Gate, the Dome of the Rock platform, the various special buildings in that area, the bedrock and then out on the South west side of the Temple Mount and back down to the Western Wall area.

We visited the Western Wall and then took the Kotel Tunnel Tour. Even though it is a bit tight in the tunnel it is an excellent tour highlighting the Temple Mount construction process and the related things through the length of the Western Wall. It is a very interesting and informative tour and will explain a lot about the Temple Mount. Everyone was impressed. Our guides were excellent.

We visited the Southern Steps of the Temple and the Davidson Museum. The virtual Temple Mount that UCLA has built is amazing. The detail of the hows and whys are visually presented and facilitates the understanding of what was built and how they did it. Really a worth while visit.

Lunch in the Jewish Quarter and then a 1 hour visit with Moshe and Dov Kempenski at the Shorashim Shop. Both men are orthodox Jews that openly discuss their Jewish faith with Christians and others that would like to ask questions about Judaism. We had a very good visit and I think we had a better understanding than before our conversation. If you are every in Jerusalem be sure to visit with Moshe and Dov. It is a good experience and will encourage you in your faith if you are a Christian.

We made the long walk across the Old City to the Ecce Homo at the Sisters’ of Zion. The group sang some heart touching songs and discussed what happened on the Lithostratos. The beating and crucifixion of Jesus is a heart rending experience. The Romans were cruel, very cruel taskmasters. When they disposed of someone they did it as inhumanely as possible.

The walk across the Via Dolorosa was not difficult. After the visit to the Lithostratos we had much to think about as we passed the Stations of the Cross on our way to the Holy Sepulcher. We did stop at the Russian Orthodox Church and saw the judgment gate then on to Calvary and the burial tomb in the Holy Sepulcher.

We finished our touring after we completed visiting the Holy Sepulcher. I think we have the best guide in Israel. Gilla Treibaich (gilla@zahav.net.il) does an excellent job of keeping the group organized and focused and works well with the group leader to accomplish the maximum amount of detail and sites in Israel. She develops historical discovery and ties it in well with the development of the nation of Israel and its religious and political situations especially as it relates to the Bible. She does a really good job as a tour guide.

Some of the folks shopped awhile in the Christian Quarter until time for our Bible Study at 6pm. After dinner most of us went to the Aroma Coffee Bar at the Jaffa Gate. Great day and enjoyable evening.

Blessings from Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Clay Corvin

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -TU- 23 NOV 2010

Israel Pilgrimage –TU- 23 November 2010

We packed and loaded the bus and bid adios to Maagan. We had enjoyed our excellent rooms, great food and our time on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. I love the Galilee. It is a shame we couldn’t spend more time. In our four days in the Galilee we were only able to hit the highlights but we did cover all of the high points but there are more wonderful things to discover there. A friend of mine in Israel has just purchased a home in Karmiel. They live and work in Jerusalem. I’ve noticed that they seem to have lots of reasons to go there as much as possible. They too love the Galilee! Before we left the sea shore we visit Yardenit a traditional baptismal site on the Jordan River. Jim Parker did our morning devotional on the Jordan River.

We climbed up from 600 plus feet below sea level to a 100 or so feet above sea level and drove to Zippori (Sepphoris) which was a Rome Administrative town about 4 miles outside of Nazareth. It was built in the time of Jesus and in fact Joseph may have worked there. This is a splendid site. Its claim to fame is the its beautiful mosaics. The Mona Lisa of the Galilee is in the Governor’s House. In an administrative building are several superb mosaics including the Nile o meter and Greek and Roman mythological characters. We visited the site comprehensively and then departed for Caesarea by the Sea.

Avner, our bus driver does above and beyond the call of duty. He does an excellent job of driving and maneuvering the bus. In addition he knows times form place to place, where to find anything you need including batteries, phone cards, a good place to eat, all of the Aroma Coffee Bars, and does a really good job of getting our stuff on and off the bus, coordinating getting our stuff into and out of the hotel, making sure everyone is taken care of and helping when anything goes awry. A great bus driver is a necessity on a cross country march like we do. Avner works very well with our great guide Gilla. The two of them are an excellent team.

Caesarea is a spectacular archaeological site. It is Crusader, Byzantine, Herodian period and is arranged over several 100’s of feet along the seashore. Herod had a wonderful palace that extended into the Mediterranean. Roascoe led our devotional and sang at the end of the devotional. He has a professional voice and has done a lot of singing with Gospel Quartets. For the few moments of our devotional we were the only group in the Caesarea Theater.

Our weather has been superb. It is another picture perfect day. One of the great joys of our trip now is that coffee has found Israel. There are Aroma (wonderful) Coffee bars everywhere and we visit more of them than we miss. It is as good as home and we have great coffee at Café New Orleans at home.

We sprinted from Caesarea and Akiva Or Aroma Coffee Bar where we had lunch to Bethlehem. It took us 2 hours and we got there a few mintues after 4pm. The Church of the Nativity closes at 5pm so we had no time to waste. Avner has his permit to go into the West Bank so we crossed the border and stopped for Gabriella our guide. I must say that Bethlehem is as noted in the Bible a place that is a bit forbidding. You never know quite what to expect. The visit to the Church of the Nativity is tense and walking from the bus to Manger Square is a bit anxious. We had a good time in the church. Gabriella does a good job of guiding us. We shopped at BSC, Edward Tabash’s Souvenir Store and departed Bethlehem about 6:30pm arriving at Jaffa Gate where we left our bus and walked into the old city of Jerusalem to the Lutheran Guest House on St. Mark Street. Dinner, devotional and a trip up to the Jaffa Gate Aroma Coffee Bar and our day is done. I’m tired and going to bed. Blessings to all.
Clay

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -MO- 22 NOVEMBER 2010

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –MO- 22 November 2010

Another beautiful touring day, which was, low 50’s this morning and rising into the high 70’s by the end of the day. Our drive back to Maagan was under a gorgeous whole moon. The moon glow fell beautifully on the Sea of Galilee as we wound down the Poriya descent to the sea. The road is a very winding road from which you can see the entire Sea of Galilee. But I’m starting at the end and we need to go back to the beginning of our day.

Our day began at Aroma Coffee at the Sea of Galilee junction at the south end of the sea. Amazingly they served all of us in about 15 minutes and we were back on the bus and headed for Bet Shean. The drive down the Jordan was informative. We discussed a multiplicity of issues and geography. The rain hasn’t started yet so everything looked dead. The first big rain will transform the area to a beautiful flowered paradise.

Bet Shean is the premier Roman site in Israel. They have a carefully recreated Cardo, bathhouse, theater, latrine and shopping mall. We traversed the site front to back and side to side. Jim Ennis led our devotional in the theater. Brooke Newsom sang.

Bet Alpha located in Heftziba at the foot of Mt. Gilboa was our next stop. They have a great video about the development of a mosaic floor in this early 6th century synagogue. It was rediscovered in 1928 by Israeli pioneers. The mosaic floor shows a significant synergy with the gentiles that lived in that area.

Our next stop was Ein Harod the Spring of Gideon that is mentioned in Judges 7. The water was low because the rainy season hasn’t begun. The park that surrounds the spring is excellent for picnics and family events. Rick Funderburk led our devotional and Brooke Newsom sang. Several folks knelt down and practiced bringing the water up in their hands to drink. Gideon whittled down his fighting force to just 300 men. The Lord said they would have to give the glory to Him when they defeated the Midianites and they did beat them. The victory belonged to the Lord.

We had lunch at Mizra Kibbutz and then on to Megiddo. This is a premier site in Israel and we could really spend all day there. We traversed the tel and especially noted the Solomon steps, the Ahab gate, the Solomon gate, the granary, the stables and the water system. This is an excellent site that has over twenty-five different layers of towns. Megiddo was fought over by every group that lived in this region for more than two thousand years. Its location is in the middle of the Jezreel Valley.

We turned back towards Maagan but had one more stop for the day on the way. The Nazareth Overlook affords an excellent view of Nazareth and Mt. Tabor and the Jezreel. Carl Scroggs led our devotional. It was cold and windy on the mountain top. We looked, listened and then returned to the bus for our trip back to Maagan on the Sea of Galilee. The moon glow accompanied us back down to the Sea.

Dr. Dukes led in Bible Study continuing our study in Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jim Parker began our day with a devotional on the sea shore. It was another great touring day. I think we are all tired. We covered a lot of ground and history today. Tomorrow we set our face for Jerusalem. Tomorrow night we will be in Jerusalem.
Clay Corvin

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -SU- 21 NOVEMBER 2010

ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –SU- 21 November 2010

Sunday morning worship service on the Galilee southern shore. Jim Parker was our preacher.

Kursi the place of the demoniac was our first stop. It was a beautiful drive around the east side of the Sea of Galilee. We pointed out one of the towns of the Decapolis, Hippos, which is very near En Gev Kibbutz. We stayed at En Gev several times before we discovered Maagan. Kursi was a Byzantine monastery that ended in 631AD when the Ottomans invaded and conquered Palestine. Dr. Butler led our devotionals.

Our driver, Avner took us north to Tel Dan via the Hula Valley. Today we were going to go all over northern Israel and the Golan on back roads. I love taking the back roads and Avner was willing to travel through the back country in his 52 passenger bus. The Israelis have done a wonderful job in dealing with the Hula Valley. They are in the process of transforming a swamp into fish farms, arable farmland, cattle ranches, bird sanctuaries and a host of other activities.

Tel Dan is an exciting archaeological site. A lengthy nature walk alongside rushing waters, The horned altar from the Northern Kingdom, the Abraham Gate that dates back to ancient Laish and the time Abraham chased Chedorlaomer and got Lot back. This arched doorway dates back more than 3,800 years. Stan Watts led our devotional. He illustrated the importance of living the Christian life all the time instead of just at those times that it was convenient. He shared how a good water source made for healthy vegetation. If we live our life as a fire engine, only watering the vegetation when it was dying we wouldn’t have strong, solid growth.

Caesarea Philippi was our next stop. This place of Pan worship was an evil place. The place where all of the worship took place was accurately called the “Gates of Hell.” Dr. Harvey led our devotional. Dr. Duke’s students did a practicum related to the Biblical era at Caesarea Philippi. Lunch was at the restaurant next door to Caesarea Philippi.

Our return trip included a Ben Tal and Café in the Clouds, backroads of the Golan, locating and identifying the major Kibbutz on the Golan, the development of the Golan since it came into Israeli hands and other related Golan history. It is a beautiful, industrious area of Israel. It would be sad indeed for it to leave Israeli control.

Dr. Dukes continued his Bible Study series on Encounters with Jesus in the Gospel of John. This is an outstanding series and enjoyed by all of us.

Clay Corvin
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ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE -SA- 20 NOVEMBER 2010

Israel Pilgrimage Sat 20 November 2010
It doesn’t seem like Saturday but it is and we are beginning tour day 2 (day 4 since we left the US). We left Maagan our guesthouse at 7:45am so that we could make our boat trip time of 8:15am. The boat ride on the Sea of Galilee is from Tiberias to Nof Ginnosar. The Galilee was calm. Dr. Tolbert led our devotional and Brooke Newsome sang – wow to both. The boat captain had a young man from the Czech. Republic who played the violin and Brooke accompanied him singing. It was stirring for the soul. Our trip took about an hour and we landed at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar.

Nof Ginosar was a good stop. They have a good gift shop and a restored boat from the time of Jesus. They also have an excellent coffee shop where we enjoyed some of their coffee.

Our next four hours were spent visiting Mount of the Beatitudes, Chorazin, Capernaum and the Primacy of Peter. All four sites were impressive and the site devotionals were stirring. I enjoy visiting these sites where Jesus was active. Each site challenges our mind and heart and enhances our understanding of the Scripture.

We had lunch at Hilik’s Falafal at Migdal. The meal was basic and didn’t take a lot of time. Usually our Galilee day we eat there. The folks are friendly and helpful. Many of our folks had a magnum ice-cream bar for dessert. They are superb.

We took the high road to Rosh Ha Nikra and visited the Lebanon border then traveled down to Akko. Unfortunately in Akko there was a holiday celebration in process and we couldn’t get into town. Oh well, we consoled ourselves at an Aroma Coffee shop on the edge of town.

We traveled back to the Galilee and arrived at our hotel, Kibbutz Maagan. Dinner and Bible Study and conversations and Saturday had come to an end.

Clay Corvin 20 November 2010