Israel Trip – Day 3 (Caesarea Maritima)

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On day three (June 12) we hit the ground running. After an early breakfast, we boarded the bus with all our luggage and were on the road by 8:00 a.m.

Our first stop was Caesarea Maritima (or Caesarea by the Sea—a port built by Herod). As our itinerary explained:

“Here Pontius Pilate had his base, Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10), from where Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and where Philip preached (Acts 8:40).

Our guide began by schooling us in the art of choosing a city site. A good ancient city site needed four things: 1] water; 2] protection from enemies (e.g. elevation so enemies could be seen); 3] access to transportation (near the road system); 4] nearness to arable land to provide food.

Caesarea ticked none of these boxes yet Herod built a thriving city at this site on the Mediterranean.

We saw many ruins. There was a theatre, which has been revamped for current-day use.

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Ruins of Caesarea (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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More Caesarea excavations. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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Theatre ruins which have been incorporated into a modern outdoor theatre. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

There were capitals and pillars, and a stone on which Pontius Pilate’s name was engraved.

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A Caesarea arch. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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Capitals from Caesarea. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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Beautiful marble pillars. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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A stone on which Pontius Pilate’s name is engraved. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

There were hippodrome ruins (site of sports like chariot races) with its arched areas of exit (vomitoria).

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Caesarea Hippodrome. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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Arches of the lower level of the Hippodrome, from which people exited the venue. They were called vomitoria. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

We walked to the port site, where informational signs explained a bit about the harbour.

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I snapped a Caesarea Nymphaeum.

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We walked through some of the ruins of the Crusader City (a section rebuilt centuries after Caesarea Port was first built) and saw the moat that apparently never held any water.

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An arch of the Crusader City. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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The castle’s dry moat. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

On the drive away from Caesarea by the Sea, we stopped briefly at the aqueduct—a raised structure which carried water from springs 10 Km. distant to the city of Caesarea when city wells could no longer supply the city’s water needs.

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Caesarea Aqueduct. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

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The Aqueduct with sand piling up on the right. Archeologists had to dig through that much and more sand to uncover this ancient structure. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)

Blessed by Psalm 84 #BibleJournaling

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I love Psalm 84!

David Kitz writes three chapters on it in his book Psalms Alive! I did a Bible journal sketch for each of them.

The first section (Chapter 12 in his book focusing on Psalm 84:1-4) is about living in God’s house. I love the word pictures of sparrows nesting there—all the more because my maiden name was “Sperling” (German), which translates to “sparrow.” I doodled this picture in the margin of my Bible, based on Psalm 84:3,4.

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Bible Journal entry for Psalm 84:3,4 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The middle section (Chapter 13 – Psalm 84:5-9) is about the faith journey or pilgrimage. I focused on verse 5: “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion” – Psalm 84:5.

Because my Bible margin was already full, I did a journal entry in my sketch book. Ever since I saw the idea of using footprints in a Bible journal entry, I’ve wanted to do that. This seemed like a good place to use that idea.

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Bible journal entry for Psalm 84:5 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The quotes on the shoe soles are from Chapter 13 of Psalms Alive! (pp. 121-128):

Right (top) shoe:
“He brings hope into the Valley of Despair”
“We are called to a faith journey.”
“He is the great transformer. He brings light into darkness.”
“Read God’s Word daily.”
“It is the way of the cross that will bring us safely into His arms.”
He will be living water.”

 

Left (bottom) shoe:
“The place of weeping becomes a place of living springs when Jesus passes by.”
“We are to undertake this walk together.”
“He brings joy into sorrowful hearts.”
“Bread of Life sustains us.”
“Pray.”
“Hear His voice.”
“Our strength is in the LORD.”
“Strength for our pilgrimage comes only from Him.”

The last section (Chapter 14 – Psalm 84:10-12) was about how this is really a love psalm to God. I chose to illustrate it with a wonderful quote of David Kitz’s that fit on the overleaf side of my Bible—“Love is at the core of every special day”— paired with Psalm 84:10: “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.”

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Bible Journal for Psalm 84:10 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

After all that, I love Psalm 84 even more!

(David’s book Psalms Alive! is really quite wonderful as an in-depth study of selected psalms. His writing is full of vivid word pictures and meaty quotes that make it a perfect resource for those of us attempting to personalize and add colour and images to our Bible pages.)