JOURNEY TO ISRAEL: AUTHENTICATING STORIES THROUGH ARCHEOLOGY & FAITH-DAY #2

We began our tour with Educational Opportunities and Guide Tsippi Segal, on the road from Tel Aviv to Jaffa.  Jaffa was Israel’s natural port during the time of the Old Testament.  According to the story, Peter resided in Jaffa when the other disciples sent for advice on whether or not Cornelius, a Gentile, could join the Jewish Jesus movement. Peter said yes, and history continued to be set (i.e. Acts 10).  Jonah was reported to set sail from Jaffa, as well.

 

We strolled above the ancient port and shoreline of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, amidst the historic structures.  We could see people swimming and surfing in the clear, blue-green waters of the Mediterranean from our lookout at the “Gateway to the East”.

 

I roamed over to the Wishing Bridge, admiring the detailed mosaic sign of welcome.     IMG_0089.jpg

The Gate to the Ancient World

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Tsippi introduced us to a Salt plant, that of course smelled and tasted extremely salty. IMG_0099.jpg

We entered St. Peter’s Church (currently 19th Century-originally 17th Century)  One of the most unique sculptor’s was of the tree.

 

St. Peter’s is an old Franciscan Church, located in Old Jaffa.  The church was built to commemorate the visit and miracle of StPeter in Jaffa.  The New Testament records several of St Peter the Apostle’s deeds,  which took place in Jaffa: the raising of Tabitha, the seamstress; Peter’s stay at the house of Simon the Tanner, and the vision of the sheet let down from heaven.

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
The vision of Peter, Acts 10, 15

It was from here that Peter journeyed up the coast to Caesarea, where he told about Jesus as requested by Cornelius.  Cornelius became the first convert from paganism to be welcomed into the Church.

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We proceeded to Emmaus and broke bread outdoors within the ruins of the Byzantine church at Emmaus-Nicopolis, which is adjacent to the monastery of Latrun.  The site lies on the bright green plain of Sheilah on the route leading from the Mediterranean to Jerusalem.  This was our first visit to an old excavation site–very quiet and serene. The light hit the bread placed on the altar at just the moment I took the picture.  This was the place Jesus broke the bread.

The vegetation around Emmaus was very interesting, including blooming almond nut trees and an occasional anemone.  Tsippi told us to look throughout Israel for groups of wildflowers, including the anenones, referred to as “the lillies of the field”.

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ISRAEL JOURNEY: STORIES AUTHENTICATED THROUGH ARCHEOLOGY & FAITH-DAY #1

Our ten-day journey through Israel  (February 12-22, 2018) accompanied by Israeli Jewish guide, Tsippi Segal, began with our arrival in the vibrant, modern city of Tel Aviv. Our journey exposed my limited knowledge of this ancient, historical land of Israel, surprising me with its multi-cultural and religiously diverse population, its stone beauty, agricultural opportunities, tels of archeological excavations revealing complex layers of civilizations, rugged and mountainous borders of the Dead Sea, brief moments in time captured at  the Sea of Galilee, visibility of Jordan, Syria, Golan Heights and the Mediterranean Sea from Israeli borders,  and of course, the historical evidence of the story of Christ drawing millions of visitors from all over the world to this land.

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Sunrise over Israel through the window of our El Al Israel 787 aircraft.

Nashville Destination #1: The Loveless Cafe

Leanna & I rented our Chevy Cruise and drove up into the Tennessee hills towards the Loveless Cafe, highly recommended by our trip consult,                     Trip Advisor.  When we set our eyes on the Cafe, it reminded us of some sort of compound with the Cafe in the middle and little shops and stores built around it.

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Outside the cafe, people were playing old-fashioned games, while waiting for their tables.

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Motorcyclists are obviously welcome at the Loveless Cafe.  There were quite a few of them.

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Prior to entering the cafe, Leanna and I began our frequent trip activity of photographing signs.

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(Occasionally, we included a picture of ourselves!)

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Image  A hidden gem–Shimai Art—beautiful pottery, wall art, sculptures, & woven loveliness!                                             Image  Just some wall art that caught my eye!ImageImage The Place of Weaving?Image The Smokehouse

We explored all of the shops surrounding the cafe and discovered the wonderful Shimai Art shop (pottery, gifts & wearable art); one of those place you walk into and find the most unique treasures.  I would have bought one of everything, if I could have gotten it onto the plane!  Leanna and I loved the gorgeous pottery.   We acquired two coffee mugs and two tea mugs–such beautiful colors, molded with a unique life symbol.  The artist had also created some unusual, wax-etched flower tiles of vibrant colors.  Some neat leaf iron trivets were calling my name, but might have prevented the plane from getting off of the ground!   The artist of the Shimai is Becca Ganick.   In the back room, VickieVipperman displayed her absolutely beautiful hand-dyed woven cotton, silk & bamboo blankets, scarves, etc. from the Vickie Vipperman Weaving Studio in Kingston Springs, Tennessee–so unique and once again, the variety of colors were so rich.  Vickie packed up our pottery for the plane and was so cordial and helpful to us.

The Loveless Cafe was originally known as the Harpeth Valley Tea Room, serving famous fried chicken and biscuits in 1951, owned by Lon & Annie Loveless.  They served travelers from the front door on Highway 100.  Later, they changed their home into a restaurant, adding country hams cured, smoked and carved on site.  They added 14 hotel rooms to serve guests.  Different owners acquired the diner and it continued the Tennessee tradition of serving southern food with homemade biscuits.  In 1982, they started the Hams & Jams mail order business began and in 1985, the hotel rooms were changed to retail space.  The diner was closed for remodeling and restoration in 2003, opening as the Loveless Cafe with the huge following of today.  When Leanna & I  were called to our table, we ordered a huge brunch breakfast of all of the advertised favorites of the Lovelace:  fried chicken, fried okra, flaky biscuits with the most wonderful peach preserves, salad, etc.  This was definitely comfort food!  What a charming place out in the Tennessee hills.