I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

October 11th, 2010

Northern Israel in a Day

Everyone keeps asking how I felt in Northern Israel. I know they don’t have time for an oil masterpiece though, just a sketch; but how can I do that? I detail like a Romantic painter.
Think Monet, Mona.
Okay then, here is my experience in BROAD STROKES.
(If it reads more like modern art, at least enjoy the photos!)


Northern end
of Israel
The Day I Turned Inside Out

the day my private philosopher came out
probing prodding processing too passionately,
the day my hidden historian pushed her way to the front
exploring examining evaluating too eagerly,
the day my secret scriptiorian stepped up
reciting relating reminding
like a rabbi,
was the day my inner intellectual
packed all the pieces into a ball of dirt
made of the earth that once was below,
spades and shovels digging up roots,
mulching the clay I thought I was.
seashore sediment and sand
created new space
for the spiritual,
and I am


Mount of Beatitudes

On the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a higher law was given on the Mount of Beatitudes in “the Sermon on the Mount” where Jesus invited all people to come unto him.
He also shared an explanation of his mission to the twelve apostles.
There is a very peaceful feeling on this mount. (Matthew 5)


According to Christian tradition, Jesus performed several miracles in the Tabgha district, making it an important pilgrimage site for devout Christians. In an area nearby He fed them – with loaves and fishes, 5,000 at a time, not counting women or children. (Luke 9:11-17). This church memorializes this miracle with an ancient floor mosaic of loaves and fishes.


Excavations have uncovered the ruins of a once thriving city of Romans and Jews – home of Peter and other apostles (Mark 1:29). Jesus lived here for 18-20 months of his three-year ministry and most of his miracles occurred here including the account of a 12-year-old  girl who was ill. On the way to bless her, Jesus noted that a woman had touched his garment. He must have made many friends here, after all, thousands followed him. (Mark 5:21-43)

River Jordan

Much of the fertility of the valley comes from the Jordan and flows into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was baptized by John in this river. (Matthew 3:13-17)

Sea of Galilee

The waters of the upper Jordan River form the Sea of Galilee: peaceful, 700 ft below sea level, surrounded by hills and eastern Golan mountains that rise 9200 feet above sea level. Having been rejected at Nazareth, Jesus spent most of his ministry in towns surrounding this lake.

It was in the Sea of Galilee that Jesus walked on the water. (Mark 6:44-51) Sudden storms still arise here, just like the one Jesus calmed, proving that Himself nature’s master. (Mark 4:37) Jesus told Peter, who after fishing all night without catching anything, to cast his nets on the other side of the boat. He did and drew so many fish the boat almost sank. (Luke 5:4-9)
From these shores, Jesus called his disciples and told them:
“I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18-22)


Jesus spent his boyhood years in Nazareth before beginning his ministry when he was about 30.  (Matt. 2:23) After moving his home to Capernaum, Jesus returned to teach in the synagogue of Nazareth twice more, but was rejected both times. On one occasion the townspeople were so outraged at Jesus that they tried to throw him off a cliff to his death.

Church of Annunciation in Nazareth was originally a Byzantine church built over the place where it is believed that the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary.
(Luke 1:26-38)


Thank you to Guided Tours Israel for our amazing private guide, Aytan, who provided a full day of sights, information, and unforgettable conversation.

Lots more pictures on the photo album “Northern Israel in a Day” at
Mona’s Musings on Facebook.

Hint of Romance

Share the spiritual.

What did you think of this musing?

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  1. Bri Z. says:

    Wow!! You were there; you were there!!! I’m crying!

    What an incredible, bigger-than-words experience. Something like that is too big for words, too big for a blog post, too big to do anything but to experience, too big for the word: big! :) I’m so glad you saw and felt and breathed in every moment of that experience and that you did so together. Thank you for giving us little stained-glass window sized views into your experience. Keep exploring together!

    Dying to see you and hug your world-travelling self. Please forgive me if I start sobbing at the airport in Florida.

  2. maritza Ardila- Perez says:

    Dearest Mona and Dale , you wonderful experience from your trip in Jerusalem , has touch my heart with a glourios day . I feel that I was there with Jesus, he was holding both of you in that great place with a lot history our Jesus , the redemer and our brother,
    What really amazined me , when you ” Mona” walked in the water in Jerusalem , Your picture is wonderful and all of them are fantastic , With Dale at the started of your blog is a blessing to my eyes. I can wait until I go and visit Jerusalem , and live the same experience that you live, Thanks you Mona and Dale to share this things with me and the others , Jesus is full of miracle , and you both are his miracle to serve in this earth , love. Maritza Ardila- Perez

  3. Sara Lyn says:

    I know I use the word beautiful to much, but it really is! Thank you, thank you for sharing. What a life-growing experience!

  4. Sharon says:

    Well, I really think Bri explained how I’m feeling about you and your experience much better than I can. What this trip has done for you is bigger than short explanation. Thank you for the reference to the scriptures, it is so meaningful and necessary. I can’t wait to see you and our spiritually renewed and remade self. Thank you.

  5. jane says:

    I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be there. As the earlier person said, it is too big for words. It is the kind of experience that will last a lifetime and grow with meaning every time you think of it.

  6. lily says:

    Wow!!!! a long lasting experience that can be tell to the folowing generations!(grandsons and grandaughters), and the most exciting bit, that you can express your emotions and experiences with us!!!!!!
    THANK YOU!for a wonderfull blog!

  7. Sue Simper says:

    There’s something so powerful about thinking of the Savior actually being on that very ground, where you were standing. It makes him seem so close! Thank you for painting it so beautifully, even if broader than you’d like. All of us who know you and Dale, and get to spend time with you, will be blessed forever by how it has filled your hearts.

  8. Valerie M. says:

    Your poem/prose is so beautiful, both to the ears and the eyes. I love that photo of you standing in the water. My sister-in-law is from Israel and she and my brother went a few years ago and I was so jealous. What a wonderful experience you had. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Colleen Tolva says:

    My dear friend, Mona
    The opportunities you two are experiencing are glorious to behold! The sensitivity of your selection of photos from Northern Israel, where Jesus walked, taught and healed people and served in his ministry , really became real to me. Thank you so much for sharing these precious moments of spirituality with all of us and your lovely prose that went with it. It is so beautiful there and always seems to be the same almost as it was two thousand years ago.
    We sang praises to Jesus today at the Vancouver West Stake Conference and “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me”. As we sang “Beautiful Savior” I knew angels had joined the choir. Then, this evening while looking at your wonderful pictures and reading the scriptures that accompanied them, I once again had to sing “Beautiful Savior, Lord of all the nations, Son of God and Son of Man”. You have walked where Jesus walked! Thank you for sharing. Love, Colleen

  10. marzee says:

    So special. What a great way to walk in the Savior’s footsteps. An amazing way to strengthen your testimony.

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