Numb is the only word I can use to describe how I feel right now. Sitting in JFK airport waiting our flight for Chicago and then home to B/N. I have slept about 3 1/2 hours since Midnight Sunday night (CST also could be midnight Monday morning). I have killed time by reading, writing my sermon for Sunday (got a good one going), and watching that little digital map thing that tracks your progress over the ocean on long flights. Anyway, after having some time to reflect, I'm ready to give my "holy land" awards (if you have never heard of them, don't be alarmed...I just made that up)
Most disappointing: Bethelehem. Sorry to say, but it's a dirty city and not very "o little town..."
Most inspiring: the water at the edge of the Sea of Galilee where tradition holds that Jesus reinstated Peter with the words, "do you love me?" and "feed my sheep?"
Best food: Dried dates are the best I've ever had. Also liked their bread.
Thing Israel could use: A starbucks (but you saw that coming) I'm just saying.
Wasn't expecting: an animal called a hyrex near the caves of En Gedi (mentioned in Deuteronomy 14:7) as unclean (also called "coney" or "rock badger").
Would like to see again: The ruins of Megiddo (King Solomon's stables and King Ahab's tunnel) were unexpected 3,000 year old finds. Masada and Caesarea are runners up.
Preacher Geek award: The museum of the Dead Sea scrolls
Weirdest experience: Floating on the Dead Sea...seriously the salt lifts you out of the water.
Most clarifying: View of the Kidron valley - I have read about it, studied it, preached it and drawn it on the white board, but now I have a mind's picture of what it looks like
Future digs: They are doing some major work on the city of David (original small corner of Jerusalem that David established).
Best thing: coming home to the people I love (this is true of every trip)