Post volunteer life back in Portsmouth

Long time since I’ve been blogging I know.

In November 2013 I finished up my volunteering after over 4 years of working for Bridges for Peace.

The last 7 months or so have been hard, readjusting, getting back into my original church and cell group, but getting to know new people in UK to. Don’t have many of the same friends I had 5 years ago, not by choice but just by circumstances.

I’m looking at moving to London for a new job and new adventures.

Jerusalem Knights event 2013

I was really pleased to go to this popular event in Jerusalem’s old city:-

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This big crane was by the Jaffa Gate, this was holding two cage like structures, as you can see these three women doing this gymnastics on wires event, looks very difficult!!   On top of this, the top cage, contains a man playing the drums!!

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A short walk on, and we are entering the Armenian quarter of the old city, I am not sure if these men were Jews, Arabs, Armenians or foreigners.   These people were playing a small ukelelle, a regular guitar and bag pipes!!

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This man is playing a horn – in reverse!!  not sure what this is, it makes a flute type noise.

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These are my new (ish) friends from work.  I’ve seen some of my other really close friends who have been here for sometime have now left, but these guys are great fun to explore with from Canada, South Africa and Japan.   This was an arm extended self-shot which I didn’t get myself in, oh well.

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These people are funny, looks more like Elvis on stilts!!

P1070153This event was maybe a little bit smaller than last years event, but still really enjoyable.   Theres about three events like this a year, which turn the old city into a vibrant out-door theatre.

here’s a post I did about 2 years ago:- http://britinjerusalem.com/2010/10/22/jerusalem-knights-outdoor-holy-land-theatre/

Support Jews and Arabs in Israel, buy Coca cola!!

One of the common announcements by the BDS Crowd (thats Boycott, Divestment and Sanction)   is to rally around to get people to cease doing business with Israel to ‘stop the occupation’

Its funny that the word ‘occupation’ seeing as Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years, places like Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Shiloh, etc have Hebrew names and and well known in the bible and real history books.

One of the favourite targets for the BDS movement is Coca Cola being ‘Zionist company’  Some more interesting hoaxes against the Coca Cola company http://www.coca-colacompany.com/contact-us/coca-cola-rumors-facts

This is an interesting idea, and actually not buying Coca Cola actually hurts Arab people and Palestinian people, here’s why:

P1060640I went to the Arab convenience store near my house here in the southern most tip of Jerusalem.   Here is what I bought:-

This Can of Coke is in Hebrew, and its made in Benei Barak, a Jewish city outside of Tel Aviv that has a mostly Ultra Orthodox community.  Its certified Kosher too.  Coca Cola also make soda in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.   However I couldn’t buy this from this shop, but there are other Arabic labeled products from other Palestinian cities.    A company called United Beverage company in Ramallah are licenced to make Coke for Arabic speaking people in this region.

Here’s their official web site of the National Beverage Company who are licenced to sell Coca Cola for Arabic speaking customers:- http://www.nbc-pal.com/

Here below is the Hebrew canning operation of the Coca Cola factory which is on the side of a big motorway, rather use my own photos, I nicked this off of google.

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This can of Pepsi is in Arabic and marked as for sale to the West Bank and Gaza market, – but – its made in Greece!!

Coke and Pepsi seem to often alternate between using 330ml cans in the tall skinny type or fatter traditional ones.  I’m not quite sure why.

These boycott lists of so called ways to help Palestinian people are always unfair and inaccurate, and often use any kind layoff from the financial changes in the last year as a so call ‘win’ for the BDS movement.   The BDS movement’s goals are based on malice towards Israel and not towards positive ways to help Arab people anywhere.  A better way to help Palestinian people would be to maybe manufacture and market the popular Arabic drink Sahalab to UK and western nations, particularly maybe sell it in Arab and Asian restaurants in Europe.

 

May 2013 plans and studying

Not written much in a long time, will try and catch up with some writings of what I have been doing.

Next week I’m studying for a theology course I am doing with Bridges for Peace to be a better advocate for Israel and all things biblical.

Please pray for this to go well, its going to be hard work as its likely I will be in class from about 8am till 9pm at night.

I have all visa paper work from now until February 2014 which is a huge blessing.    Thanks for your prayers.

Jonathan

Bats in Jerusalem

After a day of cycling past workman set up decorations and security arrangements for the US President visit, go to work, read in a coffee shop (normally do this from 5pm to 7pm on certain days)  then go to a bible study, then head to a bar and have a beer with some friends afterwards, I grab my bike and head back past David HaMelech Street, I see a bat fly in the street in big circle, quite different from a bird.

I then saw it disappear into a small tree, thinking to myself there was no way I can ever spot this creature in the branches, I walk my bike underneath it, I quickly grab my camera and shoot directly up above me, as I am right under the tree, thinking it would probably get spooked by the flash.

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Can you see him?

There is plenty of old buildings they can roost in as well as a trees.  I have seen them hover around palm trees, not sure if they are attracted to palm dates or insects there.

bat

 

Egypt, jam and prophecy

Lately I have been getting back into reading Isaiah, the book with highest amount of prophetic value in the scriptures.  I haven’t been to Egypt but been curious about the past and present in the surrounding middle east nations.

Isaiah 19 : 4 I will hand the Egyptians over
to the power of a cruel master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Although Egypt’s previous government run by Mumbarak and folks trashing museums in Cairo seems horrible, things sound like they could be a lot worse with the Muslim Brotherhood running the place.   I was talking to some people in my bible study, and they pointed out this passage.    Until recently Egypt has a just about ok relationship with Israel, but with this new leadership they could be as dangerous as Syria or Iran.

Isaiah 19 : 16 In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against them. 17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them.

18 In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.[a]

(a) – Isaiah 19:18 Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text City of Destruction

Looking at this Hebrew version of this passage on www.bible.cc, it says this also.  My regular NIV people says Destruction, with message at the bottom, about it also being ‘City of the sun’.

city of destruction

“Speak the language of Canaan..”, how about this article?

egyptians speaking hebrew  orangejam
Here is a jar of Marmalade I bought from an Arab shop near my house here in Jerusalem.    Its labelled as “Orange Jam”  and its made in Egypt, this is a city just outside Cairo.

After I looked in Wikipedia about 6th October City:-

1973 – Egypt launches a coordinated attack with Syria against Israel leading to the Yom Kippur War.
The city was established in 1979 by the 504th presidential decree of president Anwar El Sadat. It is 17 km from the great pyramids of Giza and 32 km from downtown Cairo.[4] The city has a total area of 97.4 thousand feddans (400 km2) and is expected to eventually have 3.7 million inhabitants.[5] It was announced as the capital of the 6th of October Governorate in April 2008. Following the governorate’s dissolution in April 2011, it was reincorporated into the Giza Governorate, to which it had originally belonged.
The city’s name commemorates the commencement of the October War on 6th October 1973 to liberate Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. For this reason, the date was also chosen as Egypt’s Armed Forces Day.

My primitive knowledge of Hebrew tells me that שמש – Shemesh is sun.   There is a city outside of Jerusalem called Beit Shemesh.

Just out of curiousity, in case there was another definition, I did some translating.   This other word “Chamah” which I don’t recognise, could be sun, or heat, rage, fury or wrath.   Now I think I know there is two different English biblical interpretations of this.

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Funny, I only went out to get something to spread on some pita bread, interesting what inspires me to see what Isaiah is talking about regarding what will prophetically happen to Egypt one day….

Is revival heading toward Egypt one day, yes, check out this link for 70,000 Egyptian believers in Jesus got together at the end of 2011.

http://www.tyndale.ca/news/egypts-remarkable-prayer-gathering 

Roman Holiday 36AD – a story by me

Some friends of mine from my church back at home run a writing club from a bar in Southsea, Portsmouth.

Rosie’s wine bar in Portsmouth is a well known place often for live music.

When I was back in the UK during Christmas, I wrote a story for this event on a fictional Roman couple on holiday in the Middle East.   Its short – the rules state it should be under 5 minutes when I stood up to read.


Here it is, if you’d like to read it:-

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gVMZYCVj7FTYocYoJ8Mx7uUPdoKVhCD0t8pcbzEzszM/edit 

If you would like to write or just listen to locally produced short fiction in a small friendly group, please visit Write Invite here:-

http://www.write-invite.com/

The competitions are done in Portsmouth, but you can also do them online anywhere in the world.

unless you change and become like little children….

Whilst I was at church on my first weekend back in Israel, after the service I noticed something amazing;

There was an Arab family in the hallway as I was leaving, I had not seen this couple and their daughter who was only about 4 years old or so.    I introduced myself to the man but didn’t think he spoke much English.    I was just leaving and I noticed the little girl tugging on the sleeve of her friend another girl the same age, who had blonde hair and Jewish.

It took me back to see this, with all these attempts at meetings between nations on peace, when you realise any kind of prejudice in human beings is not preinstalled in us but is sadly picked up around us.   For all the problems that exist between Arabs, Jews and Christians, its us needing to be like children as Jesus mentions here:-

Matthew 18
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Antiwar Israelis protest in the streets

Few days ago, before the first rocket went in Jerusalem, I was walking along King George Street after visiting a friend to see people with banners and posters being waved and beating a drum.    These Israelis are anti-war protesters that don’t want a ground invasion of Gaza.    Almost everyone here doesn’t want a war.  Those called for duty in the army having a willingness to defend their nation though.

However most people don’t want to be a doormat to terrorists so making sure all traces of terrorist infrastructure are gone from Gaza seems the right idea.

I am not sure how these people propose to fix the issues of rockets coming 20, 40 or 75Km away from Gaza into your own communities though.

Maybe they could protest through the streets of Beer Sheva or Ashdod which is Hamas’s favourite target practice at the moment.