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There can be nothing more romantic for a Christian couple than a Christian wedding in Israel, the Holy Land. We can arrange a Christian themed ceremony, a wedding blessing in Jerusalem, Galilee or Cana. The Bible is full of references of marriage. The Church is referred to as Christ’s ‘bride’. Jesus’ first miracle was the changing of water into wine at a marriage feast. A wedding is a joyous event, one which should be blessed by God above in the site of the community and families. Prominent Christian Bible readings for a Christian wedding include:

Song of Solomon 2:10-13
My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
‘For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
‘The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
‘The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.

For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Ruth 1:16-17
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

“Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

I Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I John 4:7-19
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

We love, because He first loved us.

For further information about a romantic wedding in the Holy Land see: http://www.ranan-pilgrimages.com/christian_weddings.htm

Daily Bible Verse

“Be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” Joshua 22:5

Pilgrimage

What Are The Benefits Of A Pilgrimage? People that travel on pilgrimages, are happier, more peaceful and deal better with life situations. The opportunity to remind oneself of the ‘important things’ is much neded in a modern era of fast information, constant communication through the internet and mobile telephones. With all the modern day distractions people forget that solutions to the gravest problems and deepest pains are found in the simplest, quietest locations. If those locations remind you of our Lord Jesus Christ, a surrounding can help one become more seeking, prayerful, accessible and open to the voice of God.

People that go on pilgrimages have more faith. By having more faith and peace in your heart, you do not avoid tragedy, as having Jesus in your life, is like “being thrown into the ocean with a life-vest”.

What Are The Benefits Of A Pilgrimage? People that travel on pilgrimages, are happier, more peaceful and deal better with life situations. The opportunity to remind oneself of the ‘important things’ is much neded in a modern era of fast information, constant communication through the internet and mobile telephones. With all the modern day distractions people forget that solutions to the gravest problems and deepest pains are found in the simplest, quietest locations. If those locations remind you of our Lord Jesus Christ, a surrounding can help one become more seeking, prayerful, accessible and open to the voice of God.

People that go on pilgrimages have more faith. By having more faith and peace in your heart, you do not avoid tragedy, as having Jesus in your life, is like “being thrown into the ocean with a life-vest”.  Our link explores this some more. http://www.ranan-pilgrimages.com/christian_pilgrimage.htm

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, a Pilgrimage is…

The idea of a pilgrimage has been traced back by some (Littledale in “Encycl. Brit.”, 1885, XIX, 90; “New Internat. Encyc.“, New York, 1910, XVI, 20, etc.) to the primitive notion of local deities, that is, that the divine beings who controlled the movements of men and nature could exercise that control only over certain definite forces or within set boundaries. Thus the river gods had no power over those who kept away from the river, nor could the wind deities exercise any influence over those who lived in deserts or clearings or on the bare mountain-side. Similarly there were gods of the hills and gods of the plains who could only work out their designs, could only favour or destroy men within their own locality (1 Kings 20:23). Hence, when some man belonging to a mountain tribe found himself in the plain and was in need of divine help, he made a pilgrimage back again to the hills to petition it from his gods. It is therefore the broken tribesmen who originate pilgrimages.

Read more here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12085a.htm

Visiting Lourdes is a life changing experience. As a non Catholic I examined my reaction to this visit which was organized for me by Maison de la France in 2008.

Lourdes hosts in the region of 5,000,000 pilgrims and visitors every season, Lisieux in Normandy being the second religious site in France most visited by Christians from all over the world. On arrival in Lourdes, my first impression was driving through the small village where hundreds of children lined the streets, they were mostly handicapped; blind, cripple, deaf or dumb and some with very serious mental conditions.

The first amazing thing to see was that the children were happy, actually enjoying each other’s company and playing as best they could with each other in an environment which was conducive to understanding those who, to our eyes, are not normal. The second thing which amazed me was that at every elevator stop in the hotel in which we stayed there were wheelchairs provided by the hotel as a matter of course; hoteliers, restaurants, tour operators, bus operators who were ultra sensitive to the needs of others. The miracle began to work in my heart.

I was witnessing a miracle of love and caring experienced nowhere else in my travels worldwide. The next miracle was in the morning when we visited the famous site at the grotto where the Blessed Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. There is a hospital close to the site, wheelchairs and even beds were being wheeled out from hospitals and various other accommodations in the village.

The streets were lined with uniformed Sisters and Fathers wheeling the desperately ill to the site at the grotto in the hope of a miracle healing. Some were close to death with oxygen, intravenous drips and machines attached to the beds keeping them alive. Questioning regarding actual healings were answered rapidly by our guide and they do have records of several documented proofs of healings by those who have visited the site, but the true miracle of Lourdes for me was the miracle of love.

Love literally poured out by the Fathers and the Sisters and the various hospital staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly with the desperately ill and often not pretty human beings who visit Lourdes. My final experience was in the elevator at the hotel, a Sister with a small child held the child closely while he tried to bang his head against the wall.

The Sister bent down and kissed the little boy’s drooling mouth and he calmed right down and put his arms around her. That was the miracle of Lourdes.

Traveling in Israel for Seniors

It is so important to deal with an organization that is sensitive to the needs of seniors. Frequent stops for refreshments, careful walking planning and wheelchairs and assistance where necessary are of paramount importance.

Concentrating on maximum exposure without exhausting your pilgrims is also important, as is early bed times and quiet accommodation. Spiritual journeys that are meaningful to seniors should include quiet times in places where the Savior walked with careful avoidance of the tourist traps is also a consideration for your market.

Minimal fuss and bother at border posts and check in and check out, baggage handling to minimize stress, elevator availability, regular nutritional meals and traveling together with other likeminded Christians make for a successful journey in the Holy land.

Ezekiel 31:3 

The Cedar in Lebanon

 God talking to Ezekiel compares nations to His majestic trees:

 “Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage. 

The waters nourished it, deep springs made it grow tall; their streams flowed all around its base and sent their channels to all the trees of the field”. 

The story goes on to v12 where “the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. 

Ezekiel can be said to be one of the first environmentalists who are horrified by the demise of majestic trees, recognizing the ecology of the birds that nest and the animals that rest in their shade. We, who are troubled when we see the desecration of trees, have ancestors who felt likewise.  If Ezekiel can call them “the most ruthless of men”, then that makes me realize my response is quite natural.

GK Chesterton “Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of ‘touching’ a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.” – “Charles II” Twelve Types

***

GK Chesterton

 
“A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed; but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttle-fish.” – Maycock, The Man Who Was Orthodox