It's been a long time coming but finally I have a cool blog that I can call my own. Most people reading will already know who I am. Discussions of hip hop and life will usually take place here when I have things to talk about.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Greetings from the Holy Land

I have been trying to update once a week and your thinking to yourself, "he just updated on Thursday". I know I know, I just wanted to let you guys know a couple of details about my return to Canada. First off, things are well here except that I've been pretty much at home for the past few days, simply cuz of not having a car (Jay's car is in the shop) and with the feast of Pentecost (yes it is that time) everything is closed and buses aren't running. I posted a bunch of pictures on my facebook page so if you guys are on there you can take a look at them.

Friday Jay and I walked over to David's in-laws for Pentecost supper and it was delicious. It was also David's little girl Leah's 5th birthday so we had cake and presents and such. Yesterday, was pretty low-key being Shabat, but I did do a couple of small things around the studio to get caught up again (mostly dubbing and digitizing tapes). Today I will do more of the same and do some cataloging too (There is a short series that was shot that I am trying to recompile the episodes and freshen them up a bit). My cousin Dan arrives home on Wednesday and he will be in the studio helping me with stuff and doing some other things he needs to do. It will be interesting with all the stories he has to tell about India and Thailand.

Ok, now the details of my return because they have changed somewhat. I have had the opportunity to go to Mexico so I'm going there for a brief period of time. I'm not sure all the details but it will be crazy with everything going on. I leave Israel July 3rd for London, then I am in England til the 8th when I arrive back to Seattle. Then the following day I leave Seattle for Mexico (PVR I believe) and arrive back in Seattle a week later. So it'll be an interesting jaunt home 5 countries and 3 continents in two weeks (Maybe I go to Egypt still and make it 4 continents). Anyways, take care......I will see you guys soon and I will tell many tales of life here when I return home. Until next time Shalom from Israel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another busy week

Acutally it wasn't quite as busy as last week but it does seem like there is something always on the go. Last friday we filmed two shows. One show was in honour of Jerusalem Day which is the day that the Jews regained Jerusalem in 1967. We went up to Mt. Skopus and filmed it from there. Then I got some good cutaways of the city from both there and the Mount of Olives. The other show was of a Karate group that came to the house and did a demonstration. Then we all sat down and had a BBQ. It seems like BBQ's are in style here and so much food. I'm jealous because I can't seem to eat it all yet i'm the one that gains the weight. Actually, to tell you the truth, I have lost weight, but with all this good food sometimes I wonder.

Yesterday we had a interesting meeting with some Chinese believers who want to translate the show for the Chinese people. It is kind of interesting that China would be such an interesting focus because I have particularly close ties with China right now with friends there and such (some of you know who I mean and why I don't mention much more than that). After the meeting we went to a restaurant in Abu Gosh, which is an arab village (though they are friendly there) and had some good Arab food for lunch. I joked that someone should open up a restaurant called the Wholly Gosh.

In the evening we filmed a show here in the studio with some Americans who had gone into Kurdish Iraq for a short mission stay. It was more of a fact finding mission to see what was needed and what God is doing in that part of the world. PTL that doors are opening ever so slightly for people to take the gospel into that country. Then they took us out for dinner at one of the best steakhouses in the area. Suffering for the gospel can sometimes be hard.

This weekend will be kind of low-key. The car is in the shop which means it is bus or cab to get around anywhere. Next week I am planning to go to Tel Aviv for a few days and also possibly down to the Dead Sea. Hopefully the car will be back on the road in a few days.

That's all for now. All the best from the Wholly Land. Paul

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hello again from the Old City

Well, it has been another busy week in Israel. Also it has been very warm and so I praise the Lord that my Aunt and Uncle have a swimming pool I can cool off in. Today is not so bad, I think it is about 23C today but Monday it was up to 35C which is very warm they say for May here.

On Saturday we decided to go into the old city and look around which was pretty awesome. Between all the sights and sound here I still hadn't gone in and actually looked around at the place (I did drive through it one night though). It is quite surreal actually being there and looking at all the places where these biblical events took place. We visited the Western (wailing) Wall and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I'm kinda not really gonna say too much and show you some pictures and maybe a few vids just to let you know what is up.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the traditional site of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection although many scholars dispute it. There has been a church on this site since Constantine. The current church has parts of it that date back almost 1000 years.

These are the walls of Jerusalem looking just outside the Jaffa (Western) Gate.

Not actually in the Old City but a cool mural on Agrippas St. Just up the street is the market and King of Kings church, which is the largest evangelical church in the city.

Me with the Dome of the Rock in the background. Just below the dome (kind of by my shoulder) is the Western wall.

The Western Wall. There is a story behind this picture. Normally on the Sabbath they don't allow pictures in the square. I kind of cheated and pulled out and snapped this and quickly put my camera away before anyone noticed. I hold God doesn't hold it against me. :)

Later on I actually went right up to the wall and touched it, they do let non-Jews into and up to the wall but it is a sacred place and you have to be reasonably quiet.

This is the temple mount where you can see the Dome of the Rock and then along the wall to the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Dome of the Rock is largely ceremonial while the Al-Aqsa mosque is the one that is in daily use. We tried to go up there but we came at the wrong time and they were only allowing Muslims during that time. The second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) is commonly known as the Al-Aqsa uprising as it started as a result of then Prime Minister Arial Sharon visiting the temple mount.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchure. The video is a little dark but I more wanted to get the sound of the place and the Monks chanting. It was quite beautiful, although throughout the years there has been squabbling between the different churches about jurisdiction on the church. It is quite sad actually and a poor witness. The Pope was just here in Jerusalem and he was here the day before giving a speech/sermon on the whole Palestinian thing but I kind of wish he could have tried to resolve this as well.

Anyways, it was quite a day. A few more things during the week included filming an interview with some men from an organization called tabletotable here in Jerusalem that picks up and gleans leftover food (a lot like the gleaners organization in Vancouver) to give to the needy. I also spent a little time working on some stuff for the Palestinian Media Watch who are enlightening the world to what the Palestinian people are teaching and telling their own. Some of it is quite shocking. We went over to their office and met with PMW President Itamar Marcus about the sequence and he like what we are doing and are planning to do more video work for them. As well I got to see the whole operation in effect. They have several people billingual in Arabic, Hebrew, and English monitoring Palestinian media for anti-jewish/zionist/ even anti-western propaganda. More stuff is on the burner and I have two shows i am awaiting some footage on before I finish them and commit it to tape. Anyways, I miss you all but I am exciting about all the stuff that is happening and what God is doing here too. God Bless, shalom from Israel.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy and Galilee

Hello from Israel.

Well it has been about 5 weeks since I have been here and I have been busy.  Between working and sightseeing and resting because of all the working and sightseeing it has been hard to find the time to update.  I will update you on a few things that have been going on since my last update.

It was Israel's Independence day a few weeks ago and I was able to go to the ceremony on Mt. Herzl and film a lot of it.  The footage we were able to use in a program about the origins of the modern state of Israel (She turned 61 btw) and the celebration.  It was quite fun and I had a front row seat.  My cousin in law Adi choreographed the whole thing.

This week is a little crazy both in the home, work, and Israel in general.  Israel of course, has the Pope visiting so there has been a lot of media coverage on that.  I personally have tried to stay out of the city centre because security has been tight.  It's tight in general so imagine what this is like.

At work we are busy shooting programs.  It is a lot of work as it is primarily David, my cousin, and I doing the bulk of the work.  Since I've been here I have put together around 10 programs which is 2 a week.  Some of the interviews are a little more straightforward.  Others, like the Galilee program took a little longer.  Chris, my other cousin, has been busy doing the web stuff and helping Meridel get ready to travel to Switzerland and Germany.

Which brings us to today.  Meridel has just left for 6 weeks and getting her ready to go has drawn a lot of resources.  I have been the one working with the IVTV stuff, and keeping that up to date.  Now with her gone it'll be back more into the routine of doing the show.

I mentioned a show about the Galilee.  Well I was able to travel with Jay and Meridel up to the area and we shot a nice little program about the area with Meridel and her friend Irene who is an expert on the region.  Plus I was able to enjoy it and we saw Capernaum, and Tel Hadar, and Tiberias.  We didn't go into Nazareth because it is primarily an Arab town and it is a little dicey there.  We travelled up the Jordan valley through the West Bank (which is safe if you keep to the main road) and past Jericho.  Jericho we also didn't go into because it's a little crazy there too.  However, it is real close to the river (only 1or 2 miles) so when the Israelites crossed the river on dry land, these people could see everything from the walls.

The past week I have been down to Tel Aviv a few times for a barbecue and a birthday party.  The weather has been cool but the past few days it is starting to feel warmer.  At some point me and my cousin Chris will head into Bethlehem to check it out.  Anyways,  I have some amazing thoughts to share but writing them down doesn't really do it justice.  Your just gonna have to ask me for stories when I get home.  Anyways,  much love toeveryone back home.  I will update soon when I get more information.  Until then Shalom from Israel.

P.S. the video below is a montage I shot and edited together for the Galilee program, but the music didn't feel right for it so I changed the montage around a bit and used a more mellow beat.  This is the original edit.