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Archive for the ‘Bible Lands Park’ Category
To help bring the Bible to life with a to-scale Bible Lands Park, CedarS now has a Joppa on the coast of our new “Mediterranean Skea” (see the aerial view). Joppa has a carved granite marker as does nearby Lydda where Peter was when he was summoned to raise Tabitha from the dead. See citation B-20, Acts 9:36-41, in the July 17, 2011 Christian Science Bible Lesson on Life.]
Micah (mentioned in Citation B-1 of the 7-11-11Christian Science Bible Lesson on Sacrament)
Researched by Ben Gladden, Formatted by Warren Huff, CedarS Director
Micah’s “Answered-Prayer/Promise (A.P.) History”: what he chose & did, one step at a time
- Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah in the southern Kingdom of Judah, during the divided kingdoms. He was also a contemporary of Amos and Hosea, prophets in the southern kingdom of Israel.
- Considered one of the twelve “minor” prophets, so-called because of the length of their books, not their importance.
- Micah is Hebrew for “Who is like God?” It also means “poor, humble.”
- Almost nothing is known of Micah’s personal life other than he was from Moresheth, a town near Gath in southwestern Judah.
- He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and the reformer King Hezekiah.
- Micah preached against the idolatry of his times, as well as the injustices and oppression of the leaders of Judah. He scolded the people for their treatment of the poor and for their dishonesty in business.
- Micah preached that true worship of God was “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Mic. 6:8).
- Micah preached a future state of universal peace – “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn way anymore” (See Mic. 4:1-5).
- Micah prophesied the triumph of the Babylonians against the Israelites.
- Micah also faced opposition from false prophets, who said his words were not true
- By crying out against injustice and corruption, Micah and Isaiah prepared the way for the reformer King Hezekiah to institute religious and social reforms.
- Micah also prophesied the triumph of God through a coming Messiah, who would come from “Bethlehem Ephratah” – the house of David (Mic. 5:2-4). These prophesies are familiar to most Christians.
- Although Micah leaves a short record, it is quoted several times in the Gospels – three times in Matthew and once in each Mark, Luke, and John. (Matt. 2:5-6 [Mic. 5:2]; Matt. 10:35-36 [Mic. 7:6]; Matt. 9:13 [Mic. 6:6-8]; Mark 13:12; Luke 12:53 [Mic. 7:6]; John 7:42 [Mic. 5:2])
Ways in which Micah’s story illustrates Christ’s eternal presence – how does it deepen our faith?
How is our understanding of God and Christ uplifted by Micah’s prophesies?
How is our faith that Jesus was the promised Messiah confirmed by Micah?
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.
“PROPHET. A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth.”
In what ways does Micah’s story illustrate God’s design – how does it fits into history?
Would Hezekiah have been able to institute his reforms without Micah’s preaching?
Would early Christians have believed that Jesus was the redeemer, a Messiah, without Micah’s spiritual intuition and conviction?
Would the world today recognize Christ without Micah?
How has the world been influenced by Micah’s prophecy of men beating “swords into plowshares…spears into pruning hooks”?
In what ways can going “back to the Bible” for Micah’s story light our path “Back to our Future” – how can it help you to take its lessons home?
How does Micah’s steadfastness in the midst of opposition inspire us?
How does Micah’s spiritual intuition inspire us?
How does Micah’s ability to listen quietly to God’s commands, and be obedient, in the face of opposition lift us to a higher understanding of God?
What qualities did Micah demonstrate?
Obedience in the face of opposition
Philip the Evangelist (mentioned in Section 6 of Sacrament Lesson for 7-11-11 and in Acts 6, 8, and 21) Researched by Ben Gladden, Framingham, MA/Formatted by Warren Huff, CedarS Director
Philip’s “Answered-Prayer/Promise (A.P.) History”: what he chose & did, one step at a time
- Philip the Evangelist was an early Christian, but this Philip was not one of the apostles.
- Philip first appears in Acts as one of the seven “men of honest report” chosen by early Christians to help distribute charity among Christians (Acts 6:1-6). Some of the Christians who weren’t previously Jewish were complaining that the charity was being given mainly to former Jews. Philip, Stephen, and five other men were chosen to deal justly with the alms.
- Philip was one of the early Christians who was chased out of Jerusalem by Saul (who later became Paul) following Stephen’s death (Acts 7:59-8:5).
- After leaving Jerusalem, Philip travels north through Samaria healing and preaching (Acts 8:5-8).
- Philip meets and converts to Christianity a man named Simon, who had used sorcery to convince the people that he had power from God (Acts 8:9-13) This man is often referred to as Simon the Sorcerer.
- An angel tells Philip to leave Samaria and travel south back towards Jerusalem.
- As he travels south he meets an Ethiopian eunuch who works for the Ethiopian Queen Candace (Acts 8:27-39). This man has great authority under the queen and is in charge of all her money.
- Philip finds the man reading the book of Isaiah (53:8) and asks him if he understands what he is reading. The man replies that he does not because he has no one to explain it to him.
- Philip explains the text to the man and converts him to Christianity.
- Philip baptises the man. Then “”when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
- Philip is later found preaching at Azotus (or Ashdod), then moves on to Caesarea.
- It is about 20 years before we hear about Philip again – he is still in Caesarea and has four daughters “which did prophecy” (Acts 21:8-9). He hosted “Paul’s company” as they traveled to Jerusalem. This is the end of the biblical record of Philip the Evangelist.
The eunuch was most likely a “god-fearer” – someone who was interested in Judaism and who followed most of its laws, but who wasn’t Jewish. These god-fearers might follow the Ten Commandments and live a good, moral life, but they didn’t observe the Jewish dietary code and were considered Gentiles.
Although the word eunuch implies castration, that wasn’t necessarily the case. In a strict sense, the word means “bed-keeper” – or one who is in charge of the bed chamber. If the keeper of the queen’s bedchamber was a male, he was most likely castrated. So, the eunuch that Philip met was most likely castrated as a result of his high position – in order to protect the queen and the order of succession.
Ways in which Philip’s story illustrates Christ’s eternal presence – how does it deepen our faith?
In what ways was Philip guided by Christ?
How is our understanding of Scriptures expanded by Philips explanations?
Where in Philip’s life can we see evidence of Christ’s presence?
How does Philip’s story help us understand Jesus’ role in fulfilling prophecy?
How does Philip’s obedience to the angel message deepen our faith in Christ and our trust in Love?
Are we more or less likely to have faith in the Lord because of Philip’s example?
How did Philip fulfill Jesus’ command that we go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”?
How does Philip’s experience with the eunuch help us understand Mrs. Eddy’s the following statement from Mrs. Eddy? “Millions of unprejudiced minds – simple seekers for Trust, weary wandered, athirst in the desert – are waiting and watching for rest and drink.” p. 570, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.
In what ways does Philip’s story illustrate God’s design – how does it fits into history?
Where does Philip’s story fit into early Christianity?
How did Philip turn his retreat from Jerusalem into a success?
How did Philip’s willingness to follow the angel message change history?
How does Philip’s willingness to convert a Gentile change history? This conversion precedes the discussion among early Christians about whether or not a new Christian had to follow the Jewish laws.
In what ways can going “back to the Bible” for Philip’s story light our path “Back to our Future” – how can it help you to take its lessons home?
How does Philip’s fearlessness in sharing God’s word inspire us?
How is Philip’s response to being chased out of Jerusalem set an example for us?
What does Philip’s willingness to follow the angel message tell us about listening?
How did Philip approach the eunuch? As one who was thought the eunuch needed to hear his message or as a humble servant?
What qualities did Philip demonstrate that we can emulate?
Obedience in the face of opposition
- With Christ as your omnipotent pulling partner you’ll never stress out, feel burdened!
- “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11: 29, 30
Gliding into the summer of 2011 on our newest addition to the Bible Lands Park, campers young and old are enjoying the freedom and inspiration of “cabling” across the west end of the Mediterranean. Campers of all ages are kayaking from Antioch around Crete and even approaching Alexandria. The addition of our Mediterranean Sea, “Little BRO” cable ski line, and kayaks add a whole new dimension to the campers’ ability to see and experience the “Bible Lands.” Often, as campers launch from the dock of “Little BRO” they can be heard declaring “I will be a peacemaker” or one of many other spiritual truths. These truths, and the instruction they are receiving from capable leaders, help our campers to soar across waters both choppy and calm.
(See an example here: http://cedarscamps.org/album/movie/movie.htm?y=2011&s=25719&mo=26030)
On the far side of Bible Lands Park (opposite to the Mediterranean) we have added both a Bible Lands Vineyard & Garden, as well as a Bible Timeline, called Time Travelers Trail (pictured left). On this path, each step campers take correlates to years in Biblical history and in a chronological ordering of Bible characters whose prayers were answered. In this “A.P. (Answered-Prayer), hands-on history course campers learn as they “travel through time” from Abraham in the Old Testament to Paul in the New Testament. Though these features are new to our camp, they have already blessed scores of eager learners, enriching their understanding of the Bible through practical experiences and take-home applications.
On Wednesday (7-14) campers went down to the Bible Lands Park and learned about what it means to put all their faith in God. They wandered in our CedarS ‘wilderness’ and considered what it would have been like for the children of Israel to wander in the desert for forty years. “I feel like I’ve gotten a better understanding of what it means to lean on God,” one camper commented. The children of Israel “really had to know that God was with them the entire time!” The campers stood on top of Mt. Nebo and looked across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, and began to understand what the children of Israel would have seen and felt at the time. As others have done, these campers also acted out the story of Joshua and the parting of the Jordan River and the faith the children of Israel had. By acting it out and seeing where it would have taken place, campers gained a deeper understanding of what it would have been like back in Biblical times, as well as finding ways to apply these lessons to their daily lives right now!
Adventures in Bible Lands Park!
Campers, staff, and visitors were introduced to CedarS new Bible Lands Park (BLP) for the first time during pre-camp and first session, 2010. Through interactive exploration and Bible story-based scavenger hunts, campers saw their favorite Bible characters come to life! This walk-through, scale model of the Bible Lands encourages campers, staff and visitors to really dive into the Bible stories and characters they read about in the lesson.
These characters included Joshua, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus as they guided, healed and taught people. Not only did the campers get to delve deeper into getting to know and love these spiritual figures and stories, they acted these stories out in the Bible Lands Park to show campers where and how it would have looked back then! Campers from each program were introduced to the Bible Lands Park through interactive stories and parables.
Adventure Bible Drama Camp (ABDC) acted out parables such as ‘the Good Samaritan’ and the ‘Prodigal Son’. Junior Leadership, along with one of the CedarS donkeys, helped bring the ‘Good Samaritan’ to life. Campers dove into the story and discovered the true meaning behind Jesus’ famous parable. Some of the stories the ABDC campers explored and shared with the rest of camp included Moses seeing the Promise Land from the top of Mount Nebo, and Elijah being cared for and watched over by an angel after he conquered the prophets of Baal. Using a replica of the Ark of the Covenant that was built by 1st session OCB campers, ABDC campers led the whole camp in acting out the story of Joshua and parting the Jordan River so that the children of Israel could cross safely into the Promise Land (and onto the buses headed to Big Surf Water Park).
Our current third session CedarS campers are exploring even more Bible stories, characters, and parables found in each week’s Bible Lesson. Stories like Jesus teaching his disciples to be ‘fishers of men’ (Matt 4:19), as well as the prophet Elijah and all his amazing healings and adventurous feats. With these stories campers will explore the ideas of supply and faith and find new ways to trust and interact with God.
This week’s Bible lesson on Life has many stories of the prophet Elijah and how he relied totally on God. Elijah was led to wake up and to heal many people and taught them and us how to put faith in the one true God. He was persecuted for his beliefs and the works that he did against the prophets of Baal, but each time things seemed bleak for Elijah, God came through and cared for him. Our metaphysical theme for CedarS this summer is ‘sustainability’, which ties in perfectly with the stories of Elijah found in this week’s lesson. God sustained, watched over, and cared for Elijah every moment of his life. Campers will go down to the Bible Lands Park and learn about him and all the amazing things he did in the name of God. By learning and seeing where events like Elijah being sustained in the wilderness and listening in the cave for the still, small voice after the earthquake, wind, and fire came, campers will learn to put total trust in God. CedarS own caves that overlook BLP provide an excellent place for campers to see where Elijah went to Mt. Horeb and found God’s presence in the calm after the storm. Campers can witness these Biblical events and really start to listen for God’s voice, free from distraction!
CedarS new “Bible Lands Park” (BLP)
What exactly is this new “Bible Lands Park”?
CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP) is a walk-though, scale model of the Bible Lands with connected activities to experience first-hand how the Bible and its lessons relate to our lives. BLP is meant to be a fun place and an organized, teaching tool for campers, staff and all visitors to learn about the Bible and its spiritual sense with insights from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The scale of BLP is 1 yard = 1 mile. The distance from Beersheba to Mt. Hermon in Israel is about 166 miles (about the distance from CedarS to the St. Louis airport), so from South to North, CedarS Bible Lands Park is 166 yards or about 500 feet. With stone-carved monuments marking its significant towns, mountains and bodies of water, Bible Lands Park will be a permanent feature at CedarS that will serve as a year-round resource for Bible Lesson study, seminars and visitors of all denominations. CedarS original Whippoorwill Spring Branch that flows into and out of Crown Lake, now also flows into BLP’s “Sea of Galilee” and out of it as our own “Jordan River” and “Dead Sea”.
Why is CedarS doing this?
It is all about spiritual growth! This is a perfect opportunity for CedarS “campers” of all ages to get more meaning and applications from the stories and ideas they study in the Bible. Now they will have memories of places, people and props to refer back to when they read about significant biblical events and ideas. A pertinent, polished pericope (per-IK-o-pee), or short, stand-alone Bible story or verse will be shared verbally (sometime via a thematic “Bible Training Card”) as a pre-tour “met” designed “to give each camper an appreciation of (its) spiritual sense”. We intend to give each camper the 2nd half of CedarS stated purpose –“an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity”—in the form of hands-on activities connected to BLP. The attached map shows areas for: “Bible Lands Digs” (for meaningful, “planted” artifacts); a Bible Time-line Climb-Line to our biblical caves to show their hidden lessons; a tented Tabernacle & Village to reenact significant ideas in biblical settings; a biblical garden and pasture of visiting farm animals to easily illustrate agricultural imagery. Without ever leaving camp property and without a passport and the other expenses and issues involved in international travel, CedarS campers, staff and visitors can make a quick stop in “Jerusalem” or “Nazareth” to hear a Bible story and to “dig deeper” for its present day applications before heading off to breakfast, lunch or another CedarS activity! Our maps, “guidebooks” & trained staff will seek to orient our guests and inspire them with take-home lessons.
Where is BLP located?
Bible Lands Park is conveniently located at the core of the CedarS CampS—which is fitting given the centrality of Ruth Huff’s founding Biblical guidance to nurture “the cedars of Lebanon, which He hath planted.” (Ps. 104:16) CedarS Bible Lands Park is nestled in the valley just below Crown Lake. It’s a short walk or ride from Mary’s Chapel and Dawn Lodge.
How did CedarS BLP get started and how and when will it make its Grand Opening debut at CedarS?
In 2005 & 2006 Gary Duke, C.S., one of CedarS visionary Board of Trustees, visited a model about half the size of CedarS BLP in Chautauqua, NY. This “Palestine Park” was built by the Methodists in 1874. A narrated walking tour of it inspired the Duke family, as it has fascinated thousands of all ages, with a greater depth of biblical context. So, in a new-idea-sharing session at CedarS Annual Board Meeting in October 2008, Gary proposed that CedarS build our own scale model of the Bible Lands. At the time Warren had been working on a special TMC Youth Sunday School Committee to develop ways to help bring Christian Science Bible Lessons to life for our youth. He immediately embraced this idea and project as a great means to this end that would also help fulfill CedarS mission, bless our Movement and demonstrate to our neighbors and to the world what Bible-based Christians we Christian Scientists are. Warren saw the “divine design” of how the consistent stream of Whippoorwill Spring water flowing from Crown Lake could become a perfect Jordan River flowing through a 1 yard=1 mile scale model of the Bible Lands in the valley below Crown Lake. Before a November 2009 CedarS Board visit to camp, Warren asked Tom Evans to draw up and stake out a scale model of where the bodies of water, mountain ranges and cities of the Bible Lands would be located in order to help CedarS Board visualize this also. In March 2010 with initial funding in place, work was begun by “Great Views” (Chris Moyle’s company) on Stage 1 of Bible Lands Park. We hope that funds will be in place by CedarS 50th Anniversary in 2011 to begin and complete the Stage 2 addition of our “Mediterranean Sea” that will serve CedarS campers as a long-hoped-for, onsite Ski Lake! In the meantime, as of May 2010, we have our own Sea of Galilee, Jordan River and Dead Sea! Most “mountain moving” around our Jordanian core was completed on Memorial Day 2010. Stone markers will label key site location before they appear in the Christian Science Bible Lesson during the summer of 2010. During this summer campers and staff will enjoy exploring Stage 1 of Bible Lands Park, starting with some Precamp staff training sessions there. On 6-11-10 Chet Manchester will deliver part of our first Christian Science youth lecture in BLP called “Hiking the Sermon on the Mount”.