My husband and I were blessed to have the opportunity to join 43 others in our church family to go and experience the Holy lands of Israel. We saw where Jesus was born, lived and died. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and we all came back changed. It was an honor to carry your prayers with me, and each day as we celebrated mass they were placed at the foot of the alter and prayed for. I was humbled at all you experience and the prayer requests you sent. Know that although on the last day, we left all the prayers there in Israel for future pilgrims and visitors to pray over. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
I hope you enjoy this photo montage of my experience and time in Israel.
Beautiful paintings in the churches. Here in the city of Bethlehem. I think I’ve seen this one turned into a Christmas card.
Homes of the wealthy
Homes of the poor
Church of the Holy Sepulchre built over Calvery. This was the most moving and memorable place for me on our trip.
Morning sunrise coming up over the Sea of Galilee. It was sunny every day of our trip with temperatures in the 80’s.
On a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the city of Capernaum.
Synagogue ruins in the city of Magdela where Mary Magdeline is from. These were discovered in 2007 under 2 feet of dirt. This was just opened to the public 2 months ago and they are some of the best preserved ruins. This the the tile floor of the synagogue and they are 99% certain Jesus taught right here.
King David’s 23rd Psalm – Valley of the Shadow of Death. The sun never reaches areas of it. Thieves would hide in the shadows yet travelers wanted to take the trails their to be out of the heat of the sun.
We were fed well. Buffet breakfast and dinner. Note: I was expecting to eat a lot of beans. I wasn’t sure what we would get to eat. We had seafood with every meal. Always hummus and bread. Stuffed grape leaves with supper. Always amazing desserts.
Streets of Old Jerusalem
This is also in Old Jerusalem and it is open to air. It is more modern, yet it is just an open shop and we just walked right by. We could touch the meat hanging there as we walked along the cobblestone streets. 🙁
More beautiful paintings
In Cana. We had just finished renewing our wedding vows. We wore the ear pieces in each church so our guide could speak quietly and we could all hear what was being said.
Delivering coffee and tea to the merchants.
Spices for sale
We spent an hour of prayer at a church here at the Garden of Gethsemane. It was from 9 to 10 pm. Like Peter, I could not stay awake. Some of these olive trees are over 2000 years old. I imagine they would have been quite young and small when Jesus prayed here.
Jordan river. People were getting baptized here. Behind us is a rope with buoys. The other side of the rope is the country Jordan. Signs all around stated do NOT cross the rope or you may get shot! If you look past all that has been added by man, you could just imagine Jesus getting baptized by John among the reeds.
One cannot see these things and remain unchanged. I think about this trip every day since my return and how it has brought the Bible to life. One of the greatest things to see was the strength of the Christian faith and the community of believers from every country around the globe.
He didn’t have to do it, but I’m ever so thankful that He did. He did it for me and He did it for each and everyone of you. May we never forget this. He loves us… always.May you all have a very blessed day today.
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is an important day on the Christian calendar as it is the beginning of Lent. It is a time of preparation for Easter the highest of Holy Days. It is a time of repentance and prayer. Many people use this season to give up something as a sacrifice and to offer that sacrifice up to God. I teach religion, this year to first graders, and I speak to them about Lent and having a Lenten resolution. Those children can come up with some thoughtful answers. “I’m going to share my toys every day.” “I’m going to help my mother every day with chores.” “I’m going to pray every day.” Some I’m sure have heard their parents speak about what they are doing for lent and will say, “I’m not going to watch TV,” “I’m not going to eat candy,” and so on. I really stress to them, and to my own children that this is a time not just of sacrifice, but a time to keep Christ first and foremost in our thoughts and in our actions. It is a time to work on becoming closer to Christ and becoming a better person.
I’ve given quite a bit of thought this past week as to what my Lenten resolution would be this year. For myself I’ve decided to truly be obedient to my husband and to put him first above myself. It is easy to say, “sure Honey I’ll get to that,” and it gets pushed to the bottom of the pile or is the task completed at the end of the day. I have decided that when he asks me to do something I will put it first, if at all possible, and do it right away or at least at my first opportunity. I will also do it with a glad attitude and happy heart. So when he asks me to help him with the taxes, ugh that’s going to be the tough one for me, I’ll smile and say “sure”. It will be hard to have a happy heart for that task.
One thing I must confess is so far this year he hasn’t asked me what my Lenten resolution will be and I haven’t volunteered it either 😉 Not that he’d take advantage of my kind gestures, but I can see the potential where he might think he could have some fun with this. As long as none of you blab to him about my resolution I’ll be in good shape. He doesn’t read my blog unless I have something specific to show him so no worries about writing it here. Now if he asks me what I’m doing for Lent I will tell him, but otherwise I’m keeping my lip zipped.
My desire through this resolution this year is that I want to become a more Godly woman and I want my God light to shine. And you remember SHINE is my word of the year.
Have you made a Lenten resolution? I’d love to hear what you chose this year.
with Love and God’s Blessings,
ps. One of my favorite authors Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience has a beautiful Christian article about Why Doing Lent this Year is What You Really Need. Along with that she has a free Lent and Easter devotional.
On September 30th of this past year I had one of those “God Moments” in which I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in my soul and feel he is truly speaking to me. What came upon me was SHINE. YOU ARE TO SHINE NANCY.The word shine has filled my thoughts since that date. How do you want me to shine God, I ask.
I’ve come to discover that I am to Shine in all I do, shine in my thoughts, my words and my actions. God’s love is light and his love shines to keep us from darkness. I am to shine with God’s love.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so SHINE before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16.
And so I pray, “Dear God, May my light always shine with your love. First God, may it illuminate the narrow and difficult path that leads me to you and may I stay on that path without stumbling or straying. Should I stray on the wrong path, I pray I don’t go far and realize my mistake so I may turn immediately around. Then Lord, may my light shine more for others to see. May it start in my home and with my family. Finally, may my light reach far and deep to help bring others out of the darkness and onto the path of righteousness that leads to you. Dear God, I ask to be blessed with wisdom to know what to do and say and that my light always always be illuminated and shining brightly. ~Amen.
SHINE is my word of the year. I know many of you pick a word or phrase of the year to focus on. SHINE is mine. One year I had the word “simplify” and another year I had the phrase “keep ahead of the game.” This year, “shine”. At least I will keep it as my word until I feel God is placing something else on my heart. I can’t wait to see all the ways I can shine this year.
Go Through the Bible in One Year as a New Year’s Resolution
Happy Happy New Year to You!!!
I hope today, wherever in the world you are that it is a BEAUTIFUL day! Happy New Year!
I’m talking today about the Daily Audio Bible as this is my third year to go through the Bible in audio form. It NEVER gets old. Since I was a little girl, I’ve had Christ in my life, but going through the Bible has changed my life forever and I’m truly blessed.
Brian Hardin reads a passage in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs each day. Then he applies it to our lives today and finally callers who have called in with prayer requests or praise reports previously on a recorded line have their requests and praises played. It is a privilege to get to pray for them, who I consider my Daily Audio Bible family, and they have prayed for me too. What a blessing to know that hundreds of thousands of people are praying and joining together.
If you’ve thought you would like to go through the Bible in a year as a New Year’s resolution, consider listening to it. Brian’s voice is comforting and he is so knowledgeable. On occasion his family is on the air as well. His wife Jill helps him and two of his children record Daily Audio Bible Kids. It is precious.
So Friends, during 2013 and beyond:
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you,
May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May He lift up his countenance on you and give you peace,
May the strength of God go with you,
May the wisdom of God instruct you,
May the hand of God protect you,
May the word of God direct you,
May you be sealed in Christ this day and forever more.