How to Prep for an Exciting Adventure in the Holy Land

The other day I hosted my writers’ group and my biggest cheerleader said, “Two of my favorite things about your writing are missing from your website.”

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

As the bottom of my stomach dropped out, I took a deep breath trying to appear casual as I dared to ask, “What’s that?”

“The way you talk about hearing God like you’re in constant conversation. And the synchronicities that come out of that chat.”

She was right. 

Just so you know, I talk to God all the time and I wouldn’t have wanted to pull a fast one on you by waiting until blog post number ten to tell you.

And what she calls synchronicities, I call God’s next words in our discussion, like this thing that just happened: 

Out of all the preparations for the trip, I’ve been stressing about traveling through the West Bank on my own. I was okay with it when I booked my ticket, but then the friend I’m going to visit in Jordan said, “It could be tough getting through the West Bank with the added violence.”

I catch my departure flight in Jordan so I have to get there. “God,” I said, “You knew this before we booked the tickets. I’m freaking out.”

A minute ago, I got a message from my friend in Jordan. She has an appointment in Tel Aviv and has to come my way. Now we get to travel back TOGETHER on the exact day I was afraid to go alone.

This stuff is the real treasure.

So in preparation, I’d love for you to partner with me by expecting miracles. I can anticipate them on my own and so can you, but I believe that when we do it together, something more powerful happens. 

What do you think? 

To learn about blogging, I watched Problogger, a specialist, on Itunes. He had some great suggestions. Click here to check him out

In one podcast he said, “You create meaning when your strengths and interests cross the needs of the world. That’s the place you’ll impact others.” 

Whoa, right? 

But, you wanna? If we partner our strengths and interests together and then cross them with the needs of the world, think about that possibility. If we take the puzzle piece of who we each are and connect, we make a bigger part of the picture. 

Photo by Sayed Sabry on Unsplash.

How will we do that?

Problogger’s bite-size questions helped me break it down, like when he asked, “What keeps you awake at night?” 

Ha! I’d been having trouble sleeping as I tried to figure out all the logistics.

As I pondered my whywhy did I want to blog? I realized I wanted a place to look for more of God together, a place where we can talk about faith or lack of it, compare notes and wrestle, and hopefully find answers. 

So every other Sunday night . . .

  • We’ll take virtual field trips to places that hold significant spiritual importance 

Like the Milk Grotto, ever hear of it?

It’s a Catholic chapel in Bethlehem where it’s believed the holy family hid out on their way to Egypt to escape the massacre of the innocents ordered by King Herod.

I had a fascinating experience there. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about it in an upcoming post. 

  • Or we’ll interview people 

I’ve got a German friend who’s lived in Jerusalem for years even though she bears scars from a suicide bomber. I can’t promise a post about that yet. The tough stuff is, you know, sometimes too hard to talk about.

In my time there, I witnessed lots of things that surprised me, like ironic relationships I wouldn’t have expected. So another way we can prepare for our trip together is for you to ask me questions or tell me what you’d like to hear about.

  • We’ll also examine unique objects, like tear bottles

Psalm 56:8 says God loves us so much He’s collected every single one of our tears in His bottle, noted them all. He knows what makes us cry and cares. 

In the market in the Old City of Jerusalem, I bought this tear bottle for $2:

And we’ll steer clear of a political battle.

Of course, we all have beliefs and we can’t avoid politics when we focus on the Holy Land. Without evading the subject—but instead of the interactions we see in so many other places—again, let’s partner our strengths and interests in constructive ways.

How might we do that? Well, we can . . .

  • Listen with an attempt to understand differing views
  • Ask questions, offer ideas, and share our experiences 
  • And expect those miracles, synchronicities, and for God to do what only God can

We all want the best for this crazier-by-the-day world, right? That’s something we can agree on. I love the idea of having a safe space we can bring our varying perspectives and care for each other respectfully. So for this reason, I’ll be moderating the comments posted on the blog, to protect our conversation, and keep it headed in this direction.

Who are we?

Whenever I lack understanding about a specific cultural group, I realize I don’t know enough people in that group. When I have a friend from another culture, the differences between us take the walls down. Understanding helps me care.

So that’s another opportunity we have, a chance to mingle with the kinds of people we might not have in our everyday lives.

I would love it if you’d leave a brief description of yourself below. Include where you are spiritually, your cultural connections, and those groups your heart is destined to love.  

Here, I’ll start:

I’m a privileged, white American who moved to the Holy Land to learn about my Christian faith in Jesus who was born a Jew. Then I relocated to the West Bank to serve Muslims. Not because I wanted to, but again, I felt one of those God nudges. In the next post, I’ll tell you how that went.

Now you . . .

Related Post: Suddenly God Answers Prayer with a Miracle Baby

And How Can I Pray for You?

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  1. Goin2 Heaven: I’d hug more, stress less & go out & sing these songs God gives me 🙂 I want everyone to know this burning miracle of Christ inside of us, turning from sin & finding deep down peace 😍

    1. Stress less–yes, please!

      As I prepare to leave, I’m dealing with lots of things. I just went through 3 phones in 3 days! And my elderly Dad insists on keeping his home phone, talking to all the solicitors. You know, all the craziness going on around us.

      Before I had God in my life, I used to gobble Tums like candy. It wasn’t that long ago that I had that deep down peace you mention—last week?

      But my current stress level reminds me of all those I love on anti-anxiety meds. And as I cling to my favorite verse, Philippians 4:6-7:

      “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

      It makes me want to be able to describe the process of how I get my peace back to share it with everyone who needs it so they can have it, too!

      How does that work for you?

  2. Oh my God Elizabeth is so glad to see your writing your blog looks amazing and your adventure sounds over-the-top it’s very late for me the first time I wrote I spent two hours writing and I was told it was too long try back again later LOL the second time I wrote too long LOL is there a counter I can use so I don’t go over I’ve never done this before and I’m very frustrated LOL I had no idea there was a limit

  3. Write out my plans and give to certain someone who has similar mindset. Try to correct a recent misunderstanding. Have a conversation with my Dad about what he believes about Heaven.

    1. Cool! I don’t always do it, but I like the idea of aiming to live like that—as if today’s our last day on earth. That way, we don’t leave things undone.

  4. I am an extremely spiritual person. I do not believe labels nor religious categories separate us. I believe all good people go to heaven. I believe our God loves every single being here. I believe you have been called to communicate to the rest of us, what mIracles can be.

    1. I think God loves every single one of us, too, Avery!

      And labels and categories have been on my mind as well. In Israel, I remember how easily I stereotyped people because of their dress and how often they surprised me, like when I saw a man wearing a kippa I assumed he was Jewish, but then I saw him in church.

      Stereotypes limit us. I don’t want to do that anymore.

      Just so everyone knows, Avery and I went to school together. Yikes! How many years ago? 30?

      Here’s one of my favorite surprising facts about her. Raised Jewish (in a culture where pigs are considered unclean), Avery’s volunteered at a pig farm where, among other things, they celebrate each animal’s birthday! Click here to have a look.

      She also volunteers here. Don’t you wish we could go help?

  5. Shoot, I just typed a long comment and it said it was blocked. Trying again.

    I love your posts already. I love your willingness to go where you feel led even though it defies others’ sense of logic and tests your internal peace. You’re an awesomely cool lady, Elizabeth. I can’t wait to read more about your experiences in the land of our Savior. Israel has a part of my heart, too.

    Me? I am a writer who hasn’t written for a while, but getting back into it. My primary project is a self-help book for women who have experienced abortion. My heart is to provide material that will help a woman grow in wholeness no matter where she stands on the issue.

    1. Ugh, I hate it when that happens!

      Ha! Ha! Yes, going where we feel led often defies logic, doesn’t it?

      And I have been missing the peace I normally live in. I keep trying to give all the logistics to God. I love the visual I get when I do that. My problems disappear in those great, big, capable hands.

      Oooh yes, helping women grow in wholeness. You go! ☺

  6. I’m a white American in my mid fifties (ouch)trying to figure out what the next steps are for my life – in relationships, a possible unplanned job change, having ideas that I’m in no way qualified, educated, trained or emotionally prepared to undertake. Feeling some pressure to finally get moving and do stuff before time runs out. And for my spiritual life as of about 5-6 years ago had not attended church, was not raised in church, but was water baptised Dec 2nd 2018.

    1. I am a white American in my late fifties trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I have a great job and I enjoy it but it takes up too much of my time. I want more. I am tired of the same routine with weekends off and four weeks vacation time to do the things I really love….explore the world. I am a spiritual person with a higher power that keeps me in line. Not an easy task. Looking forward to meeting everyone. Hi Heather.

      1. Hi Kim Croy and Carol Wilson. At work so can’t write more then that. My first blog that ever written on. Excited to hear where Elizabeth goes in Israel.

      2. I love that!

        Yes, so if you could do absolutely anything, what would that be? And who would you do it with?

        Too bad we can’t sit down across the table from each other and brainstorm. Add to each other’s bucket lists. 🙂

    2. That’s a fun place—dreaming about what is next.

      I was just having a similar conversation with someone about big dreams today. I like what you’re describing, dreams that are too big for you to accomplish on your own. But they’re not too big for you and God. ☺

      I know what that pressure, too. So here’s a question. If you knew you were going to heaven tomorrow, what would you do today?

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