“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 ESV Have you ever had a bad habit? Biting your nails, saying hi to Ben & Jerry at 3AM, downing 12 Diet Cokes a day? And come … Continue reading
Gretchen asked me recently to write a bio for the blog pages. The final question was “write one line about yourself.” Wow! I find it rather difficult to describe anyone with one line much less myself. Then I remembered something … Continue reading
If you can get a bug for traveling, I’ve got it. There’s nothing more incredible than packing my bags, boarding an airplane, and flying to a new place. The wonders of God’s creation ease my spirit, ignite my soul, and enrich my view of life!
Traveling is one of the most humbling experiences. The more places I go, the more I realize-there’s much more to life than my immediate surroundings. There are billions of people that live underneath the same sun and stars I work and sleep under. They breathe the same air I do. The laugh like I do, desire to be loved like I do, and most importantly, they need a Savior like I do.
Someday, I’d like to travel the world, meet the people God has created, and learn more about the Lord as I see His ingenious and incomprehensibly wonderful world! In these twenty-two years of my life, the Lord has blessed me to be able to travel many places already! Here are my top five so far:
1. The Holy Land. Israel is without a doubt, my favorite place in the world! The moment our plane landed in Tel-Aviv, I felt like I was home. Walking the same places where Jesus walked, reading His beautiful Words in the places He taught, and leading vacation Bible school in the city where He was born were life-changing experiences. I left part of my heart there and look forward to the day I go back…and even more so to the day Jesus comes back for us! Continue reading
If you knew me you would question my credentials to write anything about a sister trip. I am an only child. I have five kids and only one is a girl. Sisters of the biological kind just don’t seem to be in the cards for me. But how I have envied those of you who have sisters and even more how you take sister trips. So this is my first posting to give you tips on taking a sister trip.
After 23 years of watching my husband trek to Colorado to shoot Elk each year I have only once ventured from my territory with a girlfriend. It’s been almost seven years since I took that first trip with my friend Paula to Europe. (Honestly that trip may be the reason it has taken me seven years to embark on a second adventure.) Yes, the fares were cheap — because it was the off season. But I really should have clued in that “timing” would mean trekking through Paris in the cold and pouring rain. My pictures of the Eiffel tower blurry as I shot through the dripping windows of a tour bus. The luxurious hotels of the movies lay in stark contrast to the miniscule space we called a hotel room. Midday marked the time we came back to our room to change into three new layers of clothes as our previous three layers were soaking wet. I am sure you are getting the picture.
So here I am writing on the day I leave with my girlfriend to tackle the Antique Fair of Antique Fairs. My husband’s truck has been cleaned to make room for any treasures we may find, our housing established and, as always, my suitcase not yet packed. But I am excited! And although this advice may be better suited for one of you gals who has a long history of sister trips, I thought I would take a shot at it with fresh eyes. Newbie’s really. Eyes full of hope and expectation toward this great adventure.
So here goes:
1. Do it. ~ Whether you have biological sisters or spiritual sisters. Plan a weekend or longer if you can and do something you will love or are convinced you may like.
2. Be conscience of each others budget. ~ We are saving by staying with some friends for the nights we are in Atlanta. Maybe you can be creative and have a sister trip garage sale or Girlfriends Trading Post clearing house sale. Remember you don’t have to take a trip that involves a lot of $. Even an extended day trip can be lots of fun. (I have done these a time or two.
3. Be honest about expectations. ~ I warned my girlfriend that I am not a good person to shop with. I can’t fake interest in things I don’t want to look at. (I learned this once when shopping with a friend that wanted me to ooh and ahh over every porcelain doll she came across. Torture….pure torture…..from then on I have issued a disclaimer when I shop…..I may wander but let’s set a time and place to meet up for lunch and share our finds.)
4. Space can be good. Be casual to let each other have some time alone if they desire it. Maybe you want to fit in a good book while another wants to see a few sights. Remember that your sister may not only want a little r&r from the kids and house but maybe just a few minutes to themselves to do something they really want, maybe just to be quiet.
5. Have fun and make memories. ~ I am terrible at pictures but I plan to take a few. I hope to find at least one treasure that I can have as a memory take away. (I stole a motto from a lady I overheard at a store years ago…..”I am looking for something I can’t live without and praying I don’t find it!”) I look forward to our car ride down to Atlanta. I am sure our 5 hours there and back will necessitate a box of Kleenex on the front seat between us. Can’t get us girls together too long without sharing hearts. So while those may be expectations of sorts my greatest excitement is to kick off a long tradition of Sister Trips.
Scotts Antique Fair Here We Come!
In January I took off for three weeks and traveled to the magnificent country of New Zealand. With its lush countryside and quaint towns New Zealand boasts of both adventure and culture. It has also become a temporary home for many travelers from all over the world who come and stay anywhere from six months to a couple of years.
One of the most prominent of people groups that journey to New Zealand is Israelis.
Having, already instilled in my heart, a love for the Jewish people, when the opportunity arose for me to travel to New Zealand and reach out to Israelis with the gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) I knew that I could not turn it away. God then allowed me to raise all of money I needed in a matter of months.
This trip proved to be a defining moment in my life. God was able to show me so much about myself and re-instill in me the love and passion I have for the Jewish people. I also learned so much about sharing the gospel in a casual and social setting. We were not an organized church group but a group of friends traveling the country, hiking, kayaking, and touring while at the same time meeting people and establishing meaningful friendships from all over the world. We prayed over the people we had met and were going to meet and shared the gospel as the conversations allowed.
Every Friday night we gathered together for Shabbat dinner with other Israelis at the home of a Christian family who offered up their home on the weekends to Israelis who were passing through. It was during these evenings of tradition and fellowship that we were able to have some of our most intimate and meaningful conversations. There was one evening when God blessed me with the opportunity and the wisdom to speak with two separate individuals about God and Messiah. Each conversation lasted for at least an hour and a half and I came away knowing that God was beginning to stir in their lives.
I also was blessed with the opportunity to share the gospel with a young German man who was staying in our room at the youth hostel we were at. As I sat down and started getting to know him every single person who was in the room with us gradually began to filter out until we were the only ones in the room and for the next couple of hours we sat and talked about faith and salvation.
What a joy and privilege it is and should always be when God allows us to be used as messengers of the truth! The world is seeking. So many have become disillusioned with the things that the world has told them is true. And like so many of the Israelis who leave their country and familiar surroundings to seek out something greater than themselves, the young generation of today is searching. Searching for truth that their current faith does not offer. Searching for truth that their political leaders have refused to give.
I Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”
There are people out there seeking the truth. Always be ready and never be afraid! You never know where God’s Spirit might be stirring.