Friday, April 27, 2012

Last Night

It is 10:30 PM here in Jerusalem. A taxi comes at 2:30 AM to pick us up and we fly home at 6 AM. It will be a very short night.

But I couldn't leave Israel without one last post. Perhaps my favorite of all.

After time out in the hillside this morning, seeing things like where Samson lived, and the very spot where David slew Goliath...after coffee in Jerusalem and some last shopping in the old market streets...after all the profound and wonderful things we have experienced here...we ended this most amazing and forever memorable time by visiting one last sight.

The Garden Tomb.

The Empty Tomb!!

No one knows for sure where Jesus died on the cross or where he was buried. But I would sure like to believe it was in this last place we visited today.

It was the best spot of the whole trip!

A precious Jewish believer from Paraguay guided us through the Garden Tomb site. Oh how his faith and love for our Lord and Savior shined in his face. It was so refreshing to hear him speak with such faith and love.

And it was purely delightful to be led to the spot where Jesus very well may have been buried...but more importantly, where he was resurrected from!! While no one knows for sure, this dear man reminded doesn't really matter because in the end, the tomb is empty!! This beautiful, tranquil spot is simply a reminder of what the best truth in the world is.

Jesus Christ gave His life so that you and I might have life, both now and forever.

He paid for yours and my sins and made it possible for us to know Him if we confess He is Lord.

One day He will return and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is LORD!!

Best. News. EVER!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Color in Israel

I don't know when I learned to love color.

Maybe it was my first box of crayons, or finger paints in kindergarten, or flowers in my mom's garden...wherever it started, I have developed a true love, (maybe even passion!) for color.

Oh how Israel has been a feast for my eyes when it comes to color...I have honestly been so filled up by all the color you see everywhere.

I could probably post for days about it...though I'm not sure anyone else would be as excited as me about the photos! :)

These are only a few from today that captured my love for color. All were taken in the markets as we walked through Jerusalem's old city.

Mostly I'm posting these for me to remember, but maybe they will be a feast for your eyes too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving Moments

After a long day of touring, we are back in our hotel this evening. But judging by the sounds of things, we won't be sleeping any time soon.

Today was Memorial Day here in Israel, and tomorrow is Independence Day. There is already quite a (loud) party starting up in the streets. Our tour guide says it will go on most of the night!

We started our morning near the Western Wall, formerly known as the Wailing Wall. I snapped a photo from the ramp overlooking the wall and was moved to see the men already praying at 8 AM. At the time I couldn't see the section that is dedicated for women to pray, but when I got there later, there were at least twice as many women in prayer as there were men (I could see through the fence to the other side where the men were). Both touched me.

Although I don't believe I am any closer to God while facing the wall, as many of the Orthodox Jews believe, it was still a moving moment to pray there. I'm glad Claire snapped a photo of that moment.

Within just a moment of leaving the wall, a siren went off in Jerusalem, as it did throughout the entire country, signaling two minutes of silence in honor of the soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for Israel.

It was yet another moving moment to stand still with at least a thousand others in the square, completely in silence, and honor those soldiers - all the while watching a regiment of Israeli soldiers standing there in front of us. Again, moving for me.

As we have traveled through this land and heard with our ears and seen with our eyes, the history and story of its people, I am moved all over again at the work of God to preserve His land and people. By all odds, they never should have survived.

And yet, they have.

Because God loves them.

I have stood looking over Jerusalem several different times, praying with tears in my eyes for the people of this beautiful land, to know Jesus as THE Messiah.

May they be moved in their hearts towards their true Savior.

Just as I am moved in my heart towards Him once again as I am here in His land.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Only Two Words Needed

Dead Sea.

Okay...a couple more words. I'm not one for only a few! :)

We have seen and done so much these past's a good thing we are taking photos or I wouldn't be able to remember it all!

Yesterday we ended our day at the Dead Sea which was a lot of fun. Not only did we float in the sea with the highest percentage of salt in the world, but slathered ourselves in mud to, in the words of our tour guide, "Take ten years off our skin".

Caleb's response was, "Wow. I'll be nine again." Funny boy!

This blogging program doesn't let me arrange the photos so a few of these might be out of chronological order, but you'll get the gist of our fun!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Memory Becomes Reality

The most meaningful Easter I ever spent was, oddly enough, on the island of Ibiza, Spain with 600 high school students nearly twenty five years ago.

Dave was leading our spring break trip with American military dependent students who were a part of Malachi Ministries throughout Germany.

On that Easter Sunday, a group of our staff men reenacted the scene of Jesus appearing to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after he was resurrected. It was incredibly moving as all 600 of us walked down to the beach and were surprised by the dramatic scene that played out.

Yesterday, we stood on the shore of Capernaum, the spot where it is thought that Jesus appeared to his disciples. Wow. Talk about a moving moment for me! To be in the spot (or close to it) to where it really happened meant so much.

This area, around the Sea of Galilee, is the sight of much of Jesus' ministry. We were up on the hill this morning where it is thought Jesus gave his "Sermon on the Mount". We were over on the other side of the lake where he cast out a demon. We were on the lake where he calmed the sea. We were in the town where he brought a little girl back to life.

How I love being here, seeing the very sights that Jesus saw, soaking in the sunshine that he walked in, being in places where he did miracles!

So very thankful to be here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Almost Impossible

Have you ever experienced something that you can hardly describe?

I am in the middle of that experience right now. We have been in Israel for just three days and I find myself with so few words to describe what it is like to be here.

I am in the land of my Savior, walking in places where he walked, looking at places that He saw with His eyes, perhaps even tasting foods that He ate.

This leaves me speechless. And yet with such a deep sense of well being to be here in His land.

I hope I will be able to describe more in time. But for now I will just add a few photos and express my joy and utter thankfulness to be here experiencing such precious things.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Israel Tomorrow

Dave, Caleb, Claire and I are off to Israel! We fly out from Prague tonight at midnight and arrive in Tel Aviv tomorrow morning at 4:30 AM.

Dave is speaking at a conference there, and we are touring throughout our 12 days there.

I have no idea when/if we will have internet so who knows when I will get to post again. But we're sure excited about this once in a lifetime trip to see the land where Jesus walked!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Catch It Update

Caleb and Claire returned from their week-end at Catch It today...happy, tired, excited and full of news about all that happened there.

The best news is that one of the students trusted Christ! And many more took spiritual steps forward.

It was a week-end full of games, baseball, friendship, conversations, late nights, cards, good food, and fun.

But most importantly, opportunities to hear about the Lord, and to talk about it throughout the week-end.

Dave spoke on love, grace and faith, and had a lot of good conversations with the students - he was there until 1:30 AM Saturday night!

Normally I would write about each picture, but given the late hour, and the fact that we leave for Israel tomorrow, this will have to do!

Thanks for praying for the week-end!You can go HERE and read Claire's post about the retreat too!

Catch It was held in our new lodge which looks deceptively small from this angle...

And deceptively large from this angle! In any's an awesome new spot for week-end retreats!

Could there be a prettier place to play baseball?!



 **Photos by Claire**

Friday, April 13, 2012

45 in 80

Over the next 80 days, Dave is teaching 45 times!!

I remember our early Malachi Singer days, sitting in the front row of an American military chapel listening to Dave preach. We weren't married...but I was contemplating what it would BE like if we were!

After 25 years of marriage, I well know what it's like to be under his teaching, and I love it! I always tell him that he's my favorite teacher! :)

Tonight begins the first stretch of his 45 teaching times. He'll be at Catch It, the evangelistic outreach retreat for BMA students. Pray that God gives him His message for the students at 7 PM tonight!

After three talks for the retreat, we all move on to the next location of his teaching this coming Monday...Israel!! This will be the kids and my first time there. We are SO excited! We'll be gone 12 days at a conference and tour of the Holy Land.

We return to our JV spring conference the first week of May where he'll be teaching on the Fatherhood of God. And on it goes from there until the 1st of July when he finishes with preaching at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Ft. Collins, CO.

Oh...and there is a wedding sermon thrown in the mix too. Dave gets to marry Tyler and Lara on June 8th in Chattanooga, TN!

Pray for God's covering over Dave as he teaches these next 80 days, that it would be powerful and transformational in the lives of those who will hear it.

(**photo by Lubo Bechny from KPM, Slovakia**)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Makro Run for Catch It

Tomorrow morning, 36 kids from BMA will leave school after the third hour of classes and head up to Malenovice for the week-end.

It's "Catch It", the annual evangelistic outreach retreat for the school.

Caleb's leading the retreat, and since a retreat is not a retreat without food and snacks, he and I made a Makro (think Costo or Sam's Club!) run today to pick up some of the supplies.

As we loaded them in, I prayed for every one of those students who will be there.

I prayed they would not only be nourished by the food, but more importantly, by God's Word as they hear the Gospel, presented by Dave in three different talks throughout the week-end, and also through the lives of the believers who will be there.

Please join us in prayer for those things this week-end!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's Decided!

Three years ago I posted this picture.

I am so happy to get to post it again!

Caleb got his acceptance letter from Moody Bible Institute tonight!

He had already been accepted to Wheaton College, and had even been offered a generous financial aid package to make it possible for him to attend.

But God has been deeply at work in Caleb's heart and life these past months, refining what He is calling him to. While he was excited about Wheaton, there was an even deeper sense that God was calling him to Moody to study the Bible.

Yet, he hadn't heard from them.

They were supposed to be sending out their acceptance letters by mail this coming Monday, but because we will be gone from the 16th through the 28th, we thought he'd have to wait until we got home to hear the news.

Instead, it was a great relief to him to get an email this evening with the good news.

So, now we know where Caleb will be next year! It's been a long, really good process for him to come to this decision, owning it as his own. While he's excited that Tyler (and Lara) will still be there for a year, he knows more deeply that this is the place God has been preparing him for all along.

I am so thankful to the Lord for getting this news to him, but even more so, for all that He has in store for Caleb at Moody in the coming years!