Home from the Holy Land!!!

We are back...and it was ridiculously amazing!!!  I have so much to share, so much that I am processing, and I am thankful for it all.  I will be back soon with more pics and explanations.  We are forever changed by walking where Jesus walked, and seeing the incredible places that have literally brought the Bible to life for us.  Thank you for praying!!!


Israel - Day 9 - Final Day

Today we will visit any sites that we missed, as well as sharing in a worship service at the empty tomb, lead by our pastor.  Late in the evening we will had to the Tel Aviv airport to start heading home, hopefully arriving tomorrow morning!  Wow.  What an incredible week!

Please pray for good, smooth flights, our safe return home, and for others to be encouraged by all we have to share about our experience.  I am so thankful for the blessing of this amazing trip, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Savior that sacrificed so much so that I might have eternal life.  Thank you Jesus for this life.

I can't wait to share the stories of my travels...once the jet lag wears off!  Thank you for your prayers!!!


Israel - Day 8 - Jerusalem (Holocaust Memorial)

Today we will have the sobering experience of visiting the Holocaust Memorial.  This will undoubtedly be a tough experience to process.  We will also visit Chaiaphas' house, where Jesus was kept.  We will spend another night in Jerusalem.

Please pray that everyone is still healthy, that we are savoring every moment and continuously growing in appreciation for the God we love and serve, and that we are safe.

(P.S. Traci is having her baby girl today!  Please keep her in your prayers that everything will go well and the baby will be healthy!  Thank you!  Can't wait to find out the name and see her sweet face.  I am guessing she will be a big baby with lots of dark hair.  Names that I know she likes that are still in the running: Scarlett and Francesca)


Israel - Day 7 - Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Hello!  Today is our seventh day in Israel!  Today we will visit the Garden of Gethsemane, we will have a communion service at the Garden Tomb, then we will visit the Wailing Wall - the remnant of Solomon's temple.  We will also visit the Via Dolorosa and the Arab Market.  In the afternoon we will get to visit Bethlehem if it is open.  We will visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds' Fields.  We will also get to walk the famous Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.  (I am so excited about this day, but I know it will be an emotionally intense one, more than I can imagine.  How humbling to experience such significant places that I have read about and been taught the stories of for years!)

Scripture references:

Jerusalem -

Genesis 22
Joshua 10:1-26
Judges 1:8
2 Samuel 5:5-16; 6:1-12; 24:18-25
1 Kings 2:10; 6-9
2 Kings 18; 25:1-6
Isaiah 36-37
Matthew 21:1-17; 27-28
Mark 15-16
Luke 2:21-52; 23-24
John 13-17; 19-20
Acts 2-7; 15:1-29; 21:15-23; 22

Mount of Olives -

2 Samuel 15:30
Zechariah 14:4
Matthew 21:1; 24:3; 26:30
Mark 11:1; 13:3; 14:26
Luke 19:37; 22:39
John 8:1

Pool of Bethesda - 

John 5:7-9

Garden of Gethsemene -

Matthew 26:36
Mark 14:32

Christ's Tomb -

Matthew 27:57-28:8
Mark 15:42 - 16:8
Luke 23:50-24:12
John 19:38-20:10

Tomb of Absalom -

2 Samuel 18

Bethlehem -

Genesis 35:16-20; 48:7
Joshua 19:15
Judges 12:8-10; 17:7-9; 19
1 Samuel 16:4; 17:12; 20:6, 28
2 Samuel 2:32; 23:14-16, 24
1 Chronicles 11:16-18
2 Chronicles 11:6
Ezra 2:21
Nehemiah 7:26
Jeremiah 41:17
Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:1-18
Luke 2:1-20
John 7:42

Shepherds' Fields-

Luke 2:8-20


Israel - Day 6 - Masada

Good morning!  I hope everyone is doing well at home!  Today in Israel we will visit the Masada, (a place my Grandma has told me a lot about!), the site of the Zealots last stand against the Roman, originally built as a magnificent palace for Herod the Great.  We will also see Tel Arad, the cananite city conquered by Joshua.  Then we will go the Ela Valley, the site fo the battle between David and Goliath.  We will continue traveling towards Jerusalem, and celebrate at the entrance to the Holy City with a traditional blessing.  (This will all have so much more depth and meaning to me when I am able to come back and talk about it after I've been there!  So far I am getting the info. I am sharing with you off the planned itenerary.)

Scripture references -

Masada (not named specifically - thought to be the "stronghold" referred to) -

1 Samuel 22:3-5; 24:22
1 Chronicles 12:1-16 

Tel Arad -

Numbers 21:1-3; 33:40
Joshua 12:14
Judges 1:16

Elah Valley -

1 Samuel 17; 21:9 

Beit Shemesh -

Joshua 15:10; 19:22, 38; 21:16
Judges 1:33
1 Samuel 6:7-21
1 Kings 4:9; 2

Emmaus - 

Luke 24:13


Israel - Day 5 - Beit Sheaan and The Dead Sea

Hello blog friends and family!  We're at the half-way point in our trip in beautiful Israel.  Today Kevin will give the devotion at Beth Shean.  (Please pray for him!) This is the largest excavation site in Israel.  We will also get to visit ancient Jericho and view the Mt. of Temptations.  Then we will drive through the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  Then we will get to experience the lowest place on the earth, The Dead Sea.  It is also the saltiest body of water on earth.  We will get to float in it too!  Can't wait to share pics when I come home! :)

Scripture references:

Beit Sheaan -

Joshua 17:11-18
Judges 1:27
1 Samuel 31:10-13
1 Kings 4:12
1 Chronicles 7:29

Jericho -

Numbers 22:1; 26:1-62; 31:12; 33:48-50; 34:15; 351; 36:13
Deuteronomy 32:49; 34:1-4
Joshua 2:1; 3:16; 4:13-19; 5:10, 13; 6:1-27; 7:2; 8:2; 9:3; 10:1, 28, 30; 12:9; 13:32; 16:1, 7; 18:12, 21; 20:8; 24:11
2 Samuel 10:5
1 Kings 16:34
2 Kings 2:4-18; 25:5
1 Chronicles 6:78; 19:5
2 Chronicles 28:15
Ezra 2:34
Nehemiah 3:2; 7:36
Jeremiah 39:5; 52:8
Matthew 20:29
Mark 10:46
Luke 10:30; 18:35; 19:1
Hebrews 11:30 

Mt. of Temptations (not named specifically; traditionally held site) -

Matthew 4:1-11
Mark 4:12-13
Luke 4:1-13  

Qumran Caves (where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered) -

Matthew 19:11-12
Colossians 2:8, 18, 23

Dead Sea -

Genesis 14:3
Numbers 34:3, 12
Joshua 3:16; 12:3; 15:2, 5; 18:19


Israel - Day 4 - Sea of Galilee

Today we will be in the area where Jesus spent 3 years of his ministry.  We will first sail in a boat on the sea of Galilee, while having a time of worship, and we will visit the city of Capernaum.  We will also drive up to the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.  We will also have a baptismal service in the Jordan River, where Jesus was also baptized.  (I imagine if I had the internet right now and could blog, I wouldn't have enough words to describe how amazing this is!)

Scripture References:

Caesarea Philipi -

Matthew 16:13
Mark 8:27
Matthew 4:13-16; 8:5-13; 11:23; 17:24
Mark 1:21-34; 2:1-12; 9:33-50
Luke 4:23, 31-41; 7:1-10; 10:15
John 2:12; 4:46-54; 6:15-59

Mount of the Beatitudes - Matthew 5-7

Sea of Galilee -

Numbers 34:11
Deuteronomy 3:17
Joshua 13:27; 19:35
Matthew 4:18; 15:29
Mark 1:16; 7:31
Luke 5:1-11
John 6:1; 21:1


Israel - Day 3 - Caesarea (and a Song for the Sabbath!)

I hope you are having a beautiful, restful Sabbath day.  I am sure this will be a Sunday unlike any other Kevin and I have ever experienced.  Although the Jewish people in Israel consider Saturday the Sabbath.  Today we will be visiting Caesarea, and having morning worship by the sea at a Coliseum.  Highlights of today will include going to Mount Carmel and visiting the "Mukhraka," the site where the prophet Elijah debated the 450 prophets of Baal.  We will view Mount Tabor, the site of the 'transfiguration,' and we will visit Nazareth, including the synagogue where Jesus learned to read the Bible.  We will also pass Cana, the village where Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding.

Scripture reference:

Caesarea - Acts 8:40; 9:30; 10; 11:11; 12:19-24; 18:22; 21:8-16; 23:23-27

Mount Carmel - Joshua 19:24-26
                            1 Kings 18:19-46
                            2 Kings 2:25; 4:25
                            Song of Songs 7:5
                            Isaiah 35:2; 33:9
                            Amos 1:2
                            Nahum 1:4

Valley of Jezreel (Valley of Armageddon) - 

Joshua 17:16
Judges 6:33-37
Hosea 1:5
Revelation 16:16

Megiddo - Joshua 12:21; 17:11
                  1 Kings 4:12; 9:15
                  2 Kings 9:27; 23:29-30
                  1 Chronicles 7:29
                  2 Chronicles 35:22

                  Zechariah 12:11

Mount Tabor - Joshua 19:12
                           Judges 4:6, 12, 14; 8:18 
                          1 Samuel 10:3
                          1 Chronicles 6:77
                          Psalm 89:12
                          Jeremiah 46:18
                          Hosea 5:1
                          Matthew 17:1-9
                          Mark 9:2-9
                          Luke 9:28-37


Israel - Day 2 - Tel Aviv

Our first day in Israel!  What a week we have ahead of us.  Today we should be arriving in Tel Aviv (Jaffa, Joppa) in that late afternoon, after having flown all night.  Israel is 7 hours ahead of us, so our plan will be to eat dinner as a large group, and try to go to sleep late so we can get a great night's rest.  After 12 hours in a plane, I am hoping we have laughed a lot, read a lot, and had some great conversations.  (As opposed to the exhausted traveler alternatives!)  Please pray we are able to conquer jet lag and sleep well our first night.  I am savoring every moment, trying to capture every memory, and sincerely longing to embrace the Holy Spirit's leading and what God has to reveal to me in this special place.

Scripture references:

Joshua 19:46-47

2 Chronicles 2:16

Ezra 3:7

Jonah 1:3

Acts 9:36-43;10-11


Israel - Day 1


Today we leave for Israel!  We are so excited, incredibly grateful, and we cannot wait to experience the very places where the stages of Jesus' life and ministry took place.  So surreal at this point.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers!  I have set a post for each day to tell you where we will be, (given everything goes as planned), and the scriptures in the Bible that refer to that place.  I am very much looking forward to the Dead Sea, riding a camel at the Masada, seeing people be baptized at the Sea of Galilee, and experiencing the Garden of Gethsemane.  I can't wait to share all about it when I get home!  Thank you so much for your encouragement....I will have so much to catch up on in the world of all my sweet blog friends when I return!  Have a blessed week!

Please pray:

-For safe travel
-For everyone to be healthy (Kevin has been sick this week, but is hoping the Z-pac will take care of everything.  I'm counting on Airborne!!!)
-For the members of our group to be flexible, patient, and encouraging to one another, even in the 100 degree heat!
-That we would have renewed hearts and relationships with God after walking where he walked, and having the humbling experience of being where he was born, where he was baptized, where he was crucified, and where he rose from the dead.
-That the Bible would be even more brought to life to us through this experience.
-That our families (and Chai!) at home would be safe and well cared for while we are away.
-That the holy spirit would do a great work in us through this trip.
-That we would be an encouragement and light to those we meet there.

Thank you for your prayers!


Page and Kevin :)



Brown County Pics

My sister-in-law Gina has a fantastic camera and took some great shots this past weekend....

A Birthday and Brown County

My mother-in-law and two of my sisters-in-law, (Kevin's brothers' wives), went to Brown County this past weekend.  We enjoyed talking, (a-lot), laughing, shopping, and eating together.  It was a blessing to be able to escape the craziness of everyday and enjoy each other while we celebrated our mother-in-law's birthday.

Carolyn is a fun and beautiful woman who is full of life and loves her family.  Her grandchildren adore her, and she loves it the most when her family can be all together.  From the very beginning she welcomed me warmly into her home and her family, and has generously shared her son's love ever since.  When we're together she loves to bring up how alike she and I are, in the way that we both love to laugh and love to have fun, we are unique (and sometimes scattered :]) in our own special and wonderful ways, and we are both tenderhearted women.  She has a learner's spirit and has sought to grow closer and closer to God in the last several years, and receive his beautiful love for her.  She gladly serves her children by always being willing to help out with the grandkids (and grand-dogs!), and she is an active encourager to her friends that she studies God's word with at church.

We love you Carolyn, and had so much fun celebrating your birthday in Brown County last weekend!  What a treat for us all to get a way and have some great girls' time.  It's such a blessing to have such a beautiful family to make such special memories with.  Again, happy birthday....we hope this is a beautifully blessed year!

Betty at her daughter's super cute candy store!  Yum!

A tea-lover's dream!

Barbie (due with Trace in September!) and I trying on matching dresses!

Gina sporting her pretty purchases - hat and jewelry.  Such style!

Free samples...say no more!

We loved the Farmhouse Cafe.  It was beautiful, charming, and the food was delicious!


Miscellany Monday

Today I am linking up to "Miscellany Monday" from lowercase letters by carissa graham.  Congrats to her on beautiful baby Sage!!!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

The randomness in my world right now:
1.) Summer has officially begun for me, (Chai is loving his long walks!), and I am praying expectantly and trusting that God will provide the job that is his best for me this coming school year.
"And my GOD will meet all your NEEDS according to His GLORIOUS riches in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

2.)  I've decided that due to my plain and simple wardrobe style, my new thing is going to be "flower headbands."  I think I'm a girl who needs to where flowers in her hair.  :)  And we saw a super cute one this past weekend that I kind of wish I had bought.  (But of course I thought I could just as easily make one...such a blogger!)  I am thinking about getting one from Whippy Cake's cute etsy shop.  They're even interchangeable!

Or maybe I will buy some of these super cute flower accessories from Handmade Flowers, get some felt and my hot glue gun, and seriously try to make my own!

3.)  I love the beautiful and quickly growing cornfield in our "back yard."  The kids in the neighborhood love it too!

4.)  I have been researching Bible Studies for young kids, and found out that Kay Arthur has written several strong, solid studies that teach children between ages 8-12 how to really study the Bible.   I love Kay Arthur's precept studies.  She does an amazing job of writing in depth Bible Studies that really teach you how to study God's Word and listen to the Holy Spirit.

5.)  Kevin and I are getting ready to go to ISRAEL this Friday!!!  We will be there for 10 days and are so excited to literally walk where Jesus walked.  We are blessed to get to go because Kevin is one of the official ministers acting as a leader of one of the groups from our church on the trip.  Due to the fact that I might not be on the internet at all while I'm there, I'm going to plan a post for each day that will show where we are, and I'll give the scripture from the Bible that references it.  In preparation for the trip, I have started doing a study on the life of Jesus called, "Knowing Him: A 50 Day Study of the Life of Christ."  All the resources from live26.org are awesome for empowering our generation to become disciple makers and carry out Christ's mission of multiplication.

Have a happy Miscellany Monday!