Shema

We have started every morning this week with Shema – a traditional Jewish prayer. The word shema directly translates to listen. In English, the Shema prayer reads: Hear O Israel The Lord is our God – The Lord alone. Love the Lord your God With all your heart, With all your soul, With all your ...

  • December 5, 2017
  • 11 minute read

Adhan

Some of us were awakened around 4:30 this morning to an unfamiliar noise that sounded a little like monks chanting in a monastery. It was the Adhan (Arabic: Call to Prayer) – a Muslim tradition that signals for its believers to pray facing Mecca. It was a strong reminder that ...

  • December 5, 2017
  • 11 minute read

Shabbat–A Day of Rest

If you’ve ever been on a trip with George, relaxed is a word you’ve probably never heard! George keeps us on a tight schedule and pushes the pace of our group often. We’ll hear him say, “Faster is better than slower!” quite frequently. But we also know that he wants ...

  • November 30, 2017
  • 9 minute read

Todah Rabah!

Todah rabah (Thank you very much) for another beautiful day in Israel, Lord! God continues to show us His favor with gentle weather and comforting safety. Today, Mount Arbel was hidden from us by a fog that yesterday was only partially there. Had we climbed Mount Arbel today, we would ...

  • November 29, 2017
  • 9 minute read

Principle of First Occurrence

During our first bus ride today, George spoke about the Principle of First Occurrence. Hebrew is a very small language with only about 80,000 words. Compare that to the 900,000 words in English! Because of this, rabbis and scholars pay close attention to a word’s first occurrence in the Bible. ...

  • November 27, 2017
  • 8 minute read

The Power of…

Happy Shabot (day of rest)! In Israel, they observe the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening, so today is their day of rest. This morning we awoke to the sound of rolling waves and sea air – a beautiful way to start our first official day in Israel. At breakfast we ...

  • November 26, 2017
  • 9 minute read

“God Favors you”

Shalom Friend and Family! We have already been so blessed by God on day one of our journey to the Holy Land. Our flight to Istanbul landed half an hour early, which was much appreciated after more than nine hours in the air. Then, the gate to our connecting flight to ...

  • November 25, 2017
  • 1 minute read

Merry Christmas from Under The Fig Tree

  It was Thomas A Kempis who wrote: "Without the Way there is no going; without the Truth there is no knowing; without the Life there is no living." These are the days we especially celebrate the gift of the Life who shows us the Truth that we might walk His Way.  My prayer for you ...

  • December 23, 2016
  • 1 minute read

Not a Tourist but An Investment

As the Heart of God tour draws to a close, our Rabbi, George DeJong reminds us that we are not tourists, but rather we are investments. This trip was God’s investment into us. As George explains, a tourist is there for entertainment, they want to go where the road is ...

  • September 30, 2015
  • 1 minute read

A Holy Sight

These are the reflections of Heart of God participant Meghan: We just got back from the church of the Sepulchre and I have to say it was probably one of my favorites because I felt something powerful in that church. Maybe one of the reasons why is because Jesus’ tomb ...

  • September 30, 2015
  • 1 minute read

The Second Press is for Us

  We visited an ancient olive press.  We learned how the olives are harvested and pressed into oil. The olives are poured into a circular container and crushed by a wheel. Then the crushed olives are bagged and stacked up in a square area. Large wooden stones press the olives squeezing ...

  • September 30, 2015
  • 2 minute read

Go Home and Fish

“We are goin’ on a boat!” yelled one tour participant to another. Indeed we were.  We loaded on to a beautiful boat and set sail on the Sea of Galilee. As we made our way, we listened to the unique sounds of the Sea. George asked the boat captain to show ...

  • September 27, 2015
  • 2 minute read

Let’s See What God Gives

Where are we going today, George?  That question is typically answered with the response “Let’s see what God gives.” It forces us to stay in the moment at hand and to hand over control for tomorrow to God.   Thursday was expected to be a busy day. We needed to leave Jordan ...

  • September 27, 2015
  • 2 minute read

Never Alone

The Wadi Arnon is an awesome display of God’s power and beauty. The majestic rock gorge leading down to the rushing water is a sight to behold.  It was amazing, but the real beauty was in how we got there. The rocky bottom and strong current make it difficult to ...

  • September 27, 2015
  • 1 minute read

Straight Paths

The mountainside was mostly brown, but with some green here and there. Yet on this mountain shepherds bring their sheep to graze as they have done for thousands of years.  We looked at the grazing lines made by the sheep. They were not straight. The mountainside is not green. But ...

  • September 26, 2015
  • 2 minute read

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The pyramids, built thousands of years ago, loomed on the horizon from our hotel. In the foreground heavy traffic with cars zooming in and out of lanes honked on by. The scene was a perfect contrast between yesterday and today. As we prepared to explore the ancient pyramids, we looked ...

  • September 26, 2015
  • 2 minute read

The Heart of God Tour 2015

The Heart of God Tour 2015 is made up of people of all different abilities. The purpose of this trip is to explore the roots of our faith with all of our senses. As we travel through Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, God’s story springs to life and we learn that ...

  • September 24, 2015
  • 1 minute read

Reflections: What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears

Friends and our new family:   How can one put into words what we have experienced on our journey as we have seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, and walked with our feet, in the lands of Egypt, Israel and Jordan?   Our charge is to tell our story as it relates ...

  • October 3, 2014
  • 2 minute read

More Petra Ponderings

October 2   Thank you God for allowing us a short time to experience your wonders at Petra. It was a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring work of the people so many years ago.   George opened our eyes to the cross-cultures in Petra and how it has similarities to the culture of the Bible, ...

  • October 3, 2014
  • 1 minute read

The Petra of Indiana Jones’ Fame

Today was the last full day of our trip. We woke up this morning in a hotel that overlooked ancient Petra. This city was made famous by the film, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Several of us ate breakfast on the terrace as the rising sun revealed the splendor ...

  • October 3, 2014
  • 1 minute read

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