Have you ever met Jesus on the Road? A Blog for the not so faint of heart.

What I mean by the not so faint of heart is that this blog is lengthy.  So, please, my dear Siestas, don’t get ticked at me and tell me how long it is.  If you aren’t interested in reading a long post, just skip to the latter half of the blog and you’ll get the basic drift.  I just got my April 2009 Christianity Today in the mail and the title “He Talked to Us on the Road: The Surprising Rewards of Christian Travel” (written by Ted Olsen) immediately caught my eye.  Let me tell you, Ted Olsen works it in this staunch article.  He had my mind going about a million different directions. 

The beginning of the cover story begins with a quote by Martin Luther in the year 1520 “All pilgrimages should be done away with…For there is no good in them, no commandment, but countless causes of sin and of contempt of God’s commandments.  These pilgrimages are the reason for there being so many beggars, who commit numberless villainies.” (qtd. on page 23).  In typical Luther fashion, he states his opinion in the most absolute form possible, but it is significant that he relents a little bit by then going on to say, as Olsen points out: “I say this not because pilgrimages are bad but because they are ill-advised at the time” (24). 

 Just in case you are type-a… Dictionary.com (since we are all about the world wide web in the blogsphere) defines a pilgrimage as “a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion”.

So far, we are here: Luther says there is nothing good in a pilgrimage, not because a pilgrimage is in itself a bad thing, but because within his own historical context they were more than unhelpful, for they even led some to sin.  I just want to get off track and paint a picture for you a little bit- Luther was faced with serious stuff.  For instance, he was dealing with the likes of Johann Tetzel who was arguably the most “brilliant” seller of indulgences.  Some might argue that he would fit quite well in our modern-day American economic system.  Tetzel had systematic programs to lure people into buying indulgences and these programs often incorporated relics- for example, the bones of various saints or martyrs.  These relics were collected and believed by the masses to be salvifically efficacious- like they could release souls from purgatory, or at least limit the horrific sentence.  Carter Lindberg in The European Reformations, explains well how serious the situation was in Luther’s time: “The very effort of late medieval theology and pastoral practice to provide security only led an insecure world to more insecurity and uncertainty about salvation…The Christian’s life of pilgrimage toward the heavenly city was increasingly perceived, literally and not just theologically, as an economy of salvation…This theology, however, enhanced the crisis because it threw people back upon their own resources.  That is, no matter how grace-assisted their good works, the burden of proof for these works feel back upon the performers, the more sensitive of whom began asking how they could know if they had done their best” (Lindberg, 60).  I think Lindberg paints the picture well.  Let me summarize this: Common folk, like you and me, who knew how jacked up they really were began to feel relieved that someone out there could help them on what seemed to be an impossibly harsh spiritual quest.  So when Tetzel and others like him would offer the means of salvation through various relics, they were overwhelmingly grateful.

Martin Luther who was a professor in Wittenberg went to a church whose Prince (Frederick the Wise) had gathered within it one of the largest relic collections in the area, supposedly 19,000 pieces- for example, there were apparently pieces of the burning bush… milk from Mary (um…that is so so gross)… all the way to a piece from Jesus’ very crib (see Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations, 61).  Interestingly enough, Prince Frederick the Wise forbid Johann Tetzel to enter Wittenberg with all of his relics and indulgences because Frederick with his own tail on the line “did not want competition for his own relic collection with its associated indulgences” (The European Reformations, 75).  But, the really astonishing part is that “Luther’s parishioners overcame this inconvenience by going out to Tetzel” (Lindberg, 75). 

Well, of course, Luther was horrified when his parishioners returned and said they no longer needed confession, penance, and the mass because now they had tickets to heaven (Lindberg, 75).   Now, this is a serious pastoral dilemma.  Especially if you’re one of the few people in the world at the time who could actually read Greek and Hebrew, and therefore knew these behaviors were out of the bounds of Scripture.  What was all the more sickening was that most of the people who bought these indulgences were peasants who didn’t have the money to spare in the first place.  These supposed tickets to heaven often took advantage of the poorest.  At the end of the day, Luther simply despised the thought of a person trying to attain salvation through various human strategies- whether these strategies were pilgrimages, indulgences, etc. So you get the point…Luther was obviously justified in his day for being opposed to pilgrimage…but now I am being redundant and annoying.    

But now back to the article in Christianity Today– Olsen switches the focus from Luther’s own historical situation to our modern horizon.  He says simply but powerfully, “The time has changed.”  So often we have a hard time understanding that what is right for one generation of Christians may not necessarily be right for another.  For example, the earliest Christians worshipped in the Synagogue.  But, that doesn’t mean that we should leave our churches and head to our local synagogues.  In the same vein, what was right for the peasants in Wittenberg is not necessarily right for all of us, because, as Olsen said, the time has changed.  I think this is why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us in wisdom and knowledge.  But moving right along.  Olsen quotes Luther scholar Graham Tomlin saying, “It’s been possible after several centuries to disentangle pilgrimage from the works righteousness that Luther so disapproved of, so that now Protestants can go on pilgrimages –though most often, they don’t call them that- without any sense that they are earning God’s favor for doing so,” (24).  Graham Tomlin (not Chris Tomlin!) says that for most people, the pilgrimages are like study tours or holidays with a spiritual dimension (24).  But pilgrims are not mere ‘tourists’ but set off with the intention to experience the divine. And I LOVE what Olsen goes on to say: “Fewer pilgrims today travel in order to escape punishment for their sins, but the temptation to spiritual pride on such journey is strong as ever.  Religious travel has thrown a kind of spiritual trump card on the table.  An eagerness for such distinction misses how manufactured the quest for “authentic” spiritual experience on the road can be, or how transformative an organized excursion can become” (25).

Have you ever noticed this phenomenon?  It’s like in the movie Mona Lisa Smile when they are horrified that Julia Roberts’ character claims to be a professor of art even though she has never seen the Sistine Chapel.  We see this often in our own worlds as well- if a Christian hasn’t been to Jerusalem then he or she has a two-dimensional vision of the biblical text while those who have had this privilege may as well be wearing three-dimensional Scripture goggles.  I wish they could just bring us all a pair home, ya know? It would be a heck of a lot cheaper.  Well, even though this appears to be an annoying contemporary struggle we sometimes encounter…it shouldn’t keep us from setting out on ‘pilgrimage’, for as Olsen says, “We are not just minds created to soak up knowledge.  We are bodies that stand in one place at a time, seeing and feeling our surroundings” (26). 

This article bring us the best of both worlds, for it elevates the significance and rewards of Christian travel while also stressing the importance of our homes and local churches, which are equally as holy.  Graham Tomlin says: “Pilgrimages, just like Christian conferences, can also lead to disparagement of the local in favor of the big and global.  But if they lead to rediscovery of Jesus, the incarnate Word, they can lead to a renewed appreciation of the ordinary people and places that make up real live churches.  At least, well-led pilgrimages, and conferences can do that” (29). I just love that.  Believe me, I am a huge conference fan.  I have been to Moody’s Founder’s Week conferences, Passion conferences and even Living Proof Live conferences and gone out with revitalized energy for God more times than I can count.  There is just something so wonderfully overwhelming about worshipping with a vast gathering of believers.  I think that is the point- conferences are great when they stimulate fresh passion for Christ and then cause us each to go back to our local communities and churches with a renewed fervor but NOT when they make us unhappy and dissatisfied with our local churches.  The same goes for pilgrimages.  We don’t go to the island of Patmos to see where John penned the book of Revelation to get a spiritual fix so that we come back home where we are bored with our little town and church up the road.  We go for a unique spiritual experience that will enhance the life and community to which we are journeying back.

Olsen’s essay goes out with a serious bang, for he says: “Those who best journey today may not be those who are talking about their trips to Jerusalem, or to Iona, or to Santiago…They are probably those who talk about living and ministering in Overland Park or Beacon Hill.  Those who are thinking about the space they inhabit as holy land.  Those who have returned from Emmaus and understand that God doesn’t only meet us on the road.  Theirs is the God who said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them.” A God who travels.  And a God who dwells.  A God who has made the whole world his holy land because he has made his people a holy people.”  (29)

One of the reasons this article resonated with me is because I went on a spiritual pilgrimage the summer of 2004 when I was at Moody Bible Institute (which we indeed called a “study tour”) with the aim of tracing the European Reformers.  It was life changing for me.  We studied the English Reformation in England, the German/Lutheran Reformation in Wittenberg, Calvin’s Reformation in Geneva, and the Swiss Reformation begun by Zwingli in Zurich and the Anabaptist Reformations thereafter, and then we ended with the Catholic Counter-Reformation taught straight from Vatican Square.  That trip was supposed to be all about me learning about church history- and I did- but more significantly, it was during that trip that I felt turmoil in my heart over a relationship I was in.  An engagement, actually.  Surely enough, we broke up the day I returned from the trip.  I had barely even gotten off the plane.  The Lord, rich in mercy, and slowly but surely, through several various awe-inspiring moments during the course of that trip, planted courage in my heart to prepare mentally for the end of a relationship that I knew was going to be one of the most excruciating emotional seasons of my life. 

Another equally life-changing moment for me on that trip took place in a little church outside of Berlin.  A small church was hosting us for a few days before we traveled elsewhere and we stayed right there on the church property.  And when I say small, I mean, like I think there were thirty to fifty people in the church.  The church in Germany, at least generally speaking, is persecuted socially.  Not physically, buy socially.  Christians really aren’t super cool in Germany.  Kids apparently don’t sport the WWJD bracelets there in hopes to obtain positive attention.  The particular church we were staying with was struggling emotionally and financially but they showed us hospitality that I have rarely experienced in the States.  They invited us to join in a worship service with them and I will never forget one of the songs that we sang.  It was “Shine, Jesus, Shine” by Graham Kendrick.  You’ve probably heard it before.  The chorus goes like this: 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, and let there be light.

And I sat weeping in the back of the church.  That little church sang that song like the eschaton was coming the very next day.  Like the time was really near.  It was just so pure and urgent.  And I couldn’t stop crying.  I had to excuse myself. I’ve only ever told one person this story.  But here I am on a blog, about to tell all of you.  This is why- because a small group of us snobby students, the intellectual types who would actually pay gobs of money to trace the European Reformations during our summer break, had just been mocking this very song a few days before.  I am not exaggerating any of this; we were mocking that very song “Shine, Jesus, Shine” by Graham Kendrick.  We were making comments about the lack of substance in the song and how catchy it was, and I don’t mean in a good way. I mean in a bad and processed cheese kind of way.  Why? Because apparently we thought we were the sophisticated intellectual types with ears fit only for the lofty hymns and complex choral traditions that flow out of the hallowed halls of Westminster Cathedral.  I mean we had in fact sat in on Evensong at that stately cathedral just days before, but never mind that most of us were well under twenty-two years old and had zero idea what were talking about, right?

Let me tell you.  That song, “Shine, Jesus, Shine” brings tears to my eyes and chills up my spine every single time I hear it.  That little church in Germany meant what they were singing.  They needed Jesus to shine in their land and they needed the Spirit to blaze and at that moment that little church in Germany spoke louder to me than all the other enormous world-renowned churches that we had visited.  I had spoken careless words and engaged in pompous banter and the Lord kindly chastised this child of His in a way she would never forget.  He made that ‘cheesy’ song come alive and dance with the depth and glory of a symphony.  Calvin’s Church, St. Peter’s Basilica, Canterbury Cathedral, etc…well, I’m glad I saw them, but none of carved an entirely new contour on my heart like that little church outside Berlin.

Well before I say Hasta Luego, Siestas, just a couple more things:

First, check out the article by Ted Olsen in Christianity Today some time soon.  Even though I didn’t attempt to summarize his article, I do admit that I did not even come close to capturing the entirety of his message. My blog is faux, so go get the real thing.

Second, I want some feedback on some of your travel experiences…is there a place where you experienced God’s presence in a unique and lasting way?  A moment you have pondered in your heart until this very day?  Talk to me, I want to hear about it.  And if you haven’t been able to travel enough to satisfy you, where would you like to go?  Is there a place with specific spiritual significance that you would like to set out…if you could?

Be blessed,


P.S. The picture above is random, I know, but it actually really reminds me of my trip to Europe and all the amazing church art and stained glass we saw. 


201 Responses to “Have you ever met Jesus on the Road? A Blog for the not so faint of heart.”

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    My husband and I had the blessing of going to Israel in 2000. We both shared an intimate moment as we sensed the very presence of God. It was on the road to Damascus. Our bus had stopped there and I had clicked a few pictures of my husband Rich as he stood proudly before an Israeli tank. Our guide informed us that we could not take any more pics as there was a surveilance team on the mountain and the flashes would be distractions. You see my husband was in Vietnam, but more importantly he was a “Saul” as he returned from Nam with PTSD. He received the LORD JESUS 14 yrs after I became a believer, So taking the pic meant so much to us personally. Our Pastor asked that we all gather ( 29 ) and pray on that very road. God moved so powerfully in that moment. Many began to wail and cry out for the lost loved ones. None of us could even speak as we got back on the bus. We were on holy ground and the Holy of Holies was in our midst. Rich and I shall never forget that moment with the LORD. He has brought Rich full circle and we now walk that road together.

  2. 2
    MiPa says:

    This is wonderful! You have a gift for bringing difficult subjects to tangible. Thank you. I so see you being prepared for your upcoming trip.

    I’m privileged to have travelled all over Europe (perk of living in England). I’ve also had the amazing experience of going to Israel–where from the moment we drove into town I sang the song “sureley the presence of the Lord is in this place”. But pilgrimmages have come in unexpected ways.

    While in Romania last year sitting in the mountains with a group of teenagers who were singing “I Want to See Jesus Lifted High” and I got it. Driving into the Alps trying desperately to get to church on time (we didn’t, traffic problems) and being hit full in the face of “I made this, you don’t have to be in a man-made building to worship me.” And even last week, an unexpected decision on Saturday night to visit another church in the area, and the meeting of God powerfully in worship that was nothing like the worship of our home church.

    Travelling has opened my eyes to watch for God in people and places. But the biggest blessing I find is when I allow him to open my eyes like that right here where I am for the day-to-day.

    Bless you for making me think this morning!

  3. 3
    Jenn says:

    Wow Melissa. You will never know how much this post ministered to me. What’s funny is I was re-reading my prayer journal from this time last year and I had written in there about how a post you had written at that time touched my heart deeply also so thanks! 🙂
    It’s hard for me to answer this one. In the past two years I have lived serving God as a m*ss*Ionary here in nepal. I have been able during this time to travel to Bangladesh, India, Thailand and 5 countries in Europe. All of these trips have had special God moments. But I have to say the piligrimage of living here has been most life changing. I came here thinking I could be super servant Jenn and change nepal for christ. Instead I found out that christ wanted to change me, to break me, to show me that in my strength I can do nothing, but He is MY everything. I could write pages and pages of what He has taught me on this gloriously painfilled and joyfilled at the same time journey. I remember one particular time thinking I can not live in this dirty place with no power, no water, not able to speak the language. I was walking down the street and the Himilayn mountains, normally covered in a hazy fog popped through the clouds, and right there I could see the beautiful Mt. Everest. I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come from?

  4. 4
    Nana Jul says:

    Your post was awesome! Yes, I've met Jesus on the road, and right here at home! Last June my son Alex and I went to India, recapped the experience on my blog, http://www.nanajul.blogspot.com/2008/07/india-616-62608.html
    (archives 2008 – end of june)
    Our experience left us in utter amazement…India is dark, but high in the mountains, in a tiny little village God met us there. He showed us the real meaning of worship!
    The village was totally destroyed, burned down just a month after we left, people were persecuted & jailed & burned alive..people we met. But God is still in control! And our hearts have been forever changed because he allowed us to witness deep true worship.

  5. 5
    bittersweet says:


    I was so touched by your reference to “Shine Jesus Shine.” I was recently reading an article about ‘loving the church more than it’s health.’
    The author of this article was speaking of how Christ has put His name on the church, including “immature Christians…who speak too much at member meetings…give their unbaptized children communion…and love shallow praise songs.”
    I asked my husband what exactly a ‘shallow praise song’ might be. He said, “Oh I don’t know, something like ‘Shine Jesus Shine’, I guess.”
    The very next morning at church, our precious handbell choir leader and one of her music students played several songs on their trumpets. And guess what one of them was?! “Shine Jesus Shine.”
    As they played, the words to the song flashed on our overhead screen. Simple phrasing? Yes. Catchy tune? Sure. But there was NOTHING shallow about it! As they played, I thought to myself, this should be a prayer of ours. We should WANT Jesus to shine in our hearts, in our lives, throughout this whole dark world!

    And on the topic of blogs, I love your more academic ones! We get CT today also, but I haven’t been able to wrench it away from my husband yet…

    Amber in TN

  6. 6
    denise.coop says:

    The VERY first time I met Jesus, it was on the ROAD. Work wanted me to go to a Zig Ziglar conf. in Dallas, TX. It was a no brainer for me to attend because I lived in Michigan and the conference was in March, this snowbird wanted to fly south.
    To put it lightly, I was an everloving MESS! 26 years old and I thought I was everything. Instead of praising God, I spent all my time praising myself.
    Anyway, God met me 9and lovingly broke me) at that conference, in a hotel lobby with a sweet old man who shared his testimony and the glorious gospel.
    I made my decision right there on the road. I would be a follower of Christ.
    The cool thing for me is that each day I open my bible God continues to meet me on the Road of His Word!

    Thanks for the history lesson tied in with your personal testimony. I look forward to learning from you just like I learn from your mom today. And, my girls will be right there with me! I am so thankful for your family and what God is doing through ALL of you.

    Keep the lessons coming 🙂

  7. 7
    leanne says:

    I went to Mexico on a missions trip a few years ago and while I said I wanted to meet God in new and exciting way…I did. he showed up alright, and he showed me just how weak and prideful I was. He showed me more in my heart than I wished for. It was a really really difficult beginning to some major heart surgery!

    Although I still wish I had never gone b/c it opened up a whole lot of junk in my trunk…I got what I aksed for, I met God and he came home with me and has been working on me ever since. If there is ever an opportunity to go on another trip, I think I will prepare myslelf differently next time.

  8. 8
    Healed at Home says:

    Dear Melissa,

    I have gotten to travel, but the dearest sanctuary I have ever been in to date, was in a particular room in my prior home. 1997 was a year of great pain and betrayal for me. In desperation, I received help through Freedom in Christ ministries and enrolled in a Beth Moore study called: A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place.

    Each morning this broken mother of two got up to do her homework in a back room. One day the study asked me to name a place where I had met God in a special way and I realized the most special place was the one room in my house in which I was doing your mom’s study each AM…a room that also symbolized the greatest pain I had ever experienced in my life.

    God had taken me back to the very spot of my pain and transformed it into the greatest spot on earth between He and me. In the same way, He used that painful season to transform my heart in a way that has yet to be reversed or dented. The healing I experienced in that place was so miraculous, the pain is now dim in comparison.

    Sometimes God meets the traveled at home.

    Thank you Melissa. Wish I could bump into you at the grocery store sometime in Atlanta to give you a hug. You bless me via cyber-space.

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    REading these posts from our precious "Siestas" offers a glimpse into the sacred and the "Holy of Holies" in the life of believers. Thank you Melissa for your brilliance (and His) in being allowed to open the portholes to see the magnificient views. "Shine Jesus shine…"

    I was taken by the snapshots of spiritual experience from all over the world, and even from the mundane and everyday shared on this post. I could hear reality and longing and all the while wondering as I read these posts, "Why dear LORD, have I been so blessed? What future experiences do you have in store for me? Wherever you have taken me I have found You there, in a unique way, a way that stands out, in brightness, in a shining, in a clarity, in sincerity and in truth". Thanks to our siesta who shared her experience at Westminister Abby and looking at the coronation throne and the Spirit of God saying "I am the Only King, Ancient of Days…" This summer, God willing I will be given the priviledge of seeing that throne with my husband. (First trip to Europe~never dreamed it would happen!) As our loved sisters spoke of their trips to Israel, I was able to go back on a trip of memories to 1995 and the experience of my Mother, my sister, my husband and myself being baptized in the Jordan River at the Yardenet site, lovingly provided for Pilgrims to the Holy Lands by Calvary Chapels! What a God moment in our lives. That trip changed us all, from the inside out.

    We've RV'd all across our wonderous land, and experienced God all the way. (I'm praying for your Mom and Dad too, that they will be blessed to have this experience, and also eat through Diners, Drive-in's and Dives all across our incredible country of diversity and unparralleled beauty). A not to missed cathedral of God's creation is found in the vistas on The Grand Escalante Staircase on Hwy 29 in Southwestern Utah. You will be stunned and have a God moment in majesty, trust me, tears will flow, try singing "How Great, how great is Our God!" Or another great old hymn of the church which is appropriate is "How Great Thou Art!" Doesn't singing and worship go together? Try it at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or looking at the Grand Tetons, or at the Statue of Liberty, and realize the price that has been paid to give us these vistas…at the same time I sit in wonder of the beautiful mother who said she hadn't been able to travel, but yet she held the world in her hands with her baby sucking on her finger!

    You have brought me such joy in reflection on this LP Blog. I've met Jesus on my road today, just sitting here in front of my computer!

    In wonder of the "with of" God,
    So Cal. Siesta,
    Pam H.><>

  10. 10
    Denise says:

    My husband is a pastor of a church in US with a passion to share Jesus with the world. We are called to our local church, but God has burned in our hearts a holy, compelling desire to reach out to the world, too. When we come back from a mission “pilgrimage”, our hearts are “ablaze” with the Holy Spirit’s fire to reach our community for Jesus Christ!

    The one thing that has changed our lives forever is the pure, holy love we have felt in places like Tanzania, Brazil, and Zambia. The people are so desperate for God and their love for us overwhelms us. In Tanzaniza, they washed our feet and gave generously … in Brazil, their hugs, kisses, and tears touched our hearts forever … in Zambia, they showed us how to worship and love. The young people could not wait to get together to worship God through music and dance and drama.

    These journeys have changed us forever!

  11. 11
    Jennifer says:

    When I was in China adopting our daughter Emma, God was all over that two week trip. In a land where Christians were not warmly welcomed God showed us his grace and love. I came home with a new appreciation for our “religious freedoms”. To be able to worship freely has a new meaning to me. We have so much here in the USA that I believe we often forget that most of the world does not have what we have. It took that trip to shake me up a bit.



  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Wow, thanks for being so transparent. My pregnancy was such a journey (I had a life threatening complication) and as I held that new born baby boy in my arms, someone’s words came back to me. “You can’t out-give God.” I hadn’t understood those words until that moment.
    The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC showed me the evil that is the opposite of God’s love – kind of a reverse pilgrimage.
    Kim Feth
    Apex, NC

  13. 13
    Lynn says:

    i have never been on a pilgrimmage but i would sincerely love to someday. i would like to see Rome and the Holy Land.

    Melissa, I could totally relate to your experience of the song and the small church. I have been convicted more than once when I was on my high horse about something “beneath me” only to have the Lord knock me off by shwoing me how these simple acts of faith and trust bring Him so much joy. Thank you for sharing this. It is a blessing.

    Sister Lynn

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    I have never traveled outside the States. I’ve only flown on an airplane once, so obviously I would love to go anywhere!! But expecially the type of trip you described in Europe. Amazing. I had a truly holy experience in the hills of West Virginia. My husband went to preach a youth revival at a small church about nine years ago. We stayed with the pastor and his wife in their home. The five days we spent with that couple were life-changing. These people had nothing of the world’s acclaim but I have no doubt that they will receive many riches in heaven. Talk about living your faith. They were the real thing . . . at 5:00 in the morning or at midnight. If someone called their house for prayer, we all got on our knees in the living room immediately after they hung up the phone. I can’t adequately express it in words but suffice it to say that they were truly authentic Christians.

  15. 15
    Susan B. says:

    About 7 or 8 years ago, our women’s bible study group went to a Women of Faith Conference. During this conference, Nichole Johnson did a skit about letting go of control – especially micromanaging our teenage children. I nearly cried my eyes out. My son was about 7 at the time. This opened my eyes to things I was trying to control, but couldn’t, and may I say shouldn’t. It showed me that if I didn’t change, the possibility was that I might not have the best relationship with him when he was a teenager. I came away from that conference with a new perspective not just on parenting, but on life. I got the message, brought it home with me and began the process of letting go. Today he is 15, and we have a GREAT relationship. Maybe that had something to do with it. Even though this was not a pilgrimage to a far-away land…it was a spiritual pilgrimage for me to a new land.

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    I think you have more words than your mom! Thanks for the thought.

  17. 17
    Jen says:

    I just got back from my 6th trip to Q-buh (please read it how it sounds, it’s necessary to be cautious). The first time I went it was my first overseas trip and actually the only reason I went was because Jerrell Altic was my Sunday School teacher and he told me I was going. I’m a teacher, it was Spring Break, it sounded cool, so I went. That first trip radically changed me and I didn’t even realize it fully. I wanted to move there. People told me it was just because it was my first trip, that would fade, whatever. So I went again 3 months later. And that wasn’t the case. The Lord has worked me through many stages through this desire to live there. After my 3rd trip I thought it would be really cool to live there for the summer. And He fulfilled that, and even though I didn’t have ANY luggage for 3 weeks while I was there (cause it got lost! I mean to say I had 3 shirts, a skirt, and a pair of shorts) it was AMAZING. And not having ‘things’ with me showed me I could live without them. After that I really wanted to live there, but knew it was going to be a hard road. I wasn’t ready for the possibility of never seeing my family again, maybe losing my citizenship. Well, I just got back this past Monday, and once again the Lord met me on the road. He spoke to me very specifically through the book of Philippians (starting in Ch 3, but ending up with the whole book). Everything I have is rubbish in comparison to Him. And He brought me to the point where I could TRULY say to Him, “Lord, if I never get married, if I never see my family again, if I lose my citizenship, if I get thrown in jail, if I die, I KNOW that THIS is the place you want me to be.” It was terrifyingly freeing. Now, sitting back knowing I’m moving to Egypt for the next 2 years (that’s a whole other story), I can see God’s hand in that as well. Egypt was a time of exile and preparation for the Isrealites as well as Jesus. So it will be for me. Pray for me, I have a long and difficult road on the way to fulfilling this calling.
    Thank you Jesus, for meeting me on the road. I trust you to take me the rest of the way. Because if with just a tiny bit of faith mountains can move, you can certainly move little ol’ me.

  18. 18
    Ellen M. says:

    Awesome post, Melissa — I so enjoy the challenges you present us with!

    My pilgrimage took place last May; two gal pals and I went out to Colorado Springs to surprise a dear friend living out there and take her to the Living Proof Live event going on that weekend. The message was “you’ve got to give it up to live it up,” I’ll never forget it. During the conference the Lord made it very, very clear to me that I was to go back to my church in Delaware, meet with the pastors and ask them to consider me for Women’s Ministry Director. The woman who was currently director was moving to Alaska and no one had expressed an interest in taking that role on. I was the Awana Commander at the time and had just taken it on a year prior, so this switch was sudden and frightening. But the Lord was very plain about it — “I’ll raise someone up in MY time to take over Awana — you do what I’ve told you to do.” He began flooding my mind with areas of need, ways to disciple and promote healing. By the time I arrived back home, I had 3 pages worth of ways to minister to women, not only those in our church but those in our community who need to know Christ died for their sins, too.

    The mountains of Colorado served as a reminder of the Creator who was speaking to “little ol’ me!” How could I be afraid? Truly, that experience changed me forever.

    “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”
    1 Thessalonians 5:24

  19. 19
    Alissa & Josh says:

    Thanks for that beautiful blog, Melissa! This is my first comment but I’ve been reading the blog for a few months now. I had the privelege to travel to Europe 4 times. I also studied in England during my junior year of college. The purpose wasn’t spiritual but I grew by leaps and bounds in that way there. I had been warned by many people that England had few Christians but I met so many wonderful ones at the University of Exeter. One of the greatest spiritual moments I had there was attending a modern worship service in the OLD Cathedral there. It was amazing to think of all the people that had worshiped God in that place and that that day the huge place was ringing with modern praise–with drums and guitars! So many people in England are passionate believers. I also came away from that year with a greater love of C.S. Lewis and travel.

  20. 20
    Faran says:


    Thanks for this post. I thought it was your mom writing until I got to the part about summer break!

    So interesting to me that you referenced Shine, Jesus, Shine. I inherited my grandmother’s piano and her Baptist hymnal. It relaxes me to play hymns while my girls are playing house in the next room. Shine, Jesus, Shine is one of my favorites to play (mostly because I can play it with relatively few mistakes). I hadn’t paid much attention to the verses until your blog. Verses 2 and 3 are powerful – even if the tune to our “sophisticated ears” seems a bit dated.

    Read these verses:
    Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
    From the shadows into Your radiance;
    By the blood I may enter Your brightness;
    Search me, try me, consume all my darkness;
    Shine on me. Shine on me.

    As we gaze on Your kingly brightness
    So our faces display Your likeness,
    Ever changing from glory to glory:
    Mirrored here, may our lives tell Your story;
    Shine on me. Shine on me.

    That’s TRUTH! I’ll be singing and playing with a different heart now. Thanks always for your honest and skilled communication about some deeply considered issues.

  21. 21
    Sharon says:

    Dearest Melissa,

    As I write this, I can look up and the poem and group piture that I had framed from this trip. Back in 2002, the Lord provided the opportunity for me to travel to Greece to be apart of Beloved Disciple. I had just recently gone through a very painful divorce. That trip changed my life! It was as if every message was written just for me from my Lord. All of it was just amazing, wonderful, and awesome!!

    Beloved Disciple, Love still yet…

    Much love,
    Sharon, NC

  22. 22
    A Sister Who Longs For A Deeper Pilgrimage says:

    Way back when in the early '90's I attended a Love Europe missions trip with Operation Mobilization by myself. After calling of an engagement I told the Lord he needed to do something with me that summer and so I went by myself with OM for a summer missions trip to Germany.

    During the conference time we were lead in worship with a song that has marked my life. As the lyrics were sung by 100's of people I just stood their bawling my eyes out. I knew if I sang the lyrics I had better mean them. Th song must have been sung at every meeting b/c I know God was wanting to get me to the point of surrender that I need to be at.

    One night we were led in worship again with the same song – and I'm not sure what happened inside (a Spirit thing) but I sang the song all the way through (bawling again!) but knowing that my life would never been the same again! And it wasn't. Everything I knew my life to be changed from that moment on. I had been able to sing the song to a certain point but never the last sentence!

    After spending the summer with OM I went back to England and announced to my family that I was going into missions full-time I just knew it. Four months later I was in Canada working with the OM Canada head office. I stayed with OM for 3 years. During that time I met and married my man who was in ministry as a Pastor. My husband and I have now been pastoring for 15 years now although just recently we are being taken through a time of crushing so it seems and we recently resigned from our church which is a total devastation to us.

    My life verse is 2 Sam 24:24 I will not offer to the Lord sacrifices that cost me nothing. The verse came because of the song we sang.

    I'll obey and serve
    I'll obey because I love you
    I'll obey my life is in your hands
    Cos it's the way to prove my love
    When feelings go away
    (I could always sing that part – the surrender was)

    I know the cost is nothing compared to the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. But there have been costs to pay along the way – but I am always reminded of the worship song and the Lord often brings it back to mind to encourage me and remind me that He was faithful in the past and He will still be true to His Name "Faithful & True"!

    That pilgrimage was life changing for me – I was humbled and brought to a place of complete surrender never to be the same again.

    You know transformation back then seemed so real and alive – I long for the aliveness of it all in a place where the dust has settled and things seem so complacent. I know I'm not making sense but today I'm a place of being torn down with the hopes that He will build me up again – I'm in need of a fresh awaking, a renewed spirit a deep longing – I'm in need of Him – hear me Lord I love you x

  23. 23
    Kali says:

    Thanks, Melissa, for your vulnerability and for reminding me of the multitude of ways in which God speaks to His children. You reminded me also of the summer of 2004 when I spent a couple of months in Sarajevo, Bosnia serving with 5 missionary ladies there and my two roommates for the summer (also from Moody). I’ll never forget the devestation in that war-torn country, both the physical and emotional. Those missionaries faced an uphill battle with a people who had been burned by “religion” one too many times.

    But one Sunday morning, the 8 of us were gathered in a home for our own time of worship and prayer, and I was reminded that nothing is impossible for our God. We sang the song “Days of Elijah,” and when we got to the part about “the days of the harvest,” I knew that God was in that room – and that if the fields of Bosnia where not yet white, they would be soon. We must never grow weary, for He will come again!

    Thanks again for sharing – I’m so glad you did!

  24. 24
    Abba's Girl says:

    Sitting on a boulder a foot from the Rio Grande between South Fork and Creede, CO…while in the Word and prayer, the Lord’s presence was so thick, I don’t think I could have stood if I wanted to do so. A deep healing took place concerning something someone had tried to do to me. I was so filled with peace and love.

    I hope to go back to that area of CO for the Labor Day weekend.

    Beth, I thank you for what you and your family do to advance the Kingdom through ministry. I attended Bible study in January and was so bowled over by the praise and worship as I always am. I had been hesitant to attend because my father was so ill. I was so glad I attended and had the Holy Spirit fill up that night. I took my father to the hospital the next day and he went to be with the Lord that afternoon. The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He sent me to Bible Study that Tues. night. He is good – all the time.

  25. 25
    Katie in ND says:

    Thank you for your post. I loved the challenge of it. My place that has never left my mind was a church I attended the first day I got into Chihuahua, Mexico. I knew about 3 words in Spanish, but I knew exactly what these people were singing and preaching about. It took everything to not ball like a baby. These people LOVED God. They RADIATED with His JOY… unlike ANYTHING I’d ever seen in stoic North Dakota. They sang at the top of their lungs with smiles on their faces… no joke. I can still hear them singing “…Senior….” And after the service they received us pasty white German folks from North Dakota with kisses and hugs like we’d known each other for years. They loved Jesus, and they loved the saints! What an example they set!

  26. 26
    kellyR says:

    Now I’m really wearing out the LPMers but I woke up this morning still thinking about the post. I reflected back on all my “official” ministry trips and realized they weren’t as much a pilgrimage as the times traveling alone or the times rocking a sick baby in the ICU. The difference…attitude and intention. I’ve served third world children with a complaining spirit and I’ve spoken to an arrogant surgeon about to operate on my child with all the patience and grace of a saint. A retreat, pilgrimage or mission trip is not dependent on geography or church bus…it is entirely dependent on our willingness to commune with Jesus….wherever we are. I promise that’s my last comment

  27. 27
    Ashton says:

    Dear Melissa,
    I read every word you wrote and thought as I read how wonderful and personally needful to have a writer such as you, with the depth you have, to write to cause one to THINK.

    Many years ago I will share a couple of things and then share where I need to be.

    When I was in my teens on occasions talk to God. My parents not Christian and not close to them and I searching figured who else could I talk to? So, at times I would lay in bed and talk to Him. One night when I was 16 and had a fight with my mom, problems at school I started to tell God, “you know I love my mom, you know I love my dad, with weeping.” Then, I heard by sister come home slam the door and I pulled the covers back got on my knees and heard God speak to me the first time in my life. “Hey, I’m not a big judge in the sky I’m your friend”. That blew me away. It was like a rose in my mind opened up.

    Then, years later I would watch TV after school and was becoming weary of it. People in church I was going to were asking if I was reading the Bible and I was not so I started to pick it up again. I had to decide TV or the Bible. I choose the Bible. I started in Matthew and then because I had a guitar I would just make up little songs that came to me. “He knows your needs, well He know’s your heart, He understands your thoughts from afar, His ain’t heavy nor His arm is not short, He knows your needs well He knows your heart.”
    And I began to understand things about God, things about His nearness and also some other things that I did not like about me. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ That one was tough to swallow.

    Where would I like to be…no games with God

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    Long before I was a believer, I was living in England. I used to take the train into London regularly during the week. One day I was at St. Paul’s Cathedral when a choir was practicing. Chills ran through my spine, and I thought to myself. “There must be a God, because He is here.”

    I had been raised to despise cathedrals, and any building like it, because they represented ‘religion.’ I would never have believed they could be prayer soaked and full of God’s Spirit.

    It was an awe inspiring moment. I look back and realize that I began my journey home to the Lord that day.

    Suzan Bulaga

  29. 29
    Regina says:

    Melissa, I sit here with tears in my eyes, humbled. Thank you for sharing about Shine Jesus Shine. I relate to that story.
    As for spiritual journeys… I experienced God in a new way while on vacation with my husband about 20 years ago. It was the first time EVER in my 30 years to experience the ocean. My sis-in-law & her hubby treated us with an overnight stay right on the Oregon coast. When we walked out the back side of the hotel, we were on the beach. The majesty and power of the ocean filled me with joy. The waves that continued to come crashing in over and over gave me a sense of the power and presence of God that I had never experienced until then. That night, I hardly slept as I enjoyed the comfort of the sound of the waves.
    I have been on some good retreats, but it seems I meet God most personally while exploring His creation.

  30. 30
    Shelly says:

    Yes mam. I can testify to His tabernacling presence flooding over this desperate child of His on the shores of ‘my’ beach in St. Simons Island, GA more times than I can count. Nestled between the grains of sands below me and the sea of stars above me, the God who created them both by His very breathe, sustained life and hope for me during a very tragic season. And though I felt miniature in comparison to the greatness of my holy surroundings, they highlighted His Greatness even more; and to that Truth, I could rest.

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    Taize- I had the privilege of sitting in front of Brother Roger as he spoke to a small group of children from a war torn country visiting Taize- it was the first time I have witnessed the Holy Spirit flowing through a holy face. I began a holy cry I could not stop. I’m not sure why Brother Roger never received the Nobel Peace prize like his dear friend Mother Teresa- maybe God is keeping “quiet” all the work of our Lord through the brothers of Taize throughout the world. Although a Protestant, I have also had the privilege of visiting the homes and sites of many special saints like St. Therese of Lisieux-their lives are an inspiration. St. Benedict’s monastery in Snowmass, with Father Thomas Keating and the other monks has been a special retreat. I have often received kind, encouraging and beautiful messages and experiences from our Lord- even a sense of our Lord’s mother praying for us-Hilton Head, SC- walking on the beach, the classes offered through Francis and Judith MacNutt regarding prayer in Jacksonville, Flordia- I completely agree- any and all searches and pilgrimages lead us back home with renewal and encouragement that there is a body of Christ in this world and we are all in this together and called to support and pray for each other. Living Proof Ministry continues to bring the reality of our Lord’s healing and relevance into our lives daily. Thank you dear Moore family for ministring to us- I’ve observed Beth’s teachings for over 11 years(First at Hyde Park Baptist in Austin many years ago) and through Beth’s love and teachings- I am inspired, educated and given hope in Christ. Beth reassures me that God’s continued intervention and involvement are new and never ending each day- Lots of appreciation to you, Melissa.

  32. 32
    Karen says:

    Yes, I met Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. I had the awesome privilege of going to Israel a few years ago and it was the most amazing trip of my life! We went all over and saw so many wonderful sites. Calvary, the Mt. of Olives, garden tomb all were great but when we went on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee it was absolutely incredible. When we got on the boat they played the song “Our God is an awesome God”. I had chills all over my body and started to cry because the presence of the Lord was so real it was a though I could see Him walking on the water again. Just thinking about how much He loves and cares for me I was so humbled. It was the thrill of a life time. What an amazing place.

  33. 33
    Jill_in_AL says:

    I been a few places to make me stand back and contemplate but what makes me say “aww” most often can be a simple as the view out an airplane’s window into the vast sky that one day will bust open for His appearing.

    My dream trip would be to the Holy Land and Rome–to walk those streets, see the Garden, experience the cities and what I’ve read about in the Bible. Forget that it is dangerous and drink in that it is Jesus’ land.

    You are one deep, thoughtfilled and scholarly-intense siesta. Go, Melissa!

  34. 34
    Julie says:

    Melissa, I could so relate to your experiences in Europe…God also used a trip to Hungary with Campus Crusade to open my eyes to the need to end a relationship and it was excruciating, but so so liberating. I broke up with him after realizing my identity was in Christ, not this boy, (that’s the short version, the long version could be it’s own Dr. Dobson special on psycho Christian dating!). I called him on a Hungarian pay phone and told him it was over. I said I’d call back in one week. Well, he called that phone every day, but I was not there. (He did speak to some very confused Hungarians, however…)
    A week later, as I had promised, I called (I still remember that pay phone…chipping red paint, set among a grove of trees), but I had a peace that passed my understanding. Hallelujah! And in hindsight, my meager work in that place was nothing compared to the amazing work that God did in my heart that summer!

  35. 35
    Kiki says:

    I experienced Jesus in a lasting way at a baptist church in Clearwater, Florida..not unique, but life-changing for me. I moved there right after graduate school, not knowing anyone but my grandmother. I looked up baptist churches in the phonebook and picked one not too far away. I remember sitting in the back row crying my eyes out to the lyrics “I will never be the same again. I can never return, I’ve closed the door. I will walk the path, I’ll run the race, and I will never be the same again.” I knew from that moment on, my life would never be the same, and it most definitely has not! If fact, that church is where I did my first Beth Moore bible study!
    Thanks for your insights Melissa.

    (I saw you last Sunday evening at church-loved your boots!)

  36. 36
    Redeemed says:

    Maybe this sounds dumb….I haven’t traveled too far from home….but as I stood on top of Starved Rock in northern Illinois (outside Ottawa IL) I got this immense sense of God’s Presence. As I stood on that high rock overlooking the Illinois River, I belted out (much to my family’s chagrin)”He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock where rivers of pleasure I see..”.

    I had just come through the most profound, defining seasons of my life to that point and it was as if God wanted me right there, in ILLINOIS for crying out loud, to just realize that He had been with me through the whole thing.
    I just couldn’t help it. He was there. I’ll never ever forget it.

  37. 37
    Donna from Florida says:

    2 places: First, a little place in central Florida called “Grasshopper Acres.” Believe me, the name fits the place. My pastor-husband and I went there for a 3-day retreat, to listen to God re: the next chapter/vision for our church fellowship. The LORD didn’t disappoint! That was 2005; He has transformed us and our fellowship.
    Second place was the LPL conference in May 2007 in Boone, NC, my hometown. I made the trip from Florida to attend, and this is the first time I’ve been able to attend a conference with my precious sisters. I get choked up today just thinking about it. God just filled me up with an even deeper love for them. We have so little time together, and it is a memory I will treasure forever.
    I do love your blogs. The “lament” blog stretched my thinking. I’m still contemplating. Thanks for your vulnerability.

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    I have had the wonderful privilege of traveling to the Holy Land and sailing on the Sea of Galilee, praying on the Mt. of Olives and walking the Via Dolorosa. I felt God’s presence every step of the way. But there is a small convent nearby that I spend several days on retreat there twice a year. There is something about being there that is like walking into God’s family room and He greets me with a warm embrace.

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    I have many good “pilgrimage” stories but the one I experience most often and randomly is the one I have at the laundry mat. I am blessed with a washer and dryer in my home, but occasionally I need to wash something big and I head out to the local laundry mat. It is very humble and full of the poorest of our community. I am always filled with humility and love, a sense that I am not living in the real world and I am the one on the outside looking in not the other way around. Sometimes I think I should change my life and live more like these neighbors, and then I don’t. I go home to my comfort and ease and give a little out of my abundance rather than my need, and, well, I do think I am missing something.
    Shalom, Dixie

  40. 40
    Anonymous says:

    It is not what I know or who
    But You

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    God speaks in so many ways. I can’t decide if I should share the amazing impact of seeing some of the cathedrals of Europe or about sleeping on the floor of an orphanage in Mexico. Both were sweet revelations of His love and grace.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Melissa, I love it when you share.

  42. 42
    Megdalen says:

    I sat on top of a cliff in Acadia National Park on an InterVarsity camping trip, but all I really wanted to do was wash my hair. (no showers in the Maine woods!) I had earth-friendly travel shampoo in my day pack and wouldn’t you know, there was a little stream and puddle on top of the cliff! Then I stared off into the distance until my hair was dry, my heart was clear, and my mind was at ease. I waited for God to say something profound, but I think He was just pleased to have given me a nice view and a place to wash my hair, which is just what I needed! Since then I have always gone to a remote place and sat until all the loud things in my brain have shut up. It doesn’t always take three hours and a secret wash-n-dry, but it always ends in me enjoying the Lord for things both great and small.

  43. 43
    Kristie says:

    WOW! Part of this post REALLY resonates with me! About 15 years ago (I was in high school), through the Southern Baptist Convention, a “partnership” existed between the State of Georgia and the Country of Germany, so I went there on a missions trip with a group from my church. Though I had never verbalized those thoughts about “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” I HAD been having them…and then, shortly after we crammed into the church gathering room in that tiny little village outside of Frankfurt, a girl named Bettina sat down at the piano, and a group of their teens gathered around to sing a song “in English” that they’d been working on and wanted to sing with us…sure enough–it was “Shine, Jesus, Shine!” And yes, I wept, too! Something about Bettina’s sincere voice: “As we gaze on your Kingly brightness…so our faces display Your likeness…ever-changing from glory to glory–mirrored here; may our lives tell Your story! Shine on me! Shine on me!……..” yep, I’m teary again just thinking about it. I tear up EVERY time I hear that song now.

    G.P., I am with ya! (on that one!)

    Thanks for the post!

  44. 44
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks girl you need to write a book or something… still too long but good. 🙂 very interesting. short and sweet would be nice. thanks for the information.

  45. 45
    Anonymous says:

    When we set our hearts on pilgrimage, every place can become an opportunity where God stops us in our tracks at the most unexpected times.. He interrupts with such force leaving us with only one option: Worship.
    2 such moments stand out in my memory.

    The first time I saw Niagara Falls. Standing there in the midst of such awsome power, drenched to the bone, I recalled Job saying,”And these are but the outer fringes of His works; how faint the wisper we hear of Him! Who then can understand the thunder of His power.” Job 26:14 My knees buckled under at the BIGNESS of my God…and my smallness, and I understood what Isaiah meant when he said,”wow is me, I am undone.” I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even sing as I worshipped in silence.

    The other came from a totally unexpected source when I saw the movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster. The scene where she looks out the window of the spacecraft approaching her destination. Her response to the beauty she was encountering was so amazingly passionate I almost jumped out of my seat. I came unglued with such longing and joy at the thought of how we will respond seeing the things God has prepared for us “that the mind cannot conceive”. I could have fallen prostrate on the floor right there in the theater. Unlikely place? Yes, but He chose it to give me a tiny glimpse of heaven and bliss. And I worshipped.

    Thank you for a chance to revisit my “God Stops”

    Camas, WA

  46. 46
    Jean says:

    Yes I met Jesus on the road. He met me in Pharr, Texas while on a mission trip with the college youth from our church in San Antonio in the summer of 2002. These people were so dedicated to our mission-building a home for a family of 8. When we arrived, there was a concrete slab. A week later, walls and rafters were in place. That could not have happened without the hand of God.

    It was so much more than the building we did, though. God was working on my heart so that I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours a night. And still I had the strength I needed to do my work.

    This trip truly opened my eyes to what can be done in the name of God. He humbled me as well. One member spent her time visiting with the neighbors and I didn’t think she was working “hard enough.” How self-centered and judgmental was that?!

    This trip changed me in ways that are still unfolding.

    Thanks for your brave and thoughtful post.

  47. 47
    Anonymous says:

    Pilgrim road
    The sweet abode
    Of hearts that long for heaven
    Shalom, Dixie

    Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pigrimage. As they pass through the valley of Bacca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. Psalms 84:5-7

    May you dearest Melissa find your strength on this road. Shalom

  48. 48
    Moops says:

    I love Olsen’s quote in the CT article, “Once we are truly in a place, that place remains in us.” ((p26). The German Alps will remain in my heart always. They are a slice of Heaven.

  49. 49
    Dianna Schnabel says:

    My husband and I recently stopped in Carthage, Mo. to take a look at the Precious Moments Chapel. Neither of us was really expecting much, so we were surprised by how much it touched us. We were expecting a cheesy little tourist stop, but the whole time we were there we could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    My favorite part was a huge two story tall painting in the chapel depicting heaven. We plan to go back in a year or two so our kids can see it.

  50. 50
    darla says:

    Melissa this is awesome! i will definitely check out the article.

    I was missing this blog, so I am home..the wayward princess! hahaha

    my favorite place is along the river on a rock ledge surrounded by woods, worked through the toughest seasons of my life there, and every time spilling my heart there, and faithful HE is, HIS presence has been very sweet there, and it seems to be the place where i hear HIM clearly.

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