Pilgrimages Past and Future

Some very exciting items are beginning to accumulate in my dining room. There are travel hair appliances, a travel bag, a neck pillow, a name tag, luggage tags, and an itinerary.

Did you spy the LPM logo? Our whole LPM crew and lots of our volunteers are taking a journey together in a couple of weeks. Wanna guess where we’re going?

The Holy Land!

My passport’s a little rusty, but it still works!

When I was 17 years old I had the amazing blessing of going to Israel with my mom. I found that old photo album this morning. Pardon the unfortunate quality of these pictures. I don’t have a scanner and rather than drag my babies up to the office to use theirs, I just took pictures of my pictures. I’m a skilled blogger, y’all!ย  Melissa and I are going to blog from Israel and I don’t want to steal our future thunder, so these will be pretty random.

Here I am in the airport with my friend Debbie.

Here’s Mom in a funny hat on our 12 hour layover in London. I fell in love with England that day.

This is Mom with Mary Helen Davis, whom our resource center is named after. We love her so much.

This is something that will never happen again as long as I live – a mother-daughter overalls picture. Wrong…very, very wrong.

Here’s the wonderful Nancy Mattingly in the airport on our way home. I’m sure she was calling her family to say she would see them soon. Her youngest, Sara, would have been 5 years old at the time. Sara is now my kids’ babysitter and her graduation announcement is sitting on my counter. Time? It is a’flyin’!

Have you ever been to the Holy Land? If so, what is one of your favorite memories of being there? If you’ve never made the pilgrimage but hope to one day, what do you look forward to experiencing?


301 Responses to “Pilgrimages Past and Future”

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  1. 101
    Heather says:

    I was blessed to go two years ago and it is hard to pick just one place, so I am cheating and giving you a few. Baptism in the Jordan River. Seeing the wall of Jericho, walking on the stairs Jesus would have walked on, Peter’s house. Standing on the mountain where Jesus spoke the Beatitudes. I really preferred the natural settings, the shepherd’s cave, overlooking Jezreel, some sites were so sad, but the most moving one was the Garden of Gethsemene, and taking communion in the gardens around the Empty Tomb and it is empty. If you go to my Xanga site and look at the photos there are a lot of pictures of my trip to Israel, and a link to some posts of notes I took. Oh, and Mount Nebo. I pray you are so blessed being there. Reading the Bible is not the same anymore, God is so good and He touched me so hugely in Israel. I want to go back, and soon. What made it special was our pastor is so knowledgeable so we learned so much.

  2. 102
    Melody Reid says:

    Two summers ago my mom took me and my two oldest daughters to the Holy Land for two weeks. A group from our church went, and we traveled with good friends. Oh my! What a blessing that trip was!!! I will never read the scriptures again without saying to my husband, “I’ve been there!”

  3. 103
    Dana Borquez says:

    Yes, have been there twice and each time I am so drawn to the east gate, yes it is all closed up now, but just to look and think that the Shekinah Glory left through those gates and will one day return!!too exciting:):)

  4. 104
    Dori says:

    I have always wanted to go to the Holy Land. I think I would just want to sit at look out over the Sea of Galilee and imagine what He experienced as He sought quiet time with His Heavenly Father there.

    Have a ton of fun! I can’t wait to hear al about it!!


  5. 105
    Nana J says:

    How awesome. Many years ago my daughter was on the trip to India that Beth went on. She had dinner with her one night in the hotel. I have always wanted to attend one of your bible study teaching trips. If there is ever the opportunity to attend please let the siestas know. Have a wonderful trip, will be anxiously awaiting your blog.

    Nana J

  6. 106
    Mindy says:

    I hope to make it to the Holy Land one day! I would have constant goosebumps just knowing that our Lord (and many other wonderful people) lived, moved, and worshipped there. An added bonus would be if I could stay and learn more about the Jewish lifestyle while being there.

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  7. 107
    Patty says:

    I would love to go to the Holy Land, however I’m too afraid of the violence and upheaval over there. I’ll stay in my “safe” living room and watch tours on my TV.

  8. 108
    Hilda says:

    I was privileged to go in Jan., 2000; I made sure it was AFTER 1/1, since Y2K was thought to be such a threat. Didn’t want to be in the air on Jan. 1st, for Pete’s sake! My favorite spot was the Sea of Gallilee. No wonder Jesus spent most of His time there – it is so beautiful and serene, at least in Tiberias, where I was. My mother (in her 80’s at the time) got sick right off the plane & throughout the entire trip. Tiberias was our first stop, so I missed much of the sights (boat trip, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum), but just being there was amazing. It changed the way I read my Bible, as it brings the land of the Bible alive in your mind’s eye. One can easily tell that there’s something very special about Jerusalem. It IS an eternal city. Those of you who are longing to go are assured of a FREE trip soon. We will rule & reign alongside Jesus from that city one of these days! How exciting is that!

  9. 109
    pluschei says:

    Just reading the blog right now brings back the most beautiful memory I have of being in the Holy Land 4 years ago. We got off the bus to go to see the Sea of Galilee. Most of the people went into the gift shop area to look around. I stayed outside and sat down to watch the water. I imagined what it must have been like to see Jesus there when He was here on earth. I had such a sense of His presence and was so grateful to be in the places where His feet walked, it was overwhelming. It was a pilgrimage on so many levels, both physically and spiritually. Have an amazing time and keep us posted with pictures and stories! Blessings, Pam in San Diego

  10. 110
    Shelly says:

    I want to walk those streets. I don’t know how else to say it!

  11. 111
    Georgia Boone says:

    Oh my gosh, I am so jealous…..what fun for all of you!!!!
    I have never been, but would love to see all the sights, Garden of Gethsemane…..the many ruins, the Sea of Galilee and on and on and on…….I pray that when we come back to the new earth some of that will still be there so those of us who have never gotten to go can see it then…..I’m sure we will.

    Is there a special purpose for going, or is this a well deserved time off?????

    Enjoy and blog us lots!!!!!!!!!!
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  12. 112
    Mariah says:

    Holy Land! In my dreams! I would like to see what everything looks like, talk to people who still truly practice Judism, if there are any, and eat food that is common to that land, just experience the culture as best I could like Jesus did. That, to me, would be the best DATE with Him ever! ๐Ÿ™‚ Takin’ me back to His home town and showing me a good time, ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 113
    Fran McCurry says:

    Oh, how I would love to go to the Holy Land! That is at the top of my Bucket List. Just to walk where Jesus walked would be the thing I would love the most, but to see the places where the events in the Bible took place would be so wonderful! Have a fabulous trip, all of you! Please let us join you whenever and wherever possible!
    Love to you all-

  14. 114
    Leah Adams says:

    I went in 2006 and am going back this year in November. I have a couple of favorite parts. The first was taking communion at the Garden Tomb. OH. MY. GOODNESS. The other was walking the steps that Jesus would have walked on the way to his trial. Took my breath away.

    Yad Vashem is a must if you have never been. Be prepared for total emotional exhaustion when you leave there, though.

    Cannot wait to go back. I love the Land.


  15. 115
    Michelle Harrell says:

    My best friend, Tara Bomar went on that trip to Israel with you and your Mom. She still can hardly talk about it without tears in her eyes. It meant so much to her. One day, I’d love to go with my husband and boys. We have some very dear Messianc Jewish friends and going with them to the synaguoge has grown our love for Israel and it’s people. Whether I plan it or not, I’ll see it one day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
    Michelle Harrell

  16. 116
    gods.own says:

    How exciting!!! I would love to go someday…just to walk the same ground that God in flesh did. Gives me goosebumps!!

  17. 117
    Judi says:

    For those of you who commented that you would be afraid to go because of the violence, when you are there you don’t see what they show you in the media. In fact, I really believe that the only time you hear about Israel in the news is when there isn’t much else happening in the world!!!
    I also meant to say in my earlier comment that my first trip to Israel was the most meaningful because it totally changed forever the way that I read my Bible. Now I cannot read any of it without saying “I was there!” or “I know what that looks like” It gave me such a wonderful understanding of the culture!

  18. 118
    Allene Schultz says:

    My favorite place to visit in Isreal(1999) was walking though Hezekiah”s tunnel! What an experience. Also when my husband sang, ‘I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked’, in a church next to the pool of Bethasida. I’d love to go back someday.

  19. 119
    twinkle says:

    O Glory but how exciting!
    Never ever been there but would love to go, especially with women like all of you! I can just imagine how God is already in the details of your trip. He is waiting to show you things for your eyes only. I know that.
    I would want to experience a worship experience with the Jewish people. A real, live Jewish temple.
    I would want to hug a lamb there, just to have a picture of me and the lamb and think about Jesus as my sacrifice.
    I would want to WAIL at the Wailing Wall…COME, LORD Jesus! Come!!
    And I would tuck a prayer into the wall for my hopeless prayers.
    I would want to visit the well where Jesus stopped and waited for the woman who had many husbands…knowing that the one she had was not her husband.
    I would want to stand there on the steps where they offered Jesus freedom…but the crowd screamed to release Barabbus. He took my place.
    And I would bring back a shell or a rock from the Sea of Galilee. And a piece of wood from a local tree, to remind me that Jesus was a carpenter.
    Oh, my sweet Amanda, you are going to have a trip of a lifetime. You will feel every part of your soul stirred into a deeper love of The Christ.
    May God pour out His blessings over all of you and change your hearts!!!

  20. 120
    Su Attenberger says:

    I went to Israel in 2004. My favorite memory was taking communion at the Garden Tomb. Our pastor said – We do not know if this is the exact tomb in which Jesus was placed, but we do know that from this spot you would have been able to hear the crucifixion.

    I also love the memory of being baptized in the Jordan River.

    I’d love to go again. Have a wonderful time.

  21. 121
    Rebecca says:

    Oh please, please, please take lots of pictures to share! This would be my dream trip and I don’t see it happening anytime in the near future! I so hope you all have a safe, blessed time.

  22. 122

    My Cha-Cha Anna has been there in the 80’s, and I would love to go to just have been where she has been, she said the Dead Sea makes you float, she says its uncomfortable to ride on a camel:)

    I would love to go to just experience where Jesus has been…and going further than that I would love to take a tour as if I were walking through the book of Acts with Paul..

    But for now..Orlando has ” The HolyLand Experience” and I think I might just have to get my significant other to take me on a date there:)

    Have fun y’all:) I KNOW you will bring back amazing pics:)

  23. 123
    MelissaFitzpatrick says:

    The overalls are classic. I am dying. Nothing could have prepared me for that picture. Nothing.

  24. 124
    Christy says:

    I was blessed to be able to go to Israel 2.5 years ago. I have lots of memories but two places that spoke to me the most were in Galilee…sitting at the top of the mountain overlooking the sea of Galilee and later staying at a kibbutz on its shore was moving. I felt like I could close my eyes and be transported back to those moments Christ preached from the boat, or turn to the side and look along the shore to see He and his disciples walking together speaking of God’s mysteries.

    The other profound memory for me was in the olive tree prayer garden across the road from the Garden of Gethsemane. Despite the busy street outside there is an amazing stillness when we walk those paths and sit under the trees. The prayer and quiet song time I had there with the Father and the deep, rich peace of that place still holds a special place in my spirit. Enjoy your trip there ladies and may you be richly blessed with special and tender moments while you are there.

  25. 125
    Crissy says:

    I pray ya’ll have a great time! It is a dream of mine for me and my husband to go one day and I believe He will send us one day! I pray that each one of you are changed forever by walking where He walked!

    Crissy, Nashville

  26. 126

    I CANNOT WAIT to read your posts from Israel!! And I loooooove the word PILGRIMAGE. This is soooooo exciting!!!

  27. 127
    Shirley says:

    I traveled to the Holy Land March of 2009 for work and had the opportunity to see Nazareth, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and alot in between. Of all my world travels from asia to latin america, I felt the most at home and natural in the country of Israel. My favorite place was standing at the Church of the Beatitudes looking down on Capernum below and the Sea of Galilee with the wind blowing around me – I felt like I could touch the sky and that God was brushing my cheek as the palm trees writhed in the wind around me. Just to think of our Savior walking that rugged land being out in the elements – wow. Jerusalem was a difficult trip because my guide and dear friend is an unbeliever and I just felt almost oppressed from that presence in what should have been a holy experience. I will return again as soon as I can. I know that I will always feel at home in Israel. I pray you all will have great blessings and be refreshed in your trip.

  28. 128
    Barbra Keeler says:

    So excited for y’all! I was incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to go to Israel with my college archaeology professor (won’t say how long ago that was!) There are too many fantastic memories to pick just one. Like so many others, the biggest impact that trip has had on my life since, is the depth of insight it brings to my Scripture reading. We walked the old Roman road from Jerusalem to Jericho (where the story of the Good Samaritan was set) and now I understand what it means when Scripture says things like they went “up” to Jerusalem. Just seeing the geography of it was eye-opening! It was just so deeply moving for me to stand in such ancient places, to meditate on the God who was present in those places many thousands of years ago and was/is equally present with me. There are not adequate words to describe the experience.

    God bless you and keep you as you make pilgrimage with your feet and in your hearts (reminds me of an old post from Melissa)!

  29. 129
    lisa says:

    i will surly weep…the day i go…i don’t know if i will be able to pick my weeping face up from the ground where my Savior has walked.

  30. 130
    Cindy Thomas says:

    I was blessed to be able to go the Holy Land with a group from our church. It was great because I was able to room with one of my best friends, Leah, @ The Point Ministries and experience everything with her. But the absolute highlight of my trip was seeing Jesus’ empty tomb!

    What a blessing to be able to go with the LPM staff. I know it will be a great time of fellowship and worship.

  31. 131
    Jane says:

    I love the pictures but wanted to comment how much Amanda looks like you in that first picture!!

    I mistakenly posted this comment on the wrong thread (Mother’s Day) at first.

  32. 132
    Jeannette says:

    I went in March 2000 with Beth Moore and 700 christians from all over the U.S. A favorite memory is on the Sabbath the elevators stop on every floor. I was on, like the twelth floor. And so instead of all of us waiting to use the elevator, we took the stairs. And we sang a praise song as we ascended to our rooms.
    We also had like a 90 minute time gap to do some shopping in Jerusalem. I went with some other ladies and we all danced in the streets of Jerusalem. (don’t tell my pastor that)

  33. 133
    moosemama says:

    Never been. How wonderful for you and the LPM peeps! I don’t know how I could possibly pick just one place that I would like to see there. Just knowing it was the land where my Jesus had once walked, would be, well….overwhelming. I’m tearing up, just thinking about it.

    Can’t wait to see pictures. Take LOTS!

  34. 134
    Jackie Craig says:

    Is this the makings of a new bible study? How exciting!!

  35. 135
    Fran says:

    Oh girl!!!!!!! Other than a mission trip or 10, this is one trip I hope to make one day! So excited for y’all and can’t wait to follow this journey with y’all. Praying you up!

    So much love,

  36. 136

    Hey Amanda, that is soo great, the Holy Land!! Wow, I want to go there one day, I’ve never been. It’s hard to decide, the wailing wall, or what they consider Golgotha, or Bethlehem, or Nazareth!! or at least where it was, don’t know if Nazreth is still called Nazarath??…I’m soo looking forward to reading posts from you and Melissa:):)

    Blessings to you Little Momma,


  37. 137
    Sharon in Frederick,MD says:

    YAY! I have never been, but I think walking in the footsteps of Jesus would just be humbling.
    Have a great time. Blessings and <3
    Can't wait to see pictures

  38. 138
    Pam says:

    Wow-what an awesome trip this will be. Have never been but now realize it could be reality some day. I would love to go. Keep us posted–we will all be praying for you!

  39. 139
    Casey says:

    I am so excited for you all I could just pee! I have never been, but would die to go someday..I would even where those unfortunate overalls if it meant I could walk in the Garden of Gethsemane or anywhere else my Precious Savior graced with his presence.

    I look forward to your posts and will live vicariously through them until I get to visit or we are all in the New Holy Land together!

    Blessings Dear Siesta,

    Fort Pierce, FL

  40. 140
    Miranda says:

    I TAKE PICTURES OF MY PICTURES TOO!!!! Ha!!! I am normal!!! (Or either we’re both not, and we’re happy about it!) I’ve just never invested in a scanner. Wow. That’s so funny!

    I really want to take the tour to Israel. I’ve already been baptized, but I want to get “baptized” in the Jordan river. It would be such an honor to take that “plunge” in the same river as my Lord. Too, I want to get a rock from over there. Why? I’d be convinced it was the VERY one that David used in his sling shot for Goliath. Yep. The very one.

    That’ll be a great day.

  41. 141
    Donna Gray says:

    I’ve been many places but never to Israel. I want to go so bad but my husband Gary, uh not so much. Someday though I’m dragging him there just like I drug him to Uganda. Well, actually God informed him that he was going to Uganda and he loved it so much he led the team that went back the next year.
    When I go, I want to see it ALL. I want to walk where he walked and see some of the things he saw. I want to just soak it all up. Until then I suppose I’ll do the next best thing and that is to follow your trip on your blog.

  42. 142
    Tracy says:

    We just went in March … a first for my husband and our 14 year old daughter. LOVED. EVERY. MINUTE. My parents volunteer at The Garden Tomb and we stayed with them inside the garden … my favorite part was when the garden closed and all you could hear were the birds and the breeze. Oh, and me humming “I go to the garden alone….” We can’t wait to go back!

  43. 143
    sisterlynn says:

    It is my ultimate dream trip.
    Some of my close friends are going on pilgrimage there soon. I will be praying for you and them!

  44. 144
    Shawna Unger says:

    Standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and watching the wind and waves kick up in the evening. And knowing that Jesus, with just a word, calmed those waves with the sound of His voice… and that one day, I would hear that voice and see those eyes face to face. And I reflected in that moment about the storms in my life and in my heart, and was so grateful for a Savior who had the power to say to it all, Peace, be still.

    Have a great time


  45. 145
    Kristi B. says:

    I have never been, but I think it would be an amazing experience. Just knowing I was on the very land our Lord walked on would be incredible! May God give you all a safe and wonderful trip!!

  46. 146
    karen lipford says:

    stay at home mom of three….doubt i will ever be able to afford the plane ticket!!! i suppose if God wants me to go He’ll send me. have a fantastic time and keep us updated!
    can’t wait to see what new Bible study will come from this trip.

  47. 147
    lynsiearmstrong says:

    I’ve never been to Israel, but I would agree with everyone else that I would love to walk in the Lord’s footsteps. I did get a chance to go to Carthage in 2008 and walk where Paul walked! Visiting the baptistries and hearing the stories of the early believers was breathtaking and of those whose lives were taken for their faith… wow.

    PS my siestas…. Me and 7 other girls (ages 19-25)are going to India this Saturday to share Jesus in the Himalayas amongst the Hindu villages! Prayers please!!

  48. 148
    Judy says:

    I have always wanted to see the Sea of Galilee. This is one thing that I know for sure is still in the right place.

  49. 149
    Donna B. says:

    I haven’t been to the Holy Land, yet, (the real or replica in O’town). My pastor and several from our church went just last month, for 17 days. I’m jealous with a Godly jealous for them and YOU! Perhaps one day soon I’ll have the priviledge of walking the roads where Jesus walked during His time here on earth. I’m pretty sure I’ll weep when I do…but then again, I wept today when I opened the grad announcement from my eldest daughter’s BFF. Yep, I’ll definitely be shedding a few tears–especially in the Garden of Gethsemani–doubt seriously I’d be able to fall asleep while touring like the disciples of old did. =). To visit the church where Jesus performed His first miracle would also be way up there, (perhaps if I go with my husband we too could renew our vows–still a little weepy over that post as well–that was soooooo sweet!). Okay, well, even though I’ve never been to the Holy Land, (real or replica), I did have the honor of going to London and marching in the New Years Day Parade on Jan 1 of this year. I even got to play the cymbals while my daughter marched up front twirling her flag! (It was truly a memorable experience!).
    I’ll be praying for your upcoming trip and looking forward to seeing pics here…oh one more thing…speaking of pics…my pastor shared great pics of them riding camels, perhaps you and your mom could rethink the whole overalls idea, and then hop on a couple of camels and post those pics here! ๐Ÿ™‚
    In His Love,
    Donna Benjamin

  50. 150
    Mary Elizabeth says:

    That is so wonderful that you all are going to Israel. My husdand and I were there in February for 2 weeks. We stayed at the Baptist Village in Peta Tiqva and worked for the first week. The second week we were able to tour. It was wonderful! There are wonderful people there that volunteer. One of the awesome experiences was in Jerusalem at the Baptist Prayer Center. It was something that we had not planned but was just lead there by a guide. We didn’t know why we were there but just sat and prayed, read other prayers, and just had some time w/ no distractions. THe history on the place is very awesome. You all should visit there if you get a chance. I hope you all have a safe trip!

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