Shalom, blogworld.

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom), blogworld.

That was too predictable, wasn’t it?


I just wanted to say hello.

My mind is still a bit muddled from the jet lag but the tiny fact that I can’t seem to make out a single coherent thought has never stopped me from talking heretofore so I shall proceed.

And besides, y’all are forgiving and this should help:

Just another thing I love about Atlanta: Octane cappuccinos.  By the way, what is the best cappuccino you’ve ever had?  That is a random but profound question for a Friday, don’t you think?  It just makes my entire week when the barista makes the little intricate designs with the foam.

Have I mentioned that I keep waking up at 4:00 in the morning hungry for hummus?

Yesterday I spent hours on end making this very basic video slideshow from my pictures from Israel.  My new hobby as of late is photography (and yes–it has taken the place of cooking for now).  Israel is quite a location for the photo enthusiast, let me tell you.  Please understand several things before you watch the slideshow:

  • 1) I am not Rich Kalonick, though he did walk me through several things via text message yesterday.  For the first time I think I fully respect the work he does when he creates the slideshows for the LPL events.  It takes more time and work than you might imagine. So thanks, Rich!
  • 2) The slideshow is quite long, running about twelve minutes. By no means should you watch the whole thing if you are bored to tears. You have complete control and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!  😉
  • 3) This slideshow reflects about 5% of the people and places on our trip to Israel. I literally whittled down 2,000 photos to about 200. Sadly, there was just no way to include them all here.  But on the bright side, if I had included all 2,000 the video would have been about six hours.

Having made this disclaimer, I do so much hope you enjoy it!

Israel Trip from Melissa Fitzpatrick on Vimeo.
Music added: “Beautiful” by Shawn McDonald & “I Stand Amazed” by Chris Tomlin.

Our trip was truly incredible.  I have some more substantial thoughts that I would like to share but I will get back to you with those ponderings when I am not in such a fog–hopefully sometime next week.

Have a wonderful weekend, Siestas! We sure love you!




465 Responses to “Shalom, blogworld.”

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  1. 101
    Melody Reid says:

    Melissa, I feel your “picture pain”. When we went two summers ago, I came home with 5700 pictures. I wanted to do a photo book online for my mom and daughters, and i had to get it down to about 200 pages. It took me 5 months, but I got them done in time for Christmas> Thanks for sharing. It was a sweet trip down memory lane.

  2. 102
    Bianca says:

    Thank you so much.
    The pictures are so beautiful and you picked the best songs to go with the pictures. Just beautiful. I would very much like to go and visit Israel. It would be overwhelming to walk on the ground where it all began.
    What a blessing.

  3. 103
    Jeanne Messer says:

    WOW! I am overwhelmed with seeing places where My SAVIOR walked,lived, and ministered. My heart was just a pounding. Thank you Melissa, for making it even more alive through your pictures. One day, I too will walk in the physical places of Jesus. My husband has had the opportunity through his military travels to walk in some of the places of Paul. He was overwhelmed then so we both know that we would be even more so when we got to Isreal.

    As far as my favorite place for a cappuccino there was this little place in Shiloh, IL called Cafe Aventi. It was wonderful. Also, really enjoyed thier Raspberry Mocha.

    Blessings to you and the rest of the LPM staff. Thanks again for sharing.

    Honolulu, Hawaii

  4. 104
    twinkle says:

    Oh, Melissa…I love that you wrote Shalom in Hebrew!
    Would you write my name in Hebrew?



    • 104.1
      Melissa says:

      Twinkle (Deborah), your name in Hebrew is דְּבֹרָה. Hope you have a great weekend! xoxo

      • twinkle says:


        • Kathy B says:

          OK, now you’re just showin’ off. 🙂 How do you talk your computer into speaking Hebrew? (as if I’ll actually understand your answer)

        • twinkle says:

          Just in case anyone else wants to see their name in Hebrew letters, I searched for a site on the web that does this! Thank you, Melissa, for taking the time for me…
          Click on my “twinkle” hyperlink to my blog and you can search for your name in Hebrew!

          • Kathy B says:

            What a lovely blog you have, Deborah. And even I was able to figure out the website. Thanks a bunch! Praying you keep twinkling, dear siesta.

  5. 105
    Marsha says:

    I loved the video. I watched the whole thing. It was just great. I hope to visit Israel someday. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  6. 106
    Colleen Moody says:

    Well, I wept through the video, and more so reading the comments.
    Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your wonderful trip with us.

  7. 107
    Janice says:

    Awesome video! I LOVED it and really you probably could have put all 2000 photos on there what a BEAUTIFUL place!

  8. 108
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Loved the pics! The video was great – thanks for all the time and effort it took to make! When you showed the pics of Qumran – I told my kids (who were watching with me), “Look! That’s the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found!” and my son said, “What’s a Dead Sea Squirrel?”

    Scroll, squirrel – ya know. That cracked me up! Looking forward to hearing your impressions – what surprised you most? What was as you thought it would be – what was far different – etc.

    (Isn’t it interesting how close together everything is? The Mount, the Wall, the Mt of O, the Church of the Holy S, the Garden Tomb, etc. It’s all so condensed feeling – at least that’s always a sense I have).

    In terms of a coffee drink of choice? It used to be a triple breve (now I can’t even remember how to spell it!) – but that was back when I had the figure to carry off 20 oz of cream w/ my coffee.

    Now my Friday Afternoon Drink of Choice is just a microwaved cup of coffee from the pot I made this morning. Sorry to be so boring and banal when it comes to caffeine. I used to be exciting and adventuresome with my coffee drinks. Really. Promise. I used to be.

    Cheers all, have a grand weekend!

  9. 109
    Kristi B. says:

    What beautiful pictures! Looks like y’all had an amazing trip!

  10. 110
    Kim says:

    AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks for sharing.


  11. 111
    Leah says:

    Beautiful presentation, Melissa! I enjoyed looking at all the pictures.

  12. 112
    Tara says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    Beth, I love your necklace in the market (wearing the black shirt)-did you get it there?

  13. 113
    Kim B. says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Love and God Bless you all.

  14. 114
    Sarah says:

    WOW. Thank you so much. Beautiful pictures. I’ve never been to the Holy Land. You and your mom are so pretty, too! 🙂

  15. 115
    Anastasia says:

    Brava dear Melissa! I got back on the 13th and NO!!! I will never be the same. The music you picked, well it turned the water on. Isn’t Jerusalem GORGEOUS? and of course it is multicultural. GASP-SWOON-BE STILL MY FOOLISH HEART….He did it again, made me fall in love with HIm all over again!
    In the Beloved,

  16. 116
    Valery says:

    Totally awesome Melissa thank you so very much for sharing, I have downloaded to my itouch 🙂
    Thanks again!

    Your siesta in Christ

  17. 117
    Kathy says:

    Melissa, I have just returned home this evening- what a remarkable experience you have shared with the Siestas and with me. I adore the two shots of the camel’s face- what fun- he made my day. I want his attitude! I’m not sure how those of us whom you will never meet on this side can thank you enough for sharing such a profound journey with us. Your mother’s ministry will forever shift our faith and our hope (her courageous journey, the fruits observable in her life and in your family are the prime examples of hope we can have in our Lord)- Dear younger Sister in
    Christ, I have great hope(I’m over using this word) for our world because of young women like you and your sister. My sons are your ages and I pray God will send women like you into their lives (they are darling, of course). Again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR for the slides and sharing your experience. One of my dear friends left today for a similar trip- despite the warnings- I noticed your guide appeared to be very touched by your group- I was called to travel to the sites of Brother Roger in Taize, Saint Theresa of Lisieux and the monastery with Father Thomas Keating (strange with my Baptist/Church of Christ background)- God does push us out of our boxes and blesses us profoundly- All of you at LPM do just the same-You are modern day saints, dear ones and I am so privileged to have the opportunity to be blessed and also observe how you are changing the lives of women and familes. Sorry for the rambling. Blessing to you and your loved ones, An Appreciate Siesta, Kathy

  18. 118
    Nancy says:

    Beautiful video montage…loved every minute of it!

  19. 119
    Mica Craig says:

    I am in total awe at the beauty and history you protrayed with your pictures. Great job and thank you for letting us share this. God Bless

  20. 120
    Heather says:

    How awesome a video, I can’t wait to hear the teachings from this trip. I know you were blessed, and it brings back so many memories from my trip. Thanks for sharing.

  21. 121
    Deirdre says:

    wow. great slide show. and yes I watched all of it….with one question burning in my humble soul –

    How on EARTH do you ladies all have such wonderfully photogenic HAIR in the kind of heat??? Especially all the ladies with long hair. Mine is mid length and I almost always end up pulling it up in a pony tail. But your long flowing tresses looked great (and not sweaty) in every shot!

    how do you do it?


    • 121.1
      sepik-meri katie says:

      i know!! i think that was some kind of trick!!! that’s sure not what MY hair does in the heat & humidity 🙂

  22. 122

    Loved it. Thank you! I can’t wait to go someday!

    And some of my favorite cappuccinos have been from gas stations. I like anything cinnamon or pumpkin-flavored.

  23. 123
    Pam Murray says:

    This is most beautiful. Scenes I had never seen before in a video or a picture – I have not had the privilege to go to The Holy Land, so thank you for sharing. I look forward to your thoughts Melissa. I had cold chills in some of the scenes.

  24. 124
    Anne says:


    Thank you for sharing! It is absolutely beautiful.

  25. 125
    Gretchen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that, Melissa! It was spectacular and I didn’t want it to end. Had hands uplifted throughout the slideshow. It truly is “The Beautiful Land.”

  26. 126
    Becca says:

    Man oh man! I was living vicariously through you during the slide show…unbelievable! I just don’t know if I could keep it together! I’m sure more than once your breathe was taken away, tears welled up in your eyes and a lump was in your throat just picturing our precious Savior in the very places you were. Jealous. In the most pure way 🙂

    Thank you for sharing… heart was touched today, and I needed a fresh touch.

    Lord bless,


  27. 127
    Pam says:

    Wishing I was there with you all. Beautiful photos and a great video. Thanks Melissa

  28. 128
    Denise says:

    Nice work, girlfriend!!! I loved every second of it. The pictures were gorgeous – what an amazing trip.
    (BTW – I love photography too… if you get a chance, add some scripture to your most favorites and develop them on mat board – you’ll be amazed!! or, maybe you’ve already done that)
    Looking forward to your blog once your brain clears – I love learning from you. You are an inspiration.

  29. 129
    Tamara Scire says:

    Beautiful, not boring at all, inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  30. 130
    Cindy says:

    GLORY! Wow! That was so wonderful. When the video came to the place of calvary, I paused the video and just reflected. I pictured my Lord hanging on a cross in that very spot, and pondered the fact that I WAS ON HIS MIND while he was giving his life a randsom! Then I could hardly stay seated at my desk when the empty tomb was shown! Words cant not even come to me. Thanks so much.

  31. 131
    Bethany says:

    That was absolutely amazing, breathtaking and awesome. The pictures with the music in the background just blew me away. Seeing where my Savior spent His days, died for me and finally rose again was a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing.

  32. 132
    Kim says:


  33. 133
    Kimberly says:

    I had no idea it was so beautiful…thank you so much for sharing!

  34. 134
    Kelly says:

    Amazing. What a glory to see His servants walking in his steps….literally and figuratively. Thanks for capturing it.
    and yahoo for taking up photography. pictures last longer than meals

  35. 135
    Susan B. says:

    Too awesome! Looks like a good time was had by all. Can’t wait to hear more.

  36. 136
    Marla says:

    Simply beautiful!

  37. 137
    Jennifer McCuller says:

    Yeah for Octane coffee!! One of my favorite places 🙂 Loved the pictures. Makes me want to visit Israel even more.

  38. 138
    Keri Jenkins says:

    Hey Melissa,
    If you are ever interested in pursuing some sort of academic endeavor in Isreal, my sister is wrapping up a 4 year stint teaching at Jerusalem College and could hook you up. She went straight from Gordon Conwell to Jerusalem and is only now ready to come back so she can pursue her doctorate in OT studies. I had to laugh when your mom mentioned that Colin was the only reason you got back on a plane…..I can only imagine that you left some of your heart in Isreal! It looks like it was an amazing trip!

  39. 139
    pluschei says:

    Wow, that was absolutely amazing, Melissa! thank you so much for putting in the time and energy (while you are still adjusting to Eastern Standard Time, at that) My husband and I went 4 years ago about this time of year (and it was hot then) for our 25th anniversary. We just watched the video together and could remember the places and loved being able to say the names of the places from the pics. Thanks again for sharing this with all of us. Your photos are excellent. (loved the little girl on the steps, so precious)…bless you, love, Pam in San Diego oh, Congrats on your recent graduation….

  40. 140
    Shannon Costanzo says:

    Awesome job with the slide show. Great choice of music too. The pictures were beautiful. What a great experience you all have had. Thanks for sharing your moments.

  41. 141
    Rebekah says:

    Powerful images in the video slide show (and the smiling camel was pretty cute)!! Thanks for sharing a glimpse of what the trip to the Holy Land held for the ladies who went!
    What strikes me is that we need to pray that the people who live there do no grow cold to the significance of the place they live and the love the Lord has for them, in wanting them to return to Him.
    SO look forward to hearing more…in the weeks and months to come!

  42. 142
    Becky says:

    Great pictures,all of them beautiful! Not too sure about the fish,but awesome. I can tell the women attending were moved by the experience.Thanks for sharing.

  43. 143
    Lisa Curtis says:

    Dear Beth,
    Just watched the slideshow by Melissa. Brought tears to my eyes, a smile to my face and a prayer of thanksgiving in my heart. Tomorrow we will have a graveside service for the burial of our grandson who was stillborn on May 30th. We are also celebrating the life of his identical twin brother who lives today and makes us smile with pride each minute as we move from grief to joy faster than a roller coaster can drop from its highest point. I covet your prayers as our families experience something we have never experienced before and a peace that surpasses all understanding as we try to accept what has just happened. My 2010 story could go on and on with life changing events in our family but this one truly needs some powerful prayer.

    I have enlisted 3 women and myself to begin “Ruth” on Thursday, June 24th. While reading your blog the Lord would not let go of my heart to do this study even in the midst of an event filled year.

    Thanks so much dear encourager.

    Lisa Curtis

    • 143.1
      Amanda says:

      Lisa, I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandson. That breaks my heart. I’m praying for you and your family right now. Also thanking God for the life of his brother. May God give Him a double portion of might, favor, and Christ-likeness as He grows up.

      • Lisa Curtis says:

        WOW. Just thought to check and see if you replied. This is my first attempt to communicate via blog. Call me slow but nonetheless when we returned home from the services I looked. The minister today was a dear friend and one who married my daughter and son-in-law 2 1/2 years ago. He was struggling to find the words of comfort but one of his points and requests from the Lord was that Wyatt would receive double blessings of Ryder’s gifts and talents. I had ask for prayers for a peace that surpasses all understanding. After the service Emily and Mark both told family in attendance that they felt that peace and it was a good day. Thank you for your prayers.

        Also Summer Bible Study book came today while I was gone. CANNOT wait to dig into it.

        Words already aren’t good enough for the thanks I send to you for what is to come.

  44. 144
    Sherry says:

    Thanks…it was beautiful and I LOVED seeing it…and I worshipped!

  45. 145
    joyce says:

    Watched the whole thing, Melissa. It was fabulous! Great job.

  46. 146
    liz says:

    Beautiful Melissa Thank you!

  47. 147
    Allison C. Lee says:

    12 minutes….I could have watched it for an hour, Thank you. Longing for a glimpse….
    Love y’all
    Allison C. Lee

  48. 148
    Bobbi says:

    Wow. I was left speechless. The thing that fasinated me the most was the Wailing Wall. I was not familiar with the custom of putting notes of prayer in the cracks, I actually had to go look it up to see what that was. And the tomb, amazing! Thank you so much for sharing, I will be passing it on to my 6 year old (new Christian!) son. Seeing pictures of what we have only read about puts it in a new perspective.

  49. 149
    Tanya says:

    Thank you Melissa. Stirred my heart, especially the sign that said “He is not here. He is risen.”

  50. 150
    all shall be well says:

    Thank you so much Melissa, that is so very beautiful…….


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