Three Things to do Between Now and May.
Holy Land Prep Steps
Welcome to the first post of our Israel Tour Newsletter.
First off, I am so excited to be going to Israel with you all, and I cannot wait to be a part of your life-changing trip to the land where our Bible was written. Each day we will walk where the people of God walked, see and learn about their lives, and gain fresh insight into portions of scripture that assume you know the lay of the land! Our trip is fast-paced. In 10 days, we will walk through the story of the Bible using archeological sites and cultural experiences as our guide. At times, you will feel like you are drinking from a fire hose, and you'll need a bit of time on the bus to (as Carissa and I's guide RVL put it) wring out your sponge. The brain only has so much capacity for information in a given day, and a few of our days, we may get near that limit.
The great thing about how God made our bodies and minds is that that limit for information is not fixed. Here are three things you can do to increase your capacity and thus increase the enjoyment/impact of our upcoming pilgrimage:
1.) Begin a regular exercise routine. The better your body feels, the better your mind will work. Some aches and pains are inevitable (I will bring plenty of Advil!), but the better your body feels, the better your mind will work. I would recommend walking 2 miles a day 3-5 times a week between now and May. It will get your body in shape and allow you to focus on what you are seeing and learning instead of how your body feels.
2.) Learn the timeline of the Bible. GTI will be sending you backpacks with various helpful things for the trip, including a study guide. That study guide has a timeline of the Old and New Testaments. Committing that timeline to memory will be immensely helpful during our tour. If I am telling you about a renovation done in King Hezekiah's time--knowing that the Assyrians were at the gates and Isaiah was the prophet of the day will enrich your understanding of what you are seeing. Of course, I will explain as much as I can--but the more you know, the better the information will fit into your brain.
3.) Read "The Source" by James Michener and "The Epic of Eden" by Dr. Sandra Richter. Both books are on Audible, so you can listen to them as well. "The Source" is a historical fiction book that will teach you a bit about archeology and help you begin to think about the historical experience of the people of the Bible. "The Epic of Eden" is the best introduction to the Old Testament in existence. If you read it--you may know "the punchline" of some of my lessons, but I think you will get more out of them by being familiar with the concepts I am teaching. I am not an original thinker--everything I know I've learned from smarter and better men and women.
Happy Preparation and Happy New Year!