Sep 14

Dwelling Among Us, Day 1

Well here I am! I made it to Israel and it still doesn’t seem real. I just can’t believe it.

Our flight was long, by far the longest time I’ve spent on a plane. I quickly became fascinated watching the GPS of the flight. Those of you who are professional travelers probably see this all the time. As I watched the graphic of our plane flying across the world, I realized how small I am and how big the world is.

Flight Path Israel


And then I noticed we flew right over the toe of Italy~ that’s a first! Does anyone else geek out over these things?

Toe of Italy

Most of our group arrived today, just a little excited, can you tell? We have a few more joining us in the coming days.


This still doesn’t seem real, but rather than spend my time in disbelief, I’m turning my focus to the reality that I am here and there’s a purpose for it. I don’t want to miss that purpose just because this seems to good to be true.

Our teacher and leader for this trip picked us up from the airport and as he drove us, passion filled his voice as he began to tell us about this land and the rich history it holds. “This valley is where Joshua stood when God made the sun stand still.” (#SayThatAgain what???)  Yea, things like that.

Then he brought us to such a sweet place that we get to call home for the next week. I get to room with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world~ my beautiful friend Lisa Allen!  When we walk out of our room, this is what we see~

View From Our Room Israel

I know where I’ll be having my early morning quiet time this week!

This trip is not just a tour of the sites of Israel. It’s a little different. It’s actually a study trip where we will be studying the book of John from the Bible as we journey.

John 1:14 really stood out to me today:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Right here in this land, this is where “the Word became flesh.” Let that soak in for a moment. Jesus was here. God walked the earth right here. He did miracles here. He knows how it feels it be human, just like us. He suffered trials and hardships. He worked hard. He knew what He came for and remained focused on that mission. He served his earthly purpose here, among us.  And maybe you won’t ever make it to Israel, but you made it to this earth~ am I right? This earth where “the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

And where today, He dwells within us.

Something to Think About

Look at John 1:14. Pause for a moment and really let that truth sink in. THAT really happened.

I love it when y’all share what’s on your mind! Please share any thoughts you have about his in the comment section. 

Good Night my friends (as I type it’s evening). Can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow! 

You can follow along on social media with these hashtags. #P31JohnStudy  #P31Israel15




  1. Ooohhh Melissa! You are truly abiding! How honoring and humbling to be in the same place Jesus was. It’s real! I know this trip is already life-changing. Prayers!

  2. Tara Parker-Ceballos says:

    Oh…Melissa, thank you so much for this!!! As I read your words and looked at the view…then went to John 1:14…”begotten” –meaning “the only was from the beginning” Son of God and they saw His Glory…and knew He was Grace and Truth!!!

    My heart swelled just thinking about that…I can’t imagine standing or even being in the same place where Jesus actually stood and touched people and talked to them, healed them…can’t wait until your next post.

  3. I am in awe of your journey and YES I geek out over stuff like the toe of Italy! Perhaps it is in our name. :) I can feel the Lord drawing you near and overwhelming you with His glory! Anytime I can be outside for my time with Jesus is special but that view and being so near so many Spiritual and historic milestones is giving me GODbumps! Sleep well my friend and I am praying you get MELISSA back!

  4. Jodi Breaux says:

    Such a great opportunity to soak up the richness of His love and word in the place it all happened. I am excited for you and can’t wait to hear about the word God gives you.

  5. Mary Jo Cyr says:

    I think you are so very blessed to be able to experience this! I’m so happy for you all! Soak in the blessing and keep reminding yourself that you are walking roads Jesus walked!

  6. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    I really enjoyed your blog.

  7. Wendy Downey says:

    What a blessing to not only hear about your incredible trip, but to experience the Bible coming to life through you! Chills and God-bumps! Can’t wait to hear more :-)

  8. Sheila Watson, P31 Small Group Leader says:

    Wow! How humbling to be where things “really” happened! Thank you for taking us on your journey. Praying He speaks to you and you receive blessings beyond your dreams. <3

  9. Melissa Henderson says:

    I am so happy for you all. What a wonderful blessing to be there and to travel with such great friends! I pray that you all will be spiritually nourished. I can’t wait to see more photos and hear/read all about your trip. Love and hugs to you all! :-)

  10. Sounds wonderful already!

  11. This is just so fascinating! We can journey with you through your blog posts!

  12. I am seriously so excited about this! So happy to get to follow along. Love you girls big!

  13. Oh Melissa, say that again, indeed! I am following along as you go and soaking up your wonder for each place our Christ stepped His feet.

  14. Melissa, I was in Israel in 1995 with Global Missions Fellowship. I walk the hills of Nazareth for a week sharing my testimony. So many sweet memories. I look forward to visiting the land again through your eyes. Blessings Diana Rockwell, OBS team

  15. Michele Nichols says:

    So very cool and inspiring to read your blog. I can’t wait to see what you share with us each day. I can only imagine the energy you will be feeling as you hold scripture in your hand and feel the terrain under your feet. So excited for y’all!!!

  16. Wow!!! I am so happy you get to experience this Melissa! You are so deserving of such an awesome learning opportunity!! And what’s so precious is that you are sharing with all of us here!!! ..

    And wow….

    “This valley is where Joshua stood when God made the sun stand still.” (#SayThatAgain what???) Yea, things like that.

    Being someone who loves to hear stories about history and who lived here and who did what…this just blows my mind that you got to see that in person with your own two eyes!!!

    Thank you so much for blogging about it and I’ll be praying for you all! Little ole simple prayers but praying!


  17. Melissa…how incredible and thank you for sharing your words and feelings. I have goosebumps from what you said. YES, Jesus walked this land. We should remember that always. Safe journey and be blessed. Amazing!
    Hugs, Gwen

  18. What a blessing to walk where Jesus walked. He saw the same amazing view you will enjoy every morning. I pray you feel God’s presence as you spend time in Israel. May God keep you and your group safe.

  19. We are so Blessed to be able to see and read what its like to be in The Holy Land.

    Enjoying what you shared and looking forward to the next blog.

  20. I woke up moments ago and dreamed about seeing you and others in Galilee where you walked in the water and I told you that we were praying for you and your trip and that the Bible Studies have been so encouraging. Just wanted to thank you for all you do and I pray your dreams are just as sweet and I need to get started on getting my passport myself!! :) <3

  21. Chris Graham says:

    Dear Melissa,
    I will look forward to each of your posts. I will see this beloved land through your eyes. I will treasure your words.
    I know God will reach down and touch not only you during this time but countless others. May our precious Lord protect all of you as your feet walk where our forefathers walked, talked, and lived.

  22. Debbie Hollingsworth says:

    Melissa, Blessings to you! What an awesome experience you will be having. Please share every nugget and tidbit, I want to soak it in. When Lysa taught, speaking of Israel and enlightening us in where Jesus walked, a whole new level opened up to me. That level will deepen as I hear your words, I know, not just for me but for you ladies and all the readers of this page. Don’t hold back, inspire us!

  23. Your words are so alive in the blog, it seems like I am right there with you and the other ladies. So happy you are including all of us in your journey. Praying God watches over your group and blesses your time there. ??

  24. Melissa,
    Thank-you so much for being willing to share this journey. I am very excited for you not only to have the opprotunity to go on such a trip, but to be able to do it with friends!
    Thank-you also for sharing the truth of John 1:14, how awesome it must be to actually be where Jesus walked. You are so right that it did actually happen. Sometimes we can read scripture and know that it is true. BUT to stop and really ponder…Jesus did dwell among us…

  25. It is amazing to think that The Word DID become flesh and dwelt among us! I think that often I am so familiar with this truth that I don’t stop and take the time to really let it sink in. Thanks for sharing while you are on this journey and therefore causing me to soak in this reality.

  26. I love that I can live this with you through your words and pictures (send lots of pictures). It’s almost like being there. ALMOST.
    I’m so happy you get to have this journey.

  27. Melissa thank you for taking us along with you. I am excited to see where you are led. More Pics please, I may never get there, but sure would love to see the amazing places where those beloved men and women of the bible have trod.
    Praying for you.

  28. Melissa, Thank you for bringing us along for this journey. This makes me so excited for a trip to Israel. My husband and I have been wanting to go…just trying to work out a longer trip away from the kids has been difficult. Hopefully in the next couple of years! John is my favorite book of the Bible, and this kind of tour sounds AWESOME to me. Enjoy!

  29. I remember a similar experience 2years ago when my husband and I traveled to Sedona, Ariz. As we walked among the towering pines and between hard rocky faces of mountains reaching sky, felt the earth below our feet that took us through a wooded wonderland and marveled at the beauty and mystery of this earth, all I could think about was the love and awe Jesus must have had for this beautiful world. Did he touch that particular tree? Because surely he was here, too. Did he swell with wonder at that trickling stream and feel it’s coolness? Because surely he stuck his feet in that water. Did he rub a leaf between his fingers or hold a pine needle to his nose and embrace this life? He said, remember me, and I was moved to remember him as God, yes, but also a man who loved and lived and moved here on this planet. A man who wants to be remembered as a son, a friend, a brother, a man with a family. A family that traveled. A family with meal traditions and celebrations and memories. A man with an earthy family and an ,earth’ story. He doesn’t want to be forgotten by those he lived with here anymore than we do when we take that last breath. Remember me.

  30. and oh, I have been compelled to pray for you. And so I have. Shalom and safe travels, dear internet sister.

  31. Oh Melissa I am truly enjoying your blog and your pictures and walking along beside you through this amazing journey. Blessed by your words as always.

  32. Melissa, You are taking your self and giving to others by sharing with us on this beautiful journey. I am blessed by your selfless act to share. May all the dsires of your heart be reached in your endeavors. Stopping to reflect while on our own journey to spend time with Jesus is so refreshing. I am so thankful that Jesus still walks and talks with me. Take care now and know we are blessed by you.

  33. Wow, I just can’t imagine what it feels like to step in the same places that Jesus walked in. Thanks for sharing this trip with us. Have a safe and wonderful trip.

  34. Robin Hancox says:

    Wow, what an awesome trip you are taking. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us on line. I appreciate it and was very moved this morning by your pictures and message for today. have a wonderful time Melissa.

  35. Linda Coley says:

    I was Blessed to be there 3 years ago and it changed my life completely. Was able to really feel the Spirit and soaked it in. Anyone who is able to walk in those lands cannot come feeling different. Prayers for a safe meaningful learning experience.

  36. Sandy Ingram says:

    I am so excited for your adventure. I went to Israel in 1986 not claiming to be saved, just wanted a vacation and met the love of my life, JESUS! I wish I was there, so much has been uncovered since my trip. This will be a life changer for you! Blessings on you all.

  37. Having been in Israel in 2012, I am so looking forward to being blessed thru your Blog. Thanks you so much for sharing.

  38. Mary Tullila says:

    Wondering if this trip is thru Ray VanderLaan? Enjoy your sweet time there! I will be watching ….#bucketlist.

  39. Andrea Lomax says:

    Thank you for sharing with us that you made it to your destination safely! What an amazing place to be! Be renewed, be transformed, and be revived during this amazing time you have to walk in the footprints of Jesus! Blessings to you!

  40. Lana Archer says:

    Wow..would so love to do this….someday I might…blessings and thanks foe sharing this with us….

  41. Such a wonderful post! Will start reading along with you. Thank you for the photos, they make me want to visit. Can you tell us your guide/the company? Sounds fantastic to have someone who loves what he does. Prayers winging your way for your group. xo

  42. Melissa, thank you thank you for the wonderful pics and how you make us feel like we are sharing this trip with you!!! God Bless You my dear friend. Your words make me happy to read. God is already using you to bless so many of us here. Thank you.

  43. Praying for you all and the blessings you’ll receive. Praying for the Holy Spirit to touch each of your lives in more than ways than you could ever imagine. I’m thrilled for you to have such an experience.

  44. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us – Israel a country I’ve always wanted to visit and studying the book of John, one of my favourite books of the bible. I always strive to have the kind of relationship with Jesus that John did – to be so confident of my relationship with him as John, to be the disciple whom he loved. Bless you

  45. Tears came to my eyes as I took in your words and the pictures. Thank you. To know again that our Lord God walked on this earth. Loved us so much that he never took his eyes off his mission. Oh Thank you Jesus.

  46. Thank you?