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.

P31ArrivesInItaly2

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

 

Melissa
Sep 12

It’s My First Time

I don’t even know how to prepare. How do you prepare for your first time doing something that you know will be really special? But it’s something you really don’t even know what to expect?

I’m going to Israel tomorrow. “Melissa, let that sink in.”

I don’t know if it has. In fact, it hasn’t.

 

I’ve done what I can.

I have my adapter/converters for electrical appliances.

I have my Apple converter for my computer.

I got my U.S. dollars traded in for shekels.

I’ve packed my suitcase.

But I know there’s more waiting for me.

I have a new journal that I’m going to record my thoughts, insights, and teachings in.

I’m bringing an old Bible from the 90’s that has special meaning to me.

I’m going to be studying the Book of John on this trip.

I’m going with 12 other women who are ready to study God’s Word in the Holy Land expecting big things. And they are all smarter than me. Really they are!

I’ll be walking where Jesus walked.

I have no idea what to expect, but I know it’s big.

And I’ll be blogging my journey.

On a personal note, while I’m super excited to be going on this trip, my family lost someone who we dearly love this weekend. My husband’s dear grandmother, Big Granny, passed away on Friday. Jeff will be heading down to Mississippi for the the funeral and celebration of life on the same day I’ll be leaving for Israel. I want so badly to be with my family during this difficult time, but I also know that Big Granny would want me to go on my trip. It’s still hard and I would treasure your prayers for Jeff and his family.

We leave today. And “Just Melissa” is excited to meet with Jesus. I’ll keep y’all posted along the way.

And did I say that I can’t sit still for very long? 11-12 hour flight? Small price to pay I know, just being honest.

Have you had a “first time” experience recently?  How did you approach it?

***Follow me on Twitter & Instagram, @MelissaRTaylor for updates and Periscopes during my Holy Land Trip. As long as I have service, I’ll be logging my trip.

 

Melissa
Sep 10

I Became Unconfident As Just Me

MelissaTaylorOBS

Is anyone still here? If so, what a good friend you are! I’ve been away for a while, in fact I haven’t blogged in a year! This week though, I decided to come back. Why? Because I’m about to go to Israel. (More on that)

So what happened to me? Where have I been? Why haven’t I been writing on my personal blog the way I used to?

I lost my mo-jo. Seriously I did. I don’t even know the real meaning of mo-jo, but for me, that means my confidence. My confidence in being just me, Melissa.

Let me explain.  I am the Director of Online Bible Studies at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Oh, don’t let the big title fool you. Basically it means I lead Bible study online. And at first it really was that simple. But then it grew. And grew. And grew. Before I knew it, a one-woman shop became a 200+ woman team. We lead studies for thousands and thousands each year. Simple became complex. And while I’m confident as a leader, I became unconfident as just me.

Recently I was asked why I wasn’t taking part in the latest trend of  “Periscoping.” I was also asked why I wasn’t blogging anymore? I thought about it and had to confess that it was because I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. At least not anything that anyone would want to hear. Wait a minute … did I just say that? Since when do I not have anything to say?

I was able to obtain a dream job at Proverbs 31 Ministries because I believe in the value of others and what they have to say. I spend my time encouraging others that they matter. When I speak it’s usually because I see the potential in someone or I’m encouraging someone to believe that God is for them, they have what it takes, and they shouldn’t ever give up. But yet, I gave up. I gave up on me.

I’m going to Israel in 3 days. I will be walking where Jesus walked. I’ll be seeing things I’ve only read about. I realize this doesn’t make me more special than anyone else, but it is an opportunity I never dreamed I’d have. I won’t only be seeing sights, but I’ll be on a study trip, studying God’s Word in the Holy Land. “God, will you ignite a fire in me? Please bring your Word alive in my heart in a new exciting way. Will you meet with me as just Melissa? Can you show me that I have what it takes again?”

While that may sound selfish, I promise it’s not. Melissa needs to know that she is enough … just as Melissa.  Maybe you need to know that about yourself too.

Unconfident me is taking a step of faith and believing that she has confidence again. Israel is my turning point.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13 NLT

I’m going to blog my journey in the Holy Land next week and I’ll be doing that here on my personal blog. Maybe a few will be interested and read it or maybe it’s just for me. Confident Melissa is fine either way. haha

I never intended to hide behind a title in my life. But I realize I have been. Mom. Wife. Friend. Daughter. Online Bible Studies Director.

It’s time for the return of just Melissa. And just Melissa is enough.

See you in the Holy Land.

 

Melissa