When I was writing my doctoral dissertation in 2005 I discovered something about myself that explained a lot to me: I am most definitely a concrete, sequential thinker/learner. What this means is that I am practical, detailed and organized. It also means I have a hard time relating to abstract ideas and information. It helps if I can see, touch and smell things rather than just be informed abut them. Interaction with real things expands my learning and growth exponentially.
This is one of the reasons I have committed to traveling to Israel this summer during my sabbatical. For my entire life I have heard or read for myself the stories found in the Bible. I have studied the theology that grows from the pages of Scripture. I have looked at maps of its landscapes, watched documentaries of its cities and followed the news affecting the Holy Land. But I have never been there or seen it myself. This is something I feel I need to do in order to grow in my faith and in my vocation as a pastor, teacher and leader of God’s people. This trip will be part study tour, part mission trip and part spiritual pilgrimage.
I am taking this trip to Israel during my first sabbatical from my work with the people of TNLChurch. This sabbatical is my opportunity to rest, to spend some time being a student, to reflect on my own journey as a follower of Christ and to be inspired anew. My two week trip to Israel with an experienced friend and guide is just a part of this very special time away. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for me between June 20th and August 1st, that I would see what God desires for me to see, hear what I should hear, let go of what I should let go of and believe what he longs for me to believe.
The cost of my trip is potentially prohibitive but I am trusting God to provide it. If you believe in the ministry that I do daily, if you can relate to the need for personal challenge and growth, or if you care for the community that I work in, which will benefit from all that I learn and see and become as a result, will you consider giving toward my sabbatical trip to Israel? If you would like more information about my trip, how I think it will impact me or how you can help with the expenses please follow this link (which is only up until March 31) or contact me personally.
Thank you for your prayer and support.