3 Benefits of Journaling on Your Holy Land Tour

How journaling on your journey gives you a reservoir for your head and heart.

One of my first trips to Israel was a field study course I took at Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition to studying Carl Rasmussen’s excellent atlas, the course required I journal daily on my tour.

3 Benefits of Journaling on Your Holy Land Tour

(Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee)

When I first read the requirement to journal daily on tour, I rolled my eyes. Really? First of all, I never really journaled before. What’s more, wasn’t I there to study the land of Israel? I wanted input, not output. What good would journaling do?

To my surprise, the benefits were huge. So much so, I have journaled every time I’ve gone to Israel—even for those tours I helped to lead.

Here are 3 benefits I’ve discovered that journaling can give you on your Holy Land tour.

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God’s Pop Quizzes and Your Struggling Answers

When the tests come, we can believe what is true or what is false.

God’s tests are most often pop quizzes. You don’t see them coming. If you knew you would be running late tomorrow morning, you’d prepare ahead of time. But that’s not a real test.

God's Pop Quizzes and Your Struggling Answers

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

A real test hits your blindside. It tests the mettle of your theology, and often, it even seems to contradict it.

  • You have walked with God, but a family member suddenly gets terribly ill.
  • Your integrity on the job has been stellar, but someone else gets the promotion.
  • You have worked hard on a project, but the doors for its success stay closed.
  • You get an unexpected phone call with news that chills your soul.

In the end, the pop quizzes we experience usually boil down to one thing.

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Why Self-Promotion Isn’t Always Bad

One question hits the reset button on our motives

Okay, I need to be honest. I’m glad my book launch for Waiting on God is over. Self-promotion can make me really uncomfortable. But not for the reasons you think.

Why Self-Promotion Isn’t Always Bad

(Photo by Photodune)

It’s not that self-promotion is wrong, per se. It doesn’t have to contradict humility. (I’ll share why in a minute.) Rather, all that self-promotion made me at times concerned (this is tough to admit) that I might appear anti-humble. Which, in effect, is the same as being anti-humble.

Maybe you’ve been there. By being concerned with how we are perceived, we waver between the high road of humility and the swamp of pride. It’s really tough to move forward in the Christian life when ego is stuck to your shoes like a glob of gum.

Know what I mean?

But just because our motives are often mixed (even on our best days), that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t self-promote at times.

Here’s why that’s true. And here’s one question that helps us hit reset on our motives.

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A Special Shout-Out to My Launch Team!

The launch of my book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing, enjoyed the help of 27 individuals who assisted me to get the word out.

Each of these folks agreed to read the book, share a review on Amazon, and help spread the word during launch week. But most importantly, they prayed. Here’s the launch team listed with their blog/Web site (if applicable). (more…)

Take a devotional break for a moment and watch the beautiful words of Isaiah come to life.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him. —Isaiah 53:6

Sometimes I think God created particular creatures simply to provide potent metaphors He could use to teach us with. Picture yourself as one of these sheep—and the Lord as your shepherd.

We all have wandered. But the good news is our Good Shepherd sought us out—and died for our sins. Jesus Himself said:

If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? —Matthew 18:12

Question: How does seeing these words visually help you internalize their truths? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

(Video from SourceFlix.com)

Today is Your Last Chance to Get 7 Bonus Items

You can also gift the bonus items if you get a book for a friend.

Waiting is a good thing. But sometimes, it’s not such a great idea. Last week my new book, Waiting on God, launched. To celebrate, I offered 7 bonus items (worth $160.78) to those who buy the book and email me the receipt. But time is running out.

Waiting on God

If you have already bought a book, you can still get a copy for a friend—and they can also enjoy the free bonus items! Many have already taken advantage of this offer.

But tonight it goes away forever. So, what are you waiting for?


Questions? See the FAQ page. Thanks!