No pics to upload this morning, just wanted to journal a few thoughts so far before we leave the Galilee.

It’s been an amazing journey so far. I can hardly believe we’ve only had two days of touring and I feel like we’ve seen so much–300+ photos already!

Before I left home, my hope was to really meet God here in a unique way. I’d spoken with many people who said when they hit the tarmac they could feel His presence, and I didn’t want to miss that. When we landed, the excitement about the reality of the adventure hit home, and I felt lik dancing and screaming and crying all at the same time, but I only managed applause when the wheels of the plane bounced on the ground, and it took til the morning sunrise on the Galilee to really realise this is not only where Jesus was, but that He is here in a very different way.

The sense I get from our touring around this region is an understanding of Jesus as a one-on-one Lord. I think in some way I pictured the disciples following Him around hanging on every word, but not necessarily understanding the kind of relationship they might have had. But the intimacy of this land, the small size of the lake that surprised me, the closeness of a synagogue site to a home–this was a shoulder-rubbing, neighbor-overhearing little town where Jesus really lived with His family and friends. I’m so glad He’s still that for me, and my mental picture of what that looks like is very different now!

So far the highlight for me has been baptism in the River Jordan. I don’t know how this journaling will come across, if I can explain it well enough, but let me try. I went into the water thinking of this as my declaration of love for Jesus. My action. And my action as an adult, because I was baptized as an infant, so this wasn’t re-baptism because that didn’t “take,” but it was because I wanted to be on record making this commitment as an adult, and where better than the River Jordan? So, as I said, this was me taking an action.

I don’t know why I didn’t expect God to make a move, too; but I came up out of that water a changed woman. I feel the power of God in a new way, as if I can see doing things I never thought I could before. Making changes in my life I’d partially given up on. Taking actions in areas I felt powerless to do a thing. Hopeful for something new. Does that make any sense?

It’s given me joy inside that is just pervading everything else. Yesterday when we were all exhausted, overheated, dripping with sweat, inside I still thought, “Let’s go see more!” I had an excitement when I heard “one more stop” even though my body and brain screamed “No!” And I did let my body and brain win–joined in with the others in bemoaning having one more stop to make. (I really was too tired, and didn’t want to upset anyone by being Miss Pollyanna!) But inside I still thought, “Yeah, we can do this!” Given crazy traffic jams they decided to cancel the last stop and try to go there this morning, but the inside and joyful me would have gladly put up with a late night. Now the task will be to allow that joy to squash the human side of me that wants to whine, but I’m guessing that’s strong enough that it will take a bit to overcome that!

That picture in my head of trying to let the joy of the Lord overtake the humanity of me has made me think again about a drawing we were shown in my Bible Study Fellowship this year. Picture a large circle, with a smaller circle inside it. If the large circle is your spirit, how big would the inner circle be that represents how much of your spirit that is transformed into Jesus-like-ness? As I’ve been processing the baptism, I’ve been feeling like the “me” part of that diagram has great hope to start shrinking now, and that is an exciting thought!

Well the sun is just about up so it’s time to go take photos, so I’ll leave you for now. My next post will be from Jerusalem, how exciting is that!