Today is the 29th day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. This is the odd day, the leap day that comes around every four years. And it’s so interesting that we find ourselves preparing for the final day of our journey here and the land of the Bible and that’ll be taking place on this leap day. And in some ways that’s a happy thought, in some ways it’s a sad thought. Ad this is an important…a really important day on the tour. But since it’s the 29th day of February, since it’s leap year day…I mean…we don’t have a specific portion of Scripture to read for today. I thought we could just talk about some of the different things that we’ve experienced. So, I have Jill here. She’s been on the tour with us and she’s gonna share and I’m gonna share, I guess. I guess we’re gonna share. That’s the plan.
Brian: So, yeah, do you have…our journey begins in the wilderness. Are there moments for you that were, that were significant in the wilderness?
Jill: The wilderness was hard. I thought I would do a little bit better acclimating this time around and it actually ended up being worse. It took me off guard and I was literally thinking, “I cannot wait to get out of the wilderness or the desert or just, you know, this phase of the trip.” Like, I said, because it was harder this time around. And I thought, “second time” I’d have it down and “piece of cake.” And it wasn’t so much. So, maybe just all of the reflections that other people have talked about just about having to go through the wilderness, but not really wanting to at all. It’d be so easy to stay stuck there. Like it really is in your face reality of how easy it would be to stay stuck instead of having to get to…to go through, to be intentionally deliberate about getting through it. So, yeah, the wilderness was hard. I love…I love the desert. I love that first day of just the vastness of nothing. I…as somebody who has grown a fondness of silence and space. I love it. I think it is just stunning and beautiful to look at. It’s mind blowing to see how far it goes on, how…how far nothing goes on for miles and miles, like as far as your eyes can see. So, there’s the stark beauty of the wilderness of the desert.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. I like when we get to the bottom of Israel, the bottom tip to the city called Eliot and it’s on the Red Sea and just looking into Saudi Arabia, looking into Egypt, looking over onto Jordan, and being in Israel, and just like, it’s…we get to that point and I realize, man we are…we are here, we are in this stark desert and it just always seems to be a moment that I always remember from all the of the different trips. And then we head north, and the tabernacle is really remarkable, because we spend so much time reading about it in the Bible. And it’s, you know, this many cubit’s, and this many curtain holders, and just all of the different things that have to be built. And, so, to have that in context makes that make some sense. And just to walk-through that is always good. And yeah. I mean the story of the wilderness on this pilgrimage is the story of the wilderness of our lives. By the time that we complete those days we’re ready for the promise land. And, so, coming into the Galilee last time you were here was a different season of the year. And, so, this year they’ve had a lot of rain. And, so, it was just gorgeous. Very, very green. What was the Galilee like for you?
Jill: Galilea is gorgeous. I am a woman who loves her garden and so to see the lush crops of Israel and how they take pride in their vegetation, it was…it just did my heart so good. And the green…there were parts of it where the hills, the sky, the clouds just melded right into the mountains and the hills and it just literally took my breath away. Valley of the doves, especially. I thought was so beautiful. But yeah, who doesn’t love Galilee, the water, the sea of Galilee? It’s just…it’s gorgeous. That’s my language. Water’s my love language. So, I just…I felt my store…my…my soul was restored in a much-needed way, especially after being sick in the dry…in the wilderness. Yeah. Loved it.
Brian: Are there any places in the Galilee that…that you felt like God was moving in your life? Like, I mean, we don’t necessarily have to go region by region that we’ve gone through. What places are gonna be memories for you?
Jill: Well, I mean I think, you know, everyone has, everyone will have a different place because we’re so individually made and it’s just different things speak so specifically to our hearts. But it got me last time and got me even better this time, Peter’s Primacy is…ahh…I’ll get teary…but it is probably by far my favorite place here. Just…and I have to say…the shore was flooded…it was so much more flooded this year than last time. And I was…I was so anxious to walk out onto the beach and sit up on one of those rocks, like I did last time and just be. And I was disappointed that the shore was all the way back to the back of the building and I couldn’t…there was only a certain part I could walk to and then I was kinda stuck. But I just looked out and it was where the sea ended, and the sky began. You could not tell the difference. And I just have these moments where I am envisioning Jesus preparing breakfast for His disciples for the…for His closest friends, for His comrades, for His…the men that He has been with through thick and thin, the men that betrayed Him and denied Him and He still chose them. And I love to cook. I love to grow food. I love to cook food for my family. And it’s probably my love language of just making people happy through food. And, so, to think that Jesus loved His own enough to go to the water and prepare breakfast. And just…I’m just…I’m out there and I’m envisioning Him calling them in, you know? Like, “it’s done.” It’s ready.” And just the whole story of, you know, Peter denying Him, and Him just asking Peter, you know, “Peter, do you love me?” And ultimately, it’s, “if you love me feed my sheep.” And I love to feed His sheep, so that…it…it sounds even kind of cheesy, but it just is so specific to my heart that it shows me that humanity of the Savior that I love so much. And then of course the boat ride. That just always takes my breath away. You know, it’s hard to kind of have intimate moments in a group of a hundred people but just being able to go to the front of the boat, which looks like the back of the boat. But to be in awe of Jesus when He got out and walked on the water. And I just stand in awe, I just stand amazed at who He is, not really what He’s done when I’m here. But it’s for who He is. And that He loves us so much. I really…I’m always awestruck at His love when I’m here because this is the place that He chose to be at, and this is the place He chose to be intentional with people’s hearts. I just love that so much…I love that I get to see up close when I’m here.
Brian: Yeah. I do too. And we just had…well you mentioned the sea of Galilee. It’s…I just can’t remember ever seeing it this full. And that's…that’s been so needed. It’s been kind of re-seeding because they’ve been having to use the water. And, so, to have a full back up, like you said, at the church, to almost all the way up to the rocks which, I’ve never seen it like that before and it’s just beautiful. And the hills are just green, and the new flowers are coming out, the yellow flowers all over the place. And, so, being at the Mount of Beatitudes and being able to read The Sermon on the Mount. That was just really meaningful. It always is, but on a lovely day it’s just really spectacular. And, so, the…the Sea of Galilee isn’t the only thing that’s full. The Jordan River has been full, and it’s been flooding down in the desert and that’s usually where we go to baptize people and this…we had to kind of move to another location…the Jordan River. And that is always one of the most meaningful things for me, but it was particularly meaningful because Ezekiel made his…made his decision to be baptized on his own. Like he…we didn’t throw him in the water. We didn’t ask him. He wanted this. And, so, to come down into that cold water, make his profession of faith and go under that water and feel the shock of it and get out and climb up on me. It was just…never gonna forget that.
Jill: Yeah. That was obviously…that was…but it’s also personal. And, so, it's…you want to share it with thee world but wanna kind of keep it to yourself too because I’m telling you that boy could not get in the water fast enough to do that. And if just people knew the back story of just the general anxiety that he has had over the last couple of years of being afraid and being away from us and just looking at us to see if it’s okay to talk to people sometimes where, “am I gonna get in trouble?” And I was trying to hold him back so he could be the last because I didn’t want him to be freezing waiting in a group of people because I love the baptisms and I want to see everybody. He would not wait to the end. He just wanted to go so bad and everyone graciously let me go to the front and watch him. And such an unbelievably beautiful moment and just walking back with him he was just smiling from ear and he said, “mommy, it feels like Jesus is hugging me.” It was just unprovoked, genuine, genuine feeling that he had, and he was…you could tell he was really proud of himself for…for making that decision. And, of course, everyone was so gracious…gracious in telling him how proud he was…they were of him. And, so, it was a really special moment here this year.
Brian: Yeah. That is…I mean that is always a highlight for me and most everyone gets baptized. So, that's…just it takes a little while but it’s just a really, really…it’s one of those moments where it seems like things start clicking, things start making sense to everybody. Like that, “I’m really here. I’m walking in the footsteps of Jesus.” And we had done the marriage…the marriage renewal ceremony before that, and that’s also amazing. It’s just amazing how meaningful something can be when you’re really trying to be in the moment with God. And being here helps with that tremendously because that’s the whole focus. And, so…
Jill: I wanted to say something about that because this is only my second time, but you said something at the beginning of the ceremony. I…I was amazed at the amount of people renewing their…their vows. But you said something at the beginning where you said just close your eyes and take a moment and think of how far you’ve come in the journey of getting here in your marriage. And that…you can feel the weight that in the room. And just being there with you…before I sat in the back and this time, I got to be up front with you. I got to see people’s faces and it was incredible, the amount of the men who were teary during that. I guess I just always think that women are far more emotional beings. But you could see the men physically moved by the weight of just that pause in that moment and that was really special to be able to see that and share that this year.
Brian: Yeah. I mean, I agree. I…it’s such an honor to be a part of that moment and be included in that moment with anybody. And to be able to do it on this trip is just humbling. And I mean there are many…we could start talking about stories in the group…just all that happens as lights go on in different places, and it’s just like, “oh. now I finally see this. I will never think about that story the same way again now that I’m walking here.” And, so…I mean…there’s a day we go up on the Golan Heights and I love it up there. It’s so fertile and it’s…there’s less people and…and it’s super super green this year. Like they’re having a really, really…it looks like a really great year. And, so, you know, getting to the Syrian border and just understanding how fortunate that we can be and just praying for those brothers and sisters who…I mean, just…they are trapped because of all kinds of different circumstances. To face outward, that’s something that’s really meaningful for me each year.
Jill: Yeah. I mean…I don't…I think we could share a million different stories and people probably just don’t want to hear about our experience but there was one lady in particular that we were in the gift shop together afterwards that just couldn’t stop sobbing and she said, “I just didn’t now. I just didn’t know that this existed.” And, so, there’s been these little moments, like you said, of awakening that you’re just witnessing in the group throughout, all throughout the grouping. I think what I love so much is that we…we don’t have to be the ones to fix it for people. I love just sitting in the questions with them and being a part of that too. There was another precious lady from our group who came by herself and yesterday she just had an “ah-ha” moment that I got to be a part. I loved that I got to be a part it with her, just witnessing it. And She said, “I’m already known. I just have to be…” And that is such…I just feel like it’s such the journey of awakening, like of…of the moment you realize it’s like, “God already sees me. He already knows me. He already loves me. I don’t have to strive. I don’t have to do. I just have to be.” And that was such a beautiful moment to share that with her yesterday right before the…the wall where we prayed together. So, really, really special moments like popping up all over the…the trip but those “ah-ha”, like being part of people’s awakening is maybe the greatest joy of what we get to do together.
Brian: There’s no question about it. And this whole thing is…is geared and aimed and tailored for God to move…like it’s…you’re right…we’re not here to fix anything that…we’re here to focus our affection and our attention and our hearts on God and open ourselves completely to whatever He has for us. And when…to bear witness to that. It’s hard actually sit here and talk about places anymore because like, you know, it’s not really a travelogue. By the time we get to this point in the trip so much has happened that our hearts are all full and our minds are all full and our bodies are all tired and it’s been a pilgrimage it’s been a long and difficult journey to someplace holy. And, so, even getting to Jerusalem and going through that, just finding how different it is from any other place on earth but any other place that we visit on this trip as well. It’s just amazing. And, so, like we’re sitting here on leap day getting ready to go through the final day together and walk in the footsteps of Jesus by following Him on his last days and I just think ahead to that and it’s been an honor to be here.
Jill: I agree. And even just like you said, you know, moments talking with people and their…the shift, just a visible shift in our son’s heart, our 19-year-old that’s with us too on this trip that just, you know, you hope and you long for that can happen on its own and only God can do and being…being able to witness that too is just, you know, does a mom’s heart good. Yes. Such beauty. Such beautiful moments, such beautiful moments in the relationships made with the people in the group together, how they care for each other, how they care for the bus driver, how they care for the tour guide, how they care for feeble and the tired and the lonely. And really, sometimes I feel like we just have to get out of the way and let them do it and it’s so beautiful to watch.
Brian: Yeah. It’s unbelievable beautiful. It’s one of the beautiful things about the Daily Audio Bible community. You, like, you can listen every day and be involved in people’s stories and praying for another and then you do get the opportunity to be around when we get the opportunity to be together. It’s the same thing and really is a beautiful thing to watch. So, I…my body is tired, and my mind is full, and my heart is full, and we have this one more day and then we’ll be making our journey home. And, so thank you for your continued prayers. This day that’s in front of us is one of the most important days and we have to live into that. It kind of puts the exclamation point on our journey together. So, keep continuing to pray for us over the journeys…the journeys home. So many of us are going in so many directions after this. But I believe that we are knitted together, and we’ll never forget the time that we had here in the land of the Bible in 2020.
Jill: I agree. So, where do we do:
Brian: dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, it’s where you find out what’s going on.
And well, we’ve just been telling you what’s been going on here. And we got one more day and then long, long journey home. And our prayer is that transformation has begun and will continue long, long, long after we return. In fact our prayer is that we won’t ever be the same again, that by compressing time and…and going through all that we’ve gone through over these last week and a half, that that will change the way we live when we reenter our lives with eyes to see and ears to hear in ways that…that we hadn’t considered before. And, so, thank you for your prayers over that.
And it feels a little weird to have…have this time on a day and not have any Bible to read. I don’t ever I guess go through a day that I don’t read the Bible. So, let me just end out time together with the 23rd Psalm, a Psalm inspired by a place, a place that we were able to see, a notoriously dangerous portion of the Kedron Valley opening up down in Jericho, the valley of the shadow of death.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. Yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointist my head with oil. My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Father, we thank you for that promise and we thank you that it’s rooted. We’ve been able to even understand how that came to be said and how deeply important it is to our journey of life together with you and life together with one another. And, so, we thank you Holy Spirit for all that you’ve done and all that you are doing. Come Jesus we pray in your mighty name, we ask. Amen.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Harold this is Asia from Chicago. I am so happy to hear that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and that, yes you are part of our family and we love you. You are my brother now and I am your sister. We’re family. I think it’s really cool that you’re running the Chicago Marathon. Maybe I can come and watch. I’ll try to like, get a sign of something and I can root for you as you run. That would be so awesome if I could see you and meet you and just like give you a hug face-to-face. So. here’s a…a virtual hug through this podcast and eventually, you know, whatever will maybe link up at some point. But I just wanted to say, so proud of you, so happy that you’re running this race with us, not just the marathon but the spiritual race that we’re running together. You have no idea how much this has blessed my day. I’m going through a lot right now and just hearing that you are now part of the family it’s seriously turning my day around. So, I live in Roscoe Village if you’re familiar with that neighborhood. And, yeah, I can’t wait to see you run. I’m gonna…I’m gonna support you dude. I’m gonna support you and I’m gonna get my…my sister and my brother, we also listen…like my actual immediate sister and brother…we also listen to Daily Audio Bible. Yeah, everybody that lives in Chicago, let’s all root for Harold. We should root for him when he runs his marathon. Yeah, okay, cool. I’ll talk to you guys later. If you could please be praying for me, going through one of the hardest seasons of my life. I’m surviving but I want to be doing more than surviving. But, yeah, God’s getting me through it. Love you guys. Be praying for me. Harold, again, love you brother. Welcome to the family. This is Asia from Chicago.
Hi everyone, this is Soaring on Eagles Wings from Canada. My heart is just breaking as I heard the sister of Karen called in to say that Karen, her husband Andy, they have two sons Theo and Ben. Ben committed suicide and was found by his mom. Also, that Karen is the caretaker of her dad who’s in hospital with a brain hemorrhage and their non-Christian family. And my heart just breaks. As a parent we don’t want our children to go before us and especially in such tragic situation. And they don’t know you as their Savior. So, God of all comfort, wrap Your arms around about them, draw them close. Open their eyes to see You. Give them seeking hearts and send someone their way, Lord God who would help them to understand who Christ is and how You can be their source of strength at this time. Be with the whole family. Lord God give them wisdom, understanding. Sometimes I don’t even know what to pray. My heart is so grieving, but You know. And, so, I lift them up to You Lord God. Be with them now. Give them all that they need for such a time as this and at the end of all of this Lord may they come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. And I thank You that her dad will be healed, and he’ll be home to be with the family to help to pour out his love on his daughter and the remainder of the family. And I give You praise in Jesus’ name. If you hear a pur pur that’s my cat Nicole. He’s joining with me in prayer this morning. Bless you.
Hey family this is his little Cherry in Canada. And guys I just wanted to share something with you that I’ve discovered in the last few months. It’s called adoration. I don’t know how much time you spend specifically on adoration in your relationship with the Lord, but I would highly recommend it. It has changed everything for me in the last little while. Adoration is different than coming to God with your prayer list or having your, you know, devotion time when you read a certain amount of Scripture. And adoration is just simply getting alone with the Lord, telling Him what He means to you, loving Him, lavishing your love on Him like Mary did when she poured the ointment on Him. And I’ve never found anything that has softened the soil of my heart like adoration. And as I’ve been giving more time to the Lord in adoration, I’ve found that, although my situations haven’t necessarily changed, I feel differently about those same situations. I just feel differently about everything because I’ve turned my eyes upon Jesus and looked full in His wonderful face and the things of earth have grown strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace because He is so beautiful. He is so wonderful that simply to see Him, simply to kiss His feet reminds me that He’s the only thing that matters. So, I highly recommend family that you spend lots of time in adoration.
Today is February the 21st, 2020 and I’m calling to request prayer meeting today. I have a saying, “today’s me tomorrow is you.” We take turns in this lifetime don’t we DAB listeners. I developed a small lump in my right breast and am going to the doctor to have it checked out at 3:30 PM. I would appreciate your prayers over me, and I will also keep you updated. And I want all of you to know I always pray for all the requests coming in and I love you all and this is Angel from California. God bless.
Hello this is Pink Paint. It’s February 22nd and this message is for Artifact in Bakersfield California. I don’t know why but God really highlighted you to me. And my friend I am partnering with you on prayer. I’m praying for complete restoration for you, complete healing and I ask you pray for me as well and let’s watch what God does.
Today’s February 22nd and this is Wide Spread Jesus out of Omaha Nebraska. I’m a first-time caller and have been listening since April of last year. I’m so grateful for the Daily Audio Bible app and the strong community of prayer warriors. I’ve had multiple thoughts of calling over the past few months and never have. So, today is the day. At first, I didn’t listen to the prayer wall but once I started it’s been profound in my faith. I pray with the prayer requests from day-to-day and I’m filled with great joy when I hear the praise reports. This community is truly a blessing. I’ve been praying for the Diana Davis family, specifically Michael and his brother. It’s obvious Diana Davis was an amazing woman of God that impacted many. It reminds me of my mom when I lost her to breast cancer at age 15 which was 23 years ago. Stay strong and seek God for all things for one day we will be reunited with our moms in heaven. I also want to give a shout out to Harold from St. Louis. Amen brother, welcome to the kingdom of God. I’ve been following your calls and when I heard you give your life to Jesus, I shouted out with praise and glory to God. That’s what life is all about, being disciples of Jesus and honoring the God Almighty. Thanks to Brian and the DAB community for all you do. You are all loved. All praise and glory to God. Amen. God bless you all.
Hi family this is Lori from San Diego and today is February 22nd. I want to give all those who are struggling with sobriety a message of hope. I was like the man in the cave tortured by demons that called themselves Legion. I tried for many years to get sober. When I got a DUI and totaled my car, I knew I was going to die. So, I tried one more time. Fear is a great motivator and kept me sober for three years. But in my third year of sobriety I realized the one thing missing in my life was God. I had never given Him a chance. I had such anger towards Him because I was born with alopecia and was horribly bullied as a child. I decided that if I was going to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him that perhaps I should try to get to know Him. In 2018 I tuned into DAB every day and for the first time in my life I read the Bible. During that year I was convicted to go to the holy land, and I went on the 2019 pilgrimage. A year ago, today I was baptized by Brian in the Jordan River. I went last because I was so terrified about taking my wig off in front of people which I had never done before but my desperate need for freedom from all bondage gave me the courage. Real freedom means I have nothing false within me and nothing to hide from anybody. So, I took my wig off and I stepped into that river. I didn’t feel cold or even water on my scan. What I initially felt was unworthy and shame but when Brian dunked my head under the water, and I came back up I was freed. Everything that I believed defined me floated into the Dead Sea and I was reborn. Today I have six years of sobriety and I love the Lord with all my heart. So, my message to you is this. Please don’t give up on yourself or on God. He is more powerful than any legion of demons. Give God a chance to allow the sunlight of the Spirit into your heart. God is your biggest fan and He loves you. If He can save a wretch like me there is nothing He won’t do for you. God bless you. I love you.