It’s been on your ‘bucket list’ for a while. It’s time. Let’s see Israel together in 2023.

October 8 to 20, 2023.

You are invited to join Linda and me for a Bible Study Tour in The Land. This is an adventure where we will uniquely experience this special place. We will hike. We will feel the breezes coming off the seas and laugh as we are splashed by cool water in the desert. We will walk along rolling meadows and rocky crags. We will taste amazing foods. We will hear rushing waterfalls and the quiet prayers of men and women at the Western Wall.

Each day we’ll open the Word of God in about six different locations. We’ll read the Text. We’ll look around. God will speak to all of us in a very special way. Our hearts will be changed forever.

And yes, we will walk where Jesus walked.

The Sea of Galilee. The Mediterranean. Jordan River. Capernaum.

Jerusalem. Mount of Olives. Mt. Arbel. Jericho. Bethlehem.

Dead Sea. Qumran. Ein Gedi. Massada.

We’ll see The Land “from Dan to Beersheba, and from the Great Sea to the Jordan River.”



ITINERARY

Day 1, October 8.
Travel to Israel on Turkish Airlines through Istanbul, Turkey.


Day 2, October 9.
The Central Plains, the Shephelah. Jewish culture overview. Samson. David and Goliath.


Days 3-5, October 10-11-12.

Southern Desert. Ein Gedi. The Dead Sea. Qumran. Massada. Camel ride. Our three-night stay is in a four-star hotel overlooking the Dead Sea.


Days 4-6, October 13-14-15.

Travel north up the Jordan River, through Jericho to the Sea of Galilee Region. Mount of Beatitudes. Capernaum. Bethesda. Chorazin. Mt. Arbel. The Syrian border. Boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. We stay three nights at a working kibbutz where you can enjoy your morning coffee along the water’s edge.


Day 7, October 16.

Bet Shean. Mt. Carmel. Caesaria. Armageddon. Bethlehem.


Days 8-10, October 17-18-19.

Jerusalem. Mount of Olives. Garden of Gethsemane. Via de la Rosa. Church of Holy Selplecher. Temple Mount. Rampart walls walk. Yad Vashem. We’ll explore the ancient underground tunnels and walk on top of the walls of the Old City. We will stay three nights in a four-star hotel in Jerusalem.


Day 11, October 20.

Fly home from Tel Aviv, through Istanbul, Turkey. Thankful for all God has revealed to your heart while in The Land.


Total costs are to be finalized by November 2022, but at this time are estimated to be around $5,000 per person, all-inclusive (airfare from a major U.S. hub, 4-star hotel accommodations, fabulous food and dining, ground transportation, special excursions, tips — everything!).

We will host a Zoom info meeting in early October 2022 which will cover all your questions. Additionally, you can go to the GTI website, here, for more details, photos, packing lists, and stories. And click here for our trip blog from 2019. Or here for the trip blog from 2013.

We’d really love to begin to gather names of folks who might be interested in journeying with us to Israel. So, please send an email to rich@richlyspeaking.com to make sure you’re kept in the loop and invited to the Zoom call. Being on the call doesn’t commit you to anything!

This will be my sixth time exploring Israel. Like opening the Word, I learn something new each time.

We look forward to seeing you in The Land!

Shalom!

Redemption on the Day of Pentecost

GOD REDEEMS 3,000 SOULS — A LESSON FROM JERUSALEM’S SOUTHERN STEPS

There are steps in Jerusalem that used to lead to the Temple at the top of Mt. Zion. Thirty-one of them are still there. A wall blocks the remainder. You can visit them today. In Jesus’ day, the steps led all the way up to the main level of the Temple Mount. Everyone walked up these steps. Likely Jesus did. Often.

Many believe on these very steps, the Church was born. It is where the New Testament church received its power.

Continue reading Redemption on the Day of Pentecost

Passover Seder for Believers in Jesus (“Yeshua”)… a Haggadah.

Unleavened bread, or matzah, and four glasses of wine are key symbols used to celebrate Passover.

PASSOVER begins this Friday evening, April 15, 2022, on the Jewish calendar. Many Christians celebrate the holiday on the Thursday evening between Palm Sunday and Easter. A Passover Seder (pronounced SAY-der) is a meal and celebration that tells the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt and Pharoah. The Bible’s book of Exodus tells this story.

What follows is a Haggadah — or Story– that affirms Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Some may suggest it is misguided for Christ-followers to celebrate a Jewish holiday such as Passover. But I would say, Jesus is our Messiah. He was a Jew. This meal is likely the “Last Supper” He celebrated with the disciples in the Upper Room on the night He was betrayed, on the evening before Good Friday. It is very appropriate for believers in Jesus to celebrate the story of the Exodus, as it represents our own story of being in bondage to sin and death and our journey to freedom and life. In the days of Moses, life was given to people of faith by the blood of the lamb painted over the doorposts of houses. Today, we receive life by way of the blood of Jesus “painted” over the doorposts of our hearts.

This Haggadah was originally written for our family over twenty years ago, with input from various people including family friends who are Jewish. Note, most of the symbolic items have been a part of the Jewish tradition of Passover for centuries. Many were not a part of the tradition at the time of the “Upper Room” Passover. Our family added the red scarf/red ribbon as a way to visualize the doors of our hearts being painted with the blood of Jesus. Portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.

Passover lasts for eight nights. Feel free to celebrate a Passover Seder any night, not just the first night. Make it work for your family. This is a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to join you. Because of social distancing, maybe you celebrate via Zoom or Skype.

Before you gather, you’ll need a few key ingredients for your table:

Two candlesticks in candle holders.

Wine or grape juice. You’ll be pouring four glasses for each participant, so be sure to have enough on hand for everyone.

Matzah bread. You’ll need at least three full-sized squares on a separate plate wrapped in a cloth or linen napkin. Plus, you’ll want enough for everyone to enjoy as much as they’d like.

The Seder Plate includes items that we’ll feature throughout the evening, including: a lamb shank (you can get this from the butcher at your local grocery store), a dollop of horseradish, a sprig of parsley, charoset (which is a mixture that includes chopped apples, honey, and cinnamon). You will also need in separate bowls/small plates enough horseradish, parsley, and charoset for everyone to enjoy at least a small taste.

For your table, you’ll need a bowl of fresh water (like a cereal bowl) and a smaller bowl (like a ramekin) of salt water (just enough salt to taste salty, maybe 1/2 teaspoon).

A red ribbon, scarf or piece of yarn, about three-to-four feet in length, for each participant.

You’ll also want to have prepared your main course of the evening meal, and keep it warm in the kitchen. You’ll take the first 30-45 minutes of the evening telling the story.

In most families, the father will read through the narrative. There are times when there is a responsive or group reading as well, so it is helpful for everyone to have their own copy, or a shared copy, of the “script” for the evening. Also, this is a very family-friendly event! Children are encouraged to participate. There is a specific place where they are to ask questions, but if you’d like, feel free to allow them to interrupt with queries and laughter. Our Seder is a time bathed in much grace. Sometimes we recline on the floor (more on that later). One year, we actually roasted a lamb on an open pit in the backyard. We often have coloring pages and snacks available for younger children. Feel free to be as creative as you like as you demonstrate your love for God’s plan of redemption in the life of your family.

WELCOME

Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah! Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (PAH-sach)… Passover. This is the celebration of the most incredible feast on the Jewish and Christian calendars. It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments. It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration (see Exodus 12). It was a night of apprehension, fear, and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel. The Bible tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb and paint it on their doorposts. By following this command, the Angel of Death who moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes. But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his firstborn son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free. This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, sometimes called the “Last Supper,” a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room. There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal. We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable to us all.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah (hah-gaw-DAH), of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

John 1:29: The next day, John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Reading: Luke 22:7-20. (This can be read by one of the children).

Let us celebrate the Passover together!

Continue reading Passover Seder for Believers in Jesus (“Yeshua”)… a Haggadah.

Psalm 150

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 150:

God. Abba. Father.

Hallelujah! We praise you, LORD! We thank you for this beautiful conclusion of these prayers, hymns and ancient writings. They speak with love and strength and grace and power for today as well.

With all our being and with every kind of musical lyric and instrument, we offer our loudest and most joyous praise! When we think of heaven with its majestic throne and sparkling rivers of life, we know the language of eternity will not be English or Spanish or even Hebrew. The language of heaven is joyful worship and eternal praise!

Your every deed is too marvelous to describe. Your surpassing greatness has no words. All we can do is sing. From the bottom of our hearts! With every breath we take and every word we speak and every step we take, we give you glory and honor and praise!

We make a joyful roar of praise to you today! We join with every living creature in praising you, our Lord and King! Hallelujah!

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 149

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 149:

God. Abba. Father.

Hallelujah! We sing to you, oh Great King! It’s a new day so we sing a new song. We praise you for your faithfulness yesterday. When we gather today, we will testify to your love for us. We will tell of your wonders that have recently occurred in our lives. The healings. The provision. The impossible.

And we will sing with joyful instruments and a beautiful dance! Your word says you delight in us. You crown your humble children with the victory of salvation! We are blessed! So, we will sing as we worship, as we walk about our day, even as we lie down in sleep tonight.

You have given us the authority to defeat the enemy by the power of your word. The Word is Jesus. He is our strength and our battle sword. Thank you! When we are being attacked by the troubles of this life, we remember why Jesus came. When sickness takes the vitality from our bones, we will sing songs of the promise of healing. When our checkbooks are running on empty, we will proclaim assurances of your provision. When our hearts are broken and grieving, we will remember with hope the unconditional love and compassion you have for us. When the path is dark and confusing, we will say with confidence, “God will make a way!”

That is what makes us sing! We love you and worship you today! Praise your name! Jesus!

Hallelujah!

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 148

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 148:

God. Abba. Father.

We join with all creation today in praising you! We adore you. We honor you. We celebrate you. We admire you. We love you, Lord. You are the One True God. You have made everything in all creation.

We join with the stars, the sun, and the moon as they shine brightly proclaiming your governance over seasons. We accompany the clouds in singing your praises as they bring respite from the heat and give us water for our good. You made the heavens to last forever. Yet, we thank you for the promise that your Word, your Son, Jesus, will truly stand for all time.

We ponder the creatures of the sea and how they worship you with every wave of a fin. We are amazed at the strength of the tallest trees as they tower above the shrubs, their branches waving in adoration to you, their Creator. We see the animals of the forests as they live day by day. We thank you for our daily provision.

We stand with people of different backgrounds and races on the other side of the world who worship you. We are humbled to join your people everywhere, especially with those who speak or act differently than we do, as we all sing “Hallelujah!” We pray for unity among the nations. May we rejoice in both the things we have in common as well as the things that are different about each one of us. We are all your children. You have ordained that we all praise you, our Father and our God. Yours is only name worthy of praise!

May there be peace in The Land. May there be peace in our hearts.

Thank you for loving us all.

Because of Jesus,

Hallelujah!

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 147

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 147:

God. Abba. Father.

We sing and shout praises to you, Lord.  It is good. It is right. It is beautiful. Yes, praising you is all of that and so much more. For you are the One True God. Everything that is right is this world is at your hand.

You will bring your people back home to Jerusalem once again. You are doing what you said you would do, Jesus. You are healing the brokenhearted. You are bringing sight to the blind. You are setting the captives free. Thank you Jesus!

God, you are immense. You know each of the stars, by name. You are mighty. We thank you that when we bow before you, you lift us up. And to those who are wicked, you dash them to the ground. Teach us to be humble. We pray for the arrogant and the self-centered. May we all know your great love and compassion by the cross of grace.

We celebrate! We praise you! You are in control of this great earth. You make the rain and snow fall. The earth obeys your commands. You are our provider. We always have enough. It is hard for us to understand this truth: you delight in us. We are your people. We trust you. We worship you. You bless us.

You allow us to live in peace. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. May your Kingdom come to the Land, and all the earth, as it is in heaven.

We shout praises to your holy name!

We thank you for Jesus,

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 146

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 146:

God. Abba. Father.

Hallelujah! Praise your name! As long as we have breath, we will sing songs of great acclaim for you are worthy. Teach us to trust you every moment of every day. Forgive us when we elevate family, friends, jobs, or even churches and their leaders over you. Our greatest hope and confidence in this life is in you, the One True God. You are the one who blesses us. Thank you.

You are the one who made the heavens and the earth. You always keep your promises to us. You are faithful to all. We thank you for seeing that justice is given to the poor and the wronged. You feed the hungry. You free us all from those things that hold us back. You help us all to see the people of this world as you see them. You lift us up when we stumble and fall. You defend the orphan and widow. You love those who worship you.

You will reign forever and ever. You are in control. You are the God of the universe. You care for the plans of governments and desire peace among the nations. Yet you also care for how things are going in our lives and among our families. We are humbled by your love for us.

We praise you. We proclaim our love to you.

Through Jesus.

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 145

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 145:

God. Abba. Father.

It’s a new day to praise your name, oh great King! You are wonderful. You are faithful. You are great! You deserve all praise.

We pray for the generation that will follow us. And the next one. May they know you with awe and love and continue to tell the next generation of your faithfulness. As we walk about your creation, we see your glory and ponder the miracles we have witnessed in our lives. We pray for our children and their children. Be kind and generous to them. Bring them to a point where they worship you. Open their eyes to see your mercy. Open their hearts to receive your grace.

Thank you for being so compassionate to us all. You are patient with us, Lord. You are slow to anger. You love us and keep loving us, despite our failures and stubbornness. We want to be known as people who speak of your glory and power more than our own successes. We see beauty at your hands. We must tell others of your splendor!

We trust you, Father. You keep your promises. You help us up when we stumble. We ask you to meet our emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental needs today. Give us love, courage and faithfulness in our families and marriages.

Everything you do is kind and right and is motivated by your love for us. We are humbled. When we seek you first, you give us the desires of our heart. When we ask for help you are near. You take care of those who bow their knees to your loving grace.

We praise you! Our hearts are filled with joy. May every living creature praise your holy name.

We love you Jesus, our Messiah.

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 144

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 144:

God. Abba. Father.

We praise you today! Thank you for being with us, always! You are our rock, our fortress. You train us for life. You teach us how to succeed and how to persevere when we face adversity. We find safety and we rest securely in you, our refuge.

Sometimes we wonder why you care for us. The length of our lives, in the scope of eternity, is but a vapor. Yet, we were created in your image. We are all cherished in your sight. You love us unconditionally. You care deeply for us. Thank you.

Show your mighty strength to the nations. Show your power to every person. We know confidently that you will deliver us and rescue us when we are tied up by our sin or by those who oppose peace and grace. You came to set the captive free, to allow us to see the way you see, to heal the brokenhearted. We praise you!

Yes, we sing a new song to you, our great King! We find freedom in you alone! You will release us from the grip of those who tell lies. We seek your face. You are the way, and the truth, and the life!

We ask you to bless the next generation, our sons and daughters. May they flourish and be like mighty oaks – trees of righteousness. We open our hands and ask that you might bless us with every spiritual and physical blessing. You are our provider. You are our protector.

You are the One True God. We praise you. You are our King! We thank you! We are blessed.

Because of Jesus,

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.