“I lift my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Good morning from Houston where our group of twenty from Central is at the front end of a long five-hour layover on our way to Israel. There’s a long line of people trying to teach David Carver how to work his camera, Dick Archer has already run into a dozen people he knows, Elaine has spotted the Cinnabon and the¬†Pappadeaux, and, yes,¬†we still have Gail!

“He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

We’re stuck here until our early afternoon flight to Newark, where we’ll wait another five hours before boarding our overnight flight to Tel Aviv. Once we arrive in Israel tomorrow afternoon, it’s ten straight days of sight-seeing and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for which we’ve been planning and praying for several months.

“The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.”

We’re concentrating our time today on Psalm 121, one of the ascent Psalms that God’s children sang on their pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The psalm speaks of God’s promised protection and provision while his people are on their way to meet in his holy presence in his holy city. That’s us! And we’re so looking forward to it.

During our last planning meeting together last week, we talked and prayed through our expectations for this trip in the area of personal transformation. What do we think God is going to do with us and for us during this trip to Israel? How do we think we’re going to be changed? Here’s the list we prayed over that night; I would humbly ask you to pray these things for us, too:

~ a much better understanding of Scripture
~ a much closer connection to Christ Jesus
~ a renewal of our faith in God
~ a better grasp of the big picture of what God is doing in this world
~ a dramatic experience of the real presence of God
~ that God would reveal himself to us in surprising and powerful ways
~ a new level of healing for a few of our group experiencing deep grief

“The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
~Psalm 121