Good Morning!

It is currently 7am here in Jerusalem and I am having breakfast at my hotel.  I must look like I need a cup of coffee… the breakfast attendant walked up and asked if I needed some.  I wanted to give you all a quick update after a night of sleep.

The sun was already up – my room has really thick curtains.  I was up at 3am, which has been pretty normal this year.  It is a good time for reflection and prayer.  I wanted to share a little bit of that reflection with you all because it sets a new tone for the rest of this trip.  I’ll keep this email pretty short because I’m sure there will be so much more to talk about later.

Why “Wander Israel”

That is literally what I am doing on this trip.  I don’t have a schedule or a time table.  There are only two events that have a specific time.  My first impuse was to rush out the door and get a head start.  Instead, I’m taking the idea of today being Shabbat to heart and slowing myself down.

Not all of you may know this, but I purchased the domain “” and it’s cousins .net and .org… the odds of these domains being available are exactly zero, which is a miracle.

“Wander” is a really powerful word, and you might make the connection to a very popular quote that travellers and adventurers like to use: “Not all who wander are lost.”

This is from JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings where the character Aragorn is unaware of his heritage and once discovered, wanders to develop the characteristics necessary for a King.

I don’t think I’m destined to be a king, but maybe the real message here is to live life with intention.

Being Intentional

This was a takeaway from the book, Hope Always, that I was reading yesterday.  Intentionality is the sort of attitude that you can’t pinpoint in a person but you can see someone who has intention verses someone who doesn’t.  The simple point here is that it is important to reach out to people, but not just becaus you’re supposed to, but because you want to.  If you want to show that you care, start by actually having a caring attitude!  I know you all are like this, I’m really just talking to myself.

Travelling Solo

I can tell you already that travelling solo is an amazing experience that each of you should really try at least once.  And solo means solo – no spouse, no buddy, nobody.  I didn’t intend to travel solo… I’ve never actually done this before, but that is the direction that I got and Israel was the destination.  Overnight, all of the pressures, obligations, stresses, and hurts have lifted.  Not that they are gone, but I’m certainly much more present.

Shabbat Shalom!