Best Days #1
I’m thinking about thankfulness and gratitude today. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown soft, or maybe it’s because I’m just in that stage of life where the simple act of opening my eyes and realizing God’s given me another day…is a gift!
With thankful thoughts in mind and waiting for The Spirit to move my heart I opened my writing folder and discovered something that had been tucked away a few years ago. This coffee stained, wrinkled collection of thoughts buried deep within included a list I had titled, “Best Days”. Memories of events, various activities and a few simple moments that made a mark on my heart were jotted down in list form as a reminder to think as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
My next thought-thank You Holy Spirit! May every one of my “Best Days” be seen as a gift to glorify God in every way!
Best Days #1 Baptized in The Jordan River
Bob and I love to get away whenever we can. It’s always exciting to take a trip whether it be to the mountains, Florida’s Gulf Coast, or a long weekend in Nashville… but several years ago we took the trip of a lifetime! Along with our Senior Pastor, his wife and 120 church members we made the heartfelt, Spirit led decision to tour The Holy Land! Making the decision to travel to the Mideast wasn’t easy. In fact, our first question was, ‘would we be safe’? We were assured Israel was (and continues to be) a safe travel destination!
There aren’t enough words to describe what it’s like to see and experience the same places where Jesus walked but to say the least it was…amazing, thrilling, emotional, captivating, breathtaking and brought The Bible to life! One of our most outstanding moments while touring Israel was when we had the privilege of being baptized in The Jordan River!
Before arriving at the place called, “Yardenit” our tour group had already traveled to Capernaum to see the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught. Following that incredible experience we took a short trip over to the Mount of Beatitudes where our Pastor delivered Jesus' Sermon on The Mount. Next, we ventured to the headwaters of the Jordan River called, “Banias”. Banias was where Jesus asked His Disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”
To say it was already a full day is an understatement, but the best was yet to come!
Upon arriving at Yardenit all who visited had the opportunity to be baptized in The Jordan River! You'll notice in the photos below that everyone going into the river was donned in a simple white gown...courtesy of the site provided for those making the decision. With our group lining up along the bank of the Jordan with a few Elders and Pastors ready to dunk us, one by one we went down in the River to pray!
And then it was my turn! With my husband by my side and ready to do the same, I stepped down into the River and was asked, “Is Jesus Christ The Lord of your life”? With a resounding, emotional YES (!) this girl with all her past life, guilt and shame took the plunge!
Best days? Oh, you bet it ranks right up there at the top but making the decision to become baptized into the Christian faith doesn’t require a trip to Israel! You can make the decision today! If you aren’t already, get connected to a church where you can be baptized privately or choose to go in front of a congregation who will welcome you with open arms!
Mark 1: 9-11 (NIV)
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw Heaven being torn open and The Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.”
Photos below include the entrance into Yardenit, the tiled wall where Mark's account of Jesus' baptism is hand painted in English as well as over 80 other languages and Bob and I taking the plunge!