It was twenty years ago when a wonderful couple called and asked me to come to their home. We had been to visit in their home on numerous occasions. We had visited for meals, times of fellowship, and at times just to stop in to say hello. We had visited when one of them was in the hospital and when they had family members in the hospital. They were a wonderful, godly couple, and we loved them dearly.
During this visit they indicated that they wanted to do something special for the preacher because of the attention we had given them. They told me that they wanted to pay for me to take a trip to the Lands of the Bible. As a young preacher it had never crossed my mind that I would be able to make such a trip. We certainly would not have had the money to make this type of trip at this time in our life.
I left their home elated and became increasingly excited about this wonderful opportunity. The trip was more than I ever imagined it could be. The opportunity to visit the places where Jesus walked, along with visiting Egypt and Greece made an impression on my life that would forever change my study of Scripture.
Besides the opportunity of studying in the “Lands of the Bible,” the trip introduced me to some wonderful brothers and sisters who have become lifelong friends. Since making that trip it has been a dream to be able to go back and take Laura with me.
A few months ago brother George Bailey asked me to have lunch with him because he had something he wanted to talk with me about. He asked me if I would consider leading a tour to the Bible Lands? He told me that he had lead more than twenty trips through Fowler Tours but he was no longer able to do so. He wondered if I would take some of the tours he had previously lead? I told him it would be a great honor to fulfill his request.
That day I called my good friend Steve Bailey (Preacher/Elder for the Mesquite church of Christ) to see if he would be interested in working with me in this effort. He said he would love to do that. Brother Bailey set up a meeting with Hulen Fowler and he explained the details to us. We agreed that we would lead a tour to the “Lands of the Bible” in June of 2012.
Last week I sat down with brother Bailey and asked him why he thought the Bible Lands trip would be good for preachers. Here is what he said, “Because when you visit the Holy Lands the Bible jumps out at you, it comes alive. The fact that our Lord was there makes a memorable impression. When a Preacher visits the Holy Lands his preaching will be better. He will be able to preach with more meaning when he mentions specific places. I think every preacher ought to go, in fact elders ought to encourage their preachers and make it possible for them to go. Nothing is sacred accept the memory that Jesus was there.”
Remembering my previous visit to the Lands of the Bible has caused me to think about the trip next year with great anticipation. If you would be interested in learning more about the trip please feel free to contact me.
Dear Father, please help us to grow in our love and appreciation for Your Word. Help us remember that our Savior was a real man who walked in our world. Help us to remember that He became like us so that we can become like You. In His blessed Name we pray, Amen.