I have said very little about it publicly, but this Spring Shannon and I will go to the Holy Land with a large group from our congregation and area. This is the trip that I put off in 1982 in order to do mission work. My father offered to send me to the Holy land as a gift at the same time that I had an open door to go to Brazil and preach and do door to door evangelism. I asked him to sponsor my trip to Brazil instead. I chose the mission trip and set the course for thirty years of international travel to do missions. It is time now to go to the land where God touched the earth. When we realize that God is eternal and stands outside of time and space, and then acknowledge the coming of Christ for what it is, we are accepting the fact that God entered time and space and set foot on this earth. When he did, the place where he touched the earth is by virtue of that fact holy ground. I call to mind how at the burning bush in the book of Exodus God commanded Moses to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground through the reality of God’s presence on the mountain. As grand as that was, the coming of Jesus was the ultimate close encounter between God and man. Our faith is a historical faith. Unlike almost all other religions which are philosophical and make claims that cannot be verified, our faith is etched into the sands of time and burned into the historical record. That is why I always say that the bible is like no other holy book on earth. I have actually read many of the other books of other religions and I can tell you that there is no comparison. They cannot be verified archeologically or historically. They do not provide points of correspondence with history. They are filled with that which is more myth than mystery and more legendary than legitimate. The primary theatrical stage of the Scriptures is found in the land of Israel and those lands immediately surrounding it. I want to go walk on that stage and get physically in touch with the greatest story ever told. I have no doubts about the truth of the story because I know the author. Pray for the Lord’s strength and health for us as we travel on the last day of March through early April.