A bit about me
This is always a hard one for me to answer. My parents always told me to be more interested in others than myself. That way you begin to realize that very rarely are you the most interesting person in the room. I still have not found a room in which there weren’t more interesting people.
I have been married to my wonderful husband Glen for 19 years. We met when I was going into my last year of high school. He had graduated from the same high school 7 years prior. The Lord brought us together in answer to a prayer I had been praying since I was 16. We have no children but we have been blessed with two nieces and a nephew. They are the apple of my eye and play a major role in our lives.
The Lord has blessed us with travel. In the 19 years we’ve been married we’ve visited 28 different countries, many of them numerous times. Each time we walk away with insight into how people around the world are vastly different but also very much alike. We all are lost without Christ.
Work wise I have been blessed and have enjoyed many twists and turns in my career. I started out as a Registered Nurse / Registered Psychiatric Nurse. Worked in the field for one year post education and hated it. I then worked as a medical consultant for a large insurance company. I have always had a good mind for business, as my Mom and Dad would put it. I quickly moved my career into accounting and risk management. Today I work as a consultant for businesses around the world, helping them to identify and manage their risk in order to maintain and build their business. I love what I do and the people I work with, I am truly blessed.
My passion for Israel
In 2011, Glen started talking about wanting to go to Israel. I really had no desire to go to the Middle East but had really enjoyed our trip to Turkey in 2010 and thought if I liked Ephesus then Israel might be a good experience. Researching Israel we thought this would be a once in a lifetime experience so we wanted to do it right.
Landing in Israel in May 2012 I had no clue my life was about to change. That once in a lifetime tour turned into 3 more tours with Dan and Sharon. I remember sitting in our hotel room looking out over the Old City and pinching myself. This was where my Lord walked. I was suddenly inside my bible and the words were written on the soles of my feet as I walked this holy ground…HIS land. I continuously felt like taking my sandals off to respect the holiness of the land. I felt the warm wind blow as we stood in Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. It felt like the warm breath of our Savior whispering once again that HIS word was living and true. I wept as we walked around the Mount of Olives and my heart broke at the Garden of Gethsemane. Then it sang as we visited the EMPTY tomb. I realized just how much I was like the first believers as we sat in the boat on the Sea of Gailie and it hit me just how many times I had not taken the steps of faith when the storms of life arouse. I rejoiced as we sat on the beach where Jesus made breakfast for the disciples. It reminded me that the Lord would take care of my every need if only I would listen intently in my every day activities and recognize HIS voice.
Outside of walking the living word of God, Israel is amazing as it is so full of people looking for a Savior but looking in the wrong direction. The people are very friendly but they have heard the word of the Lord out of context. The word has been used to persecute them for centuries. My passion for Israel is to truly reflect our Lord as I walk the land. Not to whisper HIS name but to love HIS people out loud in HIS name.
My Involvement with Holy Ground
Short answer would be Dan and Sharon Stolebarger. Having traveled extensively and thinking this was a once in a lifetime trip we were looking for the very best Israel tour offered. At first we thought we would go with what we knew and our Church was offering a tour. We paid our non-refundable deposit and thought we were on our way. Not long after we paid the deposit the Lord spoke to both Glen and I separately. He kept pointing us to Dan and Sharon’s tour. We knew Dan’s teaching and loved it but their tour had been sold out. Stepping out in faith we cancelled our Church tour, gave up the deposit and called Sharon. By what I believe was a divine appointment two spots had opened up. We booked them immediately.
Meeting Dan and Sharon in Israel it became crystal clear that we had made the right choice. Sharon’s organization and planning was best in class. Dan’s passion for the word of God, for Israel and for the Israeli people just about knocked us over. It was a little like walking the land with King David in that Dan’s heart cried out to the Lord and his teaching was so full of passion for the Lord and His land that it brought the passion and beauty of the Psalms to mind.
We have been back to Israel with Dan and Sharon every year since 2012 with no plans to stop any time soon. We have so many friends that have visited Israel with other groups and when we share our tour experience with them the response is always the same “That was the experience we were looking for but it’s not the experience we had. We were on a tour of 4 buses and we were just a number?” You aren’t just a number with Holy Ground you’re family. I wanted to join Dan and Sharon in this Ministry because I want everyone to have the experience I had when they walk this Holy Ground. I truly believe Dan and Sharon are anointed in their Ministry. The Lord called and they answered.
My personal Damascus Road Experience
Wow, this is a tough one. Sometimes I think I’m a little too much like Peter in that the Lord has to continuously explain things a little more clearly. I’m so glad His grace knows no end.
In 2012, I was on the path to becoming a partner at a firm among the top four in the world. I had been working for them for 7 years and had been on the road for more than 75% of that time. I was traveling so much that there were times I would spend less then 10 days home in a month. The experience that the firm gave me was the best any professional could ask for. Glen and I always put our marriage first and we made each other a priority but it was still a lot of nights away. One night in a hotel room I was praying for my nieces and nephew and it hit me, I was praying for them but I wasn’t there to tell them the stories of the Bible or to share the word of the Lord with them. The Lord reminded me of my promise to share HIM with them. I was there when they came into the world and right there and then I promised the Lord I would share HIS word with them. The Lord spoke so clearly to me that night. I needed to get off the fast track and back to what mattered. I needed to be home. Much to the surprise of my co-workers and boss I left the firm. I’ve been so blessed by the change; I work with great people, can manage my travel and have been able to share the Lord with my family. When I left the firm I was so scared and felt like I was leaving everything I had worked so hard for but the Lord knew what was ahead of me. His plan for our life is always better then anything we could ever imagine. I have truly never been happier with my career then I am right now.
A word from the Lord … from me to you
Simple Answer: Behavior Matters
Christians are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Simply put “to do good works” refers to the behavior that glorifies God and makes Christ real to others. Granted, there are obstacles in our daily lives that can encumber our minds and hinder our spiritual progress, but only if we let them. Christians are called to live lives that are “holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1), which is only possible when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit who enables us to do the Father’s will (Romans 8:9). Indeed, “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Christians are a chosen people, belonging to God so that we may declare His praises (1 Peter 2:9). To “declare His praises,” then, it is essential that we spend time in His Word not just so we can learn how to behave in a Christian fashion, but also so we can battle against the schemes of Satan. As the apostle Paul pointed out, without this biblical knowledge we can fall prey to “the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). Knowledge alone is not enough; we are called to do more than to know and believe. Christians are to be “doers of the Word” (James 1:22). As the epistle of James informs us, we are deceiving ourselves if we think hearing the Word is obeying the Word of the Lord. Hearing is not the same as doing. “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17, 26). Faith must be demonstrated by actions. We don’t do good works to be saved, we are saved through Christ alone and the price He paid on the cross. He paid our debt in full. However, we demonstrate our faith through our fruit, which is our works. What fruit are you bearing?