Jon DeBell's Blog

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We're planning a trip to Israel and Egypt for June of 2011. I am excited about returning with a group to the Holy Land and introducing new travelers to the land where Jesus walked. If you love the Bible you will come away from this excursion with an even greater love and appreciation for God's written word. The stories of the Bible will come alive before your eyes. I will also say with confidence that you will come away with a deeper love for the living word--our Savior, Jesus Christ!

To make the trip even more exciting we've added an extension for a few days in Egypt as an option. We will see the pyramids, sphinx, the Egyptian Museum and more. We will spend one night near St. Catherine's Monestary on Mt. Sinai, and for those who wish, we will climb Mt. Sinai to view the sunrise!

In Israel, we'll see familiar sites around the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and more. We're scheduled to visit the "must see" sites and have included a few stops that we have not done on previous trips.

Consider this your invitation to come go with us! I will be selecting a tour provider and nailing down the exact itinerary by July of this year. We will set up a web site and have printed information available soon thereafter. There will be discounts provided for those who sign up early and for those who make their full payments early. Contact me for a brochure, registration form, questions, etc. My email address is


On Martin Luther King Day I had two oppotunities while driving around Charlotte to listen to Dr. King's famous speech at the Freedom March on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Although fairly familiar with the words of the speech I found myself drawn into the heightened emotions of that day by his unique gift of using our language to convey truth as he painted the picture of how things had been and how he dreamed they could be.

His dream was not just for those of African descent, but really was one for our society as a whole. He longed for justice, equality and opportunity for those who were black--but he also spoke of a culture where we all would benefit from richer relationships with one another. These would be relationships in which we would edify and bless one another rather than be at odds or even ememies.

As I listened to the speech the second time, while driving to make a visit, my mind went back to the previous day--Sunday at East Baptist Church. I thought of my grandson, Evan, eating lunch next to Xavier, our youth pastor's son. As they spoke and interacted together there was no hint of any awareness of the difference in the color of their skin. They were simply innocent children living and enjoying life in each others' company. I thanked God that at least in a small way a part of Dr. King's dream has come true. At EBC black and white boys and girls can play together, learn together and come to know our great God who created us all in His image.

And I thank God for the way my life is enriched in relationship with those whose backgrounds are quite different from my own. What a blessing it is to be a part of an open and diverse fellowship that gets along so well! We certainly have room to grow more in this area. We humans often struggle in our acceptance of those who differ from our own experience/viewpoint of normal. But how we engage in this challenge and how we attempt to overcome our own biases speaks volumns about the depth of our Christianity.

With God's help let's join together in the mission to build a better future!