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    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.




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Reflecting Back on Israel

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 7, 2013

I love reading Chris Brady’s blog post. So much information, humor, and the ability to make you think wrapped up into one. This particular post shares about our trip to Israel shortly before the launch of the LIFE Business. What a fascinating trip and experience! One of the dreams of getting out of the 9 to 5 lifestyle was an ability to travel and see all the history that I routinely read about. This dream has been answered many times thanks to compensated community building. What travel dreams do you have on your bucket list?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

IMG_5179Stone steps greet my weary feet once again, while the sun keeps up its constant beaming from above, pounding on my hat and searing my skin.  The bag on my back, though small, irritates me from long companionship, and the camera that produces the pictures I so love is an annoyance. My senses are overloaded and my brain is full.  It’s been another full day of touring the Holy Land.

From Dan to Beer-Sheva, and Caesarea (Maritime) to En-Giev, we’ve covered this land.  We swam in the Sea of Galilee and bobbed in the Dead Sea (this latter event so comical I couldn’t stop giggling at the curious situation of lying on top of the water).  We’ve surveyed archeological digs both old and new, gathered smooth stones from the Brook of Elah where David did so to the great chagrin of Goliath, and drove to the military installations along the borders of the Golan Heights. We passed through the Palestinian checkpoint at Jericho where the soldier there (Palestinian) was watering flowers. I’ve seen the Israeli soldiers, many of them young girls with cute pony-tails bouncing down the backs of their uniforms, toting AR 15 machine guns as if they were shopping bags.  We have pushed through crowded, narrow market streets while the Muslim call to prayer boomed loudly from speakers mounted to minarets high above.  I’ve seen monks in their brown robes with white ropes, nuns in their hobbits, and beggars of several faiths.

IMG_5617We walked into many an old church, usually constructed dead atop some Biblically important site, now entirely obliterated by the building meant to commemorate the very event it now obscures. Perhaps the most adventurous activity was wading through the narrow (and sometimes short) tunnel of Hezekiah, a 1750 foot wonder that snakes around back and forth under the old City of David and takes water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam.  This required feet that could withstand long exposure to the cold and still flowing spring water, a flashlight, and the ability to duck repeatedly, as well as a decent ability to fight off claustrophobia.  But we all made it through, shamed by the 90 year old lady who soldiered through it with us without a word of complaint or even a slow step.  Climbing the recently unearthed ceremonial staircase from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount above (way above, I might add) turned into another spelunking adventure as we ended up squeezing between ancient ashlars that framed a drainage system (at least that was our best guess)

 I’ve seen wild Ibex, commercially tamed camels one can ride for ten shekels, and prairie dogs with a fancier name which I now forget.  There have also been cats, lots of cats, loose in every nook and cranny of these old cities. But everywhere and all the time there have been people.  I have been all over the world, and have visited what I had previously believed to be some pretty crazy, diverse plIMG_5518aces.  But I must admit, never in my life have I seen anything like Israel.  Enemies exist in muted tension side by side.  Radically different faiths fight for the same commemorative soil.  Cultures crash like cars in a downtown intersection, with sounds and wounds just as loud and painful.  I work my brain like a prize fighter trying to make sense of it all.
Israel, chosen by God to be the intersection of the world.  Israel, today, as much as ever, upholding its duty to be the place where all the cultures flow together. Our trip was billed as a study tour, and study tour it has been.  Under the masterful tutelage of Dr. Doug BookmIMG_5541an from Shepherds Theological Seminary in North Carolina, we’ve been whisked around this mysterious land like the students in the classroom of Miss Frizzle, the zany but enthusiastic grade school teacher whose “Magic School Bus” transforms itself into whatever shape is needed to give the students a tactile, on-location lesson of the material being covered.  With contacts in every corner of this land, Dr. bookman has us transported up to places like the half-built and then abandoned palace of Jordan’s King Husain, which was begun in 1965 but quickly abandoned with the outbreak of the Six Days War in 1967.  From it’s ruined hulk, a place (to quote Dr. Bookman) where “Osha has never been,” we could look out at the surrounding hills and almost see the Bible narrative that occurred there coming to life.  While we pass other tour groups in silly kerchiefs and matching hats, we sneak around where people rarely go and take a look from off the beaten path.
IMG_5668
Another joy has been traveling with long time friend and business partner Orrin Woodward and his wife Laurie. As we learn we discuss, and review and analyze.  Learning is always more fun in concert with other minds equally enthused and invigorated with the lamp of growing understanding.  Further, we’ve been in cahoots with a small team of others from California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia, who have been as fun as they have been adventurous.
This tour is not over, but its days are rapidly ending. And as they close, I realize once again that the more I learn, the more there is to understand.  Further mystery is always on the other side of new understanding, and these days in Israel have opened me to more wonder than I ever could have imagined.  My appetite to study and learn even more about the foundations of my faith and the plan of God for this land is mightier than ever. My faith is stronger, my knowledge higher, and my camera fuller than when I began. And yes, my feet might throb as I drop into bed at night, but my mind races and my heart leaps at all that God has done.

36 Responses to “Reflecting Back on Israel”

  1. That trip sounds amazing Orrin! Steve and I have immense wanderlust. We want to go on trips to everywhere. With every kind of focus. Learning, pleasure, service etc. But the one trip that is at the top of my bucket list is a cruise castle tour of the British Isles. It must include of course a stay over in the castle hotel that is situated on the coast of Loch Ness! Thank you and the other leaders for actually providing and opportunity for me to actually get to do that. I can’t wait!!! Have a blessed day!

  2. Awesome, I almost felt as if I was there the way Chris so elegantly wrote about his travels.
    Must have been a riveting experience. This helps push me to maintain my pursuit of a lifestyle as such.
    Thank you!

  3. I wanna go there. I will be there.

  4. John Lewis said

    I love how the PC can bring history to life. Thanks Orrin for bringing this experience to my attention!

  5. Aron Radosa said

    That is truly amazing. I cannot wait to go on that trip and bring Mary & my brothers in Christ.

  6. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    “Further mystery is always on the other side of new understanding…” CB
    How true…LIFE has certainly opened that mysterical door and I’m daily seeking understanding through its material and my mentors.

  7. Cassie Morgan said

    This makes me want to go to Isreal so bad. Thanks for sharing about your trip!

  8. Scott Staley said

    Chris has a talent for bringing words to life. Israel is a goal destination and the article just fuels my passion to pursue it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Dave Nelson said

    Hello Team,
    Carol, my wife, and I went there with the O’higgins of Reconciliation Outreach of Stuart, FL for 10 awesome days. It felt good to be there, especially Jerusalem.
    Sincerely,
    Dave Nelson

  10. Eric Schilling said

    Very well written and descriptive article!

  11. Can’t wait to go! Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, Wayne MacNamara, and Tim Marks have such great blogs! I love the information being taught in the LIFE business. Thank you!

  12. TJ said

    Wow!! What a discription… Talk about dream building someone, like you said Orrin, “you build communities for things unseen”, its wonderful to hear the possibilities of what our future can be through the writtings of you and the other LIFE founders. Thanks again for sharing and can’t wait to hear about the Barsilona trip…

  13. Beth said

    brings back memories of our trip to the Holy Land–thanks for sharing your experience with us! What an amazing thing to walk where Jesus walked and see the places we read about in the Bible come to life!!!

  14. J & P Harteis said

    The wonder of Israel – how we’d love to go! We have so many Jewish friends who were born & raised there – bet they’d come along, Orrin! Thanks for refreshing the dream!

  15. Bill Eder said

    Orrin: I totally agree Chris tells the story so well. One feels like you are right there with him.
    Just as his book Italy was great,so is this explaination. You all must have had an amazing trip. Thanks for shareing it with us.

  16. Michael Stithem said

    Sounds like an amazing trip.

  17. CJ Calvert said

    I love reading anything Chris writes. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Louise McKeen said

    Chris,
    Wow! So well written, brings me there, thank you! This trip is on my bucket list!
    May you continue to be blessed just as you are a blessing =)

  19. Wow! Chris Brady is a great writer! Amazing. I know I’ll walk those footsteps, and only because of the LIFE business will I ever do it. My heart is full just thinking of what an amazing opportunity that will be. Chris makes it even more believable.

  20. My favorite line: “Learning is always more fun in concert with other minds equally enthused and invigorated with the lamp of growing understanding.” That’s what LIFE/life is all about! Beautiful post. :D

  21. Ken Hendon said

    WOW!
    WOW!
    WOW!

  22. Bob Rasmussen said

    This trip has now been officially placed on our must do list!! Thanks for sharing, God Bless Bob

  23. chris volkmann said

    Thanks for another great blog. Isreal is an awesome place. It is on our dream board and I cant wait to walk where Jesus walked. Thanks again for all you do. God Bless.

  24. Kevin Hamm said

    Thanks for sharing Orrin,

    Oh, to be able to use the English language as Chris does. He brings it alive like few can. My dream to study my faith as he does is anxiously waiting freer days. My body has earned my way to date but to finish on a more scholarly note is in my heart. A few history tours like to one here are definitely on the bucket list.

  25. Tim Jarvinen said

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow! What a gift you’ve been given. Thank you for painting a picture for the future.

    Tim

  26. MARIO VEGA said

    BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM. THANKS ORRIN. LIBERATORS.

  27. Eiron said

    Feeling so Blessed to be on this journey of Life with the TEAM! ;-)

  28. renee Oettinger said

    Thank you for being incredibly adventurous, courageous, and willing to share these amazing experiences.

  29. Abby J. Smith said

    Thank you for sparking yet another “dream” travel adventure. LIFE and life have so much to offer and so much to chase after…

  30. Bob Pollock said

    Orrin, you’re right. A fabulous post by Chris Brady. His details were vivid and I enjoyed the pictures, too.

    Everyone I know who’s ever been to the Holy Lands says their faith grows by leaps and bounds.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Bob

  31. Kim Decker said

    Orrin,
    Thanks for sharing as the mind takes on an adventure in itself now that I read your story as I sit almost nightly with the good BOOK and makes the mind wonder on what the LORD does have in store for all things.
    Thank you for sharing.

  32. Alaysha said

    I seriously felt like I was there with you guys by reading that!

  33. Don Schultz - Team VIP Phalanx said

    The nation of Israel is amazing. That is even exists confounds many people who don’t see God’s hand in its existence. A friend of mine is in the military and as he was at Naval War College a number of years ago, as part of his move through the ranks they studied some of the wars Israel was involved in and the conclusion is this, “Israel is a modern-day miracle.” One who is familiar with the Bible and God’s involvement with the people of Israel do understand though.

    Masada is a great place to visit and it is a stark reminder to the people of Israel what their resolve needs to be if they are to survive the committed onslaught against them. They can never capitulate!

    Thanks for sharing the story of your visit.

  34. Cheryl said

    I’ve always wanted to travel myself and reading this story did nothing to stop that desire! In fact, it makes me want to experience the history so much more!

  35. Matt Mielke said

    I drink deeply from your experiences until I have the chance to experiences myself. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Matt

  36. KellyJack Nelson said

    Thank you, I see why you posted this. Chris’ way of putting this on paper really is excellent!

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