"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"PILGRIMAGE ..." First Encounter

Cover Art


My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked

Since I am not an avid reader of fiction for adults, I have totally missed out on all the award winning books written by Lynn Austin, so "Pilgrimage ..." was my first book of introduction to Lynn Austin. She has now won me over to want to read more from her as one of her new fans, starting with "God and Kings" after reading this "pilgrimage".

Her "Pilgrimage ..." in the land of Israel and her life, was one that I could completely relate to and actually felt as if I too were a traveling companion with her as we discover the Biblical places and deepen our faith walk together. Her vivid descriptions definitely made me feel as if I was walking in her footsteps and that of others in the land of Jesus. I have always wanted to go to Israel and reading along through her journey somehow allows me to get a "taste of " the goodness of the Lord and what it would actually be like to venture from "the Wilderness" of Zin or "Judean" through the "Crossing of the Jordan River" to "Jerusalem" through "Galilee" and the "Far North" to behold the "Temple Mount" and "Holy Week" (each one of these was an actual chapter among the 12 in her book). 

Lynn Austin's ability to weave through biblical history, with such grand knowledge of tying places and events together, with scriptural insights and also her own personal application to reawakening her faith as she traces and walks us through the land where Jesus and others walked before us, is absolutely intriguing and amazing. I learned so much about my own faith and spiritual journey as Lynn openly penned her struggles with "spiritual dryness" due to loss and change in her own life, which is right where I was, at the time I chose to read and review "Pilgrimage..."

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Reading Lynn Austin's honest depiction of her "Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked"
... moved me,  to also deepen my own faith walk as I became so engrossed in all she was contemplating as she hiked along and sharing her most intimate, inner thoughts that encouraged a renewed passion in me. I loved and began to pray the prayers that she included at the end of each chapter as if they were my heart's desire also, because I understood her and felt so honored to be able to have a glimpse of the Holy Land through her insights and masterpiece way of drawing you a visual picture. I, too, as other reviews have noted, may have liked some actual photos, but the digital book I read had images that seemed hand sketched included. On Lynn Austin's blog, I saw actual photos that would have been nice to include some, as quaint and precious as the sketches are, there is nothing like the REAL actual photos I saw. However, as I mentioned, Lynn Austin's superb descriptions definitely gave me as a reader, the image I needed of the place, even having never been there. (maybe the actual book does, since I read this on a digital reader)

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I have many highlights and favorites throughout this book, upon reading each chapter that one became my new favorite until I arrived at the final chapter as my favorite: "Going Home" (although I have favorite parts in every chapter marked by significant importance in my own journey) ...  I chose this one, because I would have to concur with Lynn Austin as she ends her book with these words: "My Pilgrimage to Israel might have come to an end but the next step in my journey is just beginning." added to these previous wise words from this same chapter:

"All of these Old Testament people accepted God's invitation to walk away from their settled, comfortable lives and begin again."

... As will I ... begin again, with a better understanding and appreciation of the biblical and historical knowledge that Lynn adds to this journey. I will be back for more reading of Lynn Austin and hope she will write more like this one. Her chapter of "Crossing the Jordan" brought me through a personal crossing as other chapters did also speaking to my spiritual walk, which then made each chapter more alive and real to me. I was intrigued and filled with awe and interest as I discovered more about me along with the Biblical insights and points that Lynn shares on her own personal journey on her holy tour of Israel. I just couldn't get enough and paused often to really grasp the magnitude of Lynn's archaeological and biblical insights and the difference she experienced as I did with her.

Thanks to Lynn Austin, even if I am never able to visit the Holy Land, I now am satisfied that I have seen it, with an additional insight that I would never had have, had I not read her book. My hunger and thirst has been filled once more with a renewed spirit, giving me the HOPE that I needed at this point in my life and blessed me with so much more. I am sure I will journey back through these pages again and again, discovering more hidden truths that will deepen and awaken anew my life experiences and faith. I would have loved to linger longer in this "Pilgrimage". I do hope I enjoy the fiction novels as much.

I recommend this book to others traveling through a "dryness" in your own spiritual journey, in need of a lift, fresh perspective or some hope, as well as those who have traveled or will travel to Israel. This book is well mapped out from the south to the north, from the beginning with an actual map to the end with Lynn Austin's conclusions. It's 5 stars for me!!! (which is well earned with the Star of Bethlehem of this blog for this season)!!

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255

*[photo credits: Lynn Austin's blog]
I would have loved to included more of her photos 
but it's best if you go read and see them over at her blog.
I wonder if she has more on her blog elsewhere from her journeys in Israel?
Truly Fascinating!!! 
Wonderfully written.
Thanks Lynn. 

1 comment:

  1. A most interesting post, Peggy. I have often wished that I could visit the Holy Land, but quite frankly, I'd be very scared to go there now with all the unrest and danger. I console myself with the knowledge that one day I will walk with the Lord Himself, and I will never need that *earthly* walk at all!!

    I'll check out this author - she sounds good. I'm especially glad that she brought such encouragement to you!



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