Friends! Any of you have the Holy Land on your bucket list? For a lovely overview plus eye-opening Biblical truths, grab a copy of Kathie Lee Gifford’s newest book, The Road, the Rock, and the Rabbi: My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began. You’ll want to go, like yesterday!
Your toes may get a tad stepped on from the Introduction where Kathie Lee tells on herself. She shares that the Lord gently reminded her to put Him first, “As you begin your day, so goes your day.”
She says, “Many of us have become so complacent, spoiled, and comfortable that we don’t realize we are miserable.” Look at Isaiah 55:2,
Kathie Lee adds, “I believe this is how our faith grows stale, our joy diminishes, and our passion for God runs dry…we will all die spiritually if we stop feeding on His Word!”
We readers are taken to twenty-nine different places in the Holy Land. There are beautiful pictures of these places in the middle of the book. Kathie Lee shares what she learned at each of these places, and in most of the chapters, Rabbi Sobel further expounds on the significance of these locations and what’s important from Scripture.
You’ll discover firsthand why Kathie Lee calls the Bible a treasure map. Rabbi Sobel shows us from “the first letter to the last, the Bible points to Jesus.” You’ll also be highly amused at her trip where her husband, Frank, accompanied her. Their beginning was so rough, everyone wanted to call it quits, including Frank who wanted to catch the next flight out! Don’t miss this!
Since there are twenty-nine chapters, each of which are short, I’d recommend you read this book as a devotional, reading one chapter per day. Each is a lesson, in and of itself. If you didn’t have the Holy Land on your bucket list earlier, you will now!
One of many fascinating discoveries can be found in Chapter 18, on the Mount of Olives. We begin by reading Luke 19:37-38,
Kathie Lee, Frank, and the rest of their tour group were instructed to sit on a stone wall, facing south, with their backs to a very brushy area. Ray, their tour guide, proceeded to direct their attention to the overgrown bushes.
From his wallet, he pulled out a laminated card to pass around. On it was a teeny tiny speck. Ray explained, “This is a mustard seed, among the smallest seeds in all of the botanical world. It’s smaller than a speck of pepper.”
Next, the group was told to look back at the overgrown bushes. He said, “That is the most feared plant in all of Israel, the mustard plant. It’s feared because once it takes root it can’t be destroyed. You can try to burn it out, stomp it out, tear it out, but eventually it takes over everything in its way.”
Holding his Bible in the air, Ray paralleled the mustard seed to the Kingdom of God. He said, “Once it gets planted, nothing can stop it!” Don’t miss the rest of this chapter as Kathie Lee shows us exactly where Jesus would have been teaching because the mustard plant, Herodium, and the Dead Sea are all visible from the point where they were sitting.
Another treat in the book is where we get to hear from Kathie Lee’s brother, Reverend David Epstein in Chapter Twenty-Two. Who knew he pastors a church in Manhattan on 57th Street, Calvary Baptist Church? He gifts us with two different teachings.
Our in-home Bible study group began studying this book via the study guide and dvd teachings (which are separate from the book) the first week of November. Kathie Lee and Rabbi Sobel are both in the videos.
Max Lucado says Kathie Lee, “escorts the reader to the land of the Savior, taking us on a heart-deepening journey of hope.”
Franklin Graham suggests, “Fix your heart on the Rock of salvation and walk the Road that leads to redemption with the Rabbi—the teacher who gives eternal life to those who seek Him.”
The end of the book includes Kathie Lee’s experience during Frank’s unexpected death. You’ll need a Kleenex to get thru’ this beautiful chapter. Also closing out the book are nineteen inspirational testimonials of some who took this same trip, including Cody Gifford, Kathie Lee and Frank’s son. He shares a fun anecdote too!
My same Tuesday group just finished Lysa TerKeurst’s study, Finding I Am: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart, also filmed in Israel, prior to beginning Kathie Lee’s study. Your Bible study group can virtually visit the Holy Land for several weeks if you study both of these!
Blessings for a lovely November and Thanksgiving season.
‘Til next time!