After studying in Israel and Egypt in 2007 and discovering that God is better than she ever knew, Kristi McLelland has been teaching the Bible through a Middle Eastern lens.

"The Lord just wrecked my brain, to be totally honest. I've never recovered," McLelland explains. "I tell people all the time I went to Israel and learned that the living God is better than I ever knew, and I thought he was awesome before I went."

Kristi is a professor at Williamson College in Nashville and serves as a biblical culturalist. She has a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and has dedicated her life to teaching people how to study the Bible. 

Kristi’s trips to Israel, Turkey, Greece and Italy, along with her Middle Eastern Lens classes, help Westerners study and appreciate the Bible as it was written by Middle Easterners in a Middle Eastern context. This lens offers a deeper look into what the biblical characters meant in what they did, said and wrote.

"I am a visual, experiential learner, and I feel like the call on my life is to be a bridge between the western church and the lands and the culture of the Bible."

Sometimes described as a “time machine” because her Bible teaching transports her students to the First Century Holy Land, Kristi McLelland is now sharing her biblical context on a new podcast called Pearls.

"Each story God gave us, in His Word, is like a pearl, beautiful and of great price on its own. But what’s more beautiful is stringing the biblical pearls together as part of His great Story," McLelland explains.

In this visual teaching podcast, Kristi strings 12 of her favourite biblical pearls together. Topics explored include going from chaos to calm, everyday encouragement, defiant joy, and in a deeply personal and relevant episode, admitting our need for Jesus’ healing.

Today on Connections, Kristi shares with us how she is using her podcast as a way to transport listeners to the Holy Land.