Trek To Rome’s Vatican…

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Saint Ambrose

My Flight to Rome took me through Philadelphia. I arrived next day. Tired, I slept the rest of the afternoon through the evening into the night. Refreshed I awoke next day six hours ahead of the United States.

My first order of interest was to visit the Vatican. To give thanks and commit the rest of my stay to the Lord most high. Afterall I still didn’t know the intent of my trip.

My mind wondered to my visit to Paris with my daughter. Where was the Eiffel Tower? How could we get there? It was almost nightfall, and we were not sure where we were heading. Ask. We did, but most didn’t speak English or were reluctant. Off the train, around the bend and there it stood majestic!

I reflect on that day in Paris as I headed out to find the Vatican in Rome. As the saying goes When in Rome do as the Romans do. They trek. So I trekked. The Problem was I didn’t know where I was trekking to. The hotel’s front desk said it was 15 minutes away from their location. Of course I could handle that trek. But after walking, walking, walking I still couldn’t find it. Thirty minutes later still walking steadily taking pictures of Rome’s dynamic architecture and views of the historic city, I became curious wondering if I was walking in the wrong direction.

The memories of Paris flooded back. Where is it? Don’t know. I finally asked a guy preparing to welcome lunch guests at one of the common outdoor cafes. Around the corner he replied, speaking very little English. I proceeded. No signs. Made no sense anyway because I didn’t speak the language. Pronunciations differed but I thought that at least I would see the name somewhere if it was close.

Ten minutes later I saw a young woman and a nun get out of a taxi. Hmmm good person to follow, right? Yet still I hesitated. Waited a bit then a few minutes later saw the nun down the road walking hastily amidst the crowd. I guess it was time to follow that direction as they disappeared. Slowly I walked. Down to the road’s end.

Suddenly what appeared was the sunlight that illuminated the vastness of an arena. A new world opened. Reminded me of Roman soldiers that I read about in the Bible and reminders of movies I had seen. Like many others, I sat on a curb to rest tired feet. Took pictures as keepsake to share with my girls. Drank water then headed to the long lines that winded up to the entrance of the cathedral. This was the start of Winter with limited tourists, I can’t imagine what it would be like during summer’s busy season and I am not interested to find out. So I determined to stand in line. Heck there’s nothing more planned for the day. I might as well wait in the line for an hour or 2.

Surprisingly the line moved at a good pace and I was eventually inside. Mesmerized by the beauty and unique artistry of the architecture, visitors’ eyes were drawn upward. Yet the interior was filled with the sense of being in a holy place. Traveling solo, I tried to take selfies which were mostly crooked but that didn’t stop me.

I walked to the holy sanitarium where no photos were allowed. I proceeded. In that small space it was reserved for prayer. I sat filled with innate holiness and emptied my mind of everything I had in my heart.

  • Prayers for the future.
  • Prayers for my two girls together and alone.
  • Prayers for family
  • Prayers for friends. One by one I named them.

I prayed until all I had left was peace that he had heard my cry. Thanksgiving followed with praise for my obedience to follow his lead.

In that moment as the amazing artistically carved figure of Christ on the crossed looked down at me and others in the silence of that sanctuary, I felt the journey was accomplished because I had obeyed. Hmmm what if that was the reason he drew me there?

Another Godwink?

4 Reasons For Closed Doors…

Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear doesn’t mean it’s the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He blocks the way. The Holy Spirit knows the whole road map for our life, so we should follow Him.

Closed doors redirect our walk. God won’t leave a willing servant with nothing to do. Closed doors can result in better fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord is hard, but it’s a means by which we can learn wisdom, patience, and trust.

Closed doors buy us time. We aren’t always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until we’re ready.

These 4 reasons were written by Dr. Charles Stanley for our encouragement. Going through a challenge? Reflect on them and be encouraged while you wait.

7 Assurances For Those Bad Days…

All things work together for Good

Woke up feeling agitated. Nothing worked. Traveled internationally for a Book Signing event. Computer would not connect to the work system. Important personal items missing. Important book signing items missing. Every where I looked something was missing. Totally confused.

To a meticulous planner, it’s like the end of the world. What’s happening? Why? Why do airlines require you to leave things or charge you to bring the ‘world’ with you? No pun intended. Is it for safety, precaution, to make money? Why?

All Things Work Together For Good

As I searched, I took a deep breath and started thinking. Maybe the way I planned it was not the way the Lord meant it to be. Responses from prayer partners came with reassurances:

7 Assurances Of God’s Leading

  1. God works All Things together for our Good
  2. He’s intentional
  3. Be anxious for nothing
  4. In humility ask and accept what he’s doing through others
  5. Wait, obey as He leads
  6. Oh what Peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear when we do not carry everything to God in Prayer
  7. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

The irony of it all is that I was writing the final in my GreenLight book series titled RedLight: When God Says No. As my frustration weaned, I began reflecting and reached for the morning’s devotional which …as I read the topic, I laughed out loud. I looked up, and shook my head in wonder. Here’s what stood out for me:

Life is challenging, so we can easily get distracted and allow circumstances to dictate our emotions. But if we operate that way, then when life is good, we’re happy; when times are tough, we’re frustrated; and when hardship pours in, we’re miserable. On the other hand, unwavering commitment to the Lord is a cornerstone of faith. When we are situated on that foundation, we can focus solely upon God.

In Touch With Him Devotional

I Surrendered

I surrendered with the realization that everything worked the way the Lord wanted it to. I was never able to connect to the system, so no work could be done. My colleague took me shopping for a few needed items as a birthday gift (yes, it was my birthday). Practical learning as I write about when God says no or stop. Indeed the Lord gets the well deserved glory as I sit back quietly with soft smiles gasping at his wonder. Indeed He worked all things out for His own good.

I resolved to follow His lead and hope you will too.

Blessings overflow.

I Can Do All Things…

I Can Do All Things through Christ

It’s a mantra I teach my kids to Pray whenever the going gets rough. It might be a test. Fear. A challenge. An endeavor. Whatever it is, God is always here. He is always near. So just whisper whenever you feel like giving up or become afraid.

I can do all things
I can do all things
I can do all things

I can do all things through christ
I can do all things
Yes I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength

………(insert name) Can do all things through Christ

Blessings overflow

Run like Joseph…

Run like Joseph! That was the retort from my young adult daughter during a conversation with a youth group. They were discussing the temptations that exist in our society. Her retort was based on Joseph’s actions when confronted by Bathsheba’s seduction.

Pray Like David

Personally when life starts with its craziness, discouragement, sadness, tragedies and more, my retort is to “Pray like David”. In making decisions I found that David consistently consulted with the Lord before he acted. He never did anything without first asking the Lord. He beseeched the Lord for his guidance on whether he should pursue his enemy, make certain moves, fight or flight.

David then listened for the Lord’s leading and as he obeyed, he consistently enjoyed the fruits of success. Today I encourage you that whatever situation you’re in, be it decision-making, entrepreneurship venture, relationship, financial or mental hardship, take it to the Lord in prayer. Then wait patiently as you listen for his answer. As you obey his guidance and direction, be sure that you will enjoy success.

Be encouraged, the Lord may be long but he’s never late. So pray like David did.

Blessings overflow.

When You Can’t See, Trust Him…

Fear gripped me. A 2-hour journey turned into three as clouds stormed. The foggy skies were comfortless. Visibility was almost naught as the storm pounded. Headlights shone brightly as my hands held the car firm. My commute slowed as my heart panicked. I began to Pray. Then prayed louder with a shout and asked “what’s happening Lord?” Suddenly the rain slowed. Though it didn’t stop, I began to see. Alone, I praised as never before. Highway praise!

The Fog

Experiencing a season of storm in your life? Hold firmly onto our heavenly father. Pray without ceasing. When you cannot see what lies ahead, trust him. He will work things out for your good.

Blessings overflow.

5 Reasons God Closes Doors…

Closed doors offer lots to learn. Though disappointed with delays, may we follow his lead. Charles Stanley’s In Touch With Him posited that God can use our desires to teach us his ways.

Here I share his teachings as a personal reminder to always trust him as we seek his guidance.

  1. To mold us into his image
  2. To prevent mistakes
  3. To redirect our walk with him
  4. To test our faith and build perseverance
  5. To buy us time

Our impatience causes us not to learn. Later, we find we are not ready for the opportunity. God’s ways are not our ways but he knows best.

I Don’t Forgive Him…

I don’t forgive him. I don’t forgive the justice system. I believe it failed me.

This retort after a drunk driver recklessly crashed and hit a bystander. A man, a father, a husband, a friend who was innocently standing nearby.

Years later… after the court ruling… his surviving wife was angry when the guilty driver was released with a few simple charges for his actions.

It’s Hard

It’s hard to accept. It’s like the drunk driver walked away with a slap on the wrist while his family has been forced to go on and live life without him.

Forgive? Why?

Is it necessary to forgive under such circumstances? Did the court ‘fail’ the family? Could the husband and father have been standing somewhere else on that fateful day? So many questions. All remain unanswered.

But why forgive? Because it Frees. But only if you allow it. Personally, my own brother suffered such fate, leaving his son to grow up without him. But lets allow God do His thing. And if He doesn’t (as far as the naked eye can see), you can be assured that we are all held accountable for our actions…in one way or another.

Healing takes time.



The Thing About Depression And Suicide…

When all seems hopeless

My friend and her hubby deal with fatalities everyday. She shared an incident of a woman whose car was severely damaged when it crashed into a Guard rail. The woman reported that she was trying to commit Suicide. She survived.

On the other hand my friend’s hubby who is in law enforcement shared reports about a man who after investigation, authorities discovered it was attempted Suicide. He succumbed to his injuries and died.

A Pastor in his message recently shared statistics of the number of police officers who have committed suicide since 2019, in New York. An unbelievable rate of 24% as at mid-year.

Those Who Smile

I share this to ask prayers for those who SMILE or laugh out loud with us outwardly but deep down inside are hurting or depressed due to finances, job loss, relationships, or for one reason or another. Comedian Robin Williams is an example. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity author and travel documentarian is another. Not to mention the silent ones who go crazy with mass shootings of the innocent. All suicides. Sad indeed.

The Signs

WebMD shared these Behavioral warning signs. Read their complete article for further details.

    Excessive sadness or moodiness
    Sleep problems
    Sudden calmness
    Change in personality or appearance
    Dangerous or self harmful behavior
    Recent trauma
    Making preparations
    Threatening suicide

If you are among the depressed, please seek help. Using wisdom, if you recognize the signs in a Friend, relative, or co-worker, don’t wait. Do something. Get the person the professional help they need. Usually they can’t think clearly.

When all seems helpless, Pray

And while you’re doing all of the above Pray. Pray, and pray even more. Prayer changes things. There’s no doubt about that.

Let’s together do what we can in our small corner. But above all, Keep the Faith.

For God has not given us a spirit of Fear but of Power, Love and a sound mind.

God’s Firm Support

iphone pics 291

My 18 month old grandson tried climbing onto the bed holding onto a pillow. It’s no surprise he fell backwards. To be sure of completing his climb, he needed a firm(er) foundation that a pillow could not provide.

How very true for us. How often have we tried to mount the pressures and challenges in life without grasping the firm foundation that only God can provide.

May we remember today to hold onto God’s unchanging hand for support. Only then will we be able to deal with life’s sure surprises.

2 Samuel 22:17-20
‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, BUT THE LORD WAS MY SUPPORT. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (2 Samuel 22:17-20 NIVUK)

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