About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1- Which way ?

Meanwhile, (Paul)Saul was uttering threats with every breath…eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”  “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Acts 9:1-5 (NLT)

     A mosaic in Berea depicting Paul's encounter with the  blinding Light.

Tomorrow people around the world celebrate a day in eternity unlike any other. As I contemplate the meaning of the week Christians call Holy Week, I reflect on my most recent journey:  

 For the past 13 days I’ve  been on a pilgrimage through Turkey and Greece traveling in the footsteps of Paul, Paul of the Bible, the controversial Jewish priest who progressed from stoning Christ followers  to spreading Christianity. 

During the last two weeks I have learned – the path he cut through Israel toward Rome was a journey worth tracing. His life in word and deed is an example worth modeling. 

I was there for a portion of his footsteps! 

Now I invite you to join me as I retrace my trip:  

Istanbul, Turkey.
We flew into Istanbul to begin our pilgrimage. Although there is no mention of Paul having traveled through this magnificent city, we began our journey here in order to make our way into Turkey (Asia Minor in the Bible) where we met up with Paul at Izmir (Smyrna). 

My observations and reflections:

   Sailing on the  Bosporus, passing under the bridge joining Asia to Europe
Istanbul is a one-of-a-kind city: the only city in the world straddling two continents – Asia and Europe. These two continents represent vast differences, yet here in this huge sea of humanity two opposite and opposing cultures come together.

So what do I do with the differences? Some would intellectually approach a visit to Istanbul with an openness accepting that societies are different. 

Not me. I am inquisitive. I want to know, “Where did the various and different ways originate? Where did these ideas originate. What made them the authority? Is there a right way? If so, I want to make the correct choice. Which way will I choose? Why?”

As we westerners come to grips with cultural merging, including faith and religion, I find myself challenged to consider my personal convictions. “What do I believe?”  
I debate myself: “Have I made my own conclusions? Am I confident in my choice? Do I have reasonable argument for my stand? Have I researched my defense? Is my stand worthy of discussion? Do I practice a man-made religion? Is my faith built on a solid argument?”

The city of Istanbul is like my mind ...

considering the fabrications of man (the law of the minaret: a command to pray five times a day)   
 or the facts of God's creation: His magnificent grace and beauty. 

Have you chosen the path your life will take? Will you choose fabrication or fact?  

Stay tuned for more of Paul's journeys. 

(want to go?Winning With Encouragement Ministries)



Michele said...

Wow, sweet friend, thank you so much for sharing this great trip with us. We miss you, though!

Love you!