We left Las Cruces, NM pretty early so we could get into town, check in, change, and go to the Mid-Week Meeting in Phoenix this evening (Hebrews 10:23, 24).
On this portion of I-10 we drove through dust storm warning areas.
We passed the Mae West Peaks and saw some awesome rock formations.
We also drove through Tucson and admired the surrounding peaks
When we passed the Saguaro National Park I made a literal note to go back and explore there soon.
It was so serene.
During this drive we found out where truck stop coffee comes from… a tanker. That would explain the bitterness.
We beat rush hour and checked in to the Ramada in Glendale, on the north side of Phoenix (see review warning/notes below).
Meeting with the Bellair Congregation was lovely. Their Hall is beautiful and the people were very warm. We met a family who just came back from the North Rim and they gave us tips on what to see at the Grand Canyon.
I would NOT recommend the Ramada in Glendale, Arizona:
Very sketchy people in the parking lots at all hours of the day and night.
We will be in Italy this fall attending an English congregation about an hour from Venice. Here is some info about La Serenissima.
This post is from Gracia’s Travels blog. See link at bottom of post.
We had an overnight in Venice before we boarded our ship. We had no agenda for this visit…just wander the streets and alleys. Since we had been to Venice before, we tried to visit some of the more far off corners of the island. Every turn brought a photo opp. The weather was overcast and threatened to sprinkle but, having no heavy shadows, was good for pictures.
I have another 130 pictures of Venice.
But I don’t want to wear you out. Next, we board the ship and set sail for Dubrovnik.
When I read the text this morning I was struck by how close to home the message was. When facing issues of depression, anxiety, stress, or other illness symptoms I have been guilty of giving way to doubt. Cancelled service plans, avoiding text messages from friends who want to get together for an interchange of encouragement, lingering in the bed for hours after my chosen “wake-up” time of 8:30 AM… these are all things I have done because I felt like “I can’t”. But, I didn’t feel that way when I made the plans. This text brought the reason to light.
I made the plans for service because I felt like I could; I could face strangers in metropolitan witnessing or knock on a door not knowing who might be on the other side. Why? Becuase Jehovah expects me to. Because I dedicated my life to doing his will. Because it’s part of acting in concert with my prayers to ‘let Your kingdom come’.
But then… I give way to doubt (Matthew 14:31).
Laying in bed at 11 PM the night before my 8 AM service plans I start to doubt that I can. I start to think that I can’t. I start to believe that I just can’t. Anxiety sets in. Panic begins. Fear takes over. So I send a text to cancel. I tell myself this is ok. That I have a medical reason. That my PTSD isn’t going to allow me to meet my commitment. That I am a failure. That I will try again tomorrow.
Honestly, there may be times when I just have to try again tomorrow. However, if you read the paragraph beneath the scripture below and pay attention to the full transcript of the passage to the right, you might hone in on the same sentences I did when I read it:
“Peter… trusted that God’s power would support him…”
Perhaps, in addition to deep breathing, anxiety medication, and staying hidden when I have a panic attack, I can also remind myself (even repeat to myself) that Jesus and Jehovah will support me in all the ways I need support especially when I am giving my time in support of the Kingdom. I’ve spent time today in personal study of this span of scripture using the SOAP-JW method I modified and, let me tell you, it is just what I needed. I hope it encourages you as well.
If you’d like to get the daily text on your smart phone or tablet just go to your app store and download the free JW Library app. The screenshot below is of mine on an iPad mini.