Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Forum "Ancient Rome"

“The brothers and sisters in Rome had heard we were coming, and they came to meet us at the Forum on the Appian Way,” (Acts 28:15).

My three year old thinks our pastor’s two daughters are super-stars. When she sees them, she gasps and points with excitement. “Look mama, Hannah and Grace… “they urrr guuurgeous,” she’ll exclaim!

The Apostle Paul didn’t have super-star status like my pastor’s kids. He trotted down the streets of ancient Rome (called the Forum seen below) with chains twisted around his wrists and the Gospel wrapped around his heart. The Lord had given Paul a gospel-charged assignment. “That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well,” (Acts 23:11, NLT).

As I began the journey into a massive archeological area called the Forum it hit me. Even in the midst of such immense adversity, Paul’s boldness for Christ never wavered. He arrived in Rome not as an apostle free to conduct ministry as usual, but as an apostle in chains whose voice would be muffled and activity would be limited.


As I stepped across gray cobblestones sprinkled with pieces of marble constructed centuries ago, Paul’s own words echoed through the hallway of my mind, “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the word assigned me by the Lord Jesus,” (Acts 20:24).

Words escaped me. His words of denial of self came alive in a new way. I found myself whispering in soft breaths the words, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…

After he arrived, Paul became entangled in the Roman judicial system. Roman citizens began forming their own opinions about Paul. Since rumor and gossip stirred the populace, and since there was nothing like objective reporting or newspapers to tell the other side, popular perception carried the day (59-61 A.D.). And if Christians were slandered, the majority of the people believed the gossip. Fellow believers were afraid to be associated with Paul and his ministry. They were ashamed of the Gospel because of Paul’s imprisonment.

In response, Paul wrote, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News,” (2 Timothy 1:8-18, NLT).

Personal Note: Like Paul I want to be so God-focused that I say, “Whatever it takes Lord, whatever it costs me, I want to be a woman who says, “yes,” to you.

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you…


I’ll share more photos tomorrow!

Statue of Apostle Paul


Nero's House (Ruler who had Paul beheaded)


Paul would have lived in an "apartment" like this one (shops on botttom and homes on top)

Photobucket

9 comments:

  1. I love your pictures and reading your excitement and heart!

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  2. Love taking the journey with you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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  3. I come by to visit you via one of our blogging buddies at http://heartofthehome-blog.blogspot.com/. I enjoyed browsing your blog and reading your great post.. We would like to invite you to stop by and visit us when you have a moment. Have a blessed day, and hope to see you soon.. God Bless you and yours..

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  4. wow wow wow what an amazing breath taking trip. I too want to be so caught up in God that I compleltey deny myself and just say yes Lord whatever it takes I will go for You! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure.

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  5. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your journey. It's amazing to walk where Paul once walked. I want to be like Paul, whatever it takes, wherever it takes, I will follow Jesus.

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  6. In awe of the experience....to walk where Paul walked has got to make the Word just come alive! Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Wow Kelli... Wow. What a powerful trip this was for you! That kind of "hands-on" perspective is such a Blessing!

    Thank you for sharing this with us, and for the photos! They're wonderful!

    Have a Blessed Day!

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  8. Love these words - " ...with chains twisted around his wrists and the Gospel wrapped around his heart." Beautiful! The pictures are wonderful and I too sense your joy and excitement bubbling over in your words. What a blessing that God gave you this terrific opportunity to go there and draw you in closer to Him in the process. Love you!

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  9. Amazing! What a blessing to be in the midst of such history and beauty. Beautiful words - I, too, love "...with chains twisted around his wrists and the Gospel wrapped around his heart." Thank you for sharing your awesome trip and journey with us :)

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