Greetings and Welcome!
My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.
Listen to Fran’s January 4, 2020 live radio interview with Nancy Solari, CEO of Living Full Out, Inc. Nancy lives in Oregon, is blind, and after participating in a communications career, started her own show to assist others in overcoming various life challenges. The interview includes commercials and a couple of call-in’s to Nancy in her capacity as a Life Coach before Fran’s interview begins.
You are welcome to download a free copy of:
- What Hope Can Do - by Fran Sandin
- 7 Tips For A Lasting Marriage - by Fran Sandin
- So What Happens Next? - Tract written by Steve Sandin
- Walking Through the Fire (a grief recovery article)
- Ten Days of Encouragement (for anyone who is depressed)
- Ten Ways to Say “I Care” (to encourage grieving mothers)
- The Russian version of See You Later, Jeffrey
May God bless you in your journey of faith.
OFF TO ITALY
By Fran Caffey Sandin
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14: 27).
What an amazing adventure! Jim and I joined the Christian Medical and Dental Association group for a spring tour of Italy.
Our first night in Venice, a ride on the GRAND CANAL boat taxi highlighted gorgeous views of glowing domes, the famous Rialto bridge, restaurants, hotels, and old, ornate buildings. The following day included a tour of St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s castle, and a glass blower demonstration at the Original Murano Glass company. A gondola ride along the back canals revealed colorful side-by-side apartments and quaint shops.
A guided tour of Florence helped us appreciate the Renaissance works by Michelangelo, Machiavelli, DaVinci, and Botticelli. Their artistic details were so breathtaking we could only gaze upon the masterpieces as from God, the giver of exceptional talents.
Rome’s famous Coliseum loomed larger and more massive than we had ever imagined. We drove by the Mamertine Prison where the apostle Paul was incarcerated before his death. Then we learned he had walked six miles from there to the place he was beheaded. A chapel built on that location housed the memorials of his demise and a large painting of Peter being crucified upside down.
We eventually arrived in Assisi, the home of St. Francis who was born in 1181 into a wealthy family with his father being a silk merchant. As a young man, Francis was handsome, witty, gallant, and loved parties and bright colored clothes. In 1202 he joined a military expedition and was taken captive. During a year in prison, he became ill; felt the Lord was speaking to him, so his spiritual journey began.
When released from prison, he returned to Assisi with a different view of life. He no longer wanted the world’s ways, so he and his father parted because Francis was more interested in helping the poor than in making money.
His wealthy friends could not understand what happened to him. Francis, in his early 20’s used to hate the lepers, but his heart had changed, and he loved them. He wanted to help the poor and spent much time in prayer and meditation and admiring nature because he believed nature itself was a mirror of God. He felt God was telling him to rebuild the church and live in poverty.
The life of St. Francis of Assisi has been honored through the years because of his faith as an Italian Catholic, friar, philosopher, preacher, and the founder of the Franciscan order.
He died in 1226 at the age of 44 and was quoting a psalm of refuge, Psalm 142, as he breathed his last. He was canonized as a Saint in 1228. In 2013 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina chose to honor St. Francis by taking his name and was elected as Pope Francis of the Catholic Church.
My mother-in-law, Jean Sandin, displayed on her living room wall a lovely framed calligraphy version of one of the most memorable writings of St. Francis, a prayer for each of us to ponder.
The life of St. Francis is a testimony to the fact that we must make peace WITH GOD before we can experience the PEACE OF GOD.
Make me an instrument of Thy Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O DIVINE MASTER,
Grant that I may not so much
Seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Saint Francis of Assisi