On the Path to Shalom

Are you a strong willed or stubborn person?  Do you find yourself struggling to let go of your will to embrace God’s will which leads to His peace?  I do.

Growing up in a German family, my parents believed in the value of hard work and instilled in my sister, brothers, and myself the trait of persistence.  True, this persistence can show itself as stubbornness but this trait, which my mother would often tell us that all Germans have, can be good and bad.  In today’s first reading (Acts 16:1-10) we see that Paul is persistent in seeking the will of the Spirit of Jesus.  He recognizes that when his preaching is not welcomed in a specific locale that Jesus doesn’t want him there.  Instead of being stubborn and insisting with his own will that these people will accept his preaching, Paul moves along until he is welcomed.  At the end of the reading we see Paul recognize that God had called them to preach in Macedonia and not in the province of Asia, Mysia, or Bithynia.

Paul teaches us to accept those times we are rejected as simply God nudging us on our journey.  So many times I know my stubbornness comes out and I resist those little nudges of the Lord.  I think when we resist those nudges we challenge the Lord.  He so often lets us go on our own way and all we find is resistance and frustration.  It must bring a smile to His face when we cry out to Him as we realize our foolishness in being stubborn and going our own way.  If only we would learn our lesson and lay down our own desires to simply follow Him.

winding-pathIn the Gospel reading (Jn 15:18-21), Jesus reinforces this lesson by telling us that we will meet with resistance, “no slave is greater than his master.” Surely, in our travels we will endure difficulty but if we only step back, look to Jesus, and let Him run the show, we will find oneness with Him and experience His peace.  No doubt, we will find shalom, that peace beyond the peace of this world.  We will find  Divine peace.


Follow Me: A Lifetime Journey

In Today’s Gospel reading (John 21: 1-19) we encounter Jesus standing by a charcoal fire on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, waiting for Peter and the other disciples. Jesus invites Peter to come to Him at the place they first met.  He invites Peter to renew his life, find his identity within Jesus and then move forward and follow Him.

Jesus also invites us on a lifetime journey through our own struggles and triumphs.  We are continually given opportunities to encounter the Lord in our daily lives, find Him dwelling within us, and have the strength to truly follow Him in our lives.  Today, I share with you a beautiful story of faith, love, and courage in the life-changing journey of Carol Glock.  Through her battle with cancer, Carol encountered Jesus, learned more about herself, and is continuing to follow Him.


Miracle Breast Cancer Cure Inspires Survivor to start her own Nonprofit

 Carol Glock, a breast cancer survivor from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania knows how taxing the journey to recovery can be for a family. “On June 6, 2013, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  I was told that I had a 20% chance to survive,” said Glock.

“My tumor started as an eight-by-seven centimeter mass in my left breast. I was shocked.  There is no breast cancer in my family history and I was receiving periodic mammograms.  However, inflammatory breast cancer progresses rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months.  When you are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer it’s typically at stage 3 or 4.”

Dr. Thomas Julian, a surgical oncologist and breast cancer specialist at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), part of the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network, informed Glock about a clinical trial underway at the hospital of an investigational drug for inflammatory breast cancer, called Neratinib, that targets and blocks proteins that help cancer cells to grow. Once accepted and enrolled in the study, the results of the treatment were almost immediate for Glock.   On July 17, 2013, she was informed the tumor in her breast was nearly gone!!

“The doctors told me that inflammatory cancer grows fast but it also responds fast to treatment.   By August 28, 2013, my ultrasound did not show a mass in my breast.   My response to the treatment was very rapid and very good,” she said. After receiving chemotherapy, radiation and having a mastectomy, Glock was declared cancer free.

“I have a 90 % survival rate for 5 years and 80% after that.  I realize that because of the nature of my cancer it could come back again, but I plan to remain vigilant and put my trust in the excellent team of doctors that took care of me,” she said.

“I attribute a lot of recovery to my faith, hope and spiritual prayer life.  Prayers were requested from friends and relatives throughout the United States and Spain. Also, my parents had a plaque with my name placed in the St. Perigrine Garden (patron saint of cancer) in Boynton Beach, Florida.  Glock said her family’s incredible support made all the difference in her battle with cancer.

“My son, Justin, chose to live at home just so he could watch over me and help my husband.  My youngest son, Jonathan, made himself available for oncology appointments and was with my husband during my long surgery. My oldest son, Jason, also was wonderful throughout the entire difficult time,” she said. “My cancer treatment was excellent but key to my recovery was the prayer, love and support of my family and friends,” Glock said. 

“Due to the miracle of my cancer recovery,” Glock was driven to start her own nonprofit to educate and raise funds about breast cancer awareness and to encourage other breast cancer survivors to consider participating in a clinical trial.  For more information go to www.glockfoundation.org