Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Seaman's Dream -- Aboard The Old Ship of Zion


When I was a boy, this image was framed and hanging on the wall of our island home. My Dad, a seaman, so resembled the man at the ship's wheel that I really thought it was him. 

This image means so much to our family and especially to my Dad, who spent nearly 60 years on the ocean, much of it as a shrimp boat captain. He has lived through many life-threatening storms.

Over the past 9 months, my Dad, Capt. Billy, has been in the biggest storm of his life as he has experienced cancer, chemotherapy and beginning today, radiation. Yet, this morning he told one of his new doctors that this stormy season has been the most meaningful, spiritual season of his life.

I showed Dad the above image this morning. He wept tears of gratitude to God. Dad then retold to me a vivid and inspirational dream he once had. 

Dad said: "In the dream, I was sailing on The Old Ship of Zion (imagery of the ship that transports believers to Heaven). Though the vessel was encountering a very bad storm, a hurricane of sorts, still The Old Ship of Zion, seemingly 300 feet in length, cut through the angry billows like a sharp knife. I had never been aboard such an impressive and seaworthy ship as The Old Ship of Zion. I was sure we would make port on That Golden Shore of my Heavenly Home." 

I pray your day will be a day like no other -- a day when you sense The Captain of The Old Ship of Zion, Jesus Himself, to be your undeniably present, Pilot of Peace.

Grateful 

(If image above does not display full, click on image.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Is "The King" Also "My King?!"

Was Jesus a king? Well, Matthew's New Testament account of The Good News of Jesus Christ sets out to say Jesus was more than "a king"; He was and is "THE KING!"

Consider this. Even as Jesus was being crucified on a cruel Roman Cross, a governor had these words posted on a plaque above the head of Jesus: "This is Jesus, 'THE KING' OF THE JEWS!" (Matthew 27:37 GWT)

Pilate called Him "THE KING OF THE JEWS!" But the question must be answered more personal than Pilate's inscription -- that may have been, in actuality, more of an accusation than an answer. 

Either way, each of us must answer for ourselves: "Is Jesus 'THE KING OF MY LIFE?!' Is Jesus 'MY KING?!'"

Grateful 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Regardless...

Prayers for my Dad, Capt. Billy appreciated. He is experiencing some pain-filled days. Since his "all clear" cancer report about two months ago, new health concerns are his reality. 

We trust in The Name of The Lord Our God... Regardless... Deo Volente!

Grateful 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Our 34th Wedding Anniversary

Today, my dear beloved wife, Kim, and I celebrate 34 years of marriage. "A cord of three strands is not easily broken" -- God, husband, and wife.

Grateful to my God for my bride (1980's image of my Beloved below)

"What Makes Me 'Somebody'...?"

On this past Sunday (just hours prior to unplugging from the local pastorate for a season of sabbatical that will excuse me from the pulpit and all church-related responsibility for 8 straight weeks) I shared aloud these words about giving up control and choosing solitude. The words are my personal remix of deep writings from Henri Nouwen. By the expression on many of the faces in the congregation, my vulnerable confession really resonated:

When I enter into solitude to be with God alone, I quickly discover how dependent I am.  Without the many distractions of my daily life, I can feel anxious and tense.  When nobody speaks to me, calls on me, or needs my help, I can start feeling like a nobody.  Then I begin wondering whether I am useful, valuable, and significant.  My tendency is to leave this fearful solitude quickly and get busy again to reassure myself that I am"somebody."  But that is a temptation, because what makes me somebody is not other people's responses to me but God's eternal love for me.

To claim the truth of myself I have to cling to my God in solitude as the One who makes me who I am.


Grateful

Friday, August 22, 2014

"The Power Doesn't Come from Us... "



“Our bodies are made of clay, yet we have the treasure of the Good News in them. This shows that the superior power of this treasure belongs to God and doesn’t come from us.”
-- 2 Corinthians 4:7 (GWT)

The Power doesn't come from us, but It does come to us and must flow through us!

Grateful

(If full image doesn't display above, click on image.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Invitation to LIFE

Isaiah 55:1-3a ((NLT) invites us to LIFE:

Invitation to the LORD’s Salvation

1 “Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!
2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food.
3 Come to me with your ears wide open.
Listen, and you will find life."

Grateful