Monday, September 1, 2014

My Island Roots

One of my very own favorite sayings is:

If you forget where you came from, 
you won't know where you are going 
and you won't know who you are when you get there.

Recently, I learned something about myself as I was studying my island roots. The epiphany of sorts came as I was reading an article about the people of Harkers Island, North Carolina. As I casually read, I suddenly understood why I feel like I feel sometimes -- like an introvert who inwardly likes to be left alone, but one has been called out to be a friend of Jesus to everyone I encounter.

Here's the quote I read and the reference:

Harkers Island, North Carolina, sits in the water all by itself, a simple land where people have worked the sounds for a century, a place where they battle two natural instincts -- wanting to be friendly and wanting to be left alone. The State Magazine, May 2013

I'm a natural born island boy, but supernaturally born again to glorify my Lord. Which reminds me of another of my own favorite sayings:

I'm glad to be the son of a fisherman and a fisherman (and a shepherd) for the Son.

Enough said.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Jesus is Near..."

My Dad is sitting this morning in the radiology office at Carteret General Hospital awaiting another pet-scan for clarification of whether or not cancer has returned anywhere in his body. As always his heart is tenderly turned towards The Great Physician.

I asked, "Dad, how are you feeling today?" His reply was vintage Capt. Billy inspiration: "Jesus is near. The sun is shining. The flowers are beautiful, and I am praying my scan will show 'all clear'. However, I want His will. He hasn't left me alone."

He then wept a little in praise and said, "Tell your local church people I so appreciate them and their prayers on my behalf. Everything's gonna be okay, either way." 


Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Pleasant Places"

Last night I was blessed to moderate a panel of boat builders and fishermen from my native North Carolina, coastland community. The local Heritage Museum was honoring the Davis family from Marshallberg, North Carolina. 

The panel consisted of a grandfather, Bernie,  son, Gary, and two grandsons, Ramsey and Zach. Beginning with the grandfather, they each shared memories about the great grandfather, Ray. 

Finally, through tears of gratitude, the youngest grandson, Zach, gave this passage from the Psalms to explain how he felt about his grandfather, his heritage, and the generational blessing that is now His:  

“The LORD is my inheritance and my cup. You are the one who determines my destiny. Your boundary lines mark out pleasant places for me. Indeed, my inheritance is something beautiful.”
-- Psalm 16:5-6 (GWT) 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Beam Brightly

Last evening, my wife, Kim, and I, were blessed to take a boat ride to Cape Lookout Lighthouse, a short distance from my childhood home. 

Captain Richard Gillikin and his wife, Ellen, were our hosts. They live in my Granny Margery and Grandaddy Gray's old home place now.

This old song is still on my heart this morning. I hope it blesses your soul and inspires you to reflect the Light of Jesus along the shores of your life. Beam brightly. 

Let the Lower Lights Burning:


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our Always-Present Lord

In Revelation 1:8 (GWT),  The Glorified Christ witnesses these words of wonder about Himself:

“I am the A and the Z,” says the Lord God, the one who is, the one who was, and the one who is coming, the Almighty.”

He is "The One Who Is!" 
(He is our God in the Present)

He is "The One Who Was!" 
(He is our God over the Past)

He is "The One Who Is Coming!" 
(He is our God of the Future)

Lord, be God over me Today, be God over my Yesterdays, and be God ordering my Tomorrows. From my earthly beginning to my earthly end and until my Heavenly new beginning again, be my EVERYTHING, ALL-THE-TIME, FOR ALL-TIME AND BEYOND!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Sin is Lying Outside Your Door..."

In Genesis 4:7 (GWT) God said to Cain: "If you do well, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it."

Let us think and act on these things, my brothers and sisters.


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.


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