31 December 2010

David Brainerd

DAVID BRAINARD

"It is impossible for any rational creature to be happy without acting all for God. God Himself could not make him happy any other way... There is nothing in the world worth living for but doing good and finishing God's work, doing the work that Christ did. I see nothing else in the world that can yield any satisfaction besides living to God, pleasing Him, and doing his whole will."


"Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom."


"My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and a stranger here below, that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desert, till I arrive at my Father's house."


Oh, that I could spend every moment of my life to God's glory!"


"I have received my all from God. Oh, that I could return my all to God."


"It is sweet to be nothing and less than nothing that Christ may be all in all."


"All my desire was the conversion of the heathen... I declare, now I am dying, I would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole world."

The Strength of the LORD

1. No strength of mine to give
No might or skill or worth
No wisdom of my own to offer
In accomplishing Your work.


2. O Lord, your strength is mine
Your might, Your skill, Your worth
Your wisdom You bestow
To accomplish Your work.


SO MY SOUL, GO FORTH IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD,
WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT.
TRUST THE PROMISE OF HIS WORD:
HE IS WITH YOU IN FAITH’S FIGHT.


DO NOT DELAY IN TRUSTING IN THE LORD.
HIS HAND WILL GUIDE YOUR WAY.
HE OFFERS MERCY IN HIS WORD,
TO THOSE WHO WILL CALL UPON HIS NAME.


3. So from weakness I’m made strong
From poverty made rich.
From the wisdom of Your word,
I find reason to live.


4. Your glory is my joy;
Your praise my life’s theme.
In Your beauty, I am clothed,
By Your blood, I’m made clean.


SO MY SOUL, GO FORTH IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD,

WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT.
TRUST THE PROMISE OF HIS WORD:
HE IS WITH YOU IN FAITH’S FIGHT.


DO NOT DELAY IN TRUSTING IN THE LORD.
HIS HAND WILL GUIDE YOUR WAY.
HE OFFERS MERCY IN HIS WORD,
TO THOSE WHO WILL CALL UPON HIS NAME.


5. I press on through weakness and through fear;
Through struggle and through strife;
Trusting that You are always near,
To be my help in this life.


6. Now in You I’m made strong;
In You I have courage to stand.
By Your grace I know I’m held
By Your righteous right hand.


SO MY SOUL, GO FORTH IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD,

WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT.
TRUST THE PROMISE OF HIS WORD:
HE IS WITH YOU IN FAITH’S FIGHT.


DO NOT DELAY IN TRUSTING IN THE LORD.
HIS HAND WILL GUIDE YOUR WAY.
HE OFFERS MERCY IN HIS WORD,
TO THOSE WHO WILL CALL UPON HIS NAME.

With God I Shall Do Valiantly

The Lord turned to Him and said, Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hands.

But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.


I will be with you and I will strike down all the Midianites together.


--Judges 6:14-16



To set the stage, The Angel of the LORD has just come to Gideon with a mission to rescue the people of Israel from the hands of the Midianites. As I read this passage this morning, the words seemed to jump off the page at me. I have read the story of Gideon before, but these verses struck a chord in my heart. God had a job for Gideon to do, and Gideon was not stupid…He knew He could not do it. He is listening to the LORD give him the mission, “ to rescue Israel in the strength you have,” At this point it is kind of like Gideon raises his hands to stop the Lord from going on, “But God, what strength? I don’t have any strength. You are looking at the least qualified man for the job. You must have gotten me mixed up with someone else because I cannot do this.”


However God did not make a mistake, and He answered Gideon, “I will be with you.”


Gideon’s strength (or lack there of) was not what mattered, what mattered was the fact that God had a mission for Gideon to carry out, and He would cause Gideon to accomplish the task. God does not seek out people who have the ability to do His work, He calls people who are weak and “unqualified” so that His power and might are seen through their inability. The key to carrying out God’s work is not our strength, but God’s presence.


I feel a lot like Gideon. I am here on the Midgett as His witness, but I am so weak to accomplish the mission He has given me to shine His glory among these people. I feel like I am the least articulate person in the world, and I see so many unbelievers who could probably defend my faith better than I could. I am fearful, filled with worries and such an unlikely candidate to minister to these people…and I just want to tell God, “I CAN’T DO THIS. THIS IS AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK THAT I AM COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED TO CARRY OUT.” And I can just see Him smiling at me patiently nodding His head and saying, “I know…that is why I called you to do it.” All I can see are the impossibilities, but that just goes to show you how limited my view from here is. God can see the big picture, and He is not limited by my limitations.


The mission He has given me to accomplish here does not rest upon my ability nor upon my strength, but upon His power and might. I so easily forget that His work cannot fail. He is with me here on the Midgett and He will accomplish His work.


So He calls me to go forth in the strength I have…and my first response is “what strength?” And His response is, I AM WITH YOU…I WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION. So I go forth in my weakness, in my inability, in all the impossibilities that weigh me down, and in all the limitations that hold me back…I go forth not because I can but because God is with me and He is the one who is accomplishing His work here. I can do nothing, but through Christ I can do all things.


I am a lot like Gideon. But what the amazing thing is that the same God who caused Gideon to accomplish a seemingly impossible task is also the same God who enables me to do His work here on the Midgett. He does not change from day to day…He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love never fails, and His faithfulness is new every morning. So I press on because He is with me; I press on becasue with God I shall do valiantly.

30 December 2010

Birthday Reflections

Well, I welcomed my birthday in today at the stroke of midnight as I stood JOOD (Junior Officer of the Deck) watch. It is hard to believe that a year has passed since I turned twenty, but as I look back over this year, I am amazed by all that God has been teaching me. I have spent about six months of this year underway, living side by side with unbelievers without a way of escape (or perhaps they were the ones who did not have a way to escape me…it is all a matter of perspective). God has taken me through valleys, and He has also leaded me to the heights as I have experienced both spiritual highs and lows. I feel as though He has been putting me through His own course of Evangelism 101.




Now (as everyone here is sure to inform me) I have reached the age of ultimate freedom…I am no longer constrained by age limitations (for the most part) and I can live and party it up big time. But little do they know that they are not free themselves, but rather they are slaves to their sin. I am no longer a slave to sin because I have been redeemed by Jesus’ blood. So I press on as Christ’s slave; His ambassador here. I am His light in this darkness, reflecting His beauty to the people here. And at times my heart is burdened and I feel like I cannot go on one more step, but Jesus gives me strength. His love is so great that He does not hesitate to hold my soul in the fire to refine and purify me to be made like Jesus. He etches His character into my soul, and it hurts but He fills me with a greater joy in knowing Him that far outweighs any pain.



So many people live for this fleeting moment in time, but soon it shall fade away. However my heart is set on eternity….so they fill their lives with comfort and pleasure now, but I press on for something greater for that which is unseen. We all expend ourselves for something. I will be spent no matter what I live for, but what I am spent for shall make all the difference in my life. I want to be spent for Jesus…I want my life to be consumed by an undying passion to glorify His name all the days of my life. I am now 21, and my mind is set, my purpose solid---In Christ I press on in faith, His praise is the theme of my life.

26 December 2010

Quotes to Inspire

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."
-- Nate Saint, missionary martyr



“Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; Heaven so real that we must have men there.” – Hudson Taylor




"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light"
-- John Keith Falconer



"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell."
 -- C.T. Studd



“God had only one Son and he made that Son a missionary.”
 -- David Livingston



"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose"
-- Jim Elliot


"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him"
-- Hudson Taylor


 
When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."



"Someone asked, will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved."
 -- Charles Spurgeon



God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him."
-- Hudson Taylor, missionary to China



How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer's ear;
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
~John Newton



To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.

- Harry Truman

 
Never . . . Never . . . Never . . . Never Give up!

- Winston Churchill

25 December 2010

THE ONLY WAY

Out upon the waves and storms of this life
My soul is tossed,
And as the fears and doubts rise higher
I cry out.

The water crashes over me
And all I see,
Is the foaming, angry waves
That surround me.

The darkness comes and seizes me
With all its might.
I stumble for I've lost my way
In this endless night.

When all my soul feels is awful dread,
And despair;
When discouragement clench my heart...
And one more step, I cannot bear.

In my agony and helplessness,
Jesus comes.
Walking on the water
Upon the storms.

His grace and love know no limits
And His mercy's wide...
Wider than the ocean,
And stronger than the tides.

He wraps His arms around me
And reminds me of His love...
His love that took Him to the cross
To pay...
To pay for all my sin
And make me right with God
Jesus, You are the TRUTH,
The only WAY.

And so I bow all of me
Before You God.
A hurting heart,
Held in hands of grace.
And though I do not understand
Your plans for me
I trust You
That You are THE ONLY WAY.

The Reason of Christmas

"She will give birth to a son, and you will give Him the name Jesus, BECAUSE HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS."
-
Matthew 1:21


Behind the glamour and glitter of Christmas; behind the wrapping paper, Christmas trees, parties, and family reunions; behind the black Friday sales, the Nativity scenes, the busyness and bustle of the holiday season is the true reason of Christmas. The angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds---THEY ANNOUNCED GOOD NEWS. But to understand why it is such good news, we must first understand the bad news. Because if we stripped away everything we depend and cling to, if we ripped the wrapping paper away from our hearts and looked at the truth in God’s Word, concerning our heart’s condition it would not be good for we are desperately lost in our wickedness and sin.



Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray…each of us has turned to His own way.”

Psalm 14:2-3: “No one seeks God, NOT EVEN ONE.”

Isaiah 59:7-8: “Their feet rush into sin...their thoughts are evil…the way of peace they do not know.”


Imagine you had to go to the doctor and He calls you into his office and tells you to take a seat. “After examining your heart we found some things that cause us GREAT CONCERN. Your heart has a hereditary condition that has poisoned you with self-love; parasites of pride and arrogance have deteriorated your whole being, leaving you completely and utterly infected by sin and hate for God and all that is right. It does not matter what medications you take, lifestyle changes you make, or treatments you undergo you cannot undo the damage that has already been made nor can you be rid of this terrible, TERMINAL soul condition you are in.”


Wow…so this is where we are at---WE ARE WITHOUT HOPE. We have sinned against a holy God and have turned away from Him…we have become God’s enemies. There is no way for us to fix the situation we are in or change our standing with God. We are headed for Hell where we will pay the penalty of our sins for all eternity…living in complete separation from God.


But the story is not over yet….


This is the reason Christ came…to save us!!!!


The doctor continues after a great pause. “However, you may be saved yet, if someone is willing to do a heart transplant. Their heart must be completely healthy and perfect without any sin or wickedness. They must be willing to die because to give you life they must die in your place.”


You sit there shaking your head in your hopelessness, thinking “Hardly anybody is willing to die for a good person, who would die for me?”


The doctor smiles at this point. “But I have good news for you…someone already volunteered to save you. his blood type is correct and it matches yours and his heart is perfect. He willingly gave up his life so that you can have his heart. And he did it for free…though it cost Him everything.”



This is what the angels announced---GOOD NEWS!!! We had no hope, but what we could not do Christ did. He came to earth as the God-man…lived a perfect life for us…went to the cross…bore the punishment of all our sin…was utterly crushed by His Father…FORSAKEN…He went to Hell for us who would believe in Him and He died.

They laid His body in a tomb, but three days later He rose from the grave! God the Father had accepted His sacrifice; our debt had been paid. The great exchange was finalized: Jesus took all of our sin and had given us all of His righteousness! Now we can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. HE IS THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER.


Christmas is the celebration of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We were helpless and hopeless because of the bad news that our sins had brought us. But now Jesus has come and He has brought us good news that we can have forgiveness because of the sacrifice that He made at the cross. Now we must believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and Savior, take up our crosses and follow after Him. The way has been made to the Father---the only way is Jesus Christ.


Isaiah 53:3-5: “…BY HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED…”

I Surrender

I surrender all of me
At Your feet I humbly bring,
All my hopes and dreams
For You to take and transform.

Transform my heart to be like You,
To do the things You call me to
To live my life all for You
In full consecration.

JESUS YOU ALONE ARE MY SUPPLY
IN YOU I LIVE---TO ME I DIE.
ONLY YOU WILL SATISFY,
THIS THIRSTING SOUL AND MORTIFY
THE SIN IN ME AND MAKE ME CLEAN;
I SURRENDER...YES, I SURRENDER.

The pain is great
The road is tough,
But Jesus' strength is enough
To sustain me through all of life...I surrender

And when my soul cries out in pain,
I must never forget that Jesus' name
Is my strong tower through any storm
And He will see me through.
I surrender...Yes, I surrender.

JESUS YOU ALONE ARE MY SUPPLY

IN YOU I LIVE---TO ME I DIE.
ONLY YOU WILL SATISFY,
THIS THIRSTING SOUL AND MORTIFY
THE SIN IN ME AND MAKE ME CLEAN;
I SURRENDER...YES, I SURRENDER.

26 November 2010

The List

Once upon a time, lived a man who struggled with the weight of guilt. He did everything he could to keep from feeling so guilty, but nothing seemed to work. So in desperation, he went to the house of a wise old man who lived at the edge of town.



The man explained his problem to the wise man and waited for a reply. The wise man gazed at him intently and stroked his pointy beard. “So why do you feel so guilty,” he asked. “What have you done?”


“Sir, I am weighed down by all my sin.”


“Have you turned to Christ to forgive you of your sin?” The wise man asked.


“Oh, certainly I have, Sir, but I still feel guilty. I try to live a life that pleases Christ, but even when I am doing good things my motives are so wicked and sinful.”


“I see. Do you believe that you are saved by grace and not by works?”


“Oh yes, of course I am saved by grace, but I cannot seem to live up to the grace God has given me.”


The wise man smiled at the troubled man. “Oh, I see, there is only one thing that can be done.”


The troubled man listened attentively as the wise man explained his solution. “For the next thirty days you must write down everything you do and say and think. You must keep a detailed record of it all whether it is good or bad. And then at the end of the thirty days I want you to bring the list to me.”


The man felt puzzled and confused. “Why must I keep a list? It grieves my heart already without keeping track of everything I do.”


“Just do as I say.”


The man shook his head and walked away, but because he was so troubled by the feelings of guilt and sorrow he decided to try it just in case it helped relieve his pain. The days passed ever so slowly. He kept a detailed record of it all just as the wise man had said. Some days He felt almost elated because he felt that surely he was improving, but then just as soon as his elation reached it’s peak he would sink again realizing his heart was gloating in pride. His list seemed to go on forever.


Finally thirty days passed, and one thing the man knew for sure: keeping a list had not made him feel any better or less guilty. If anything it had made things worse. So he returned to the wise man more sorrowful than before.


“Here is my list,” he said as he handed the wise man a thick stack of papers. “But I don’t think it has cured my feelings of guilt.


“Well, is this everything?” the wise man asked.


“Yes it is everything,” the man answered. “My guilt feels heavier than ever now."


The wise man walked over to his fireplace and knelt by the hearth. The man almost gasped in shock as the wise, old man held the list into the fire. The man looked on in horror as the old man’s hand blistered from the angry flames.


“What, what are you doing? Your hand! And my list--- it took me hours to work on the list. Why would you do this?”


The wise man did not answer, but instead took the ash shovel on the hearth and scooped up the ashes from the papers into a bowl. He motioned for the man to follow him as he walked out of his house and over to a river not far away. He took the ashes and threw them into the rushing water which quickly swept the ashes away. The man was dumbfounded as he watched on in disbelief.


The wise man turned back to the troubled man and smiled. “Where has your guilt gone now?”


The man shook his head, “It’s been swept away, my list has been swept away,” he paused. “Your hand is burned.”


“Your list could not have been taken away without a price, and you could not pay it, so I did.”


“My dear friend, what I have done is only a picture of what Christ has already done. He has taken your sin upon Himself and paid its penalty, and now your guilt is swept away. Christ paid the price. So now go your way and stop thinking about your guilt for it is no more---just like your list is gone forever. Instead think about Jesus and how much he loves you and how gracious He is in saving you.”


ONLY THREE MONTHS...

...Dear Lord, I only have three months on this patrol to testify to the Gospel of your grace; I only have such a short time to make much of Your name by living out my faith before my fellow Coasties. You have placed me here for a reason and it was not to complain and wish away the days I'll be out at sea; It was not to dread each moment and wish it is all over. No, You have placed me here as Your witness to share the hope you have given me---to share the glorious gospel with those arround me. So Lord Jesus, enable me to do Your will: give me words to speak---to tell of Your amazing grace; give me eyes to see---to see the opportunities You will set before me to share my faith; give me a heart of compassion---so that I can be Christ to these lost sinners; and give me boldness to say what needs to be said, to stand up for what it right, to testify to the truth of Your Word, to live out my faith in humility, to be committed to prayer, dedicated to God's Word, and fully relying upon Christ to supply my every need. I am nothing Lord Jesus, You are my everything---You are my all in all. I cannot do anything that pleases You apart from You so please enable me to do Your work. May You recieve all the glory and praise, may Your name be exalted over all, and may You be the supreme joy in my life every single day.

I only have three months...Lord Jesus, may I not waste this time You have given me...may I make the most of this great opportunity.

Dear Friends and Family, please keep me in Your prayers that I would not waste this patrol.

A Most Awesome Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2010

Yesterday, I had a most wonderful Thanksgiving on board my boat. I missed being with family, but God blessed me with good friends to celebrate the day with. I give thanks to my Mighty God who has placed me upon the Midgett as His servant and ambassador. Oh how I love Him all because He first loved me!

So me and my friends started the morning off by watching The Passion of Jesus Christ. My friend Jackie who committed her life to Jesus recently (praise Jesus!), wanted to watch it and a lot of others on board joined us on the mess deck. I also enjoyed some reading, and I was so happy to call my family and talk to everybody! I also got to help in the kitchen, making Thanksgiving dinner...it was so fun! We made apple pie and turkey with all the trimmings. I wish I could put up pics, but my laptop that has those capabilities is at the doctor's right now)-: Soon!!!

But it was an amazing day and I thank God for blesssing me so tremendously!!!

November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010



Winter has certainly set in here in Seattle, and all is snowy and white. I was out and about earlier, getting some last minute things at the store for my upcoming patrol, and I could definitely feel the icy wind cut right through my coat. Now I am staying nice and warm in my rack, writing, and listening to Christmas music. Tonight shall be fun because I bought all the makings for s’mores!!! So I am going to see who all wants to join me in s’more making and eating later on.


It is hard to believe that I will be heading back out to sea here very soon. This week I have been especially praying and committing this upcoming patrol to the Lord. I do not want to waste the time God has given me to be His light here on the Midgett, and now as I realize that this will be my last patrol, I want to make sure I make the most of every second. I want to glorify God in all that I say and do and think; I want to make much of Jesus; and I want to finish hard, testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace to the people who are here on board with me. I do not want to leave here, and people think that I was just a nice person, that I was just an optimistic person---no I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that the reason I smile every day is not just because I am a happy person; that the reason I wake up each morning is not just because the sun decided to rise; that the reason I work hard when others are not is not because I am just a “go getter”; that the reason I don’t complain when others are complaining is not just because I have fortitude---no the reason for all of this is because I know Jesus and He has saved me and filled my heart with joy! He is the reason not anything else…and I want everyone on this boat to know that Jesus is the one who makes me smile, He is the one who fills my heart with joy, He is the one who has given me a living hope, He is the one who has saved me, and He alone can satisfy their hearts.


Pray for me, because I can do nothing in my own strength. Pray that I will trust Jesus to be my strength and courage. It is so completely silly and ridiculous that I give in to fear when I serve the King of kings and Lord of lords. So I ask the Lord for help to sustain me and strengthen me to do His will. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)!!!


So I press on, rejoicing in my Mighty Savior, resting in my merciful Father, and working in the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel here for the glory of God.


Immanuel: God with us. And if God is with us who can stand against us? I shall not fear for my God is with me!

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

November 2, 2010







Jesus, Lover of my soul,


My greatest joy…in You I am made whole.


Your love is truly better than life,


And I will live with my eyes fixed upon Christ!






Unto You Lord, I lift up my voice.


To declare Your praise…in You I rejoice!


You Are the way, the truth, the life;


You took my place and have given me new life!

25 November 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day 2010

I give thanks to You, O God, for You are holy and good; You are gracious and merciful to me.
By Your great love, You have saved me and called me Your own through the death of Jesus my Savior.
For I was lost, dead in my sin; I completely and utterly hated You above all things. I did not obey Your righteous laws nor was I attentive to follow in Your ways. No, like a sheep I had gone astray, I had turned to my own way.
But in You great mercy and compassion You came to earth and sought me out. You found me and forgave  me my sins.
You lived a perfect life and fulfilled the law on my behalf. You were betrayed and disowned by Your friends and handed over to wicked men. You were mocked and beaten, You were laughed at and scorned by the ones You had made. You held their very lives in Your hands as they spit on You and beat You. Then You were led to Golgotha as You carried Your cross. You were nailed to it and hung upon it. You not only bore the horrible physical torremnt from the hands of sinnful man, but You also bore the wrath of God. You crushed by Your Father and He turned His face away from You because You took upon Yourself the sin of all who would believe. You became sin for us though You had never sinned, and You gave us Your righteousness though we had never done anything good.
You were pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquity and by Your wounds we are healed.
You die upon the cross and gave up Your life as a ransom for many. Then they laid You in the tomb, but You did not remain there for long because on the third day You arose! God was satisfied with Your sacrifice and brought You back from the grave. Our atonement had been made now we could come to the Father through Jesus the Son.
Thank You Lord Jesus for this priceless gift of salvation. Thank You for giving us Yourself and for making peace between God and man.
We are now hidden in Jesus covered by the blood of the Lamb.
So I give You thanks, O God, for apart from You I would be destined for Hell---seperated from You forever---I would never have known true joy and never received abundant life. So I give thanks to precious Jesus and I glory in Your holy name.
O Immanuel has come! God is with us! We are not alone in this world for God is with us. O thank You Jesus Christ!

15 November 2010

Precious Treasures

(A poem I wrote when I was underway this past fall)


Precious treasures; gifts from God.
Hold and love them for they'll soon be gone. 
For just like arrows strung on a bow,
You'll lead and teach them, but then you must let go.



So treasure each moment as though it's the last.
You'll never regret this time when it's passed.
So take the little hands in yours and do not delay,
In loving and hugging and correcting today.
Train up the little hearts to follow hard after Christ
To love and to trust Him and give Him their lives.




So live in the present and treasure its worth;
For yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet to give birth.
For shorter than the blink of an eye,
These few precious years will have all too soon flown by.
And know as I look back at the days of the past;
The time with my family was truly a blast!



13 November 2010

Pressing on in Christ



The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful Saturday. I enjoyed breakfast at IHOP with some friends from my boat, and then I headed to one of my favorite places in the world (not really!) Barnes & Noble. But on a rainy Seattle day, a book store is a perfect way to spend the day(-:

As I sit here right now looking back over the past couple weeks, I am just completely blown away by God's amazing grace! The work I have seen Him doing in the lives of the people on my boat, overwhelms my heart. And I know that God has always been at work on my boat even when I cannot see...but how amazing it has been to see the work of the Lord. O He is mighty to save!

My prayer to the Lord has been that He will give me a heart of compassion for the people on my boat. I have never been through what most of these people have gone through, and when they tell me their struggles and the suffering they are experiencing...most of the times I do not know what to say. I beg God in my heart for words, but often times I am at a loss. And perhaps that is best and what God wants. Maybe the very thing He wants me to say is nothing, but to pray for them and tell them verses from the Bible. I am His servant here, and I want to glorify His name in everything.

God is so good to me and sustains me every new moment. I remember when I first arrived on the Midgett, people were so amazed that I was always smiling...when I was painting, when I was mess cooking, when I was vacuuming up water in the rain! I remember they would tell me that, once I had been on the boat for a couple months I would be just like them and hate life. Well, a couple months passed by and I was still smiling (not because of me but because Jesus gave me such an amazing joy in Him), so they told me that it was because I had never been out to sea before, and once I was underway I would be just like them and hate life and the boat. Well, I went out to sea on my first patrol in the Puget Sound (and lived to tell about it!!!!), and was smiling more than ever. They told me it was because I had never gone down south on a patrol. They said those patrols would be the ones to break me. Well, we went down south and I was still smiling and still filled with joy in Jesus. And now I have been here on the Midgett over a year! And I think everyone has finally given up. God has been at my side, faithfully sustaining me every moment. He is the one who supplies me with joy here on my boat. Apart from Him I would be like everyone else...the only difference between me and them is that I have Jesus in my heart, filling me with inexpressible joy. I have hope in Jesus and this hope is anchored in Christ. I am held by grace and sustained by grace. I would walk away from Christ, I would give up, I would go down the same path of self-destruction that the other people on my boat are on if it were not for God's amazing grace. Thank You Jesus, for I do not deserve Your grace, but You have lavished it upon me anyway. I am in awe of how mighty and gracious You are! Praise be unto Your name!

And now here in a few short weeks, I will be getting back underway and heading back out to sea for another three months. I am going to miss land and my coffee shops and my church family, but I am convinced that this is God's will and that He has me on  the Midgett for such a time as this. Soon my time on the Midgett will come to an end...but until then I am here to declare the gospel of God's grace. And my goal is to share it with eveyone on this boat---that everyone would know the reason I smile and the reason I am joyful. This will probably be my last patrol and then I will be going to advanced training school and after that go to a new duty station and finish up my remaining time in the Coast Guard. So just like a runner in a race sprints his very hardest as he sees the finish line come into sight...so I also sprint with all my might to the finish line. O God may I glorify you on the Midgett and declare your name and praise that all may know that You are God and You are mighty to save. I pray that when others look at me they would see You...I want to point to You in everything.

So as I prepare for this upcoming patrol, I face it with a renewed joy and a resolved determination to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited! And yes I am afraid and scared to death at the same time! But I know the One true God and He is so wonderful and so good...and He supplies all my needs. He gives me strength, He gives me joy, HE HAS GIVEN ME SALVATION! I know that in Jesus Christ I am more than a conqueor because He has loved me and made me His own.

So I press on hard after Jesus. He holds me by His grace, He sustains me with His love, He teaches me in His faithfulness, and HE IS ALWAYS WITH ME. He will never leave me...in Him I press on...in Him I am strong, though I am weak...courageous, though I am afraid...righteous, though my works are as filthy rags. I am hidden in Christ!

05 November 2010

Jesus, You Are My Treasure!

I wanted to share some of the things that God has challenged me with the past several days. How gracious and wonderful He is! He is faithful to make me more and more like Jesus (Philippians 1:6)! Each new day, I am more amazed by how precious my Savior is and how merciful He is to me. My sin is so great...BUT MY SAVIOR IS GREATER STILL!

We are in a constant battle...a battle not against flesh and blood, but a battle to fight sin and live for Jesus. This is not some imaginary battle that pastors and Sunday school teachers talk about in church on Sunday...it is SERIOUS because it is the fight of a Believer to treasure Jesus above all. God must be first in everything in our lives...He must be first in our thoughts, in our relationships with others, in our work, in our school, in our words, in our motives, in our dreams, in our goals...IN EVERYTHING! The Holy Spirit has convicted me of this sin...because even though I want Jesus to be first, often times I do not make Him first. I become lazy and comfortable...I become distracted and take my eyes off Jesus and then I slip beneath the waves like Peter, but praise be to Jesus that He is gracious and merciful and saves sinners like me! So I am challenged to press on today, fighting sin, making God first in everything, enjoying Him, glorifying Him with my life, taking every though captive to the obedience of Christ...yet I can do absolutely nothing, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Jesus is my treasure!!!! My heart is overwhelmed by His love and grace.
So I shall close for now...but this is the work God is doing in my life.

Lord Jesus, You are my treasure! You are the best thing in my life. Apart from you, my life is empty and worthless. You are the Spring of Living Water; in You is fullness of joy! I will follow after you...do whatever it takes to make me like You, Jesus. Blessed be Your Name!

A True Story to Inspire and Motivate

(Here is a true story a friend shared with me...hope you all enjoy!!!)
Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.  
"Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.
She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say,
 
"God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

11 October 2010

Living Strategically for the Glory of God-Part One: Living on Purpose

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”
--
Romans 1:8

I think it is safe to say that we have all at some point in our lives made the excuse that, “Sometimes life just happens!” Time seems to speed up, our schedules seem to fill up, and before you know it all we can do is hold on as our busy lives seem to unfold like a giant, roller coaster ride. I find that this happens to me quite often, in that I get so busy with life that I do not truly live life to the full. I believe in Jesus Christ that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin, rose from the grave, and now is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for me; but is my life truly being transformed by what I believe or is it just another thing that I add to my already busy life? How am I acting out my faith, and how do I glorify God by the way I live? I do not glorify God when I am not living for Him and pointing to Him, and it is just as true that I do not glorify God when I just “let my life happen.”

Everything is not always so cut and dry, this I know for a fact; but even amid life’s business, we should never let it determine how we live and who we live for. Sometimes life can be busy, and I have felt the pressure of a busy life. The past couple months have seemed extremely busy for me, between mess cooking for two weeks---which entailed 14 hour days, 7 days a week, plus two hours of class, and homework every week day---and three weeks of double watches---which entailed 8 hours of watch a day, anywhere from 2-6 hours of regular work a day, my classes, and homework. Life can get busy, and we have two choices we can make: We can either get dragged along with our busy schedules and watch our lives pass us by as life happens, or we can begin the discipline of “living on purpose”. Our choice will not necessarily change what our schedules look like all the time, but it will change the way we look and act as we carry out our schedules.

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and told them that he thanked God that their faith was being told all over the world. This does not just happen on accident; such a testimony is only established when we live our lives purposefully for the glory of God. I am greatly burdened for the Christians in my generation, because I meet a great deal of “Christians” but I do not see how their faith has impacted the way they live their lives. We are selfish Christians, captivated by the “American Dream”, mastered by our lusts, slaves to our wallets, exhausted from the fake Christianity we profess, and quite satisfied with making Christ a part of our lives so that we can have the assurance that we will not go to hell when we die. We are Christians who have fallen in love with comfort, embraced security, surrendered to the reality of this world,  renounced any sort of risk taking for the Kingdom of God (especially if it will hurt our bank accounts or cut into our “me“ time), and settled for an “American Christianity”. We would rather be spectators in the crowds of this world rather than join the “extreme Christians”---the Jesus’ Freaks---in the arena who fight the battle of faith to the death. We have become Christless Christians---perhaps we are not Christians at all for to be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ and if we are not following Christ than surely we are not Christians. We are in the hands of an angry God who hates us with a righteous and holy hatred (I am sure your Sunday school teacher never told you that one!). Yes, He does offer mercy and grace to those who believe in Him that Jesus is Redeemer and Lord, and that those who are true lovers of Christ are held by Grace. However those who only know the truth but do nothing about it have no such assurance, for even Satan knows and believes that Jesus is God and came to earth as the Savior of the world, and he revolts in anger.

Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, once said, “There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world. An easy, non-self-denying life will never be one of power. Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. There are not two Christs---an easy-going one for easy-going Christians, and a suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in Him, and thus to bear much fruit.” This is the cross-roads of life that we all come to where we must chose whom we will serve. We cannot chose Christ while refusing to take up our crosses and follow after Him---you cannot have one without the other.

Oh what I write, I am not just writing to others, but it is a message so dear and fresh in my own heart for it is a message that God continues to challenge me with as I live out my life. My heart stings from conviction as I think over these truths I now wish to share. So I lift up my voice and I take a stand to challenge Christians to live strategically for the glory of God. Strategy should not just be used by the missionary in a foreign land, a military commander on the battle field, or a corporate executive in the business world; but in order for us to live out each day for God’s glory, we must be living purposefully, planning carefully, strategizing effectively, praying fervently, and living momentarily in the shadow of the cross of Christ. Life will just happen if we let it, that is why we must decide right now to live on purpose for the glory of God.


To the Cross I Cling
Living on purpose for the glory of God is definitely not an easy thing to do, which is why I think it is good to remind ourselves of the verses from Hebrews 12:1-3: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.” From these verses we can conclude that if we are not fixing our hearts and minds upon Christ and what He endured for us at the cross, we will become discouraged, worn out Christians. If we are to live our lives strategically for the glory of God, we must first be fixed upon the cross of Christ. We must be rooted in the Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16); a message that must not just be preached to unbelievers, but to believers too!

A good question to ask ourselves is, do we preach the gospel? Do we ever share our faith; and the reason for the hope we have? I find myself getting discouraged when I realize how little I share the gospel with others, but then I realize that I hardly ever share the gospel with myself! How can I preach a message I hardly know, and how can I hardly know a message that has completely turned the world upside down? The first step to living on purpose and glorifying God in every area of our lives is to preach the gospel to ourselves. Think about Christ’s great sacrifice for you that He would die and bear the Father’s wrath for your sin, know His love which is better than life, rejoice that now you have peace with God because of the Lord Jesus Christ. This should be a daily discipline of joy that we eagerly carry out in our lives. We must cling to the cross of Christ---we must live each day centered on the cross---or we will give up and quit. Why do we linger so far from the cross? Why do we hesitate to preach the gospel to ourselves? We are in a spiritual battle, and our enemy is strong, but the One whom we serve is stronger. The Lord Jesus Christ is our stronghold and He is our deliverer. When we are weak and weary He is strong, when we cannot stand He causes us to stand, when we are afraid He is by our side, in Him we are more than conquerors. So cling to the cross---live life on purpose by knowing God’s great love for you that He sent His Son to die in your place.

A Daily Battle
As you cling to the cross and begin the discipline of “Living on Purpose” also keep in mind that it is a battle you must fight daily. Even as I write this, I find the struggle to live purposefully for God’s glory more fierce than ever, which causes me to turn to God, begging Him for help and mercy. I do not want to waste my life, but rather I want to be spent completely and fully for God that He might be glorified in me.

Remember that you will grow weary and lose heart if you do not consider Jesus Christ and the great work He has accomplished on our behalf. He died that we might live, He took our punishment that we might share in His glory, He was raised from the dead that we might be made right with God, and He lives that we might also live. We must fix our gaze on Him so that we do not give up when the way is hard and the road is tough. We must rely on His strength to persevere through the difficulties that lay ahead that He gives us to exercise our spiritual muscles. Press on as you daily battle sin and choose to live purposefully for God.

28 September 2010

#11 GOFAST~ Midgett Adventures #3

September 1, 2010

This morning began, well not so bright, but definitely early as the Bridge (You could call the Bridge the center of operations where we steer and run the boat) piped the boat lowering detail to the starboard side boat deck at 0400. We all know what that means---GOFAST. Now so you keep up on speed with me as I tell you all that happened today, let me give you the run down on what a gofast is. Gofast is our term for a boat that appears to be suspicious of illegal drug trafficking. So needless to say all of us on boat lowering detail jumped out of our racks and hurriedly got dressed. I pulled on my coveralls and boots, grabbed my hard hat and took off only to turn around once I climbed the ladder to the mess deck because I forgot my PFD (life jacket). So I got that and made my way to the starboard side main deck. Some other seaman had already made it out and soon we were manned and ready. I was on the sea painter, but once they piped to set Law Enforcement Phase I, I had to go back to my berthing and get in my uniform because once they set phase II, I am billeted on the Bridge where I keep logs, work the Engine Order Telegraph, or whatever else needs to be done.

As it turned out, nothing much came from our early morning wake up call---just another fishing vessel. We were all disappointed to say the least. However as always we received new intel of another suspicious vessel 76 nautical miles away. So we went on turbines and sped across the Pacific. About 1430, As I was sitting in my rack studying, the GOFAST alarm goes off. It is a loud pitched flat line sound, “GOFAST, GOFAST. A GOFAST has been reported 10 miles (give or take) from Midgett. All hands man your GOFAST billets.” So once again I jumped out of my rack and quickly made my way up to the Bridge. The Bridge was hectic with officers at every turn. The Commanding Officer and Executive Officer analyzed the situation at hand. Boarding teams were manning up on the boat decks and the boats were beginning to be lowered. MID I was away to Starboard first and raring to go, but MID II was having radio difficulties. It took several minutes to fix the problem and lower the boat into the water. Things did not seem to be going very well…just to many little mistakes and too many mechanical problems. Even though MID II had a late start they were making it to the location of the GOFAST before MID I because MID I had steered a wrong course due to a gps failure. So we had MID II stopped two miles in front of us waiting on MID I which was way off our port quarter. So finally we had both boats together, we finally spotted the GOFAST and the GOFAST spotted us and bolted. But it appeared that it did not see the small boats because of the size of the wakes. So here it was running from us but running right into our small boats!

Spirits on the Bridge were soaring for once we might actually have something. As our small boats were in hot pursuit they could see that the GOFAST through overboard two bags, which we recovered. Finally after getting permission we boarded the vessel and found drugs.

So as it stands we have three detainees on board for an indefinite amount of time until we receive further orders on what to do with them. At the present the vessel is being thoroughly searched and so far we have found at least a hundred huge blocks of cocaine, and we still may find more. So all in all it has been a very successful and rewarding day. We found bad guys, got to go really, really fast, and we may even be able to shoot some guns and sink this boat…we’ll see. Our Captain says any day is a good day if you have a combo like that.

So I end this night thanking God for how He works and gives us exciting times like this---opportunities where we can make a difference in other peoples lives by stopping something bad like this from going on. It is a good reminder that we do have a purpose being out here in the middle of no where surrounded by  a whole lot of water! We do have a mission to accomplish and it is within our reach.

#11 JESUS LOVES ME~ Midgett Adventures#3

August 28, 2010

Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed by life, and loneliness and homesickness overwhelm me, threatening to conqueror my heart with fear. Just like a boat tossed and thrown about by the waves, I also feel tossed and thrown about by the challenges and fears I face. The great many miles that separate me from home, from my loved ones, and being unable to reach them, my heart grows faint and my soul weary. I suppose it is easy to start out any race strong, but it is once you are passed the starting line, passed the crowds of people cheering you on, passed everything that was familiar---that is when endurance and perseverance are tested. And now I feel my own endurance being tested and I find myself lacking---an utter failure. But I do  not give up because I find encouragement from the verses in Romans 8:37-39. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole wide world, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus loved me…this is the reason I can keep running when my legs and muscles burn with pain. Jesus loves me…this is why I do not give up when I am overwhelmed by fear and failure. Jesus will always love me…this is the reason I rejoice in my suffering, in my struggles, in the challenges I face because I am held in the hands of a God who has shown me mercy---who loves me because of who He is and not because of who I am. I am loved and I must live as one who is loved by God. So I rejoice though I am sorrowful, I sing for joy even when I am sad, I press on when the way is tough, because Jesus is with me and He loves me.

#10 Golfito~ Midgett Adventure#3

August 28, 2010

We are back underway from Golfito, Costa Rica. It was nice to be on dry land again, but it is just not the same as being back in Seattle where I can go relax at one of my coffee shops and recharge my batteries. I am reminded once again though that it is through God that I shall do valiantly. He is the one who sustains and upholds me each step of the way as I continue journeying heavenward. I did enjoy skyping for a few minutes with my family even though it was only for a little bit. Our internet connection lasted only a short while but it was wonderful to see their faces. Costa Rica was definitely a beautiful spot with the rain forest surrounding us and exotic birds flying overhead.

This morning is an all-hands field day so I will be concentrating on cleaning my berthing and making sure everything is squared away. Life has been busy and classes keep me super busy it seems. Sometimes I don’t know how I ma going to juggle it all, but the Lord is so good to me and sustains me. He gives me the strength I need when I need it (not always when I want it (-:

#9 Sanctuary ~ Midgett Adventure#3

August 18, 2010

Yesterday I enjoyed some time playing my guitar up on the mess deck. I am always so nervous and hesitant about playing and singing my songs up there because of what others will think…maybe say. I hold back and shy away from singing songs to the Lord. But God is working and stretching me in this and continues to give me courage to declare and sing His truth.

So as I was struggling with this, it struck me that whether the others who heard me singing liked it or not I was singing the truth and they need to hear it. And not only that, but I was struck that the mess deck---where we live a lot of our down time underway---and at times can be a discouraging place because of the darkness of these people who do not love Christ was transformed into a sanctuary of praise to God.

#8 Clouds~ Midgett Adventures#3


August 14, 2010

I watched the sunset this evening. The clouds glistened and shimmered as the last rays of the sun reflected off them. The sky came alive with shimmering silver-pink clouds, vibrant orange ones, purple and blue ones. By themselves the clouds are but vapors in the wind, vanishing into the air almost as quickly as they appear. Yet during a sunset, they are arrayed in the beauty of another. They are simply reflecting forth the beauty of the sun as it sets below the horizon.

As I was thinking about this, it made me think of how this should also be the way Believer’s live. We are but vapors in the wind and our lives disappear in the wind, but we should be reflecting the beauty of Christ---“the Son”---we are clothed in His righteousness, His beauty, and we should live our lives reflecting His beauty to the world. I want to live my life in such a way that Christ is glorified in all I say and do and think so that when others look at me they would not be seeing me but the beauty of Jesus reflected in me. Glory be to the Lord Jesus Christ!!!!

#7 Update~ Midgett Adventure #3

August 14, 2010

Today was an incredible Saturday. I had late sleepers (since I had mid watch last night---midnight to 0400) so I did not get up until 1000. After getting up and getting dressed, I headed off to the Navigation brief in the Wardroom. After Quarters, I took my BMOW board and passed---super exciting! Now I am a qualified BMOW, and no more double watches! Right after my board, we had swim call. Most everyone on board enjoyed jumping off the flight deck nets into the salty, pacific ocean below. It was a perfect day for a swim call---the sun was shining and the water was so calm and beautiful. I jumped off the flight deck nets about four times and enjoyed swimming for a good while. What a wonderful change in pace. I feel very refreshed and just had a fun time. Now I am doing laundry and so tired from my day of fun. Tomorrow we pull into port again for a little while. Fun times all around!!

#6 My Confidence~Midgett Adventure #3

I am a pilgrim on a journey, and one thing I know for sure: I am not home yet. The road stretches forth, winding up steep mountain cliffs, and dipping into deep valleys. The joy welling up within my soul does not spring from my surroundings or from this difficult path I am on, but it springs forth from Jesus Christ and the love He has lavished upon me. I am confident of this that I am a weak, weary follower of Jesus Christ, and I have no strength to press on home. I am also confident that Jesus Christ’s love is better than life and this love is what drives me on heavenward. I am held by grace, and I press on sustained by this grace that I do not deserve. I am a debtor to mercy---the mercy of God---once destined for wrath, but Jesus took my place and now I stand in Him, clothed in His righteousness and arrayed in His beauty. I am a lover of Jesus.

#6 August 8~ Midgett Adventure#3

August 8, 2010

I finally have a few moments to write down some scattered thoughts about what has been going on the past week. I have been breaking in BMOW (Boatswain Mate of the Watch), which means I have been standing double watches. Classes and homework have also consumed a great deal of my time. However all my homework is completed for the weekend and I don’t have watch for another couple hours, so here is my update for the week.

I worked the boat davits today for the first time. The davits is what controls the small boats when we raise or lower them. I also set dogged zebra throughout the ship: after sunset we have to turn off all the white lights and turn on the blue lights. We also have to set darken ship because we are on the hunt for “Go fasts”---drug runners. So it can be pretty creepy if you walk out on the weather decks because it is pitch black! I am also trying to learn how to play the “Boatswain Pipe” which is a whistle we pipe chow being served or call people to attention for Quarters---all hands muster; and then in port we use it for Colors in the morning and at sunset.

I have not had much time to read my Bible lately but God’s promises encourage me throughout the day---He is always with me, He is my refuge and strength, He holds me in His hands, I am saved by grace etc.
At times especially as I am breaking in BMOW, I feel overwhelmed and drained of strength, but God sustains me and fills me with joy. One thing I know for sure---I am in awe of God’s love and I am captivated by it. Each moment I know that it is only by His grace that I stand and continue on this journey heavenward. Oh how I press on in my precious Lord and Savior---Jesus Christ. He is my joy and in Him I will rejoice!

#5 Christ's Love~ Midgett Adventure #3

July 18, 2010

Oh that we would know and rely upon the love of Christ! What joy and peace we forfeit because we focus all that we are upon the waves and struggles surrounding us instead of centering our hearts upon the Lover of our Soul. Jesus loves us! He is alive the Almighty God who has made a way for us to have peace with God! Think upon Him and your thoughts will not be weighed down by the anxieties of this life. When the waves crash around your soul and you feel as though despair is the only answer to the problems you are facing look to the cross. See Christ crucified, risen, sitting at the right hand of God interceding for you. Because He was forsaken, we will never be forsaken and because He lives so will we live. Go to Christ and know His love that has no limits.

#3 Music~Midgett Adventure #3


July 15, 2010

Well my turn to mess cook has come around. Today was a busy one with lots of cleaning and dishes, but God’s grace sustained me and gave my heart courage to press on through it all. O He is with me pushing me on to the finish line---His joy is my strength! The day finally did come to an end but tomorrow my day will start again bright and early. I pray that God would use me to point people to Christ and to glorify His name.

While I was washing dishes in the scullery, I plugged my mp3 player into the speakers under the sink and was listening to my music. I have never had such a hard time listening to my music and wanting to turn it off. I was struggling with acknowledging Christ before my fellow Coasties by my music. Oh Lord Jesus help me not be ashamed of You. You are my life; my greatest joy, and I hate it that I want to keep my music which praises Your name to myself. Help me Lord Jesus, I cannot continue shining Your light here on the Midgett without Your help and strength.

#2 Even When We Cannot See~Midgett Adventures #3

July 8, 2010

I stood watch this morning, and half way through my four hours we entered a thick fog. Visibility was greatly reduced as I stood lookout, and the danger of us colliding into another vessel rose dramatically. However the officer of the deck continued to instruct us to stand a vigilant watch and to continue looking for contacts that might submerge from within the fog. He also scanned the horizon with his binoculars, keeping a sharp eye out for contacts.

As I was up on lookout, the thought occurred to me that our lives as Christians are very similar. We all experience times when we are surrounded by fog, and the trials and hardships we face seem to overwhelm us. We cannot see where we are going or if we are going to stumble in our walk with the Lord and collide in our faith. But God is faithful and is holding us through all of life. And when the “fog” surrounds us we can be sure that we are held by His grace. Just because we cannot see does not mean we stop being vigilant in pursuing the spiritual disciplines of the faith. We should press on reading God’s Word, praying, memorizing, fellowshipping with other believers, etc. Do not give up when the way is hard and difficult. Trust in the Lord---He will uphold you---for He holds you even when you cannot see.

#1 Rooted In Jesus~Midgett Adventure #3

July 7, 2010

Well, a new adventure has begun for me here on the Midgett. We set special sea detail after lunch and pulled away from the dock. If all goes as planned we shall not be pulling back into Seattle for another three months. We are headed out on our South Patrol down towards Costa Rica---our mission is drug interdiction along with doing a lot of individual and all-hands training. I am excited to be setting out once again, and glad that I will be going to see new places and do new things.

It’s funny though how fear and anxiety will bombard you even when you do not know why. But I find great comfort and assurance in God’s  Word especially in the Psalms. I read and reread Psalm 130, 121, 107, 27 last night and this morning. My heart may feel overwhelmed at times but God sustains me and His promise is sure…He will never leave me nor forsake me.

We are deviating of course a little bit tonight because earlier today a Coast Guard helicopter crashed of the coast of Washington. Three people were killed and one is in critical condition. We are heading to see if we can clean up any wreckage. What a sad day for those families to have to hear such terrible news. It certainly brings a solemnity to my own heart, and makes me realize that we never know when the Lord will see fit to bring us home so we should make the most of every opportunity. So I must live this moment right now to the fullest…I must live with no regrets and as if it is my last because it very well could be my last. And how do I live to the fullest? I believe the only way I can live my life to the fullest every moment is to be preaching the gospel to myself. Reflecting and rejoicing upon the salvation I have in Jesus and knowing His love for me. My heart must be rooted upon my Savior or I will waste the moments He’s given me.

01 August 2010

Blown Away!

Well, it has been quite a while since I last posted anything. Life has been busy and filled with lots of good challenges. I have been mess cooking the past two weeks, which can be draining. The Lord is ever faithful in sustaining me and upholding me through His Word and through cross-centered music. I have come to love the song by Aaron Shust, "My Savior and My God." I  would listen to that as I washed dishes and cleaned tables. God has greatly encouraged my heart with His love throughout the past several weeks...when I feel down and discouraged, He brings the Gospel to my mind. "Christ has died for me, He has made a way that I can have peace with God, I am clothed in His righteousness, and in Him I hide!" Preaching the Gospel to myself is a definite must to keep my eyes focused on the cross. I do have some fellow Believers here on the boat, but most of them do not think about the cross and live discouraged lives. It is only by God's grace that He has taught me that the Gospel is not just for unbelievers but for Believers!

Now that I am no longer mess cooking, I will be working back in Navigation. I am also taking two classes that keep me busy with homework and projects. I am doing well, though even if I don't have lots of down time...it helps make the patrol go faster. I miss all of you back home, and it encourages me greatly knowing that you are lifting me up in your prayers.

I suppose if I were to sum up the past several months and even the past two years, the lessons God has taught me all seem to derive from the book of Philippians. The joy we have as followers of Christ is not based off of circumstances and feelings, but off of Him. Situations, people, pain, suffering, and even sin can never take away that which is most imoprtant to me---Jesus! Oh how I love Him...sometimes I feel like I could explode with the joy in knowing Him...and to think I have only tasted but a small bit of it. I am comforted by the fact that I am not HOME yet! Someday I will be with Jesus...and I will see Him face to face. My faith will be turned to sight. What a wonderful day that will be! My fellow Coasties cannot comprehend my joy nor the reason I am so happy when I tell them why...because I know Jesus and He fills me with joy. It is a mystery to them, but not to me. How could I be anything but joyful in knowing and being known by the Almighty God who has saved me. Believers who do not think and rejoice in the Gospel daily will be robbed of joy, drained of strength, and conformed to the word around them. We must fight for joy...true, lasting joy in Jesus. Sometimes God's presence seems far away...maybe even gone...but we must not trust our feelings. When God's presence seems far away cling to His promises.

So here I am clinging to the promises of God, amazed by His love, and filled with joy in knowing Him. I am saved by grace and I no longer live but Jesus Christ lives in me. I am not home yet, but someday soon I will be with Jesus and until then I want to live life with all I have got for His glory. O that I may be spent and used up for Him and make it to my heavenly home all used up, spilled out, and worn out from serving Jesus...and yes, smiling as I cross the finish line.

06 July 2010

My Savior My God


July 5, 2010

I have a new favorite song: My Savior My God by Aaron Shust. I absolutely love the words to it. The chorus goes like this:

My Savior loves, my Savior lives,
My Savior’s always there for me!
My God He was my God He is
My God He’s always gonna be!

My heart nearly explodes with joy as I listen to it on my MP3 player. I find it such an encouraging, uplifting song especially as I go throughout my day, working with unbelievers who do not believe in Jesus. They have their own philosophy on life and Christ is definitely not apart of it. They do not love Him nor do they think He’s real. But when I listen to this song I hear the truth from God’s Word spilling out. MY SAVIOR LOVES! It does not matter what any of my fellow Coasties think or say---I am a child of God and He loves me. Jesus loves me and has saved me. MY SAVIOR LIVES! Jesus is not a fairy tale or some prophet of long ago---He is real and true and the Son of God who died to set me free. He is always with me, He will never forsake me, He is my God who I will serve and honor.

The battle rages fiercely and my heart is drained of power and joy when I listen to the so called “worldly wisdom” my friends live by. They are looking out for #1, living for worldly pleasures, satisfying their own lusts, and seeking their own glory. I am bombarded with Satan’s lies that God will not satisfy me, and that He’s holding out on me that which will make me happy; but amidst it all the cross remains rock solid and unwavering. So I fix my eyes on the cross and I press on knowing that my Savior lives and He loves me. My heart is set free by this good news of great joy. I am so happy that Jesus loves me and that He has saved me and made me His! This is the joy that fills my being.

02 July 2010

A New Adventure


June 28, 2010

I am at the beginning of a new adventure. Next week the Midgett shall set out for our South Patrol. We’ll be going down the West Coast towards Costa Rica…our mission is drug interdiction and training…and we will probably be gone for a good two and a half months or so. I am excited to be getting back underway, and to be going on my first south patrol. I am praying that the Lord will challenge and stretch me in different areas of my life and teach me more about Himself. I should be staying fairly busy, breaking-in in other watch stations on my boat, taking three college classes, boat lowering, and a whole slew of other things I don’t know about yet. I’ll be out of contact for most of the patrol, but hope to update everyone once I get the chance.

So fair well for now, and until we meet again!

26 June 2010

Give Me Words To Speak!

June 25, 2010
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
--
Ephesians 6:19-20

This morning I read these verses during my devotions with the Lord. I think we place Paul on a high pedestal in the church, and sometimes fail to realize that He was just an ordinary guy like us. He was a sinner, saved by grace, and transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is true that He knew God in a way that many of us cannot even begin to imagine, yet it was not because He was the “super apostle” or something like that, but because He lived a cross-centered life…He made Christ His number one priority in everything.

Read these verses again. Paul was afraid…he experienced fear when it came to sharing His faith. But He did not allow fear to hold Him back or keep Him from doing what Jesus Christ had commanded Him to do. So what did He do? He turned to the Lord for help…and he asked his friends---the Ephesians---to pray for him.

I feel so inadequate to share my faith here on the Midgett. Fears torment me and threaten to overwhelm me at times, and when I do find the courage to speak up when people ask me about my faith or why I am so happy, I feel like my tongue is tied in a million knots. I am Christ’s ambassador here on my boat, but I struggle having the courage to testify to the gospel of Christ, and finding the words to say to testify. So I turn to the Lord as Paul did, and I present my plea before the Father. “O give me Words to speak! Give me words to declare Your grace and truth to these people who need You and may I declare it fearlessly as I should!”

Pray for me, Lovers of Christ…that God would give me the words to speak when He brings opportunities into my life to share the gospel. And pray that I may declare the gospel here on the Midgett fearlessly as I should.

22 June 2010

I'm Back!


June 22, 2010

I’m back! The irony of it all is that I’ll be leaving in less than two weeks for the Midgett’s South Patrol. Time seems to have flown by the passed several months; along with dry dock, my trip home to see my family, and my six-month mark here on my boat. God continues to teach me lessons on His faithfulness, demonstrate His patience in sustaining me each new day, and never fails to stretch and challenge me in my faith.

Today I sanded and varnished the “teak rail” on the bridge (I’ll have to post a picture of it sometime), then I took a walk through downtown Seattle, and then headed over to my favorite---Seattle’s Best! At times moments and days seem to blend into each other and I wonder where all my time goes. Oh that I would not waste my life frittering away the time I have been given! My aim is that every moment I spend on this earth, I would spend pointing people to Christ. I fail, but God remains faithful to me and picks me back up.

I so easily forget that Christ is the most important thing and the people on my boat need Him. They need the Gospel. I am to be Christ’s witness on my boat---His ambassador.

So I press on today, and the joy that pulses through me each moment is that I have been reconciled to God! Jesus Christ has taken my place and I have forgiveness! I have peace with the Father because of the sacrifice of the Son. I am so happy that I am a child of God. This is the reason I smile.

20 May 2010

For Such A Time As This

Time has come to go back to work once again...my days off sure fly by! But I must not forget that it is for such a time as this that God has brought me to the Midgett. He brought me here to work and shine His glory as I work. I am not here by chance or by some mistake---He has a reason and I must surrender to His will.

How great and awesome He is and He is ever faithful to me each and every day. So today as I go back to work, I must remember that it is His hand that has placed me where I am at and that it is best. May I be His light on my boat and may I point people to Jesus in everything I do.

30 April 2010

Here Rests My Soul

April 30, 2010

This I know is truth that God is good and He is sovereign. I see His hand at work in my life in every detail. In His goodness and by His providence, my leave chit was speedily approved, and by the same goodness and sovereignty my flight home was delayed. The same hand that sustains also inflicts; the same God who gives also takes. Through joy and sorrow, He teaches us that He is good, He is sovereign, and His glory is our joy. Perhaps I’ll miss time with my family, but the Teacher knows best, teaching me to be content in Him in all circumstances. He is teaching me that His love is better than life. So I rejoice that God is good and sovereign. I rejoice that I am going home, and that I am stuck in Seattle. I rejoice that God is my joy, and that is Him my heart finds rest.

23 April 2010

Morning Walk

I enjoyed a wonderful walk through Buelevard Park this morning, spending some time in prayer and Bible reading. I set out from my boat and made my way down a quiet walking trail, across a long boardwalk, and over to the park where the Wood's Coffee shop is located. The Lord gave me such a special time with Him as I refocused my heart and eyes back upon the cross of Christ, meditaing upon the Good News that has set my heart free. I want to make it a regular habit of preaching the Gospel to myself. Oh how I need it every new day! When I don't my whole perspective on life goes down the drain because I am not fixed upon the Cross.

I was encouraged in my Bible reading that my Defender is strong---the Lord Jesus stands before the Father interceding for me---and God has provided the Lamb. I can know the Lord not because of who I am but because of what Christ did for me in taking my sin and giving me His righteousness. My heart is so joyful in knowing Jesus. I am here to glorify Him and to share this Good News. I have all the reason in the world to smile and rejoice today because I know Jesus and He loves me!

12 April 2010

The Question We Never Think to Ask

~The Question We Never Think to Ask~

God has certainly used the Coast Guard to stretch me in many ways in my walk with Him. He has given me opportunities to share my faith with the unbelievers I work with, He has shown me how dear His friendship is, and how precious His Word is to me. I have never been surrounded by unbelievers 24/7 before and I have found it to be a good challenge for me to learn how to live Christ before them.

Lately I have been wrestling with fear---fear to share Christ, fear of what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and who to say it to. I know I should share the Gospel, but I have felt parallelized by all the unknowns that nag at my soul. I do not want to be afraid and do not understand why I am afraid. I long to be like the missionaries that I read about and like the apostle Paul who boldly proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ, but my heart shrinks back afraid of what might happen. I get nervous about saying just the right words and end up saying nothing at all because I do not want to mess up. I even find myself unconsciously avoiding and evading opportunities to share Jesus with others. I try to stay away from such confrontations with people.

But the Holy Spirit has convicted me with a question, I have never thought to ask before. I have asked myself what will others think, what will I say, how do I convey my faith attractively, or is now really the best time to bring Jesus up? Perhaps these are not the right questions I should be asking though. The question I should ask myself is not what others might think if I share about Jesus; but rather, what will God think if I do not share with them about Jesus?

The One who took my place at Calvary, who bore my sin, endured God’s wrath, was buried, and seated at God’s right hand, stands defending me before the Father against Satan’s accusations. He intercedes for me and speaks on my behalf. How dare I shrink back in fear, and hide the Good News of Christ from others because of what they might think! I should not fear man, but God alone. My eyes should not be fixed upon what others may think---the waves crashing around me---all that I should care about is glorifying my precious Lord. I am His and my heart must find refuge in Him. The world will hate me, but that is because I am not of the world.

I struggle with this, but the Holy Spirit has challenged me to fear no man, and only fear the One true God. He is my joy and I must not hide Him---He is the best thing in my life and I must proclaim the Good News. He will uphold me and give me the strength and courage to live for Him in a world that hates Him.

Destroying Our Idols

God's Will or Your Own?

THE MISSION

THE MISSION

Written for my family as they move to Cameroon, Africa to share Jesus love with the people there.

Rejoicing in all God has done.
In your lives, I see Him displayed
As your greatest treasure of all;
Your mission: to proclaim His name.

Fix Your eyes on Christ…Run hard to the goal.
Consider the work He has done, He has saved your souls!



Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
Be BROKEN AND SPILLED OUT
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.


Cheering you on as you go
As you make much of Jesus today,
Considering all else as loss
Compared to the Savior’s name.

Fight the battle of faith…stand firm in Christ.
Trust Him with all of your heart, give Him your life.



Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
Be BROKEN AND SPILLED OUT
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.


Praying for you in my heart.
May God’s sustaining grace push you on
To follow Christ outside of the camp,
Calling the nations to join the song!

Jesus is mighty to save
For while yet sinners He died in our place.
Shout---shout His praise For He has given us grace!


Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD IN HIS GRIP OF GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
Be BROKEN AND SPILLED OUT
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.


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