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.

Destroying Our Idols

God's Will or Your Own?



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.
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.
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---
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Take the Adventure

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