20 February 2011


February 20, 2011

Life has a way of speeding up, things get busy at work, and I often forget and lose sight of what truly matters. I seem to suddenly find myself overwhelmed and discouraged in my spiritual life and I do not understand why. But God is ever gracious and merciful to me, and does not fail to teach and correct me. He is a patient God and it is not His method to teach us quick and rushed lessons. I have found this to be so the past three months that I have been out to sea. Each patrol I find that God teaches me wonderful lessons about Himself, though they are not easy lessons to learn, they are beautiful and fill me with great joy. It is not an easy thing to sum up the lessons learned over the past three months, but as I stand looking back, I know and am convinced that God has been teaching me a crucial heart lesson: LIVE EACH DAY AMAZED BY GOD.

Where delight and duty meet is hard to differentiate, and it is extremely easy to begin serving God with joy and gladness and then all too soon to turn that service into a mere duty that must be accomplished. My joy in knowing God and spending time with God and being amazed by Him is easily turned into a longing and striving to honor Him as a way to win His favor. What meaninglessness this is because I cannot merit anything from my Lord! I am a worthless sinner SAVED BY GRACE! But I forget, and as life rushes on I busily try to serve God and work up emotions and longings that look Christ-exalting all the while I fail to do what is most important…I fail to be amazed by the God who has saved me.

I see that this has happened the past three months. Perhaps God had to break me and show me my utter helplessness in order to teach me this lesson anew. For at the beginning of this patrol, I met with so many opportunities to serve Christ, to reach out to others…and now as I look back I feel like an utter failure. I do not think I used the opportunities He gave me to the best of my ability. What happened, I wonder? I wanted to glorify God, I wanted to make much of Christ, and now I am left with so many wishes and longings of what should have been in my mind. Fear seemed to come in as a flood, as a paralyzing force, and I was rendered unable to do anything. I cried out to God in my inability, waiting and longing for Him to work to help me; so troubled that I could not even find words to even pray. I felt like a joke…here I am professing a faith in a God who fills me with joy and delight, all the while my soul was in turmoil and despair. How could I be a witness of the Gospel when my own soul was in such a state. And like the waves of the sea, I was tossed and thrown about…one moment happy and joyful in the Lord and the next moment I was taken down to the depths. But I know Christ never once left me, even as I felt completely alone.

And as a traveler so set on a journey that his eyes remain fixed on the ground in front of him…so I was set on serving Christ, but my eyes were not fixed on Christ. I was trying and striving to live for Him, to honor Him, to use my life to glorify Him, and so I find that I failed to be amazed by Him. Only as we are fixed upon the Son, will we e able to reflect His light; only as we are astounded by His mercy and grace, will we be able to live lives that are overflowing with compassion towards others; and only as we are completely enthralled by His beauty, will we be able to shine that beauty to this world. It is not in striving that we will glorify God, but in knowing and resting in the truth that He is God that we will magnify His name.

Yes we should serve Him, yes all our longings should be consumed in glorifying His name, and yes we should live every moment for our Savior; but we cannot do any of this unless we are first living each day amazed by His amazing and life transforming grace. We must live AMAZED BY GOD! He is our greatest good, our deepest joy, our most priceless treasure, our highest pleasure, and our abiding peace. In Christ alone our hope is found and we must fix our eyes on Him alone in order to live each day for His glory. Our strength is guaranteed to fail, our motivation will disappear, our faith will weaken, our love will grow cold, but Christ remains the same: He’s love is constant and never fails…upon Him we must fix our sight lest we be tossed about by the troubles of this life.

And so I sit here thinking about the past three month…quite humbled and quiet in my heart, but the sparks of amazement are kindled by God’s love. So as I face this new day, I smile in amazement at my gracious, kind God who holds me by His grace. Perhaps I have found once again that God is not so much concerned about the work I do for Him but the work He does in me.

O great God, I stand amazed by the power of Your love! I am a sinner, only saved by Your great grace, and I am Your servant to do as You will. So use me to shine for Your glory, to reflect Your beauty, and to be a light in this dark world. I struggle, I am so weak, but You enable me to do the impossible. You supply me with grace so that I can serve You. You fill me with joy in Your presence. I love You , O Lord, my precious Savior and my God!

13 February 2011

Precious Jesus

Precious Jesus, You are near

When my heart is filled with fear,

When my soul is burdened down

By doubt’s and guilt’s clamoring sound.

When my life so weary be

from raging waves in my sea.

When my mind will not be still

And rest alone in Your perfect will.

When my eyes are filled with tears

From listening to all my fears.

Precious Jesus Your love’s the same

Through sun filled valleys and darkened plains.

through hardships, struggles, joy and peace

Through bitter days and sweet release.

Through crashing storms and raging seas

Through sorrows mark: character’s key

Through sin and failure, faith and growth

Through life and death and the cheering heavenly host.

Through all of time: future, present, past

Your love remains; it forever lasts.

Precious Jesus, I surrender all

Unto you my Lord…you heard my call.

For help to carry on in faith

When I was going to quit the race.

But your grace is greater than my sin,

Your love floods my heart within.

When such weariness overwhelms me so

You strength is mine, so onward I go.

Pressing heavenward toward my home.

Until then, You are with me...I am never alone.

09 February 2011

How Great is Our God!

09 February 2011

Before it was time for me to go to work today, I climbed up to the flying bridge (which is where the look out stands watch) and watched while the sun burned away the morning fog and climbed higher in the sky overlooking San Diego. Ducks swam in the water while boats were coming and going and cars we driving over the bay on the Coronado Bridge on their way to work. The sky brightened into lovely shades of pink and gold and the clouds scattered from view, revealing a vibrant blue sky.

I needed to witness God’s beauty displayed through His creation this morning. I needed to see how great and awesome He is…to be reminded that I do not serve a God who needs my service, I do not worship a God who depends upon my worship, I do not love a God who loves me because of who I am. No I serve a God who came to earth and served me and saved me from the punishment for my sins, I worship a God who reconciled me to Himself so I can know the wonder and joy of knowing Him and glorifying Him, and I love a God who first loved me and has transformed my life by His love.

He does not need me…I NEED HIM. He does not depend upon me…I DEPEND UPON HIM. He is my all; my greatest good.

This is what I was reminded of this morning. HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! He is the Sovereign Creator, the Righteous King, the merciful Savior...He is mighty to save...He is faithful, He is patient, His compassion knows no limits, His love NEVER FAILS.

Never let the struggles---the clouds of today---keep you from trusting and rejoicing in the Lord who is beautiful in splendor and majesty. You may not be able to see Him at work in your life, but He sees you...You may not be able to feel His presence, but He is holding you in His hands...You may feel overwhelmed but know that He is always with You. He will never leave You nor will He forsake you. Trust Him and rely upon His promises. Press on today in Christ's strength. Do not grow weary of doing good, but rather fix your eyes on what is unseen---fix your eyes on Jesus and He will renew your strength, He will fill you with joy, He may not take away your struggles, but He will sustain you in them.

Never forget that Jesus loves you----know and rely upon His love. And if you ever doubt His love...remember to do this...turn your eyes to the cross. For at the cross, Jesus demonstrated God's love as He gave up His life, endured God's wrath so that we might pocess this love which is better than life.

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.

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