"Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea." 2 Corinthians 11:25


When one signs up for a vacation cruise, there are generally different "packages" you can choose from. Usually, even the least expensive ones are meant to provide a good level of comfort and enjoyment......Life in Christ is generally described as a walk, a journey, or a voyage. Jesus doesn't offer us a choice of packages, though somehow many conclude that He does, and all of them are meant to provide for our comfort and well being. In the above Scripture, Paul gives us a glimpse of what his life journey involved. I call it the "Paul Package." It's not a way that our flesh would ever choose. It's the way of Christ. The way of the cross. That way will always include its share of stoning, shipwrecks, and times of being cast adrift. It's a life where He will lead us into the "perfect storm," and then ask us if we will trust Him to bring us through.

I heard Francis Chan say that those who sail the oceans can be sure that the sea will always be the sea. There will be mighty winds and waves, terrible storms, and impossible places. The purpose of the ship's captain is to sail on through them all, and get the ship home. I'm reminded of a pastor friend's story of his father, a seasoned sailor and fishermen, and how he and his family were out on the sea one day when a mighty storm arose. Everyone on board felt the danger of the moment, but up on the bridge, their father, the captain, steadily guided the ship to harbor, to home. The sea was the sea, but the skill of the captain was greater. The world, with all its power and danger, will always be the world. But the skill of the Captain of our souls will always get us home. It's why we can live in confidence, in the midst of the greatest threats and storms. He has overcome, conquered that world....and all its terror.


Many have found great comfort and strength in the well known poem, "Footprints," which tells of how in the journey of life, there are those places where only His footprints are seen. These are the places where He carried us, because we couldn't walk ourselves. I know there are times when this is so, but we have to realize that in our spiritual journey, we too leave footprints. Footprints meant to guide those who are coming behind us. Where are yours and my footprints leading to? Those places that feed our need for self satisfaction, or those places that give testimony to the glory and wonder of Christ? Do our footprints lead to the hill of self, or to the summit of His cross? For those coming behind us, where do they lead? As Beth Moore puts it, "Are we leaving footprints worth following?" Two thousand years later, through his life, we are able to follow the footprints of Paul, who himself followed the footprints of Christ. Do we? What "package" are you seeking in this life? Is there a cross, or just a couch? To where and to what do your footprints lead?

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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