Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from the week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from this week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Faith Sets the Sail! Adjust to the Wind!

Faith sets the sail! I still remember sailing across the Atlantic on a 65′ schooner when I was 21 years old. Though I had little interest in sailing at the time ( I was on a treasure hunting expedition, and I was pretty much the lead diver on the crew), I do remember learning that […]

Faith sets the sail!

faith sets the sail

I still remember sailing across the Atlantic on a 65′ schooner when I was 21 years old. Though I had little interest in sailing at the time ( I was on a treasure hunting expedition, and I was pretty much the lead diver on the crew), I do remember learning that though we had no control of the direction or strength of the winds, we could always change the set of the sail, and tack back and forth, to stay on course. 26 days after leaving, Key West, Florida, I was awakened one morning to the shout of ‘Land, Ahoy!’, as we came upon the cliffs of the Azores, one misty dawn.

During those 26 days, we saw some bright sunny days, and endured a severe storm, that kept us simply hanging on for dear life for three days and three nights. The winds and seas constantly changed, as as they did, we had to run up many different sets of sails, depending upon the wind that particular day.

sail set

Gravity, is like the law of sin and death, that drags you down, always.

FAITH – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, lifts us up above the circumstances of life, just like the laws of thrust and lift under and airplanes wing, defeat the law of gravity.

In this life, we face both calm and stormy seas.

While enjoying the wonders of creation on the bright and beautiful days, wise people study and prepare their faith for the storms of life, for in the severe tests, only faith will suffice to weather the storm.

storms overcome

Like sailing, each particular wind required a particular set of sails, so each season of life, requires our faith in Jesus adjusted to whatever wind current is blowing that day, for the Holy Spirit is always moving, and we need to be sensitive and adaptive to what He is doing, and adjust our faith sails to maximize our eternal impact with our lives, that particular day.

This is not about salvation, rather joy-filled obedience, intimate relationship with Him, daily.

When life comes to us, to bring sickness or pain, that are never the will of our God, those of us that are wise have learned that a legalistic stand boldly claiming God’s promises of healing, become only the beginning sometimes, of a spirit-led walk leading again to strength, health and wholeness.

dont-know-hurt-you-1024x413

When I had my stroke in 2009, and found myself on the medical examination table with blood pressure 200 over 150, claiming: ‘By His stripes I am healed’ I was confronted by a brutally rough ex army doctor who read me the riot act. She told me in no uncertain terms what I had to do over the next year, in terms of reducing stress, changing my diet, getting actual sleep at night, and learning to exercise again, what I needed to do, if I want to live past what could have been my last six months on the planet.

I did what she said, cut my work day back from fourteen hours to nine or ten each day, signed up for the local YMCA, and over the next two years, lost 45 pounds, and found a new perspective and lease on life.

The sail that had built a million dollar a year company, was insufficient for the wind that blew that day, and by the grace of God, I changed, and am alive to tell my story.

The season had changed in my life, and I had not discerned it….

seasons of life

I have walked with the Lord now for over 25 years, and He is good!

It is too late to try to convince me that health and provision, are not part of the gospel – Jesus still heals, and He would that we all prosper financially.

Yet, money will not buy obedience, nor health. These are gifts from the Lord, and come as a result of a grace-filled life stemming from spirit-led obedience, daily, over years.

What we don’t know, can kill us!

During the good times of smooth sailing, dig deep into the Word of God, and learn about healing, diet, exercise, nutrition, finances, how to hear and become led by the Spirit of God, the principals of faith and confession, wisdom, because know this: there is a storm coming!

God doesn’t bring it, devils and people that serve them do, but this world is a difficult place.

It is tough to pour concrete in a tornado! The wise man built his house upon the rock, BEFORE the storm can!

concrete

The foundation you must have to survive the storm must be built in the calm, good times, when there is calmness to learn and learn to apply spiritual law that will dominate life’s circumstances every time it is applied.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law  of sin and death.

I pray you begin and end this day, in faith, fully led by Holy Spirit, rising high above every storm of life, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

It can be done!

Stay in faith today, and SOAR with Jesus!

manhood eagleLet’s Pray:

‘Father, I submit to Your leadership in my life today. Holy Spirit, please speak to me, and help me to carefully obey, as I seek first You and Your kingdom, today Lord Jesus. Amen’

Faith Sets the Sail!

Faith sets the sail!
faith sets the sail

I still remember sailing across the Atlantic on a 65′ schooner when I was 21 years old. Though I had little interest in sailing at the time ( I was on a treasure hunting expedition, and I was pretty much the lead diver on the crew), I do remember learning that though we had no control of the direction or strength of the winds, we could always change the set of the sail, and tack back and forth, to stay on course. 26 days after leaving, Key West, Florida, I was awakened one morning to the shout of ‘Land, Ahoy!’, as we came upon the cliffs of the Azores, one misty dawn.

During those 26 days, we saw some bright sunny days, and endured a severe storm, that kept us simply hanging on for dear life for three days and three nights. The winds and seas constantly changed, as as they did, we had to run up many different sets of sails, depending upon the wind that particular day.

sail set

Gravity, is like the law of sin and death, that drags you down, always.

FAITH – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, lifts us up above the circumstances of life, just like the laws of thrust and lift under and airplanes wing, defeat the law of gravity.

In this life, we face both calm and stormy seas.

While enjoying the wonders of creation on the bright and beautiful days, wise people study and prepare their faith for the storms of life, for in the severe tests, only faith will suffice to weather the storm.

storms overcome

Like sailing, each particular wind required a particular set of sails, so each season of life, requires our faith in Jesus adjusted to whatever wind current is blowing that day, for the Holy Spirit is always moving, and we need to be sensitive and adaptive to what He is doing, and adjust our faith sails to maximize our eternal impact with our lives, that particular day.

This is not about salvation, rather joy-filled obedience, intimate relationship with Him, daily.

When life comes to us, to bring sickness or pain, that are never the will of our God, those of us that are wise have learned that a legalistic stand boldly claiming God’s promises of healing, become only the beginning sometimes, of a spirit-led walk leading again to strength, health and wholeness.

dont-know-hurt-you-1024x413

When I had my stroke in 2009, and found myself on the medical examination table with blood pressure 200 over 150, claiming: ‘By His stripes I am healed’ I was confronted by a brutally rough ex army doctor who read me the riot act. She told me in no uncertain terms what I had to do over the next year, in terms of reducing stress, changing my diet, getting actual sleep at night, and learning to exercise again, what I needed to do, if I want to live past what could have been my last six months on the planet.

I did what she said, cut my work day back from fourteen hours to nine or ten each day, signed up for the local YMCA, and over the next two years, lost 45 pounds, and found a new perspective and lease on life.

The sail that had built a million dollar a year company, was insufficient for the wind that blew that day, and by the grace of God, I changed, and am alive to tell my story.

The season had changed in my life, and I had not discerned it….

seasons of life

I have walked with the Lord now for over 25 years, and He is good!

It is too late to try to convince me that health and provision, are not part of the gospel – Jesus still heals, and He would that we all prosper financially.

Yet, money will not buy obedience, nor health. These are gifts from the Lord, and come as a result of a grace-filled life stemming from spirit-led obedience, daily, over years.

What we don’t know, can kill us!

During the good times of smooth sailing, dig deep into the Word of God, and learn about healing, diet, exercise, nutrition, finances, how to hear and become led by the Spirit of God, the principals of faith and confession, wisdom, because know this: there is a storm coming!

God doesn’t bring it, devils and people that serve them do, but this world is a difficult place.

It is tough to pour concrete in a tornado! The wise man built his house upon the rock, BEFORE the storm can!

concrete

The foundation you must have to survive the storm must be built in the calm, good times, when there is calmness to learn and learn to apply spiritual law that will dominate life’s circumstances every time it is applied.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law  of sin and death.

I pray you begin and end this day, in faith, fully led by Holy Spirit, rising high above every storm of life, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

It can be done!

Stay in faith today, and SOAR with Jesus!
manhood eagle

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, I submit to Your leadership in my life today. Holy Spirit, please speak to me, and help me to carefully obey, as I seek first You and Your kingdom, today Lord Jesus. Amen’

Running Before the Gale

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher. Hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys, it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see is blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11

And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

Acts 21:12

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:13

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7

For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word.

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with

Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8

Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from this week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Commitment
Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus’s last words were, “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.”
Source Unknown.
Ever notice that to try something out, is easy. To fully commit, and go for it, takes everything you’ve got. Couple of years ago, I experienced a mild stroke driving home from work. Blacked out at the wheel on the highway. Amazingly, I came to on the grassy median between the four lanes. Called my wife, and headed into a walk in clinic to discover what had happened. Blood pressure 200/150 meant I needed some meds, and to make some radical life changes in work, diet, exercise, and had to learn a whole new way of living. For a year or so, I simply worked on getting to the gym four times a week, drinking water instead of soft drinks, energy drinks, and gallons of coffee each day, and to add fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods back into my life, instead of simply driving through whatever was close to the job, and chowing down on the meal deal of the day.
Then, I was introduced to P90X! Thought I would do the 90 day gig with my wife just to humor her, and after a day or two was so sore I could hardly move. Tried to start it again with fresh resolve, but man, that program is tough! So, I sat down, read through the program, bought the vitamins, and recovery drink, and then aggressively decided to nail the diet down. This time, I committed!
Took everything I had, but I finished the 90 days! Lost 40 lbs, and bench pressed 315lbs for the first time in my life. Not bad for a 50 year old man! Ended up doing the program 2 more times over the next year and a half, and even ran a bunch of 5km runs. (Now, 2 years later, I need to get back into it…)
Read this quote today, and thought about my radical commitment to Jesus and His calling upon my life:
Suffering is the heritage of the bad, of the penitent, and of the Son of God. Each one ends in the cross. The bad thief is crucified, the penitent thief is crucified, and the Son of God is crucified. By these signs we know the widespread heritage of suffering.
Oswald Chambers in Christian Discipline.
In this life, there are things we go through that are hard. Yet, when we are strong, they are less difficult..usually.
In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 “famous and exceptionally gifted people” called Cradles of Eminence. They spent years attempting to understand what produced such greatness, what common thread might run through all of these outstanding people’s lives. Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was that virtually all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were.
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 134.
Today’s exhortation is for those of us in the fight. Perhaps this is the long dark night of your soul. Today, I am fighting a health challenge and some personal struggles that are excruciating…Yet, I am not dead, therefore I will not quit!
On a wall in his bedroom Charles Spurgeon had a plaque with Isaiah 48:10 on it: “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” “It is no mean thing to be chosen of God,” he wrote. “God’s choice makes chosen men choice men…We are chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice.”
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 223.
Are you in the furnace today? The place where all of our vanity, strength, and foolishness gets destroyed in the flames, and what emerges is the pure gold character of a sanctified life, fully committed to Jesus, with power from heaven that clearly demonstrates to all, that Jesus is fully committed to us….
I still drink coffee in the morning. Thought about quitting, but it brings back many good memories on cold mornings before work, where dad and I would take a fresh loaf of bread out of the bread maker, and drink a pot of coffee together, as we headed out the door in the dark before work. Guess I could quit, but I like my coffee. As I looked at my cup, I saw this quote, and it seems to fit my rambling today:
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
Mildred Witte Struven, in Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 6.
I still remember crossing the Atlantic under sail, aboard a 65 schooner named ‘The Illusion’, when I was 21. We were determined to cross the ocean, fully under sail, and 26 days after leaving Key West, Florida, we heard the welcome sound of ‘land ahoy’ as we approached the Azores islands off of Portugal. As the youngest crew member, I always drew night watch, and so we would set our heading, and under the star lit night, swish through the waves in the darkness. Yet, there would come Venus, the one sailors call ‘the morning star’, in the deepest darkness of the night. When we saw her, we knew that soon, the sky would begin to glow, from black, to deep blue, to orange, before the sunrise lit the horizon each day. I remember the dread, and sense of responsibility that I felt, as I struggled to stay awake, and on course as the safety of the other seven sleeping crew members was in my young hands, and the old saying took on new meaning for me:
‘The hour is always darkest before the dawn..’
I am not sure who I am writing for today, but I know it for someone…Don’t give up on your dream!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, You see us, You know where we are at, and how we feel, and Lord Jesus, You are touched by the feelings of our weaknesses. Yet, You are with us. You will never leave us, nor forsake us. Bring Your encouragement, your gentle whispers to our heart that we so need to hear today, that we, straight as an arrow, would fly true to the mark of the high calling upon our lives, without compromise. Cause us to hear, and do, Your perfect will today, Amen!’