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Monthly Archives: May 2013


It’s a “Nor-easterly!”  they warned.

About to understand their caution we set off going with the wind.  This meant our return would require going into the wind.

On that day the Nor-easterly began as a strong breeze – not too noticeable; especially as the wind was to our backs. Such is the condition of our lives: we go with the crowd; we wind down; but the crowd tries to surge us on. At first we were willing. Not now. We sense the danger.

As the wind increased, even to our backside, we took note of the rising waves. Up, up, we would rise; and then we would be plunged ahead and down again.   Our choice mattered not at all. Our little motor worked alongside the overwhelming power of nature’s propulsion.

To the North and East, further than the eye could see, waves began rolling on top of one another. Our boat would settle in what appeared like below sea level ponds and then catapulted the direction of our destination such that we seemed to be above the sea looking down upon the turmoil. Then we’d race again into the ponds: up and down, to and fro – something “bigger than I” claiming control of our little boat.

King David wrote, “My enemy is stronger than I;” but he grasped that God’s power was greater. How did he win over enemies against which he alone was no match? (Psalm 142:6)

Our defense was our little outboard motor, the wide ‘V’ of our little twelve foot boat, and our navigation skill. Our challenge was to stay afloat and to navigate toward the distant shore.  We needed to navigate directly into that mighty Nor-easterly and into the mountainous waves.

There, at our launch site, was the safe haven we so wanted to reach.

Our safety was not there. Our safety had to be with us in the storm. Without sufficient safety resources, we would not be telling our story. Such is the true gospel of abiding in Christ.

“Looking unto Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith: even as some will say that He was a victim, we know that He was the Victor and that He gave His life for us. He won! He wins yet! And, at the moment perfect for so doing, He will consummate the world history which He set into play. He is coming again; but we can abide in Him now: we must, and we can; by continual faith.

Little steps we took: up one wave; then another, and a thousand more. “Steady as she goes,” they say. Our engine didn’t let us down. Our ‘wide V’ proved itself sail-worthy. We reached our destination. Christianity is this. Many seem to have fallen along the way. They killed the prophets of God; but, not really: no more than the killed the King of Kings.

So, we look to Him. We let Him author faith within our being. We see that this life was a beginning and not meant to be the end. We join in with Him and a host of comrades. We “abide in Him.” We refuse to be moved from our Rock and our Refuge – from the surety He gives when our faith is our practice.

The shore – it’s less important, because the author and finisher of my faith-shores me up.   And, the journey sometimes is through very stormy waters with Him guiding, comforting and keeping.  To abide in Him is the normal Christian life.





Just over there, in the realm of  the abiders – not disappointment but; encouragement prevails- not shame, rather praise with thankful hearts prevails.

James, the brother of Jesus and author of the book by his name, warns that we are not to be as a ship tossed to and fro. Let not that man think He receives anything of the LORD.   At first glance this seems discouraging.  (James 1: 6-7)

Let us listen to the simple Gospel; for the Gospel of God is good news to heavy hearts. “Is any among you burdened” asks the LORD Jesus, “let Him come unto me” (Matthew 11:28).

The devil wants us to forget God’s grace so that He can hound after us with accusation. All religion is without grace (unmerited favor).

The reason we love praise and worship is that for a few moments our spirits get to go where we really may abide every moment.

We can, if we like being down in the dumps, stay there. Ironically, feeling condemned, we will be people who judge others which means we think more highly of our independent – of – God selves than we do of them: a position of judgment requires this.

This is the fruitless state of many and is the pathway of strife; of trying to be good – at least good enough, and that means nothing. It is a blind religious journey into the abyss.

The Father knows how to raise His family of believers.   We can choose to abide in Him. If we do not, our sorrow will eat us up.  To abide in Him is a simple matter. Abiding makes Him alone our expectation.

Ethel Waters, a person of color, lived in what we are taught today was a white man’s world.

She saw the bright hope for all people whose struggle is real:

She won the hearts of millions singing, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

This song has helped many to abide in Christ, rather than being bound by one of the many burdens we all face.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me

He is leading me. The Christian’s permanent fix is Him.