Of Service and Sails – "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."

Your call to service came from your desire to serve the Lord. Inherent in that call is the command by Jesus that as His representative in the world—His disciple—you must give your life as “a ransom for many.”
In Mathew 20: 20-28, Jesus explained that His life and the life of His disciples was the life of a servant:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28, NKJV).
A pastor’s life is not his own. He chooses to stand fast with those to whom he ministers, to intercede for them in prayer, to tend their mental and emotional and, often, physical needs.
To those whom God calls to serve, He “giveth more grace” as the hymn says. When you haven’t enough strength for the task, Christ is there to perfect your efforts.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).
The sails on a boat—merely cloth designed and cut to maximize use—capture the power of the wind, swelling to move the vessel gracefully and swiftly across the water.
Without the sail, the boat is still a boat—it still floats, it can move across the water slowly. Without the sail, the wind still blows, but its power is out of reach to the boat. However, once the sail is secured to the mast and raised, it becomes a vital part of that boat, harnessing the power of the wind and directing the boat’s journey.
You as a pastor are “cut” by God from a special cloth specifically to fulfill your calling, just as each sail is cut for a specific purpose. You harness the power of God and His Word as the sail harnesses the power of the wind. Likewise, you direct God’s children—the boat—on their journey home.
“But oars alone can ne’er prevail
To reach the distant coast;
The breath of heaven must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.” (William Cowper)
Yes, the sail performs an important service to both the wind and the boat. And, oh, who has not been awestruck by the beauty, grace, and swiftness of a boat under sail?
And, oh, the beauty of God’s call upon your life and your service to Him and His children.
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, . . . we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” (Louisa May Alcott)
Thank you for this call upon my life. I dedicate myself to Your service. I ask that You strengthen me and help me to guide Your children—each and every one—on the journey You have chosen for them.
In Christ’s name,
Published in: on April 13, 2012 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Bridge-Logos Foundation releases "Mary Jones and Her Bible" edited and updated by Hollee J. Chadwick

In the year 1800, a young Welsh girl took a walk.
This was no meandering stroll during which her teenaged mind wandered and she daydreamed of boys, and clothes, and the musicians of the day.
No, young Mary Jones set out from her home at the foot of Cader Idris mountain, in Gwynedd, North Wales, in the early hours of the morning to walk 25 miles to Bala, to purchase a Welsh Bible with money she had been saving up for six years. Being from a poor family, Mary’s journey was undertaken with bare feet.
The Reverend Thomas Charles of Bala, to whose house Mary had journeyed to buy the Bible, was moved by Mary’s love and dedication in this endeavor. He told and retold the story of Mary Jones and her Bible and, in a move that would change the world, he proposed to the Council of the Religious Tract Society that they form a new society to supply Wales with Bibles. And, in 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society was established in London.
This is the story of Mary Jones and her Bible. It is true to the original version—only better.

Through the years, Mary Jones and her Bible, penned by Mary E, Ropes in 1882, and later updated in 1919, has been read and enjoyed by millions of children. Today, the book remains on the Top 100 List of Christian and secular children’s books on Amazon.com.

The editor, Hollee J. Chadwick, has taken Ropes’ original version and added commentary, footnotes, and definitions for terms not common today. Ropes’ prose remains intact because this is the version that has remained on the bestseller list for generations.

Mary Jones and her Bible is included in many home-schooling curriculum, is an excellent read-aloud book, and is suitable for all ages with a reading level of Grades 4 to 8.

Mary Jones and Her Bible by Mary Ropes (edited by Hollee J. Chadwick). ISBN: 978-0-88270-061-8; TPB; 176 pages; $9.99. 

Save $2.00 by purchasing your copy from Better Living Bookstore. Just click on http://www.blretail.com/mary_jones_and_her_bible.htm

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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