The Pastor's Pen

Deeper

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My brother in law, Mike, served our country honorably for years in the Navy’s Submarine Service. In the years after his retirement, Mike shared a few memories of those days with me. I remember him saying that subs had the best food in the Navy, and smiling as reminisced about the smell of freshly baked cookies filling the sub. Mike also spoke about the challenges and benefits of living in such close quarters with others. He spoke of something called “hot-racking;” a procedure in which different sailors used the same bunks on different shifts because of a lack of space. But Mike also said that living in such close quarters allowed him to make many very deep and lasting friendships. All in all, Mike enjoyed his time in the service, and he served very well.

This morning I was reminded of something Mike said that did not strike me as particularly remarkable at the time. He said that, unlike surface vessels, being in a submarine gave them the ability for them to sail in any weather. There were times when hurricanes were raging above them, but they were never forced to abandon their mission. As the winds and waves grew greater and more threatening above them, they simply went deeper along the same course.

Friends, we brothers and sisters are on a great mission for Jesus Christ. But if we are to continue to fulfill our purpose of glorifying God by making disciples of all nations amid stormy times like these we must go deeper in our relationship with the Lord.  

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that, in Me, you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

As the storms rage around us let us stay the course God has given us by going deeper in our walk with Jesus through increased devotion, prayer, Bible study and service. 

In Him,

Bro Jeff

Posted by Jeff English with

The Survival Guide

If you open your Bible to the very center and lay it before you, you will be looking at Psalm 119. It is the longest Psalm in the Bible and it is organized into sections with each beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. You get the idea that God thinks that what this Psalm has to say is very important, and it is. Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God. 

Long before we had even heard of the Coronavirus, my family and I went on a cruise. It was one of the best family times we have ever had. The food was good. The entertainment was fine. Our room was comfortable, and there were movies to watch and books to read (OK, so we only watched movies). It was a great vacation. While onboard the ship if someone had  approached me between the meals and the shows and the movies and given me a book on how to survive on a desert island, I would probably have just set it aside and forgotten about it. But imagine for a moment that our cruise ship had met with a terrible accident, and we had just enough time to gather a few things before jumping off the sinking vessel. Imagine with me that my family and I found ourselves alone on a deserted island and when we were going through the few things, we had managed to save we found that book on how to survive on a desert island. Do you think we would read and study it? Absolutely! We would read it, study it, memorize it and order our lives by it. 

Often, we become so preoccupied with the pleasures of life, that the Word of God does not seem essential to our lives. We forget that the temporal things of the world are passing away and if we are to live in a way that brings God glory, we need a survival guide; we need the Bible. Psalm 119:11 declares, “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against God.” 

In Christ,

Bro Jeff

Posted by Jeff English with

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