Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I visited a vessel today and at the top of the gangway met the Captain of the ship. He escorted me to the crew mess room where I generally can meet with crew members, talk to them and sometimes get to eat some cool food. Captain Tony explained to me that most of the crew were working and that some had already gone shopping but he sat down with me and we had a nice conversation about his ship and the crew. As I always try to do I worked our conversation around to talking about Jesus and I asked Captain Tony if he knew he would go to heaven if he died. He said boldly yes and then proceeded to tell me that this is the promise we have from God if we trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. He also talked to me about the fact that he felt an obligation to share this knowledge with the rest of his crew so they have regular Bible studies on board the ship. I don’t often encounter crews that are this active in their faith and it is a blessing when I do get to spend some time with them. As my conversation with Captain Tony continued I discovered that he is 56 years old and was quite surprised because he looked a full 20 years younger. He smiled and said that he is kept young by the fact that he smiles a lot and is happy. He attributed his happiness to the joy he has in the Lord. Captain Tony has found the true fountain of youth!!! If you have time today meditate on what Jesus said in John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I always take with me on the cruise ships a few Christian books for the crew members to take free of charge. Today one of those books was a devotional that had been donated to the Seafarers Center by a supporter of the center. One of the guys that I have gotten to know very well on the ship is a brother in Christ named Onesimus from Honduras. He picked up the devotional and opened it to somewhere in the middle and immediately became emotional about what he saw. The devotional that he opened up to was titled “Who says you can’t go home” and was based on the book of Philemon. Onesimus explained to me that he was going home today and that he had been worried about the trip because his country is not very safe right now and he was concerned about the three hour journey from the airport to his home and the chance of being robbed or killed on the way home. He knew God was talking to him through this book because he opened it to this particular page and then he pointed out to me that the main character in the book of Philemon is a slave named Onesimus!!! It amazes me how God works in our lives to show us that he is there and that he cares for us. Here was a worried Seafarer named Onesimus and God put in his hand today a devotion about going home using the book of Philemon which has a character bearing his name. If you get a chance today read the book of Philemon, it is short, only 25 verses. My favorite part is where Paul tells Philemon if anything is owed by Onesimus to put that on Paul’s account. That reminds me of what Jesus did for me when he took the sin debt which I owed and put it on his account.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Today I was conducting a Bible study on board one of the cruise ships we visit and before we started one of the guys attending who is from the Dominican Republic told me he was going home in 2 weeks. He needed to go to Walmart to buy a new suit case and was concerned about the cost as well as having enough time to get there and back before he had to be back to work. Well we continued with the Bible study which was taken from Our Daily Bread which is published by RBC Ministries in Grand Rapids, MI. Todays subject was "Don't Worry". We talked about how God had guided and protected the Israelites as they escaped slavery in Egypt. We talked about how God tells us not to worry and how God tells us in Romans 8:31 "If God is for us, who can be against us." After the Bible study my friend left to go to Walmart but returned about 15 minutes later pulling a suit case!!! He had a big smile on his face and told me that as he was leaving the ship someone asked him where he was going so he told them he was going to Walmart to buy a suit case. The other man said he had a suit case he wanted to get rid of and gave it to my friend. It was the perfect size and everything. My friend looked at me after telling me his story and said "Don't worry, God will take care of you!!!" What a cool string of events to see how our God cares for us. After I returned to the office I opened an email from another friend of mine that is having a Bible study this Friday night and asked everyone to read Matthew 6:25-34 so I went to my Bible and read the passage. Guess what it is about... Do Not Worry! I think God is trying to tell me something today.