I made reference in the first edition of “Under Sail” that there was a rationale, a story, behind the title. It resonates with me, and I want to take a moment to share it with you:
Eliazar Hull was the captain of a whaling ship. He sailed out of the ports of New England in the early 1800’s. He was able to sail out farther, stay out longer, and in that way, come back with a larger catch than anyone else. Owners of the fleet, seeking to insure their ships against damage or loss at sea, asked that all ship captains be schooled in the latest navigational techniques of the day.
When Eliazar arrived for training, the instructors, who had long since heard of his amazing prowess, asked him how he was able to navigate such vast distances, take such lengthy voyages, and do so without losing his way. Eliazar said, “I go up on the deck at night, and I look at the stars, and I listen to the wind in the riggings, and I check the drift of the seas, and then I set my course.” After completing his course in the science of navigation, Eliazar returned home and resumed his maritime vocation.
Sometime later the instructors visited Eliazar and once again asked how he navigated his great ship. They were surprised when he responded, “Exactly as you taught me.” But then he went on. “I use the sextant to shoot the angle of the sun at midday. After fixing my longitude and latitude on the charts, I get out my compass and other instruments to plot my course. And then,” he continued, “I go up on the deck at night, and I look at the stars, and I listen to the wind in the riggings, and I check the drift of the seas – and then I go back down to correct my calculations.”
Friends, as Christ Followers, we are “ships under sail.” We have a job to do. We have a mission to accomplish. We are to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ. So, use the latest techniques available to you; be savvy with the technology of our day; find out what music connects with those who make up your community; be informed on the latest methodologies in the church. And then…go up on the deck, look at the stars, particularly the Bright and Morning Star, listen to the Wind in the riggings. You may have the “latest and greatest” but if you don’t have the Wind of the Spirit, you aren’t going anywhere. Check the drift of the seas. All kinds of currents will take you off course if you aren’t careful. And then go back down and correct your course as needed – adjust your spiritual rudder. You are a ship under sail. Watch the doldrums – catch the Wind. Beware of full sail when caution would be more prudent. Yes, a ship is safe in the harbour but it’s built for the sea. You’re to be “under sail.”
- Sunday, September 23rd, I was in the Norton Wesleyan Church and installed Pastor Randy (Alma) Forbes. The theme for the day was “Round-up Sunday,” and Pastor Randy was dressed for the occasion in his “cowboy duds.” The service was followed by a barbeque and potluck dinner open to everyone that was there. It was a good service, and a great time of fellowship. The Forbes began their ministry at the church after Beulah. They are settling in nicely.
- Madeleine Allard, Director of Medical Mission International, attends the King’s Valley Wesleyan Church in Quispamsis, NB. She reports that her organization had two projects in Peru from August 25 to September 8, 2007. All patients or parents of the children that received consultation received prayers and a presentation of the gospel under a tent while waiting for their prescriptions to be ready. A total of 920 people were seen by the teams and 590 people received the Lord.
- The congregation of Central Nova Wesleyan Church, Truro, NS voted unanimously to sell their parsonage. They plan to use some of the funds to pave the church parking lot, care for some other details, and then invest the rest of the proceeds for future land purchase or renovation of the church property. This will also allow their pastor to purchase his own home.
- A large compliment of our ministerial personnel and spouses (approximately 150) gathered last week at Beulah for our annual District Ministerial. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to connect one-on-one with many of our pastors and their spouses, and get a sense of their ministry world. It was also an opportunity for the pastors to get a better understanding of my heart and ministry priorities. This event came together on relatively short notice due to the DS transition. Many who had legitimate ministry conflicts that week had the courtesy to call me or email me with an explanation. I appreciate this sensitivity, and the priority that our pastors and ministry people gave this important event.
- Please continue to keep Pastor Andrew and Kristi Benson in your prayers. Kristi is experiencing some complications with her pregnancy, as we shared in the last “Under Sail.” She’s been placed on 24-hour bed rest, and is currently in the Moncton Hospital. Kristi is 29 weeks into the pregnancy, and she needs to reach another 1 to 6 weeks. Obviously, a longer time is better. (Kristi is the daughter of Dr. & Mrs. H. C. Wilson.)
This week we are attending our area GS/DS meeting in Lancaster, PA, and also the inauguration of Dr. Shirley Mullen at Houghton College on Friday. I am available by cell phone and email, and Karrilee is available to assist you in the office.
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.”
– Robert Jarvik, Artificial Heart Develope