Bad Words #3

Next week I will be on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea. I have never been on a cruise before so I am excited. Even though I normally post every Tuesday, it is not going to happen next Tuesday. In June, I will pick up my posting again.

cruise ship

In thinking and preparing for the cruise, I had a thought about a bad word. For a better idea of the context for this post, please go back and read Bad Word #1.


Cruise. There are two main things I think about when I hear that word. Cruise ships and cruise control. Well, three things…Tom Cruise also.

  • The idea of getting on a cruise ship is easy to understand. We will be stopping at three different ports. After all of this, we come back to the States. There are an itinerary and a plan for all the time that we will be on the ship. Everything is accounted for on the trip.
  • The second idea is using the cruise control in a vehicle. Nice feature for someone like me who tends to push the speed limits. Setting the cruise helps me to stay within the acceptable limits. It makes long trips much safer! =-)

By now, you might be wondering what the bad word is for this post. You can probably guess it. Cruise. That is the bad word.

Let me ask you some questions. What if the cruise ship did not have an itinerary? What if there were no scheduled ports? No GPS? What if, you got onto the boat and just started cruising. No destination in mind. No agenda or plan. Just cruising. That is when cruising is bad.

There are times when I feel like I am cruising through this life. Not the good kind though. Do I have a plan? Do I have scheduled ports of call in my life? Am I following a Divine Captain or I am just floating along the sea subject to every wave? Does this ship that I am on have a purpose and a specific destination? Or, do I just blindly walk into everyday without and purpose or destination?

Friends, you and I do not have to just cruise (in the bad sense) through this life. I am so grateful that God does have a plan. He does have a purpose for me. He does have GPS. He does know where this boat is headed.

I am filled with Hope today as I write. Just like the cruise I am taking next week, there is a plan. I know when things will happen. With God, I know the plan. Maybe not all the details but God is in control. He authored my life and the plan for me.

So if you find yourself cruising through your days, there is hope. You can get back on track with God. I will close with some famous verses to bring hope to you today:

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14

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Play ball!

I have played tee-ball, baseball, and softball for almost my entire life. I missed a couple of summers when I was in my twenties but I am still swinging the bat and running the bases on my church softball team. See a previous post:

Again…and again…yet again.

Last weekend, I had the privilege of performing a wedding ceremony on a baseball field. We were in left field and not on the actual dirt part though. This post was inspired by the sermon I gave at that wedding.

In baseball, you need a glove, a bat, and a ball to play the game. These are essential.

baseball-pic

These items represent different parts of the game.

The glove represents defense. The glove I use is over 20 years old. If it could speak, it might tell of the countless times that it saved me from certain disaster. =-)

The bat represents offense. Bats are as different and varied as the players who use them. The common denominator is that we all need a bat if we are going to hit the ball.

The ball represents the game. It is the game. Everything revolves around the ball. Without it, you cannot play baseball.


As a follower of Christ, the glove, bat, and ball can represent three aspects of following Jesus.

The glove represents defense. 2 Samuel 22 starts out with these verses, “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior from violent people you save me.”

God is the ultimate defense when are faced with troubles and trials.

The bat represents offense. 2 Corinthians 10 explains the offense, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

God gives us what we need to be victorious as we follow Him.

And finally, the ball. The ball is everything. Nothing can or will happen without it. The ball represents Jesus.

Here is what Colossians 1 says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Jesus is everything. No point in living unless life is lived in Jesus.

So whether you are watching some Major League Baseball, playing co-ed softball on a church team, following Christ or living for yourself, let me remind you of one thing:

Keep your eye on the ball!

Wind in your face?

In the movie, What About Bob?, Bill Murray is hilarious! At one point, he is strapped to the mast of a sail boat.

what about bob

And here is what he is saying…

what about bob 2

Very funny!

Sailing. It is something that I have never tried. Someday perhaps.

But I do know something about sailing. Going from point A to point B is rarely, if ever, a straight line.

Even as I type these words, I recall all the twists and turns I have experienced. In the language of sailing, it is called tacking. Another picture to help with the idea.

tacking

There many more photos from which you could choose to better understand tacking but this one worked for me.

Sailing a boat: There is a goal. There is a course that is plotted to get to the goal. But then the wind blows. Start tacking. Progress can be slowed but it is still progress.

Following Jesus: God plants goals, visions, passions, and dreams into our hearts. We set out to achieve all of these things for God. But then the wind blows. Start tacking. Our forward progress is slowed but we still move forward.

I am reminded of the words in James 4, “But he gives us more grace.”

Sure, I make mistakes. Life happens and I get wronged. Whether I did something or something was done to me, there is some readjusting to be done. Tacking.

So when rejection (this could mean your sin or someone else’s sin) occurs, will I regret or redirect?

We are all sailing through this life. And the wind is usually blowing.

Regret means to stop forward progress by not changing according to God’s standard.

Redirect means to move forward by adjusting to God’s will and changing directions.

One of my favorite bands are the Imperials. Here are some of the lyrics to one of their songs,“Sail On”:

“Cast up your sails
And let the wind blow
Jesus will never
Let your ship lose control
Just keep your compass set on the Son
And He’ll guide you safely
To His beautiful Home”