Friday, October 26, 2007

Gone Fishin'

This past Sunday night a very kind man at HGBC took me to the Gulf of Mexico fishing for a few days. I have never fished in or saw, for that matter, the Gulf of Mexico (that I know of or remember). We fished Monday, Tuesday and for an hour on Wednesday morning and then we came home.

On Monday the tide began coming in about 5:45 AM and we left the house at first light. We were fishing by 7:45 AM and the fishing was pretty good. I caught the first two fish of the trip but neither was a legal fish. Then Nate and his son Russell began to catch a few and I joined in. We had a great day, catching 14 legal speckled trout. We quit fishing about 2:30 PM, and went back to Nate's house. We filleted the trout and cleaned the boat and got everything ready for day 2. We were all pretty tired. We had put a roast with potatoes and carrots in the crock pot when we left that morning, so needless to say we ate very well. The Jaguars were playing the Colts Monday night and we were watching the game. Nate was the first to go at 9:3o or so. We cut the lights out and I fell out about 10 PM. Russell watched the whole game, and the Jag's lost anyway. (Go Colts!!!)

Tuesday the tide was right about 6:45 AM and we were fishing by 8 AM. Someone overslept; I won't say who (Nate). Like I said we were pretty tired. A storm front was working its way in, and the wind was up. We fished hard until about 3 PM but no luck. Nothing but runts and trash fish. We road from here to there and everywhere in between but couldn't catch anything legal other than Russell caught one Spanish Mackerel (?). We ate like kings again Tuesday night. We fired up the grill and had pork chops, sweet potatoes, pork n beans, and corn on the cob. Needless to say, I didn't lose any weight at all. The front moved in during the night and it began to rain.

Nate didn't over sleep Wednesday morning and he woke us up at 5:45 AM. I have no idea why he did this because we couldn't get the boat out of the channel until the tide started coming in and that was at 7:08 AM. It was overcast and first light was about 7:30. It was still raining off and on, but Russell and I decided to give it a try for an hour or so before heading back to GCS for family night supper and discipleship classes at HGBC. (Can you tell I eat frequently?) Anyway, we get out, Nate had had enough for this trip, and first cast I catch a small trout. Not a legal trout so I threw it back, but first cast is always a good sign. We fished for an hour or so, catching a lot of small fish, nothing legal. The wind started picking up, the rain started falling a little more heavily and we decided to call it a trip. So we headed in.

When we got back to the house Nate had everything cleaned up and ready to go. We washed the boat, loaded up and headed home. It was a great trip and I look forward to doing again really soon and often too!

Thanks Nate and Russell for taking me. Thanks Melissa for letting me go. Thanks Booger and Karen for watching Morgan so I could go.

Just in case you were wondering.
Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can you hold your coffee?

My good friend Jason Webb has been down here in Green Cove Springs since Saturday. I invited him down to preach our revival services at HGBC. As I said in my last blog we have known each other for a long time, 13 years. One of the things that I just learned today about Jason is he doesn't have a very high tolerance for caffeine. I learned this when we went to Starbucks this afternoon. I ordered him a Java Chip Frappachino. Needless to say it has just a little caffeine in it. Jason is now "wide eyed and bushy tailed." He is bouncing off the walls. I am afraid he might not sleep very well tonight. Sorry Jason.

Jason is having a reaction to something in his body that is not usually there. He is doing everything he can to get that caffeine out of his system as quickly as possible. He is drinking water, etc... The caffeine is making him "feel" funny.

As I sit laughing at him in my office, I began to see a spiritual application. As Christians there is something that has the potential to come into our bodies that shouldn't be there. That things is labeled by Scripture as sin. When sin comes into the body/life of a Christian it should make him "feel funny on the inside." He should feel so funny that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to get rid of what is causing the trouble on the inside of his spirit. What needs to be done is a process of making a 180 degree turn or repenting of his sin. The bible says that repentance gets the sin out. The power of repentance in the life of a Christian is given us through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The point is we can't "handle our coffee." We can't handle those things on our own power. In fact we are powerless against them. We must live in and with the power of someone who can handle it. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Crud on the windshield

Yesterday I drove my parents silver eagle bus from the church back to Palatka. The reason it was at the church was because on their way home this past Wednesday the bus blew a head gasket. It was blowing oil out the exhaust. (For those who don't know, this is not a good thing.) Melissa patiently followed my as a drove. She was driving our honda accord. She was following me very closely. An amazing thing happened. Motor oil got all over the front of the car, including the windshield. This made it somewhat difficult to see through, but it was still possible to see. But it was not a clear view.

I woke up this morning to the falling rain over the state of Florida. Good thing for Florida, we need rain badly. Bad thing for me, the windshield was still messed up. As I drove, with Morgan in the car, in the rain the messed up windshield made it almost impossible to see at all. This was very dangerous; I had precios cargo with me. It was hard to see. It was raining. I drove anyway. I tried to clean the windshield before I left, but what I did didn't work very well. As a matter of fact, I think it made things somewhat worse.

As I sit here in my office on this beautifully rainy afternoon, God spoke to my heart as I thought back on my experience this morning. The bible says that vision is critical. IF we are to get where God wants us in the timing God has set for us, we must be able to see clearly. There are a lot of moments in my life when I am "driving with oil on the windshield." I can make things out; I can still see the lines in the road. But I CANNOT see clearly. Things are distorted; things are out of focus; things are unclear. These circumstances are very dangerous for me and for those traveling with me.

But what are the things that put "oil on my windshield?" That's a great question, and specifically for each of us it may have different answers, but generally speaking, sin in the life of Christians puts "oil on the windshield." Those things, circumstances, attitudes, relationships, etc... put "oil on the windshield." Sin makes it difficult for us to see clearly. With "oil on the windshield" things that would have looked horrible or dangerous or deadly don't look so bad. Remember "oil on the windshield" doesn't mean you can't see at all, it just means you can't see clearly everything you need to see in order to get where you want to go. We all know where we want to go. But can we get there safely and on time "seeing things" the way we see them right now?

I had to get the oil off the windshield; this was important. I went to see my good friends at Abner's Pro Shop. They do all the work on my vehicles. I went there and at first tried to remedy the problem myself. I did an OK job, but it wasn't good enough. Abner saw me and patiently waited for me to get done doing what I was going to do, then he stepped in. He is a professional; he knows about these things. He went to work on my behalf, and when he was finished working I could see clearly. (Can you see where this is headed?)

So many times in life we try to clean our own "windshields" with our own knowledge and understanding, but it just doesn't seem to work. If we will take the time to go to the "Master Mechanic" things can be fixed correctly. Our goal and the goal of the Master is that we see clearly. Only the Master can make that possible.

Don't drive with "crud on the windshield."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike