The week before I preached this message in the spring of 2003, our church held a very special service at the High School auditorium, Our purpose was to honor all the first responders and veterans in our community.
Many responded to an altar call at the service. The following week, as I began our service back in our building, I wondered aloud what the first week as a Christian was like for those who responded at the High School. I shared my own testimony concerning my very first weeks as a born-again believer.
Even since the first service I’ve been trying to remind myself of some things and hearkened back to those early days when I first became a believer and I was born again, and the Lord just revealed himself to me so clearly, and I knew that something had taken place.
I was trying to remember in my own life. What happened right after that? And the more I think about it, honestly, all hell broke loose.
I had more trouble that first six months after I got saved. I looked back on it.
I lost a job. I had a girl dumped me that I was going out with. I at the at the job that I did go back to and I was working at I was threatened a few times.
I worked at a state mental hospital and we had some pretty dangerous people there. Had a few people threaten my life.
My family did not at all understand the decision that I made and they were thinking I was some sort of religious nut, and and I didn’t expect that somehow or another. I expected that after a dramatic encounter with the Lord, everything was just going to be up and going, after that, everything was just going to be sailing smooth sailing and the idea that I would still have trouble, let alone an acceleration of troubles.
I really didn’t feel like I was ready for it and I don’t know that I really handled it that well.
My if you were plotting on a graph, my early walk with the Lord looked like this; Great highs, great lows and then finally after all these years, it’s starting to level out a little bit.
It’s like your marriage, you know. Mine has always just been up! You thought you knew what I was going to say, didn’t you? Even though they’re – they’re a women retreat, I’m not stupid.
Mark, Chapter 4. Jesus, then teaching about the new birth.
He taught a parable about a sower going out to sow some seeds and the different kinds of soil and the different kinds of receptivity that took place.
In Chapter 4, verse 13 of Mark, he explains the parable to his disciples. Verse 13 says and then Jesus said to them, don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
The farmer sows the word?
Some people are like seed along the path and when the word is shown as soon as they hear, it’s Satan comes and takes away the word that was sewn in them.
Others, like seeds sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy but since they have no root, they last only a short time. I look., um, only short time. Next verse; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word they quickly fall away.
When trouble comes, people fall away.
The springtime around here is really interesting. The weather changes about every 45 seconds. And it can be bright blue sunshine and then a hail storm. And Pete was getting ready to go to the prom last night and he got all the tux and everything we were all getting ready to go out and as soon as we got in the car it just poured buckets and hail and everything and and they were going to take pictures.
You know where we were going and they were going to go outside and forget that it was raining sideways by then, and I thought of all these girls that got their hair all done and had their perfect dresses to go out into a torrent in the middle of all this.
And and you think why did that happen?
Or, you know, I thought of all the people last week. I want to make reference to what happened last week at at the High school auditorium. How many of you were there?
That was a magnificent magnificent day all the way around, just about filled the high school auditorium. There were a number of people who prayed and responded. The invitation that was given at the end of the meeting, and but I want to tell you that just didn’t happen. A lot of people worked very hard to move all of our stuff over there.
Kim Lawless was back in the small gym. Had something great for all the kids, Greg was there virtually all day Saturday and past midnight getting ready to run the sound and he had it just perfect and the soloist.
The people who moved everything. We had a whole team of people who volunteered to just move stuff to set up over there and just all the way around.
I mentioned a number of them in my part of the bulletin I wrote to you today and I I just run the risk, I know as soon as I do that, I run the risk of missing people, and so if I didn’t mention your name, please know that I appreciate what you did and it was amazing.
But those people that responded, I was thinking about them afterwards. I thought what’s their first week in Jesus is going to be like.
And I remember that couple days afterwards I was running an errand and I I felt particularly in the center of God’s will that day. Did you ever have one of those days where you thought you’re Just serving Jesus.
And I don’t mean I was walking around speaking King James English and acting weird, but I just had this kind of feeling like it was springtime that was one of the 20 minute periods where we did have sunshine. And and I was, I was just feeling real light and I went to run an errand and dropped something off at somebody house and and I just felt like the Lord’s he’s pleased with me. I just feel like he’s pleasing.
And I was at this these folks house and I was backing down and they had a lot of trees on their property and I was looking at this one in the car that I was just thinking about getting ready to sell.
I was I was backing up this way and looking in this mirror. I was really cognizant of this mirror. For some reason I was looking at it and I got over here and also near hear eeeeeeerrrrrrkk, and it’s just I had this sick feeling.
The the door I hit a tree and just caved in the whole side of it and I just, aawwww. And you know the first thought that popped into my head was an odd thing. You know. The first thought was so serve God, do you?
Now, I’m not saying that I heard a voice or whatever, but the first thought was that so that’s what you get for trying to serve Jesus as if that was some sort of cosmic thing from God that meant something. That and I began to ascribe meaning to the trouble that I was in.
Haven’t you done that? You know you get something you know somebody gets promoted in your office. They’re the slacker you do all their work and they get promoted.
And you say where’s the fairness than that? How come that happened? Or worse, something really tragic happens that has no explanation.
I mean there’s no – you’re not going to go and give an answer to somebody and say why did that happen, and YOU know why that happened, but when it happens to us and when we’re in the middle of trouble, have you ever noticed you always want to ascribe some meaning to it and say, now is God mad at me? Or there’s a whole host of things – and we’re going to go through those in a minute.
But I want to say, saying that when those folks prayed to receive Jesus last week, I kept thinking their first week is going to be really interesting because some of them might have the same impression I did.
I remember when I first got saved, I thought because I had such a powerful beginning – trouble wasn’t going to happen much to me anymore.
I was just going to sail after that. I know the Lord, I’m in his word, I’m trying to live for him so all of a sudden I’m going to start getting A’s. You know all of a sudden I’m going to be good looking shed 25 pounds. You know girls will dig me now in college and just things are going to go and I remember thinking all this stuff was going to happen and and I mean things went South so quick in a couple of weeks that I was really wondering what happened and did it really happen and why is this happening now?
Trouble can do that.
You begin to get serious about the Lord, particularly if you have a dynamic beginning. Peter put it this way in first Peter, he said, don’t be surprised when various trials or fiery ordeals come on you, he says, don’t be surprised as if something strange was happening to you.
I don’t know about you, but when I have trouble that’s strange to me because I don’t want that. I would prefer to not have any trouble thank you. I’d like to have a full bank account, I would like to just have everything… Personally I would like everybody to agree with me all the time.
In fact, it would be fine if people just said what would you like today, Jim?
That would be fine with me if life went that way, but it doesn’t go that way does it. Trouble happens, so Peter says don’t be surprised.
James goes a little further. James, in chapter one, he says, consider it or count it all joy when various kinds of trials come on you.
Now I don’t know about you, but Joy is not the first thing that pops into my mind when things start going South on me.
Honestly, the first thing I do is.
You know well the other guys that are serving Jesus didn’t have this happen. Guy on TV doesn’t have to deal with this.
Turn to 2nd Thessalonians, would you?
Trouble is going to happen.
What I don’t know that a lot of people Remember… Remember The new Carissa… the super tanker that ran aground off the Oregon coast. We made national news for about 3 weeks while that thing… It was like the thing that wouldn’t go away. They tried tow it and then the tow line broke and then they tried to toe it out to sea and then they actually had to hit it with a missile to break it open and like a torpedo broke it in two and then another piece came back and landed at Yachats… It was like the freighter that wouldn’t go away and it was like this ecological disaster and everything.
And I was involved with a lot of that ’cause I was the chaplain to the Coast Guard unit that responded that day. I was out there the day it happened. So I was watching all this and I kept thinking all this stuff is going on I wanted… I wanted to know, as does everybody when something like that happens.
They say what happened… how did – how did this happen? Why did It run aground?
What a lot of people don’t know is it was anchored at that time. The mistake the pilot may or, pardon me, the skipper made was he didn’t get a local pilot on board in the time frame he should have – that was one thing. And then it was a horrific storm. I mean, if you figure as big as one of those supertankers is to run one of those, the ground is a big storm.
We went out the next day and there were almost 30 foot seas that we were involved with. I mean, I I’ve never been so scared in my life.
I went out on a 50 foot motor rescue boat just… and they said – you want to come, and I said, yeah, whoa, we were riding up the side of these things and green all the way around is a terrifying storm.
But what had happened was that freighter was coming off the Oregon coast, which, by the way, is one of the most treacherous coastlines in the world.
The Coast Guard trains their coxswains off the Columbia bar at a place called Cape Disappointment. Don’t you love the name of that? Cape disappointment because they figured if they can learn how to handle that, they can handle anything. So Just down from there on the Oregon coast is where the super freighter decided to ride out the storm and they put down their anchor.
Well, the anchor didn’t hold.
Broke loose from the anchor and before they knew it they were on the rocks and that was that. Thing broke open and began to gush out all the fuel that was on there and then we had a big disaster on our hands.
So with all of that, the anchor didn’t hold.
Listen to what Paul says in second Thessalonians chapter 2.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus, and our being gathered to him; we ask you, brothers not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy report, or letters supposed to have come from us saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in anyway for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed. The man doomed to destruction.
He began to talk about the Antichrist at that point, but he starts by saying don’t let yourself be unsettled.
Paul uses a nautical term for a ship that has broken loose from its moorings and is at the mercy of a storm.
That’s exactly the word that he used when he says don’t be – unsettled.
We’re living in very unsettling times.
Things that were anchors in our society aren’t anchors anymore. things that used to hold down things in a predictable fashion are no longer predictable.
I think it’s just a terrible thing that now when you want to get on an airplane, you’ve got all sorts of things to think about. You know you look at the passengers and say is one of these guys a terrorist or you begin to wonder, is there somebody just outside the parking lot with a shoulder mounted missile launcher… You know who would have thought we’d ever have to think like that in the United States of America, but we do.
Now you think if that person coughed on the airplane, – uh-oh, you know and people are living with masks on, in China and in Hong Kong and Singapore.
You know, starting to have these, these things that just cause you to be anxious and cause you to think about things that you normally wouldn’t.
Because we’re living in times where the anchor that that we that the culture rests on; technology, know how, money – all those things don’t matter in troubling times do they.
We’re all on the same page. We’re all beginning to understand that some things have been cut loose, and how will we deal with it?
But it’s still not as bad… Did you hear about that dog last week – It made the news. That was the most amazing story… there was a dog that got hit by a car or something and a policeman came on the scene and the dog was suffering so he decided to put the dog out of its misery – he shot the dog. So then they took the dog and for whatever reason put him in a freezer. Somebody opened the freezer a little bit later and the dog was in there, alive and alert. He survived the crash, he survived getting shot, he survived the freezer and I’m sure he (the policeman) looked at him like, I hate it when that happens, what would you do that for?
But it’s not nearly as bad as poor chippy.
Chippy the parakeet never saw it coming?
One second he was peacefully perched in his cage, and the next he was sucked in, washed up and blown over. Problems began when Chippy’s owner decided to clean Chippy’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose, stuck it in the cage – The phone rang. she turned to pick it up, she barely said hello when, sssshukk, Chippy got sucked in.
The bird owner gasped – put down the phone, turned off the vacuum and opened the bag and there was Chippy.
Still alive but stunned.
Now, since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet and held chippy under the running water.
Then realizing that Chippy was soaked and freezing, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do. She reached for the hair dryer and began to blast her pet with hot air. Poor Chippy never knew what hit him.
A few days after the trauma, the reporter, who initially written about the event, contacted Chippy’s owner to see how the bird was recovering.
Well, she replied, chippy doesn’t sing much anymore.
He just sits there and stares.
Hey, you’ve been there. I’ve been there. You get to a point where things have just reduced you to being stunned. It’s like you you don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to do. And it’s like, how did we ever get Here?
Where did we ever get the idea that if we loved the Lord and we walked with him, we wouldn’t see days of trouble like that? I so appreciated the scripture Maggie read in both services where it actually starts, it says ‘and God spoke to Job from the storm, in the midst of the storm.
It didn’t go away. In fact, the more the Lord spoke to job, worse it got. It seemed like every time he gave him some insights that something else went South on him and he Ended up losing all sorts of things.
So we can’t conclude as a lot of people do, that if you love the Lord and you walk with him, things aren’t going to happen.
We think maybe God mad at us. We think maybe we’ve sinned. That’s what happened with job friends. They all came and said OK, where’s the sin in your life? This must be happening to you because God’s mad at you.
What if he’s not mad at you – and you get in a car crash.
What’s… what If he’s not mad at you and somebody in your family gets a diagnosis that scares him?
Does it mean that if you love the Lord that you’re never going to live In a sin sick world where things happen?
Trouble happens, and God’s, uh, one other thing. people think they think God not interested, and we’re on our own. No, we’re not on our own – He knows.
Did you catch what she read in job about this whole sequence of weather things that happened, the Lightning and the snow and the hail and everything.
The Lord saying to job I control all of that.
Now let that sink in for a minute.
If the Lord controls it – does that mean that he could stop it if he wanted to? So why doesn’t He?
Now here’s the really heavy theological response.
I don’t know. Neither do you. Because he doesn’t let us know all of the plan. What he does is speak to us in the midst of the circumstance, and he has a very clear plan. And he’s just and he’s fair and there’s not anything going to happen that escapes his notice.
The Bible says he knows the very numbers of hairs there are in your head, or the lack thereof. He knows if a Sparrow falls to the ground, he even knows what happened to Chippy.
I believe that. So if the Lord knows and we’re experiencing trouble, he must have a reason for it – for allowing us to go through it.
Jack Hayford has made, I believe, 28 trips to Israel over the years. With tours, he would take a group of people from Church On The Way. And because he’s such an eminent Bible scholar, those tours must be amazing when he would explain about Ephesus in the Baca Valley and he would, you know, show them what this meant and what this part of the the wall in Jerusalem, and all the significance of those holy places.
But these past two years, there was at least two tours they didn’t take, simply by virtue of security concerns. Did not everyone assume that when the war started with Iraq that he was going to lob at least one or two missiles to Israel? I think everybody thought that was going to happen because at Desert Storm, that’s exactly what happened. The war started and Hussain started to lob missiles at Tel Aviv and Haifa because there was such hatred for the Jews.
Now if that was the case and you were thinking of taking a tour group right about the time Iraqi, the Iraqi freedom was going to kick off, would that make sense? So Jack, thinking he’s supposed to take this tour right about the time the Gulf War was or this particular conflict was going to start, and he prayed and he really felt the Lord said go ahead because I want you to go and pray and we’re going to do some things so he started to think – sort of out loud in an article that he wrote, about the journey and what we can learn on the journey. And the first point he makes is you may desire the end destination where you’re headed, yet still be jarred by the journey.
It might be exactly the right destination, the trip might be exactly the right thing, but you are not guaranteed that the journey is not going to be without some jarring and some turbulence and some troubles sometimes.
I must look like a good candidate.
I have the last few times I’ve flown, virtually every time I’ve flown, I’ve had almost disrobed. They checked my coat, they checked my shoes. My shoes must look like really dangerous weapons. They’ve checked these puppies three or four times. They, I think it’s ’cause they’re shiny. They must think, Yeah, he’s got a bomb in the heel. Look at him. Just look at his face. A then I go and then they check me. I don’t know why.
But you know, when you go someplace now, they check you pretty, especially you get on an airplane.
And if you get to the border, my father in law is thinking of coming down to visit, and he’s already hearing horror horror stories about how much of a delay there is at the Canadian border just trying to come and visit, they’re going to check everything because we’re living in times like that.
So Jack was saying, you know, when your journey starts, let’s say the journey is your walk with the Lord. The destination is pretty clear. You want to get to that point in your life where you’re walking with the Lord, and things are going the way He wants for your life.
I think we’re agreed about that.
He’s saying even if that not being the case, there’s no guarantee that there’s not going to be trouble on the journey. Turn to acts, chapter 27.
Acts chapter 27. The apostle Paul wanted to go to Rome.
He had been arrested and imprisoned a number of.
Times he had been.
Beaten, the Jews tried to kill him, they stoned him and left him for dead.
Once he’d been adrift in the Mediterranean, he’d been shipwrecked, and this was one of those times.
So here’s a guy who knew what it was.
To have a lot of trouble when he traveled, by the way, even though the Roman Empire had secured most of the roads in the empire, it still wasn’t really safe to travel in those days.
There were highway men.
There were robbers.
And people could just stop you and take everything and kill you and.
Leave you and he knew that he cites that at one point.
So in acts 27, they’re getting ready to go to Rome. He’s been arrested, but he’s under sort of a house arrest and as a Roman citizen Paul makes the point.
I want my child to be in Rome.
I’m a Roman citizen.
I have the right to do that and he was.
Right, he had the right to.
Appeal to Caesar so.
Roman law dictated that he’d be given safe passage with an escort to Rome.
Paul Ultimate Reason for doing that was to preach the gospel in Rome.
That’s what I believe he wanted to get to Rome because that was the uttermost parts.
Of the earth.
That he wanted.
To go and reach so he goes.
Now verse chapter 27.
Starting at Verse 6, the Centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy, and he put us on board.
We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus.
Now when the wind would not allow us to hold our course, boy does that sound like your life?
Sometime just seems like the wind blowing against you when the wind would not allow us to hold our course.
We sailed to the Lee of Crete, opposite Salmony.
We moved along the coast with difficulty.
We came to a place called fair Havens near the town of Lecea.
Now, much time had been lost.
Now look at this failing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the fast.
Paul is putting a time time stamp on this saying we have reached the season.
Now for storms.
And he said people there are sometimes you just don’t remember the Gordon Lightfoot song the wreck of the Edmund finished Fitzgerald about that.
A tanker that went down in the Great Lakes.
Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the gales of November come early?
The inference in that song is in November when the Gale starts not a good time to have traffic on the Great Lakes.
They knew that Mariners knew that.
People who fly know there are sometimes that it’s not.
Not as wise as other times to try and tackle the weather.
Certainly people who go out on the ocean, they know that there are some seasons where there are hurricanes and typhoons more than other times.
And so, in the middle of all that Paul says, this was not the time to do it, he.
Even says that.
It’s a dangerous because now it was after the fast.
So Paul warned the men, I see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to the ship and cargo into our own lives also.
But the Centurion, instead of listening to what?
Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship.
Who did they go after after the new Carissa Ranger?
The owner and then they went after the pilot who didn’t even make it on board in time and so they kept saying somebody made a decision to keep going when it looked like the circumstances would dictate wisdom would dictate don’t do this, but they did it anyway.
In the instance of New Carissa, they had that full hold of fuel and they were headed.
Somewhere and they it was financially to their advantage to not stop.
Same thing here.
So since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in the majority decided we should sail on hoping to reach Phoenix and Winter there.
Now look at verse 13.
Now, when a general South wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted.
I’ve been there, you get saved, you know, you know, the Lord.
You’re starting to walk with him and it’s like smooth sailing all of a sudden the Bible comes.
Alive to you.
You start to read the Bible.
And never you know, it’s like.
Wow the Lord just.
Speaking to me, every 10 minutes, it seems like.
Any is by the way.
But we make an assumption that because we’re having this fairwinds, every time I pray at a retirement ceremony for a sailor or a coastie at the end of it, I pray for them for fairwinds and following seeds.
This is something so powerful about that it’s a blessing for Mariners and that they would have fairwinds and well, they were having fairwinds.
I remember as it was Mother’s Day was in May and that was the season I found out later on off of Vancouver Island that you have to really watch the weather reports if.
You’re going to go out and fish.
But weather reports meant nothing to me because I had a 12.
Foot aluminum boat.
With a flat bottom I could go out on the ocean.
Sure enough, I was thinking of buying a boat from a guy and I wanted to try it out and it was a balmy day.
I want to tell you it was warm and it just looked like bathwater, and this thing had a 25 horsepower motor. I’ll thank you. Well, you you get things full out and and you’d plane.
A little bit.
It had to be a safe boat because it had a steering wheel. Had a steering wheel and a 25 horsepower motor.
So this guy you know there was another woman thing as a matter of fact the women were having some sort of gathering and.
So I got together with this guy in the church.
I said let’s try this boat out.
I’m thinking of buying.
Yeah, let’s go out. So we’re going out. And I mean it was so. Comments like Glass 25 horses were outside powerful.
We got out there we, we didn’t catch any salmon.
We were fishing for salmon.
We kept going out.
Now it was so calm.
And then we got to a place called.
We got on the other side of that.
And and you know, we were we decided to switch and try and bottom fish for cod and stuff.
So we were doing that.
My friend got uh, caught on and those things are big bucket mouths.
You know it takes a long time to bring one of those in, depending on how far down you went to get it and he’s just yard in this thing and I I just felt this little thing on the back of my neck just a little puff of wind.
And I looked down and the water was just bubbling a little bit.
It wasn’t, you know, it’s just like dimpling on the.
Water, and I thought it didn’t feel right.
I said maybe we ought to.
Head in, he said, well, let me just bring this this fish in.
In the three minutes or so it took him to get that thing off the bottom.
In that period of time, we were in six foot seas just like that, and I looked and had I only looked earlier, there’s the black line that everybody told me.
If you see that, get out of there.
It was an offshore wind, much like this one. It was coming off the island. We were coming back in and my massive 25 horse motor full out were going like this and not moving.
The wind was coming and then we started taking on water, had nothing to bail it with, didn’t have an air horn.
I was sitting on my life preserver and I thought we’re going to die.
We started to go down in the troughs of these waves and it was green all the way around us then thanks, thanks.
The Lord Bruce had been on boats before and he knew how to at least take the waves.
We didn’t get swamped ’cause they were coming.
Over the boat and I thought we’re going to go to heaven now.
This is terrible and I think the worst part was I could speed.
This shore we.
Weren’t that far off?
I didn’t think.
But we had drifted about a mile and a half out.
And it was like I couldn’t get this thing to come in, and we’re taking.
And I found out later on the next day, people died in a 40 foot commercial boat just up the aisle.
And they all.
Died, so we’re going.
I thought we were going to do.
I had a doeskin red coat on and I was just waving it like this, hoping I didn’t have a horn and we were just waving and Bruce and I just began to speak in tongues.
Started to cry out to the Lord.
A yacht sauce, big huge thing.
He came over and we got in his wake and that’s the only way we could get in.
When I got off that thing, I did a Pope John Paul.
I was on the ground kissing.
You know how when he comes to a new place he kisses the ground where he is.
I was so thank you Jesus.
I’m back in one piece.
What a terrible thing.
To get this sensation that you have just been cut loose and you’re going to go, listen to the description of the storm that Paul gives.
Gentle South Wind began to blow.
They thought they had obtained what they wanted, so they weighed.
Anchor sailed along the shore of Crete, but before long.
A wind of hurricane force called the nor’easter swept down from the island.
The ship was caught by the storm and couldn’t head into the wind, so we gave way to it.
We were driven along and as we passed to the lead of a small island called Kata, we were able hardly able to make the lifeboats secure.
So the men hoisted it aboard, they passed.
Ropes under the ship itself to hold it together, fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars it’s Syrtis.
They lowered the sea anchor.
Let the ship be driven along.
We took such a violent battering at this from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard on the third day they threw the ships tackle overboard with their own hands, and when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, the storm continued raging.
We finally gave up all hope of being saved.
Now this is a guy.
Who was on a mission from the Lord?
He was going to where he knew he was supposed to do.
He had orders if.
You will, he knew.
He was supposed to do.
This, and so he’s even saying that I know the destination.
I know where the Lord wants me, but it sure feels like this is this has gotten out of control and we’re not going to make it after the men had gone a long.
Time without food.
Pop stood up and said, man, you should have taken my advice every time I read that I’m trying to picture these people.
Most of them were criminals by the way they were on their way for trial in Rome.
And so they’re hard, tough guys, and everything.
They’re all scared they’ve been in a storm.
They’ve thrown even their life stuff away.
They’re during this horrific storm.
Haven’t seen the sun or the stars and days.
They haven’t eaten in days so they’re sleep deprived.
They’re starving and Paul gets up and says now, had you just listened to me?
I thought if nothing else.
Paul was brave.
He says you should.
Have taken my advice not to sail from Crete.
Then you would have spared yourself this damaging loss, but.
Now I urge you to.
Keep up your courage because not.
One of you will be lost.
Only the ship will be destroyed.
Yeah, I’m I’m not encouraged by hearing that if I’m those guys.
Last night an Angel.
Of the Lord.
Listen to how he describes God by the way, in his relationship, he says, last night an Angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood.
By me said, don’t be afraid, Paul.
You must stand trial before Caesar.
God is graciously giving you the lives of those who sail with you.
So keep up your courage men.
I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Nevertheless, we must run aground on some land.
I love that.
God is going to take care of us.
Nevertheless, we are going to have a shipwreck any minute now.
And I’m wondering what on Earth they were thinking, because he’d already been known to them.
I’m sure he was a noteworthy prisoner, and they thought he’s that guy that they kept talking about.
He was the one that laid hands on sick people and they recovered.
He was the.
One that preached to thousands.
He was the.
One that used to be a persecuted.
The church, he was kind of.
A noteworthy guy known for his.
Relationship with the Lord and he says God showed me what’s going to happen.
Says we’re going to make it, but the ships going.
To be destroyed, and that’s exactly.
What happened by the way?
But I wanted you to know that in second Corinthians turn their second Corinthians, Chapter 7.
I want you to see something same Paul describing his life and ministry.
2nd Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 5.
Now I don’t know what you’re thinking when you first get saved.
I know last week at the high school when I saw all those people that lifted their.
Hands I I kept.
Wondering what’s their first week in the lore going to be like?
What’s this going to?
Be like for them, what’s it?
Going to be like when trouble happens.
Maybe they could get the impression that.
If you walk with the Lord, trouble isn’t going to happen to you, but listen what Paul says, Paul, who above all people serve God in his generation, says that worth five of Second Corinthians 7.
For when we.
Came into Macedonia.
This body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn.
Conflicts on the outside fears within, but God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you’d given him.
And he told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your art and concern, so that my joy was greater than ever.
There’s nothing more pitiful than a cast down sheep.
Kelly was telling me this morning. One of our worship leaders. She was saying that I preached a lot about the 23rd Psalm.
They took my course in preaching.
In fact, I think you heard Maggie was one of the people that preached that Wednesday when they came down here.
But Kelly, they all had different aspects of a cast down sheep and I told them when a sheep is cast, they’re.
They’re on their.
Back and they can’t right themselves and you see their legs going.
And if they don’t get help or as Shepherd doesn’t find them like that.
They’re going to die.
So after Kelly told that story, she said I saw this sheep and it just didn’t seem like anybody was coming.
She said what happens in?
An instance like that.
And I said, well, if it nobody finds them, they’re going to die.
And then Maggie.
Said you killed the sheep.
You didn’t kill the sheep.
I’m sure that the shepherd happened shortly after you saw that.
But talk about a picture of trouble.
You’re on your back, flailing around.
You can’t write yourself.
You get to feeling like that, don’t you?
You have circumstances you just before too long.
You’re off balance and then you you lose the capability to write yourself.
You know the the message comes down that they’re rightsizing or downsizing at work and you’re going to lose your job.
The doctor calls back and says we got your lab results.
I want you to come in.
I want to talk to you here.
Your kids start hanging out with some really dangerous people and they start doing stupid stuff.
Whatever it is you get into a situation where trouble is there whether you want it or not and what are you going to do.
Seniors, many of you know Roy Hicks, junior Roy Hicks, senior.
Was a very powerful minister in his own right. He used to travel with Kenneth Hagen and in the early days of Kenneth Hagen’s Ministry, Roy was one of the people who wrote about faith and and so when Roy Junior came along, he had a rich heritage of being trained by a very godly man and and.
How many of you were here when Roy preached here where some of you hear that?
And he came down what a what, a joy that was.
Roy Junior was the vice president of our denomination.
He was the head of our Mission International Organization for a long time, but he was best known for pastoring, the Eugene Face Center.
He went there when there were just a handful of people and before he was done there were over 5000 people.
In the Eugene Face Center.
And they dotted, uh, number of congregations out of that 150. I believe this being one of them.
And so have you ever heard saying praised the name of Jesus?
That course praise the name, and Roy wrote that, and he was known all around the world and he was just this incredible resource.
He was moving back to Oregon after resigning his position at missions and he was going to headquarter in Eugene and go out from here and train pastors.
As soon as I knew he was doing that, I issued an invitation for him to come here, and he did.
Come here and we had lunch with him that day and what I just kept thinking.
I love this guy.
I read his books before.
I know where he’s coming from.
I’m going to look forward to getting to.
Know him, we hit it off pretty well.
It wasn’t all that much.
Longer after the time that he came here that he was tying up some business down in Los Angeles and he was flying back in a private plane.
He was a pilot and he made it as far as Medford, and he issued a mayday and either icing on the wings or something.
I don’t know what the whole story was, but he smacked into a mountain in Medford and died.
I mean in.
In Eugene, people were mourning like the day Kennedy died, I mean.
He had reached so many people of so many different varying cultural groups.
There were bikers there next to businessmen at the memorial service.
They had no room to put it, so they got the fairgrounds they actually had to get.
The fairgrounds was the only place they could seed enough people to handle his memorial service.
But Roy senior had written a book years ago, that long before all this, but probably when Roy was just a boy and he called it ready or not.
Here comes trouble.
How was the name of this book?
Book and I, I mean, it gave me chills when I found it.
I went to go look for it, to make reference for this morning message and I forgot what the cover is.
It says ready or not, here comes trouble and it’s a little plane caught in a storm.
What it was so powerful about what Roy senior said about how to prepare for trouble is he was trying to make the analogy of a pilot.
They said some pilots can only fly in fair weather.
They’re not instrument rated and so they can.
They have to watch weather reports and they have to keep at a certain ceiling.
They can only go so high and they have to be able to see where they’re going, and if they can’t see, they need to come down right away and they have to plan their trips and where there are a number of small airports because they can’t be out in.
Anything ’cause they can’t handle us they can’t see.
So in the middle of.
That he tells the story about how the difference between a pilot that has to rely on that is thwarted by storms.
The difference between that and a pilot who is instrument rated who can fly right into a storm, and this is what he says.
When a regularly licensed pilot who has had his private license desires to.
Go to the.
Instrument rated license.
He must apply and be ready to begin hours and hours of study.
Then an instructor is assigned to him who will accompany him on his training missions. The instructor will place a hood, a long build cap on the pilot’s head so that all the pilot can see is the instrument panel in front of him. This is all he could actually see if he was.
Flying in storm conditions or in fog. This is done after the craft is in the air 100 feet.
A few 100 feet rather a course is that the pilot in training must work with instruments and radio doing turns being able to come to an airport and bring the plane within a few feet of the landing strip, and he must do all of this without ever looking to see where he is without ever having any confirmation.
Of his senses, and the expression is called being.
Under the hood.
You have to be able to land the thing, navigate the thing in a storm without ever looking to confirm the decisions that your instruments are telling you.
Because with Vertigo, and some of those things Vertigo, if you spin somebody around and you get him into people who trained to be pilots in the in the military, and certainly people who trained to be, astronauts have to have a highly.
Sophisticated set of reflexes.
There’s only a certain window that they’ll allow with visuals and balance and inner ear things because they recognize that you can be absolutely convinced you’re going this way when you’re not going that way at all, because you feel like you are.
How how do I put this?
I’ll just be blunt.
I got hit in the head.
When I was in high school I was actually attacked.
I was I was trying to help a friend of mine that was in trouble and some people came.
Up behind me and somebody hit me in the head with a pipe.
So I had a concussion and I was unconscious for a little while and had short term memory loss and that very well may account for the sense of humor that’s developed over the years.
I don’t know people.
Have wondered but so.
Who hit Brent?
That’s my next question I want.
To know but.
So so anyway.
Ever since then, I’ve had kind of an interesting phenomenon.
When we’re when we sing.
I don’t know if you ever know now the secret’s out. You can see what I’m doing, but if I if I’m in the front I put my legs so they’re touching the seat.
Because when I close my eyes and if were worshipping the Lord, if I was out here, I’ll close my eyes and before too long I’d open my eyes and I’d be aiming over here.
It’s an inner ear thing.
I don’t know what happened, it’s just that way.
I’ve noticed after a while that if I close my eyes I am totally disoriented.
Some people would argue I’m disoriented with my eyes open, but.
Especially my kids who say.
Dad, are we there yet?
So so without.
The case a pilot when they get into a storm you lose all track of the horizon.
You can’t see the stars.
You can’t see the break in the clouds.
You can’t see any sunlight.
If you’ve ever really been in a creepy storm in an airplane, it is.
It’s alarming when you can’t.
When you’re in a fog bank or anything.
So what do they do?
They train people to rely on the instruments and the voice from the tower.
The voice from the radio sang.
Turn left this heading no make a correction I’m telling you the pilot feels at that point like the guys giving him bad advice.
Now it can’t be right.
They have to trust that it’s right because those folks have the instruments to be able to see what’s really going on.
And here’s where the trust comes in.
Will you trust?
That somebody unseen can give you directions to get you out of the storm safely.
Under the hood, I love that description.
I mentioned you know Jack was saying when he went to the Jack Hayford, when he made his trips to the Holy Land, especially in light of all this.
He said sometimes we just can’t count on the fact that the journey is going to be safe.
He said you can’t count on it being on your schedule either, and you can’t.
Count on having people travel with you that you’d prefer.
Have you noticed that sometimes you get into a situation where you’re just not where you’d prefer and things aren’t going the way you prefer and your boss is not whom you prefer and your coworkers aren’t and we prefer and just it just seems like everything is going South on you.
What if the Lord knew that?
And he’s allowing you to go through it.
Whatever else happens in a storm, you lose control.
Cool, so how do you prepare when you get under the hood?
As I mentioned and you deal with Vertigo as I mentioned, instrument rated pilots are not deterred by storms.
They learn to rely on the instruments, and they learn to get the help they need.
From the tower or from the radio, Listen to what the instructor does.
It’s also in his book.
When an instructor is teaching a new student to fly, he constantly reminds them to keep the nose of the plane up.
New students are likely to keep the nose down so that they can see where they’re going.
Problem with that is when you do that, the plane has a natural tendency to fall.
If you want to maneuver things to where you comfortably can see, it’s not the safest way to handle it.
Hicks makes the application.
He says keeping our heads up, keeping our eyes on Jesus, keeping our hearts rejoicing is the toughest test.
It takes effort, but it’s.
Worth it, the Book of Job says Man is born to trouble as sure as the sparks fly upward and in Second Corinthians, Paul says.
We carry this treasure in earthen vessels so that the transcendent power might be shown to be gods and not men.
We are pressed on all sides but not crushed.
We are perplexed, but not in despair.
We are persecuted.
But not abandoned.
Turn to Psalm 91 I.
Want you to see this?
So Paul saying, we’re going to experience those things, whether you prefer to or not.
Excuse me, Psalm 91.
If you make the most high your dwelling, even the Lord who is my refuge.
No harm will be for you.
No disaster will come near your tent for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against the stone.
You will tread upon the lion in the cobra.
You will trample the great lion in the serpent because he loves me.
Says the Lord.
I will rescue him.
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me and I will answer him and I will be with him in trouble.
I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him and honor him and with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
You know one of the.
Great ironies is.
He says, quoted this on the way, the cross.
Lord saying, I’m going to.
Be with him in trouble.
He will talk about trouble.
Sometime read the gospel account of what Jesus said and what was being said to him by the religious leaders on the cross.
They were going back and forth from this palms.
Psalm 18 in particular.
They would quote something Jesus would say, something that was in that same song they were going back and they kept taking.
Issue was if God was with you, they were.
Saying you couldn’t.
Be going through this because if God was really with you and they were picking stuff you know like like people do, they would pick one verse out of context which they are high.
It’s in the Bible, but she just turned around straight.
No, this is what that says and he stayed back and were going back and forth back and forth what he was getting at was distant.
Here’s where it touches down.
Trouble is going to happen.
You can love the Lord with all your heart and you can be walking with him and not swimming.
And not really.
Less enough trouble is going to happen.
You’re going to get in the midst of it.
You’re going to have storms.
And what will you do?
You know what happened with Paul right in the middle of it, he said the Angel of the Lord, the God whose I am and whom I served to.
Me, but it’s not over until he says it’s over and he’s going to steam me through this and then immediately Paul turned around and ministered.
Other people on the journey.
Other people get scared to other people have troubles too.
Have you ever noticed what a tonic it is when you begin to pay attention to somebody else when you’re in the middle of it, there’s a little couplet I’m fond.
Of quoting ’cause life is mostly froth and bubble but two things.
Stand like stone.
Courage in one’s own troubles.
Apartment life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone kindness and another troubles and courage in one’s own.
There’s something about recognizing that there are other people traveling with you, and they’ve got trouble.
Two, you begin to focus on that, and it’s amazing you focused on that.
Paul began to worry about the other sailors and the other prisoners, and he said, don’t worry, no one going to be lost and they started to listen to him and and he he was used by the Lord and I think what happens is if we frame our.
Troubles to wait, right?
Way the Lord will use it.
How do you remember the instrument?
Maybe let’s go back to that for a minute under the hood.
How do you fly by the instrument?
Our instrument is.
The word of God.
So we’re in.
We’re in a storm.
What do we do?
We get into the word how do you remember it we did today those courses that we heard I remember a chorus that had a very important verse that I can’t remember it because I memorized the scripture but I remember it because we sang it.
These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace in the world.
You will have tribulation.
But be good cheer the coach here, for I have overcome the world.
I remember it because we learned it as a course years ago.
The background of that was Jesus going to the cross the night before he went to the cross.
His disciples were off balance.
He said you don’t understand tomorrow they’re going to arrest me.
We’re going to die.
I’m going to be buried in rising the dead.
They didn’t know what to make of it, Jesus said.
He said in me.
You can find peace, he said.
But in the world you.
Will have trouble Jesus said elsewhere.
Every day has trouble of its own, you know.
Jesus was the.
One that said that there wasn’t in response to somebody else that was in Jesus response to somebody else, but every day.
You’re going to.
Have troubles to deal with.
Count on that.
In the world you will have trouble or tribulation, but be of good cheer.
I have overcome the world all through job all through Corinthians, Paul will talk about how the Lord intends to answer in the time of trouble and he will come with a word so we can encourage fellow travelers.
I love how he put it, he said when you’re in a storm.
Don’t jump ship.
So don’t jump ship rather live as a redemptive agent of life in the midst of the storm so that you can be the center of life for other people.
I remember this was illustrated for me in a really funny way.
It was odd because you pretty well picked up over the years.
If you’ve heard me talk any more than once, I’m flying is not my favorite thing to do.
I do it ’cause I have to, but I’ve had some really good storms that have really stuck in my mind.
It’s hard to get it out of my mind.
I was in one when lightning hit the plane.
One time and and I mean I, I used to use to really white knuckled, even thinking about getting on airplanes.
But I’ve had two, so I go and do that, and.
But I was coming back from a training thing at Camp Pendleton down in Southern California.
I was serving.
With marines then.
And my training totally thing was up.
I was so wanting to get home I didn’t even change.
I came in my uniform, got to the airport and got in the first plane I could get out of there.
And so the the flight initiated in San Diego, we picked up people in Los Angeles, then went on to Portland and then we were going to go from Portland to Eugene, so it’s real milk.
I’m getting home.
I got on the plane and I was so physically tired.
We were in the field for most of that training, so I was just exhausting for me anyway and so I was just glad to be done with it.
I’m sitting there wanting to just sit there and not talk to anybody, but I had the uniform on and on my shoulders.
There’s across of the new as a chaplain.
I’m sitting there in Los Angeles.
We touched down, picked up some passengers to continue the flight, used this young couple gunner, and they’re walking down the aisle.
And I he’s looking really familiar to me.
I think I’ve seen this guy before, but I can’t figure.
Out where I’ve seen him.
But his wife or, his girlfriend I, didn’t know which at the time was holding onto.
His arms, she was white, the blood was out of her lips.
E.g., could tell she was terrified to fly and she didn’t want to do it.
She was holding on.
They sat down and this was the hilarious part.
The stewardess comes over to me and she leans over and says Chaplin.
So Sir, I can tell you’re a seasoned traveler.
Did you see that couple that just just came?
You know, she’s really scared this is her first flight and she’s terrified and would it be OK?
I know you look like you want to just relax and honestly there isn’t an assigned seat next to you, but would it be OK if I sat him next to you?
He said, you know, you can be so confident for that.
So I handled it in true integrity and honesty.
I said sure.
Here season Traveler is having sit over there.
I’ll tell him what I know.
Very slow it down and every noise that plane made that the deer seems like 21 years old. He was only 2223.
It seemed to me anyway, he’s holding on, you know, to her, and every time we hit turbulence and everything she was just like she’d look like him and he’d try to comfort her and everything.
And I’d start.
Small talking at that point, it really did help distract him a little bit.
So in a little bit I’m striking up a conversation with this guy and I said I I found out he lived in Los Angeles and I wanted to tell him about the church on the way.
I wanted to kind of witness to him.
And say when?
You get back home.
There’s a great church, you gotta go to said you live in the valley and he said, Oh yeah, I said well there’s this church I know a great church called Church on the way and they have a.
A huge congregation and everything but there.
It’s a really neat place fact, a lot of the people from the entertainment industry go there and he said, me and my mom is.
In their business.
And I looked at her and he’s.
Still looking familiar to me.
So we’re flying for a while and then finally he leans over to me and said, you see the movie Rudy.
And I said, yeah, he said died.
I played Rudy.
Now I’m looking at it.
We shot Ashton, Patty Duke son.
And he’s been.
He’s been it.
What’s the most recent one the Lord of the Rings?
I think he was one of photos pals.
But you know I’m looking at him.
And I thought, wasn’t that cool and.
He bought to grab some stuff for.
The kids and everything but his wife.
When she got off the plane, she grabbed my hands and she said I can’t tell you how you really helped me get through this.
She said I could tell you weren’t afraid of anything and she said.
And I wouldn’t let her get off without telling her the truth.
And I said, you.
Know I don’t enjoy flying either, but I’ve learned over time that when I’m in trouble I can call on the Lord and I basically gave her my testimony.
I said he helps me get through this and he’s gonna so let me pray with you and I cut my hands over her and I prayed for the next flight.
’cause they had one more.
They were on their way to Idaho.
And she just walked out of there.
And I thought, OK.
We don’t know when, but you can count on it like the weather here in Oregon.
It’s going to happen.
When it happens, what are we going to do if you go by your sensation or how?
You feel you’re going to panic.
But if you learn to be instrument rated and go by what God has said in his word and what he’s promised in his word.
He will see you safely through Jesus said you can count in this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer.
I’ve overcome the world.
I think the answer is, is any among new troubled book of James now it actually says that says is any of you sick?
Let him call the elders of the church and that says is anyone in trouble.
I would hazard a guess there are some folks that are having troubles here this morning.
And I’d like to do what the Bible says to do.
I’m an instrument rated Christian.
I have been under the hood and what he says to do is.
This trouble pray.
Trouble, let’s pray.
Lord, I do bring it to you now.
There are people here that really don’t know what to do next.
They’re at a place where they’ve they’ve run out of options and they’re scared.
I pray Lord by the power of your Holy Spirit, that they will pray to you now and give it to you.
Your word says casting all of your care on him.
For he cares for you.
In everything with prayer and Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
You never designed for us to go by our sight.
You never designed for us to fly by the seat of our pants.
Literally, you have designed that we would in the storm call out to you.
So we do.
We call out to you today Lord, and we say in this form we want to hear your word.
That we’re going to safely get to the destination you called us to.
Now just wait for a moment I’m gonna ask you to keep your eyes closed.
I didn’t do that this in the first service, but I think we should hear.
Sometimes we need to do something physical to just put a little.
Action with our intention and the way that will take place this morning is I’m just going to ask you to lift up your hand here in just a moment.
If you choose to do this.
I I really do believe the way this whole thing was structured, everything from not having the whole worship team to just everything that happened.
Working up to this.
I believe that there are some people here that need to say to the Lord.
I am willing now in my trouble to call on you like I’ve never done before, and I’m going to do it now.
I’m going to call on you in my tribe.
If that’s your decision this morning, and you’re going to say I wanted to give this to you, Lord and not walk out with it, I’m going to give it to you.
Lift up your hand where you are.
We’re going to pray a prayer of agreement.
Yes, in the back I see that yes.
I’m not yet.
I see that in the middle there.
Thank you in.
The back yes yeah.
Yes, in the front here good.
I’m not going.
To care, yes.
Sir, I’m not going to carry it.
I’m not designed to carry it.
Like Jehosaphat don’t have the power to face this yesterday.
No, never the.
Power to face the donut.
Don’t have the power to face it.
I don’t know what to do.
But my eyes will not be trying to land this thing myself.
My eyes will be on the instrument, my eyes will be on you to hear your voice from the tower.
We call on you Lord and we trust you.
And in the day of trouble, I will protect him.
The Lord is a refuge, the stronghold in the day of trouble.
We are living in times that are troubling times.
I think you would agree.
If you’re feeling like this, would you think that people in the orbit of your life are feeling like it too?
I think just get your remote when you go home, just click around trouble trouble trouble trouble trouble war war, SARS, SARS, violence, violence, death, death, death?
Just go ahead people are starting to feel off balance.
They’ve lost their anchor.
I pray that God will use you.
To bring people to Jesus.
Have a great week.