Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Piracy Doctrine ;-)

Maybe the answer to the piracy problem is found in this book ;-)

Here's some food for thought on the topic:

By Cdr. Herb Carmen

Best Defense piracy columnist

History shows that stopping piracy almost always requires actions ashore. In the case of piracy near Somalia, very little has yet been done to put pressure on the shore establishment that supports the booming business and burgeoning industry of piracy in the region. By steering clear of the Somali coast and focusing on sea lane protection and escort, navies may make hijacking merchant vessels more difficult for pirates but can only address the symptoms of piracy without confronting the source and the motivations behind it.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Texting God

The quote below is from Josh Harris' blog which is taken from Paul Miller's book (on my required reading list). It struck me because life on the ship has become increasingly busy and I have attempted to maintain a relationship with God on the fly. I'll just think in my head a few thoughts to God and call it prayer, but this is no more a relationship than text messaging my wife a couple times a day and saying that we have a great relationship. Testing God is insufficient. Time alone with the Lord, with complete quietness, and no agenda is near impossible on a ship with a roommate and all of the demands that people have of you. Any suggestions on how to do it? I'm going to ponder this a bit and try to write on it, but would love to hear from you in the meantime . . .

"Jesus' example teaches us that prayer is about relationship. When he prays, he is not performing a duty; he is getting close to his Father.

Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space, time together without an agenda, where you can get to know each other. This creates an environment where closeness happen, where we can begin to understand each other's hearts.

You don't create intimacy; you make room for it. This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can't get to know God on the fly.

If Jesus has to pull away from people and noise in order to pray, then it makes sense that we need to as well."

- Paul Miller, A Praying Life, page 47

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hour Glass Sanctification

There is an undeniable, direct link between the Truth of God (which is to say our understanding of It) and our actions. Often a time lag exists as the process works itself out (the theological term is "sanctification"). I think of it as kinda like an hour glass where the sand is poured through the top, eventually finding its way down. Similarly, Truth enters the mind impacting our thoughts, seeping down into our hearts (feelings, propensities, inclinations) before making it to our feet and hands - transformed into action. With time our actions will require less intentional thought as they become holy habits governed by the Word of God. Rom. 12:2, Phil. 2:12-13

Here is a great poem from Paul Tripp in his book "Whiter Than Snow" (highly recommended) that reflects on these ideas.

In The Holy of Holies

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being. ~Psalm 51:6

In the holy of holies,
Where my deepest thought dwells.
In the secret place,
Of the heart,
Where no one sees,
And no one knows.
In that place where worship,
Sets the course,
For all I say,
And all I do.
In the holy of holies
Where thoughts,
Afraid to be verbal,
And desires,
Never quite spoken,
What I will seek,
And say,
And do.

In the holy of holies,
Where greed lurks dark,
And anger stands dangerous.
In the shadows,
Where lust captivates,
And envy enslaves.
In that sacred place,
Of the heart,
Where I plan what I will do,
And rehearse what I will say.

In the holy of holies,
Where love is born,
Or succumbs to hate.
Where gentleness,
Falls to vengeance.
In that place where,
Thinking never ends,
And interpretations,
Become a way of seeing.
In the holy of holies,
Where feelings grow in power,
And overwhelm,
What is sensible,
And true.
In the holy of holies,
Where I stand naked,
All covering gone,
Before You,
What I am,
As I am,
Void of defense,
Stripped of excuse.
Nowhere to hide,
No reputation to polish.
In the place where You,
Can see,
And hear,
And know.
May you do there,
What I cannot do.
May you create there,
What only mercy can give.
May you hold back,
What I deserve,
And give what,
I could never earn.
May you create in me,
A clean heart.