Archive for September, 2009

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The View From Down Under…

September 24, 2009

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This morning at 6:17 am (Pacific Time) we went under the Golden Gate Bridge on our cruise ship the Norwegian Star.  It was hazy as light had just begun to break.  Others aboard got up early to gander and take photographs as we stood outside our balcony windows.  You could hear the mooring signal from nautical miles away but because of the fog and haze, visibility was poor until a quarter of a mile out when its massive lights feel inside our visibility.

Have you ever seen the view from “under” the Golden Gate Bridge?  Many of our blog readers will say, “Sure I have seen the bridge” or “Yes, I have even driven over the massive structure.”  As impressive as it may be to see the bridge from a distance or drive across- very few see the bridge from down under.  Now that is a whole different perspective, a unique view, and a different angle on things.

I thought gazing up at the massive structure as we glided underneath…wow this is different.  The Bible is full of different views.  The world is just as “plump” with everyone’s perspectives and angles.  Jesus boldly told Peter in John 13:7 (NIV) “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Jesus had a different perspective on things.  His view was different from most.  Many times we see things differently in the wake of an experience.  There are so many things we would like to take back, order a “replay” or do-over or simply see from down under after the fact.

As life “at sea” rolls on, as we age, mature and wise up, we begin to see things from a different perspective.  We see things from “down under.”  Maybe you are dealing with a situation in your life this very moment that has many ways to “look at it.”  A reminder… the view from THE Jesus perspective is the only path.

Dock with Christ,

Pastor Michael Cook

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God’s Will and Our Wishes

September 23, 2009

(*Blog written from Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon)

 (**My friend Matt went on into eternity 31 hours following the writing of this blog…MMC)

Asking for God’s Will Rather Than Our Wishes

 

While cruising this week with a special group of Senior Adults, I received word at sea that one of the young men in our previous pastorate (and a great friend) was not expected to live.  He has been battling cancer for some time.  The doctors have now decided that he has just a short time to live and have placed him under Hospice Care. 

 

A number of things have gone through my mind and heart since receiving the devastating and unsettling news.  Just to list a few:

 

Why….Why is this happening to a young man, with a young son, a wonderful wife and a great banking future ahead?

 

Can we have Miracle….is a miracle in store for us?  That is my heart, my prayer, my wish.

 

I should have done a better job of telling him how much he means to me.  He is a guy that expected so little for all he gave to others.

 

In the midst of the quandary of emotions, I remembered Job.  Job almost lost it all.  He went through death, suffering, and crushing defeat at the hands of the world.  Yet in the end, God blessed him back two fold.  I was reminded from the deck of the Pacific Ocean that God knows best.  We have to trust Him.  Trusting God in times of blessing and in times of challenge and defeat is the ultimate act of sacrifice and surrender.

 

I was reminded that the real challenge in each of our precious days is to ask God for “His Will” rather than “Our Wish.”  Each of us must fight back the desire for what we want and subscribe to the truth that God knows best.  God always acts in our best interest and we are fulfilling a small part of the big picture.  Living faith and talking faith are two totally different things.  It’s hard, it’s painful, and it’s THE WAY.

 

All Aboard?

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Today, the Score Does Not Really Seem to Matter…..

September 1, 2009

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Today, the Score Does Not Seem to Matter

I had the rare opportunity to play golf with my Dad yesterday.  Since we live 12 hours away from each other, the chance to spend time with my best friend, mentor, and idol was quite a rare thrill.  We played at one of the most picturesque mountain courses in the state.  Neither of us is a great golfer, we just play for the fun of it.  I have participated in many different sports throughout my lifetime, yet the game of golf has proven to be the most challenging of all.

Just before we finished our round, Dad said something really profound.  We were walking off the 17th green and I asked him what he had scored so I could record it on our score card.  He stopped and looked around at the beauty surrounding us and said, “You know, the score doesn’t seem to matter today.”

Wow!  The fun of being together, the beauty of the moment, the joy of spending time together, family, togetherness, sharing, and our closeness came flooding into his mind.  His heart overflowed with the reflection of the moment.  The things that mattered the most, the memories that would last, the elements that really counted were the things that surfaced!

Do we miss that at times in life?  Are we prone to “keeping score” and allowing the special times to elude our capture?  Look beyond the score today and see what really matters.