Friday, February 20, 2009

The Long Awaited News-Weekly Update 20.2.09

My home was shifting under my feet; or was it the land that was moving? No, for today was the day the many people that have joined to help here on the Logos Hope have worked so long and hard for: today we sailed! As we headed out of the harbor that... well harbored us for so long about 30 or more people waved and smiled and some even cried. The many lives we’ve affected in the past 7 months waved goodbye to an eager crew. Cheers echoed off of the surrounding buildings as the mooring lines were loosened, and snowballs were thrown between crew and pedestrian. This was really a joyous occasion and didn’t fail to disappoint as we are still sailing to Sweden as I write this.

As for me, it was a pretty hectic day. I had watch from 4-8 in the morning, and then enjoyed a quick breakfast to try and catch some sleep. I slept from about 8:30 until 2, when we were called together so that we could officially close the ship to people. We all were accounted for, and then were given until 3 o’clock to check into the mooring stations (only deck crew). I went and cleaned out my room in the aftermath of yet another roommate leaving, then search frantically for the proper clothes for mooring stations. I eventually found it, but I ended up missing pulling in all but two of the lines. I was assigned to help with the last of the lines though, and then waited on the foredeck to sail.

As we took off, the world seemed that it was the one moving and not us. It was just so strange that my immobile home of the past 5 months was moving! Eventually I got used to it though and enjoyed every minute regardless. The freezing weather wasn’t anything that made it more joyous, but it also didn’t take away anything from the experience. For the next half hour or so I watched the ship sail out onto the ocean and leave the city of Koge behind. Maybe one day, I’ll miss it, but for now I am so excited to be out of Koge.

After that I was back on watch at around 4:30 when the pilot left. I walked up into the bridge and all of the officers were on it chatting away about things beyond my understanding. I was explained what was around me and what I needed to look out for, then just watched the sea as we floated. Eventually I was able to drive the ship for about an hour and a half, which is a lot harder than I would have given it credit for. It’s definitely not like steering a Saturn!
Now I sit here at 3:30 in the morning restless and waiting for my watch to start in a half hour. I can’t wait until the sun rise…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A New Dawn

There is something about sunrises that bring a measure of peace to my mind these past few days. As I watched the brand new red sun take its place among the clouds from my station on watch I felt at ease with the whole situation and world around me. At that time I had no idea that we would be sailing in 28 hours, and I didn’t care a whole lot though. As the sun rose from its slumber I felt a small fire being stirred in my soul.

At breakfast, I again felt an insurmountable peace with my surroundings and choices in life. This was gained in a somewhat new way to me, which was through conversation with my fellows. The funniest part of the whole situation was that the conversations weren’t about anything special at all, just our lives. It was after this that I decided to go for a walk to the beach to try and catch a glimpse more of God’s glory.

As I approached the beach singing songs of joy and thinking on things that have been in my mind for a while, I caught a quick glimpse of His glory. The beach was laden with ice and most of it frozen al the way through. There were a few different colors involved in the ice, as the thickness differed. This only made the whole scene more beautiful. I walked out to where the ice stopped and just drank the next scene into my soul.

Here is what I observed:

The water was calm and the sound f the sea was in the air. A light sound of waves collided with the silence that surrounded the beach on a cold winter morning. The frozen sand was reflecting the light of a new day as some clouds attempted to ruin the light. The sun proved stronger than the clouds and shone through them, and majesty poured out of the gaps that were in the cloudy covering. The clear horizon was painted a hue of orange and blue, and the edges of the clouds were carefully colored yellow. The sun blazed off of the sea and into normal sight as the light of a new day, a new chance, poured into every corner of my life.

As I looked on with eyes wide a word popped into my head, and with that word a string of words and phrases fell from the sky into my life. “Nothing” was the word that started this string of thinking. If one were to see me at that moment they may have thought I was either crazy, or something funny had happened, but it hadn’t, I was just incredibly happy.

“Everything I’ve done is nothing.” I whispered as I grinned ear to ear.

“All of the stupid things I have done mean nothing.” I laughed as tears welled up in my eyes.

That is grace to me. As we go along in life, we screw up all the time, as I have done plenty, but our God gives us undivided grace in all that we do. He is always there to remind us that, yes it was stupid, but it doesn’t matter! We have been washed clean for such a small price to us, but such a huge price to Him. God reminds us that our freedom is easily within our grasp, and all we need to do is observe the mighty way in which we have been saved. Nothing can hold the grace back from us; nothing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Shipping Address

(Your Name)
Alte Neckarelzer Str. 2
74821 Mosbach, Germany

Since we are leaving Koge soon, if you have anything you would like to send, this is where to send it. Thanks!

Weekly Update: A Long Awaited Word, and Matters of the Heart

I know the news everybody is waiting for is on our readiness for sailing and the next ports we will head to. I am proud to report that we are one step closer, as the surveyor came on board yesterday to finish checking things for the PSSC, and we passed all of his expectations. This means that the PSSC is within our grasp, and all we need to do now is pass one more audit on the hardware of the ship. This is called the ISM audit, and will take place on Monday. Leadership is confident that this will be obtained, and the rest of Ships Company is very excited.

The next answer I can attempt to provide is the where question. We plan on heading to Sweden for our first sail, and plan on trying to fix the kinks of a first sail, and on training the past two PST’s on sailing. After a couple weeks in Sweden we would like to sail to the Netherlands for another couple week stay in a town outside of Amsterdam. This would then be followed by the UK tour with stops in all five of the countries there in towns such as Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, Belfast, and others. I have also heard rumors of a trip to the Faroe Islands in the future to show a good number of workers and supporters that live there the finished, or nearly finished, ship. All of these places are very exciting to think of visiting, and Ships Company is ridiculously excited for this, as am I.

Beyond all this chaos, life has been very good with me. Today I am off, and went on a walk (maybe my last in Denmark) to the ocean and just reflected on my time here, and how much I have enjoyed my decision to come. I also realized that in these posts, I very rarely discuss my spiritual life (without symbolism) which is so very pivotal in my time on board. The fact is that my growth has been vast, but I still not where I’d like to be, and I am so far from perfect. At home it was so easy to live in a luke-warm fashion. Here it is the opposite of what my mind wants. This is where I run into problems, my mind gladly follows God (most of the time), but my heart is wild. I am truly a romantic at heart and it is easy for me to get caught up in a lot of earthly things. My heart has chased selfish pleasure and fulfillment since I was young, and now this is my toughest battle. I fight the desires of a dark heart and try to fill it with the only love that will make it satisfied, but often it is so hard to love one who hides himself in everything we see. I see the beauty of this world, and the people in it, and say that is God himself, but in my heart I love the world and the things in it. The first step to dealing with this problem has been realization of it. I am on my way.

I have realized a whole lot about myself in my time away from all the “stuff” back home, the ugly and the nice, but more the ugly. I realized how dark I can be and that my heart has undoubtedly become harder than I would wish it to. More realizations have hit me, but one always strikes home; the absolute fullness of Grace. It covers up all of my foolishness and pride, and is my only hope in life these days. My youth was squandered on a fool’s quest for self -fulfillment, and now the realization of these things could tear me apart, but I can’t afford to be torn when God’s grace is so darn prevalent in this world. Praise God for his unhindered love.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Arrivals and Changes: Weekly Update for February 4, 2009

This past week (yesterday to be accurate) marked some changes to the ship culture with the arrival of PST Birkedal. This makes PST Koge sophomores, and also means that we have been on board for five months. The arrival of the new PST was a joyous occasion put together by our own PST and was a blast. I was uncharacteristically involved in two things, and even more unlike me had to be on stage for both events.

The first was a skit that Clayton and I agreed to write and perform for the new PST. It was a skit on our expectations for the new PST which were purposely lofty. I am hoping that it was recorded so I can out it up here within the next few weeks. People enjoyed our skit, and the future may hold more sarcastic hits from us two. The second event I partook in was a game that was modeled after a Dating Game, but was made appropriate for the SP rules and for the ship. I was asked how I felt of my bosses and I offered a somewhat arrogantly sarcastic answer.

We also did a prayer tunnel that all of the new PST walked through as current ship’s company prayed for them. Being on the other side of this was pretty cool as I had the chance to do for them what others had done for me. After this the traditional Scottish kay lie dancing happened, which was as fun as always. Then the night ended on a high note for a lot of people, and we succeeded to astonish the new PST, much more to come.