Saturday, July 25, 2009

Floating Freedom: An Update on July 25th (from the middle of the Atlantic)

Floating Freedom: Update for July 25th, 2009
Memories of pain, memories of war, memories of wonder, and memories of fame, all give life to this floating home. Swept away by our own desire to follow where called, we seek adventure, I find peace, and we all find rest. The beast has been tamed to honor our first transatlantic voyage on the Logos Hope as the sea has been smooth as a baby’s bottom. The whole week we have been at sea has been a blessing, and I have gained much from the rest offered. Every time I sit down to think about where I am I can do nothing but thank God for knowing me better than I know myself. This has been the calm amongst a storm in my life, and exactly what I needed.

It started as we sail out of Cork with a huge level of excitement and a sunny sky for the second time while we stayed there, this was on a Tuesday. The sunny sky quickly turned darker, and the rain fell… again. I guess it was just Ireland saying “good-bye and screw you too” (or that’s what it felt like). So the rest of the first day was plagued by sickness all around the ship, and I felt it pretty bad. Swing dance didn’t have many people dancing, and the whole ship felt sick (for the most part). On a side note, I forgot to mention that my partner for swing (Krysten) and I are now heading up swing dance. Anyways, I had to pop some pills to finally fall asleep at some point in the night, and when I woke I felt better, but not 100% better. Being that it was now Wednesday, this meant drills. So I suffered through fire drills and muster drills that lasted nearly to lunch, and then I ate and slept. When I woke, the feeling of queasiness had left, and has yet to return.

After that first day and a half, the seas have been so peaceful it’s almost absurd. So the first week of the voyage was about rest, and reconnecting, and I did both. I have been having a hard time the past weeks with a few things, so I had been having an even harder time seeing God as obviously in my life. Then, during my quiet day, I had the privilege of being reminded how much I am loved, and this is what I came up with…

Look all around you
See Me in the ocean blue
See Me in the rolling waves
See Me in My grace that stays
See Me in the celestial breath
In which the even rain can rest
See Me in the streaks of grey
See Me in the burning son
In which light is made
A representation of the One
See Me in the depths of the sea
On top of which you chase me
See Me in this giant sphere
And look upon with righteous fear
See Me in the dark
And see Me in the light
Chase Me in the day
And walk with Me at night
See Me in the endless sky
And feel Me as the bird soars high
See Me in the miracle of creation
Hear Me as they laugh and cry
Feel Me as you hold their head
Just as I hold you from up high
See Me in the hungry being fed
In the dead rising
In the heart sighing
In the nations dying
For I am He, and He has no equal
Remember Me in the good, find Me in the bad
Rejoice with Me in joy, need Me in the pain
And with My peace, My son, be clad

God’s grace is real, God’s grace is big, but most of all it’s free. Freedom is gained through a relationship with Him, and that comes with a realization that we don’t deserve squat, but are given something more precious than life! How can I, the guy who is on this crazy adventure exploring the world, the guy who spent his childhood surrounded by love, a guy who has been thrust into good things his whole life, why was I so down about life? No, I choose to move on, and I choose to grow from every pain thrown at me, for that’s the only way one can deal properly with problems. Christ once told us to “Seek and you will find” well, what was I seeking? No more can I seek the matters that only bring pain and trouble, no more can I look for all the good things in this world, for it falls away. No, I must seek Him, and I will find him. I will find Him, and I will find peace, even within the wars of this world. God is out there.

After an amazing quiet day, I enjoyed two days off in the sun; in a row! I even put the basketball hoop up on the top deck and played basketball in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! How cool is that? I also managed to hit some golf balls off of the top of a room on the top deck, to swim in a freshly made swimming pool on the top deck, to hit a softball in to the sea, to get a sun burn, to get owned in a ping pong tournament, and to sleep a lot. Life is good at the moment, and we are only a few days away from the Caribbean, and it’s close to 90 degrees. Man did I miss the sun!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A knock on the door
Hard and fast
A wandering word
A mighty blast
All falls down
While strength builds up
A fallen crown
An empty cup
The ground is split
A trumpet blown
A blast of rage in a mighty fit
The seeds are sown
I’m chained to this world
And it’s fall
The darkness, the sorrow
Are in my call
The harlot and whore
The elder and child
All cast aside
While the “righteous” run wild
Door knocked down
For “goodness’” sake
Babies burnt alive
For our mistakes
A darkened world thinks it light
A murdered bride in the night
He lay in prison
He rest in waste
He lies on bench
With somber face
He feels the whip
The crack, the pain
He is the family who lost its’ name
He is the child
Trapped in a cage
He feels our hate
And heeds our rage
He’s behind our curtains
He knows our ways
All is laid bare
What we don’t say
This world that kills
This world that rapes
It’s filled with pride
In humble shapes
The audacity of truth
The honor of lies
It strangles our youth
And ignores their cries
This world is so ugly
This world is so dead
So my hole lay elsewhere;
A platter with a head…

Thursday, July 9, 2009


As I sit here in Cork and you sit where ever you may be, please pray with me, for the Lord is indeed good! The past couple of days the external audit of our ship was being conducted to oversee that we had completed the terms they gave us when we received the conditional PSSC Certificate, and we passed! So everything is going well, and it looks like we sail for the Caribbean next Tuesday. Praise God with me for His provision!
The past days have treated me well, and been somewhat exciting. From the first time I set in Cork for the first time (after a two and a half day voyage that gave me some good experience at the helm) it felt different. The town is not like any other town we had been to. I guess a good comparison to the others would be to say we went from thriving California to the bleak Midwest. The town just looks like an industrial affair complete with oddly colored apartment complexes, smokestacks, a mass amount of bars and pubs, and the drunks that go along with it all. It really is unimpressive from a seeing viewpoint. My fist time out I went alone, which may have been dumb for the time and location, but regardless I set out adventuring. Well, when I wanted to return about an hour later, I found out I had the sudden urge to use the bathroom. Everywhere near was either closed or packed, so I set out looking for a dark alley. Needless to say, I lost my way and wound up going in the wrong direction for a bit. I eventually found my way back home and ended up just fine, but tired.
Saturday was a day of new for me. It was the first time I’ve been away from friends and family for the 4th of July, it was my first performance for Swing Dance in front of an audience, and it was the first time I MCed and event. The event was a youth program for Irish churches to encourage looking into missions and seeking God, and to see through the distractions of this world. The event went smooth, and the dance was really good. We got some notice, and apparently people were in the edge of their seat for a move called the “helicopter”. As an MC, I was able to draw some laughs, as I took more of the back seat to Clayton, and I served more as color for it, acting childish and serving as Clayton’s distraction. After the event, I was able to talk to a few people about missions, and encourage on guy to forgive himself and let go of his own sin. After, some of us went to a place in town called Fast Eddies (I think) and got milk shakes, and even talked them into giving us some mustard.
On Monday was the big soccer tournament, which I actually played in; and enjoyed it! It was a blast as my PST (Koge) blasted its way to near perfection (3-0-1) and took the title in a boring title match in which we won 1-0 within the last minutes. I had a lot of fun playing defense, and was glad I went, even if it is soccer. The next day, I started this lifeboat proficiency course. I won’t lie; I went in with a bad attitude towards it, thinking it’d be boring and long. I must admit I was wrong, I’ve actually enjoyed it as we spent half of our time in the lifeboats so far. I am learning a lot, and enjoying the time away from normal work even more!