Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Does member desire to reenlist?"

The above question is followed by three blocks with words next to them...you have three choices...Yes, No, or Undecided. I never thought when I first looked at my PTS (Perform To Serve) form that this question would create so much problems for me.

To fully explain the situation I want to go back and explain to you what my original intentions were in joining the Navy. I joined the Navy basically to pay for college. Sure there were other reasons...for example...to see the world, to gain better discipline...etc. I keep thinking lately about the look on my Dad's face when I told Him I was going to join the Navy. It was a look of complete bewilderment, and confusion. He told me he was worried that joining the Navy would cause me to loose sight of what God had for my life...to be a pastor that is. I tried to assure him that God had revealed to me that he wanted me to join the Navy first...Dad did eventually warm up to the idea...but it took him a little while.

Back then when I first joined...if you had asked me the question in the title of this blog I would have answered you with a resounding no. I knew it was God's will for me to get out after my enlistment. I must confess that within the last couple of months...this question has become harder to answer. The whole purpose for submitting the PTS form that I mentioned above is to declare your intentions...whether that be to stay in or get out. And if you do stay in, the PTS form is where you request to change jobs if you so desire.

People might be surprised by my admission that I have struggled with answering this question lately. When they first asked me to fill out my PTS form...my first reply was a "no" to the above question. My chain of command however planted the doubt in my mind...and instead of nipping them in the bud with what I believe is God's will for my life...I allowed them to get me to doubt. The told me..."Well...a lot can happen between now and when you get out...you never know...you may decide that you should stay in." I'm not blaming them for it, and I'm not mad at them for planting the doubt...they were just trying to do what was best for me. But their question caused me to look deeper into trying to find out what God wanted me to do.

After seeking some advice from some Christian friends, and doing a lot of praying...I finally made the decision. My conclusion is...you don't need a backup plan when you are following God's will for your life. I'm going to get out, just like God revealed to me back when I first decided to join. I never would have thought that my Dad's worry could prove to be so possible.

So when I told my Chief, and my first class today...they were pretty confused. The main reason why the don't want me to put a "no" on the PTS form is that once I put that answer, and submit it, there's no going back. I can't change my mind. If I were to put "Yes" or "Undecided"...I could decide to get out still. But like I said...there's no need to have a backup plan when you are doing God's will for your life. As a result of this decision my First Class is going to sit down and give me a counseling so they can document that I have been properly informed of what my decision means. I will even have to have a meeting with the Captain where he's going to do the same thing. I'm just going to be honesty with them and tell them why I made the decision I made.

So...there's no going back now. In a year I will be out of the Navy...entering the civilian world...going to college. There's such a peace that is found in doing what God wants for your life...even when it may not be popular with everyone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Precious Blood

by: Steve Pettit

The precious blood of Jesus Christ, t
he covenant of grace
Unveils the wonders of God's love to Adams fallen race.
The Sovereign King who died for all, redeems us from our sin,
And makes us kings and priests of God where we shall reign with Him.

The precious blood of Jesus Christ, a new and living way
Gives access to a holy place where we can boldly pray.
In trying times of grief and pain a throne of grace is ours,
Where mercy flows for every need with God's sustaining pow'r.

The precious blood of Jesus Christ, the song of saints above
Who glory in the risen lamb and boast of God's great love.
From every nation tribe and tongue, one body all are we.
A people joined by grace alone for all eternity.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Distractions

Sometimes I feel like my life is just filled with a bunch of pointless distractions that turn my focus away from Christ. Anyone else feel this way?

I'll give you some examples. Back when I had my iPhone...I had allowed that thing to become so important to me. I made excuses by saying things like: "Well, I have my kindle app on it that allows me to read my bible." Or I also had an app that I could use to actually study the bible more deeply. These were very good things...but the distractions it caused were just too great...they completely outweighed the benefits. Now, am I saying that iPhones are evil? Of course not...owning one becomes a problem when you allow it to become an idol.

Also...I have this terrible habit of buying computers games when I get bored. Computers games aren't all bad...but when you stay up every night till midnight playing them for hours...then it becomes a problem. In the last three weeks I have bought three video games, and with each of them I threw them away when I realized they had become idols. You would think I would have learned after the first one, that I probably shouldn't buy video games right? I wish that were the case. So here I go...wasting money, and spending less, and less time with God. When will I learn?

I just threw another one away this morning...and as of right now, I don't own a single video game. I'm hoping to keep it that way. I just have one of those personalities where I get hooked on things really easily. Here's an idea for myself...how about getting hooked on Christ? I know that sounds funny...but I think we as Christians should live like that. Just have our mind stayed on Christ at all times...in constant communion with our Lord. The video games don't satisfy...only Christ can fully satisfy our needs.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 26:3 & 4

I would just encourage everyone to just look at your life, and try to purge it of anything that might be keeping you from spending more time with God. I'm not saying we should go as far as to not spend any time with friends, or family, or doing fun things, and just sit alone reading our bible and praying all the time. We just need to have a proper balance. Never allow anything in our life to become more important than Christ.

I hope and pray that this post might be a blessing to all who read it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Latest musings...

Sorry to everyone that it has been so long since my last blog. Things have been crazy at work lately. We're going through a big inspection next week, and there has been all kinds of activity ont he boat lately...lots of long days. There have been some things that God has put on my heart lately that I would like to share with you all.

First of all God has impressed on my heart lately the importance of living a spirit filled life. Living every second of every day striving to please the Lord, and just allowing the Holy Spirit to direct you. This is something that I REALLY need to work on. Too often we as humans allow ourselves to be governed by our flesh.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Romans 7:18

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:1

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:7-9

We must be careful that we do not allow ourselves to be led by our flesh. I've often noticed that people who are lead by the flesh can get burned out pretty quickly. I know I myself don't see how you can live a Christian life when you do not seek Christ's direction.

The second thing is in regards to hypocrisy. I see it so often in the Navy...you'l have some one who will outwardly will try to appear that they are this good Christian, but you find out later, that it was all an act. I must admit this one gets pretty hard because I'll see them and think that they might make a good friend, but upon getting to know them, I find out the truth. I actually had a guy on the ship come up to me a couple of weeks ago and tell me that I'm the only Christian he has ever known who is not a hypocrite. I can honestly take no credit for that...that is all God! On my own...I can assure you...that would not be case.

Anyways...I would like to throw out a verse to ya'll just so you can see how God feels about hypocrisy.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous.
Matthew 23:27-29

We must be careful that we are not hypocrites...it is not pleasing to the Lord.

I would like to close with another verse:

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:17