Calibration

Every day, so often, even in the moments, I’m reminded of the need to recalibrate my pride and humility against the Standard:

He…Christ…made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-11)

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A New Year in Christ!

A New Year in Christ!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

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Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

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A World of Contrasts

Ours is a world of contrasts.43925AB5-8A5F-4463-A7D1-D119FA22B513

(photo credit: C. Pinsky, National Geographic)

There are always choices. The world works to blur the lines while God seeks to reveal them; to define them in our lives so we can see clearly His truth.

Light vs. Dark

Good vs. Evil

Right vs. Wrong

Up vs. Down

Wisdom vs. Foolishness

Accepted vs. Rejected

Heaven vs. Hell

Life vs. Death

Give vs. Take

Peace…

Patience…

Vigilance vs. Complacency

Others vs. Self

Truth…

Love…

God… vs. all other gods.

Which do you choose?

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Lay Hold Of…

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 

— Phillipians 3:12
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I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ.’ That is how Paul thinks of what we call his conversion. He would never have ‘turned’ unless a hand had been laid upon him. A strong loving grasp had gripped him in the midst of his career of persecution, and all that he had done was to yield to the grip, and not to wriggle out of it…

There is suggested in the word, too, distinctly, our Lord’s personal action in the matter…laid hold of by the personal action of Jesus Christ. He is present in His Word, and, by multitudes of inward impulses and outward providences, He is putting out a gentle and a firm hand, and laying it upon the shoulders of all of us. Have we yielded? Have we resisted, when we were laid hold of? Did we try to get away? Did we plant our feet and say, ‘I will not be drawn,’ or did we simply neglect the pressure? If we have yielded, my text tells us what we have to do next. For that hand is laid upon a man for a purpose, and that purpose is not secured by the hand being laid upon him, unless he, in his turn, will put out a hand and grasp. Our activity is needed; that activity will not be put forth without very distinct effort, and that effort has to be life-long, because our grasp at the best is incomplete.

— Alexander Mclaren (1826-1910)

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Independence Day!

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
– Genesis 12:1-3

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God bless America!

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Happy Father’s Day Dad!

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

— Proverbs 20:7

Love,

A blessed daughter.

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God’s Indescribable Creation

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…

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…so that the things which are seen…

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…were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

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Chickaloon Bay and Turnagain Arm, Alaska (PANC – June 10, 2018)

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Reflecting His light

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But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

(2 Corinthians 3:18)

 

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Two are Better!

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This photo delights me…and brings to mind a dear friend! From a Boeing postcard, the woman on the left seems to be “hand-propping” the vintage 1925 “Model 40” – while her friend reaches out to stabilize, and help ground her.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

Indeed, I know this particular friendship is truly a gift, given from our Father in Heaven, in His infinite knowledge and perfect timing… The bonus:  she is simply a joy to be around!

In reality, two people – whether husband/wife, coworkers, brother/sister, best friends…together – are better than one! Expressed mathematically,  one plus one is greater than two (1 + 1 > 2). This parallels the principle of Crew Resource Management (CRM) in aviation which advocates teamwork; in particular, it is the individual crew members functioning as one. Working together, performing in concert – ensuring flight safety and operational efficiency while, at the same time, vigilant to potential threats and errors. Finally, with teammates – the journey (or the work) is more fun and interesting!

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up

Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Recently, I was getting “checked-out” to fly a Piper J-3 Cub – a vintage, pre-war (1939) aircraft with no electrical system (therefore, no engine starter). The process of starting the engine required careful coordination between me and my instructor. Communication was essential, with one person at the controls in the cockpit; the other, in the line of fire – to turn the propeller “by hand.” (No affiliation to photo below)

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My instructor wanted to make sure our phraseology, commands and actions were mutually understood and unmistakable:  he would be holding the brakes ensuring no forward movement, verifying the mag switch remained off and the throttle at idle. Meanwhile, I stood in front and grasped the propeller – that shortly  would be rotating nearly 1000 RPM!

Often in life, we can not avoid such precarious positions, therefore it is vital to have a trusted member on your crew – someone who has your safety and our best interests at heart. The term synergy captures this concept:  the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.

Horses are often used to illustrate the benefits of synergy. I’ve read that a team of two horses can together pull over twice the weight of one, alone. Similarly, most twin-engine, light aircraft can easily maintain a climb with both engines operating at maximum power. However, for some the loss of one of the engines reduces climb performance – not by 50 percent, as you might expect – but rather, by 80-90 percent! This is because the weight and drag of the dead/failed engine adds significantly to the total thrust required from the remaining engine.

Operating with such a small performance margin, if the pilot does not promptly respond with the proper procedures, a loss of control will result. This demonstrates, in challenging situations – such as a heavy weight climb, on a hot day – indeed, two (engines) are better than one!

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)

For much of my life I didn’t understand the truth written in Galatians Chapter 6 – that we must have someone to help bear our burdens – lest we be crushed by their weight. My friend Carol has been such a bearer for me…encouraging, mentoring, together studying God’s word, steadfast in accountability, setting an example, being able to laugh and to cry together…someone through whom God, Himself, ministered to me. From Hebrews 3: 13:  but exhort one another daily, while it is called“Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Sometimes, in life, we just need help getting our engine started – and then have someone to join us as we take flight. Fasten your seat belts…and enjoy your journey!

For Carol:  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

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A Temporary Home

A temporary home for this special bird…as she awaits Justin and Anna!

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Traveling the world as an airline pilot, I am often reminded of the temporary nature of this life. Our time on this earth is so very short, as both James (4:14) and the Psalmist (39:5) describe it:  “but a vapor…”

Trust me, a pilot’s life is not as glamorous as you may think! It is a constant revolution of doors:  airports, vans, hotels, then more airports and hotels. A hectic life of PUSHING…then w a i t i n g, while living and working among fellow travelers for days on end. A typical airline pilot is away from home, more or less, 14-18 days per month. At times he may go out (to work), not knowing where he is going… making it tough to pack!

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When I travel, I take along (drag, really) a 21 x 14 x 8 inch wheeled suitcase and a large briefcase. Made of ballistic nylon, they contain plenty of pockets. I often marvel how I can get by for so long with my life stuffed into these two bags.  I believe its because I recognize my dwelling in this home-away-from-home is only temporary. Though I am content for a time – in unfamiliar surroundings, in foreign countries – interacting with strangers and pilgrims – I know that soon I will be home…with loved ones, and in my own home. What an awesome thought!

The challenges and inconveniences of life on the road, in a foreign land – on this earth – are more easily endured with the promise of a sweet homecoming. So too, as Christians, we are assured of the promises that await us in our homeland – that is, a heavenly country – that God, Himself, has prepared for us. This is the eternal perspective that we can have by faith in Christ and it brings great comfort and hope – wherever we are in the world physically – as it surely did our patriarchs in Hebrews 11 (8-16):

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;  for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God…

…These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. 

For Angelica…May these words comfort and encourage you in the mission fields of Mexico…and in the mission field of life. Thanks for caring for Miss M! Love, Aunt E

Angelica and Mocha

Angelica and Miss M!

 

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