Release the lines! Set sail!

10 Oct

“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” (Prov. 18:4)

Lord God, set us free to Adventure with you. Break the lines that anchor us to lies and half-truths: the stuff that corrodes our hopes; that corrupts our images of ourselves.  Take away our souls awash with self-pity and disappointment. Give us courage! Show us who you created us to be: people in love with life, in love with you. Call us to the battle, the fight against complacency and comfort and cowardice. Show us the sunrise of the amazing odyssey we can only experience with you. Amen.

Some of you know I love fountain pens. I’m not sure when my interest began, but it might have been when I visited my father’s office at John Burroughs High School, and saw the fountain pen on his desk. (I’m glad to share that pen is within arm’s reach, and used many times a day.) I’m a member of the online FOUNTAIN PEN NETWORK, which hosts discussions on numerous topics. One of those is about journals and notebooks.

For two years or so, I have used a MEAD Five Star college ruled Advance notebook. It has a nice ‘cover’ over the spiral ring. Its 9 x 6 size has made it easy to carry everywhere, and use everywhere. The challenge comes when trying to find something I’ve recorded in it. The only option is to begin going through the ‘spiral-locked’ pages until finding what is sought. Efficiency is not a feature of this style.

I learned on the FPN about STAPLES’ “The Arc” notebook ‘system’, and LEVENGER’S Circa notebook. Based on price, and the fact that the available inserts are interchangeable…

Yesterday I picked up a brown leather ARC at Visalia Staples. Its eight rings seem like overkill, but pages can be ‘slid’ in and out, making re-arranging fairly easy. It’s a bit smaller (8.5 x 5.5) than the MEAD, but I see that as a plus.

The hole-punch was expensive ($40), but the LEVENGER is even more. I wanted the capability of making custom paper, as I’m mindful of getting thicker paper to prevent fountain pen ‘bleed-through’. Next time I’m in Fresno, I hope to order a pad of Clairefontaine (Rhodia ?) Seyes paper, which is a ‘line-crazy’ French elementary school style of paper, to try in the Arc.

I used it for the first time at dinner and a meeting last night, when Beauty & I made a Triennial Visit at Lemoore Presbyterian. If first impressions mean anything, I think I’m going to like it. I got brown, despite Beauty’s advice that ‘black won’t show dirt.’ If this doesn’t work out, the notebook alone, which comes with 60 pages of narrow lined paper, is $15.

it doesn’t take a storm to send it to the bottom.

William Greenough Thayer Shedd reportedly said (preached?)–A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

Jesus does not call believers to a life of peaceful contentment living in ‘Happy Land’. Jesus does call us to lives of Challenge, and Risk, and Danger, and Adventure. Jesus does NOT call us to float in the ‘harbor’ and bloat up on endless Bible Studies. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus invite anyone to his new, five-week Torah series.

“STARTING NEXT WEEK: The Minor Prophets, led by our very own Jesus”.

When he commissioned his disciples to ‘get out there’ and do what you’ve seen me do, not one disciple said, “Hey, I’d love to, Lord, but I’m just not ready yet.” They didn’t say it, but I’ll bet they thought it. I’ll bet they were scared: afraid of making fools of themselves, afraid of being laughed at, afraid of failing at everything they tried.

But they went. And their preparation? “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey — no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.’” (Luke 9)

How’s that for planning and provision. I don’t know even one church that would launch any ‘program’ with that little ‘preparation’. Do you?

And what happened?
“So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.” (Luke 9)
Not bad, for know-nothings.

Amanda McBroom wrote a wonderful song about a lifeless “Ship in a Bottle”. You may not recognize her name, but she wrote a song you will recognize. Bette Midler recorded a McBroom song that became the theme song in a film, and 1979 ‘Song of the Year’–The Rose.

The ‘Ship’ lyrics are:

Sometimes I feel like a ship in a bottle,
lost in a corner on somebody’s shelf:
Shipshape and unborn and perfect and useless;
a copy of someone who could be myself.

Somebody made me, they put me together
with patience and loving and pieces of string.
Caught on a crepe-papier ocean and never
to feel the waves wash me or hear the wind sing.

And I wait for the heart of a little boy sailor
to come break the bottle and help me be free,
’cause how can I know if I’m floating or sinking,
if I don’t take my chances on the wind and the sea.

Carry me down to a river that’s peaceful.
Set me to sailing and wish me God speed.
And I’ll find my way to the blue of the ocean;
the wind on the water is all that I need,

And a man with the heart of a little boy sailor
to shift with the tide and come sailing with me.
And then I will know if I’m floating or sinking,
and I’ll take my chances on the wind and the sea.

Are you ready? Because the man who walked on water, the man who calmed the storm, has his hand out, beckoning you to a life of adventure and excitement. Not a safe life, but a life both surging with storms, and restful with calm waters. A life that makes life worth living!

He is calling you right now, so release the lines that hold you…

and Set Sail!

Until next time, may the smile of Jesus light up your life.


One Response to “Release the lines! Set sail!”

  1. Betty Braddy October 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Oh Steve I just want to float in the harbor…. the storms are so destructive! BB

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