Tag: fill up

Fill Your Sails

Sunday Sermon 1.2.2021

Earlier this week I felt impressed to create and share this image –

It is a message that I cannot shake off or ignore. I believe it is a call for us all, for the new year.

Our life is like a sailboat.

It is designed to sail, to catch the wind and navigate the lakes and seas, and then return safely to dock. It is not designed to stay tied up dockside, sheltered from the wind.

Don’t get me wrong, we have spent many wonderful times at the harbor, in the slip entertaining, laughing, talking, playing, and sharing aboard our sailboat. In fact, we have spent more time dockside than sailing. But that is not what the boat is designed for. She was made to sail.

Such excitement overcomes me when I make preparations to actually go sailing. Gauges are checked, items secured, unnecessary items removed, motor started, sails checked, and untied, lines checked, etc.

Then, using the motor, we back out of the slip and head for the open ocean. Before leaving the harbor, we face into the wind to hoist the mainsail, and then continue out of the harbor. Once beyond the jetty, we cut the motor, unravel the jib and allow the wind to fill both sails. We are now sailing.

aboard Lady Debra
click to play video

The wind is the power that drives the boat along. I steer the ship based on the direction of the wind, power of the wind, and our desired destination.

Without the wind, we go nowhere. Or facing the wrong direction in the wind, we also go nowhere. “Luffing” on a sailboat means your sails are not full and the wind is not being harnessed properly.

A friend of mine and I had been out for several hours and we had tacked to return back home. As anxious as we were to return, the wind was not cooperating. There was very little wind, and we were getting nowhere fast. To top it off, we would be loosing daylight soon. Although we were loving sailing, it was now time to use the motor; for without it, we wouldn’t make it back in daylight. (which is a rule of mine)

A sailboat, has a motor, but it’s primary power is from the wind. That is the way of it’s design. The sails are used for receiving the wind, embracing the wind and thereby powering the vessel. As the sails fill up the boat moves. The sails must fill in order for the boat to advance.

If the sails don’t fill, the boat is not fulfilling it’s purpose.

Lady Debra, under motor, not sail

The mainsail and the jib (front sail) are intended to fill with the wind. In this picture, you can see, they are not even up, much less filling with wind.

Here’s the Sunday sermon part, my friends.

Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the gift that the Father had promised. He told them that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and that baptism would endue them with power. Acts 1:5,7

On the day of Pentecost, the power showed up in the form of a strong, blowing wind that filled the house where the 120 were sitting. All of them heard it and then saw dancing fire flames on one another’s heads. Acts 2:4 says that all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we are born again, our spirit is regenerated, reborn, made alive. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus. We are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Our spirit is alive now, within us.

Our spirit is like the sails of our sailboat. The wind of the Holy Spirit comes to fill our sails and empower us. The power of the wind (Holy Spirit) fills us, drives us, empowers us and allows us to advance. Without the power of the wind (Holy Spirit) we get nowhere. Our sails are “luffing”, we are floundering, without direction or power.

But the Holy Spirit blows on us and fills us we are thereby empowered to heal sicknesses, diseases, and drive out evil spirits. That is what we have been commissioned to do. That is our purpose. That is our call and our destiny. That is what Jesus authorized us to do.

We have been called to cast off the bow lines, leave the safe harbor, and hoist our sails to catch the powerful winds of the Holy Spirit that are blowing.

Mark Twain had it right.

It is time to allow your sails to be filled and experience the exuberance of sailing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, going where he leads and doing what he directs. Trusting him to use you where ever you are.

Your sailboat, life is meant for sharing. Everything that you have gone through, experienced, struggled with, lost to and gained victory over is meant to be shared with others. Your Christian life of peace, prayer, Word and worship is meant to be shared.

This horrendous pandemic with all of its ramifications has provided a ripe seedbed for hungry people, seeking truth, life and hope -all of which you have and have been commissioned to share.

I call forth 2021 to be a season of sailing under the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. A season of leaving the safety of the slip and venturing into the exuberance of a purpose filled life affecting others for the Kingdom of God.

That is what you, oh great sailboat were designed for!

Hoist up your sails and let the Holy Spirit fill you a fresh for an exciting 2021.

Go with God.

Running on Empty

Thank you Jackson Browne for that great song utilizing the famous phrase, “running on empty”. Today, Imma use it. Here’s the song if you wanna listen to it – 1977 baby!!

What do these things have in common?

  • banking
  • taking a vacation
  • catching up with a friend
  • touching base with a family member

When I was tending to some banking recently, I saw a connection between each of these four activities I had just participated in.

Do you see it?

At the bank I was making a deposit.

The vacation was an overdue necessity to retain sanity.

Close friends were chatting about what’s been happening in their lives.

Family love and connection was desperately required, poured out and yearned for.

In each case, a deposit was required to avoid running on empty, or perhaps to refill where the warning light was already illuminated.

Triple A keeps records of how many people run out of gas and receive their assistance. In 2006, 116,000 motorists ran out of gas.

I wish I could tell you how many people run out of gas emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, or how many are running on empty right now. I bet it would be many of you.

There are signs when your car is nearing empty. That light illuminates on your dashboard and signals you have 30-50 more miles to go before you will be on empty. After that, there will be no more going until you refill.

And if you do completely run out of gas, because your car is fuel injected, meaning the pump is inside the tank, that pump will be running dry which is harmful to the pump and engine and can cause costly damage.

When you do refuel, it then takes time for the gas to pump through the pump and carburetor, crank the engine and then it will finally start up again. Hopefully, without any damage.

Let me stick with this car scenario for one more point.

There are common symptoms of running out of gas – running on empty. They are:

  • indicator light on dash lights up
  • car won’t start
  • car stalls out regularly

Me thinks people may very well have similar symptoms when they are running on empty.

Like in the cases above.

It had been years since a vacation had been planned, taken or enjoyed. There were warning lights being ignored, fatigue was making starting more difficult and stalling out more regular.

After several busy and stressful weeks these friends finally were getting caught up. Only to find the fuel tank nearly empty and running on fumes. The conversation was helpful to refill the tanks, but fuel levels were dangerously low. There were many warning lights flashing, damage was imminent and much more refilling was needed.

2020 had taken it’s toll on these family members; the separation, isolation, loneliness, stresses, numerous disappointments were emptying the tanks. Phone conversations for temporary refueling were helpful, but what was needed was face to face, extended time being together, and that was coming up this week!!!! Tons of warning lights, stalling and just not being able to get motivated were signaling it could not come fast enough. They were running on empty.

The bank account was in need of a deposit as well, before it too became too dangerously close to empty. Luckily, a hefty deposit saved the day and things kept running.

I am concerned about you, about people today. Are there warning lights trying to tell us we are about to run out of gas? Are we in need of a deposit? Emotional deposit? Physical deposit? Spiritual deposit?

I urge you to stop and take notice. Do not go one step further without evaluating your fuel levels. Are you low on emotional fortitude? Physical energy? Spiritual drive?

Have you been finding it difficult to get going, or start things? Is your motivation nill and interest low?

How are you doing with completing tasks? Do you finish, make it through to the end or stall out somewhere before?

These are signs that you are running on empty, that you need a deposit of some sort.

For me, I recognize the signals in my life when I am running on empty; irritable, antsy, unhappy, hard to please, selfish, tired… Anyone else?

And for me, usually what is needed most is I need to get outside and spend time alone out there just being. Unplug, disconnect and refuel. Get my personal tank resupplied.

Jackson Browne had it right when he said, “Looking into their eyes I see them too… running on empty…” “Running on empty, running blind.”

Get refueled, refilled, make those deposits, receive those deposits and heed the warning signs. Keep yourself from running on empty.

Cheers to you.