TRUST THE PILOT (even when you can’t see where you’re going)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Himand He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

One summer I worked for Dowell, a division of Dow Chemical. I was a deck hand on a lugger (in Loo-zee-ana you do not call them a “tug boat” unless you want a fight!) and when we reached our destination, Morgan City, LA, I was flown back to our base in Venice, LA.  

I got to fly in a float plane!! It was tied up to our barge on the Intracoastal Canal and I climbed in beside the pilot (I sat on the right side) and we were pushed off into the canal as he started the prop.
The pilot began to push the throttle forward and was adjusting the flaps. As we gained speed, our nose lifted up and we could no longer see in front of us! I asked him, “What happens if there’s a boat in the way??!?!” 

“He’ll just have to move!” 



But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; Titus 2:1-3 

          Visiting with my folks one time and Mama talked about how some seniors (in their church) felt that they were being passed by. “Just sit down, shut up and pay your tithe” is how one elderly friend of theirs said she felt. 

          After graduating from college, I worked as the Assistant Pastor at the Dexter Open Bible Church (mid 80’s). It was a country church but with a congregation that spanned new-born babies to folks in their 80’s.   



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

“How do you find?” 

“Your Honor, we the jury find the defendant guilty of rape.” 

We watched as the young man slumped down into his chair and began 

crying. The defense attorney put his arm around the shoulders of this man who was not even 20 years old yet and was just completing his junior year in college studying to be an engineer. 

          Many of us on the jury wrote letters begging the magistrate to have mercy on the teen as the law had confined us to make the guilty verdict. We asked the judge not to incarcerate the man as we, the jury, believed there were extenuating circumstances (alcoholic blackouts, witnesses who were not questioned, and other testimonies that contradicted the accuser). He would not hear us and not only labeled him a sex offender (which would follow him his entire life) but sent him to prison. 



 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. Matthew 4:18-2

          In the early 60’s a family friend gave me a short stack of hunting and fishing magazines. It was great! Stories of people getting their elk or deer, running from bears, even one story of a little girl (I think she was around 6 or 7 years old) who ran out of bait so she put a blueberry on her hook and caught a big trout! 

          It was exciting reading and I thumbed through them until they were falling apart. One of my favorite articles was that of a man living somewhere in Scandinavia who fished every day of the year. And he almost always caught fish. Even when others, who were very good fishermen failed, he came home with something. 

          The writer of the article met with the man and asked why he was so dedicated to the fishing craft. His response was that in order to catch fish any time of the day or year, one must fish often. You had to learn when different kinds of fish would bite, what bait or lure they would bite on, the best time of day, best kind of weather to catch – in essence you had to know how to fish! 



       Cassettes, videos, pictures. If your father is still alive – record moments with him! I believe I’ve told the story of Bonny and I going to visit our friends Matt and Mona Slover. Whenever we would go, I would bring my guitar and Matt and I would sit down and play the old ballads, hymns and other church songs we knew. 

          We came up to their place one time and their son, seeing my guitar, said, “Are you guys going to sing and play again?” I told him this, “You might want to record this because there will come a day when you will want to hear your dad sing and he won’t be here.” 

          I don’t know if he ever did record us and so far, Matt is still here. Somewhere in a box, I have a cassette tape of Matt and I singing. If I find it, I will send a copy to Matt and one to both of his sons. 



Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. Luke 5:4-7  

          Otto Rigaud, Man of God, Brother in Christ, Deacon and a Commercial Fisherman. He was a co-owner in a couple of gill net fishing boats and sometimes he didn’t go out with them to fish. One winter day/night he got a call to come down to the docks and meet one of the boats with the other as they had a really good catch in the nets. 

          Otto called pastor (Sam Flannagan) to come help unload when they got to the docks. The first boat had caught so many redfish it was indeed close to sinking and the only thing that kept the fish fresh was that it was so cold, the fish were freezing on the deck. The fish were not spoiling!



 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16 

          When I was a contract hand to Gulf Oil in North West Bay, in Louisiana, we were paid weekly and every Tuesday instead of dropping us off at our house or apartment, Ray (the gang “Pusher”) we would go to the office and pick up our paychecks. 

          We would laugh and joke with each other as we waited our turn (there were several work gangs in the office at the same time) to get our paychecks. Knowing some of the men in the other gangs we would tease them with the expression, “You got to back up to get your check!”.  

Meaning you were lazy and didn’t do a full week’s worth of work so you had to sneak up and not let the office folk see your face. That would be embarrassing, but it was all in good fun because working in the oil field was no joke! 

So, when I say I’ve never backed up to take my paycheck, I am saying I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of the work I’m being paid for. I didn’t have to hang my head, mumble my name, or scuff my toe in the dirt and take my check as if I was undeserving. 



 Acts Chapter 10 emphasis on 30-31 the story of Cornelius.  

“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in thesight of God.” 


          Bonny and I worked for a janitorial firm in Eugene, OR in 1987/88 and our account was the first two floors of a large business office complex that was the headquarters for Chef Francisco (I spoke about working there in my blog, “I Bring Messiah”). We usually worked from 5 p.m. (when most of the people had gone home) to 1-2 a.m. depending on the work. 

          This one time, in the middle of winter, the day after a snow storm, as we were going through the offices emptying the garbage cans, cleaning the phones, dusting, etc. one of the employees was still in his office and I commented on the pictures of his two sons (2 and 4 years old). 

He said, “Do you know what I did last night? It was really coming down and the ground was already covered with snow. I put blankets around my boys and took them outside (it was well past midnight he said) and we played in the snow for a while.” 

I told him that he had set a memory in their minds that they would likely never forget! Even when they got older, they would say (and tell their kids), “Hey remember that time Dad took us outside in the middle of the night to play in the snow?!?!? That was cool!” 

Remember what God has done for you and like those young boys (who by this time are probably married with children of their own!) tell somebody! 


          “In the Old Testament examples, the text uses the Hebrew word zakar, which means “to remember.” But the definition goes deeper, for it also means to bring someone to mind — and then act on that person’s behalf. Zakar, then, is as much direct action as it is a mental exercise. 

Indeed, in every instance of God remembering, we see in the Old Testament that it always includes an action. For example, God remembered Noah, then made the water recede. God remembered Rachel, then opened her womb. And, years later, hearing the Hebrews’ cries for rescue, God remembered His covenant with their ancestors and rescued them.” 



Christian! God does not forget you! He “remembers” you and in His remembering, He does something for you! So, when you see that God remembered you, write it down, tell someone, let people know that in your season of need (and sometimes even before you realize you have a need) God remembered you! 


Praise Him! Praise Him! 

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord

Psalm 150 



Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed..” I Peter 2:24 

Some years ago, I opened one of our utility bills and saw that there was $50 credit! I called the company to make sure it wasn’t an error and they told me that someone had sent in the money for us. Wow! And to say it came at an opportune time is not giving it enough credit! 

I went to work that night (at the prison) and was telling some of the other officers about it. My sergeant asked, “Who would want to pay some of your bill?” She was truly puzzled that someone would be that kind or nice to do that. 

I tried to explain, from my Christian perspective, that another Brother or Sister in the Lord was blessing us. Again, she asked, “Who would want to pay some of your bill?” She could not understand.