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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
May 2, 2012 9:22 am
Published in: Uncategorized

It is great to be back on the African Continent. Our 2 month home assignment was very good, but in a new way we realized that flying back to Africa felt more like coming home than did returning to  Pennsylvania.

One of the reasons I so much love to sail is for the vivid connections between the physical realities of sailing and the spiritual realities of living this Christian life. Jesus said, “”The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Jn 3:8.

Out on Lake Victoria there is amazing power even in a gentle breeze. If our boat is properly rigged and our sail properly set it is such a thrill to experience the quiet effortlessness of  leaving a brisk wake behind. Meanwhile, the vast expanse of the lake and far reaches of the invisible wind compels  the tiny presence of our sail to seem so small and insignificant and yet so empowered and blessed all at the same time. At these times you may hear my usually unmusical self burst into song, “Wind, wind blow on me. Wind, wind set me free. Wind, wind my Father sent the blessed Holy Spirit.”

Let me invite you to, with Linda and me, on an experiment.  Lift your face into the breeze, turn your head side-to-side until the sound is the same in each ear. Your nose is now pointing to the direction of the wind. Adjust your sail accordingly and you will feel the thrill of an effortless power thrust you forward. Can we similarly experiment with Holy Spirit to better capture more of His power. Dare we pray for the Biblical command to “be filled with the spirit”? Will the fulfillment of that prayer empower us on our quest for “Christ Centeredness”?

Happy Sailing!
Captain Phil

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