Pleasant Sunday Reading
After a day remembering horrors of the past, here is some good news to relax with on a Sunday afternoon.
Seafarers draw on vital support from port chaplains, research finds (Cardiff University). The researchers are certainly non-religious themselves; they speak of “different faiths and no faith” and “gods” that some people draw support from. They were pleasantly surprised at the help given by port chaplains who minister to seafarers who spend much of their lives at sea on cargo ships.
The researchers also spent 6 months in two UK ports studying the work of port chaplains, paid staff and volunteers all of which provide welfare services to seafarers of all faiths in dedicated seafarers’ centres. They heard about the extraordinary lengths people delivering these services go to in order to support seafarers despite shortfalls in funding. Many chaplains described how they spent half of their time fundraising in order to deliver services effectively.
Their findings were published in Ethnic and Racial Studies under the title, “Harmony of the Seas?: Work, faith, and religious difference among multinational migrant workers on board cargo ships.” The authors found that “religious beliefs offer solace and support to seafarers” even though many keep their religious beliefs private on ship.
Note: The founder of the organization that become Master Plan Association, which now supports this website, was a Navy Chaplain with the rank of Lt. JG. He often described how chaplains have to undergo all the rigorous training of everyone, plus spend years studying for the ministry and training in chaplaincy school. They were expected to fulfill all the requirements of their rank plus be able to lead religious services and to counsel sailors at any time. It was a hard but a very rewarding way to help men at sea. Both military chaplains and port chaplains who “offer solace and support” from the Word of God to seafarers should be celebrated for their often unnoticed service.
The Contemporary Epistles of Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, and the Booth Family (Breakpoint). Today’s “cancel culture” is giving Christians a beating who wish to maintain their faith even when it costs. John Stonestreet celebrates the quiet witness of three who have endured the anti-Christian hate of our culture. “There’s not a nicer person on the planet” than florist Barronelle Stutzman, who lost everything when LGBT activist lawyers came after her and the Supreme Court surprisingly refused to take her case. Yet she remains sweet and confident in the Lord. Links are included for more reading.
David learns not to worry about the wicked (Psalm 37). David saw a lot of bad actors in his day. When he was old, though, he wrote down some things he had learned about those who seem powerful and boast of their evil deeds. “I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree,” he said, but when that man passed away, his boasts were forgotten. Those working hard to stand against evil, and sometimes despairing of the seeming hopelessness of it all, should remember his advice:
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Read the rest of David’s advice here (Psalm 37).
Have you found the Lord yet? He’s calling. Follow the signposts on our map.