Thank you. 300 times, thank you! Thank you for your amazing support.
Thank you for friendships.
Thank you for your encouragement and willingness to walk this Overboard journey with me and my family.
Thank you for reading this blog.
In fact, 300 times you’ve come to this blog and dialed up the words and challenges put on my heart by God and His Word. Thank you for following, reading, commenting, correcting my lousy grammar and encouraging me along the way. Most of all, thank you for growing with me as Overboard Ministries is becoming a movement of people eager to live their God-designed lives of faith, out of the comfort of the boat and out on the water where Jesus is building His Kingdom.
Over 50,000 times this blog has been read by people from 75 different countries. (I know, small potatoes for some of you bloggers, but for this boy, I’m blown away by what God has done!) 12 books have been released, with several more scheduled before year’s end. We have dozens of financial partners supporting our work each month, and nearly 100 people who pray for us regularly. The list goes on and on, and all I can say is “Thank you!”
I am humbled and grateful and can’t wait to see what God does in the next 300 blog posts.
As a way of remember the path we've traveled, here is one of my favorite blog posts (definitely t0p-5 out of 300!), dating pack to April of 2013. This was blog #102 (198 posts ago!). Enjoy.
Every time I watch a movie, read a story or see something about Dick and Rick Hoyt, I usually end up wiping tears from eyes. Over 950 times Dick has pushed his son Ricky in a wheel chair or pedaled him on a bike or pulled him in a canoe across race finish lines all over the U.S. Every time I think of this duo, I am reminded of what the power of a father’s love can do.
Rick Hoyt is severely disabled. And when doctors told the family to just “put him away” because he would never be more than a vegetable, the Hoyt family decided to take him home and prove doctors wrong. Take ten minutes to watch this special piece on Team Hoyt as they tell their amazing story:
My favorite part of the video is when Dick says, “He’s competing. I just give him my arms and legs, but he’s competing.” I am so moved by that father’s love and I am so reminded of the love of my own Heavenly Father in the same way.
I’ve often heard people use the phrase, “we are the hands and feet of Jesus” -- and in one sense it is very true. We represent Jesus in this world, and the way we walk and serve will be the best (or sometimes worst) representation of Jesus some people will ever see.
But in another very real sense, we are all like Ricky Hoyt. “Powerless” on our own, but with God as our hands and feet, we are able to compete in this life. We are able to put aside our own selfish ambition and vain conceit, we are able to serve others as we have been served, we are able to love as God loved and we are able to run our race because of God’s power in us. We aren’t gods; we are God’s.
At the end of his life, the Apostle Paul told Timothy, “I have the run the race” and he was ready to receive his reward. How did Paul run? He ran as man pushed by God. He didn’t run on his own strength, He ran with God’s! In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul lists out the trials he worked through in his life while serving God. Then, in chapter 12, he discusses a “thorn in flesh” -- some sort of extreme suffering that kept him dependent on God. And at the end of this recounting of all of his hardships Paul says this, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Paul was just admitting that he was like Ricky Hoyt. No mistaking it -- Paul was competing. But he was competing with the power of God’s arms and God’s legs, so that using God’s strength, God would be glorified in Paul’s life.
You can’t live Overboard in your own strength for very long. Let God give you the power you need to press on so, like Paul, you too can finish your race!
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!