"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

April 29, 2015


There is an idiom that says, "That ship has sailed"; meaning that an opportunity has been lost or has passed you by; so you need to move on.

Many times we can get caught up in holding onto things that God never intended on us latching onto. Perhaps it's something that we really, really want; so we hope if we pray long and hard enough, that God will give in and let us have it. We can become so caught up and focused on it, that we neglect considering any other answers or options. But perhaps it's not for our good, God knows it's not for our good, so He never allows us to have it. We can often have a hard time letting go, realizing that God has a greater purpose for us and that His answer is no. Perhaps He says no and doesn't explain it at all, and we never fully understand why.

We also can have problems letting go of certain events of the past. That can mean something different for us all. Perhaps it's a relationship that we were involved in and we have trouble moving on; even though the other person may have. It could be that we did something that we're ashamed of and wish we hadn't done. We have repented and know that God has forgiven us, yet we are consumed by the guilt and shame of our actions. Maybe someone treated us badly or said something hurtful and we have held tightly onto that for many years. They have moved on and act as if they have forgotten (and likely actually have forgotten it), but we have held onto it and have allowed it to grow and fester over time.

I'm sure we've all missed opportunities that we wish we could get back. Perhaps it was a financial investment that we either partook in and lost; or one that we had an opportunity to invest in and didn't. It may be a job offer that we didn't go for because we felt inferior and unsure of our qualifications; therefore, fear kept us from trying for a career move that we really wanted. Maybe it was forgoing spending more time with a loved one when we had the chance.

A lot of us have likely also passed up or failed to take advantage of opportunities of spiritual significance that we later wish we would have taken. Perhaps someone approached us with a difficult circumstance they were dealing with and we missed a chance to pray with them, because we worried that we would offend them or that we'd sound silly or say the wrong thing when we prayed. Someone may ask about church and we fail to invite them to join us, because we fear they will turn us down and say no. We may have a moment when someone needs to hear a word of comfort or encouragement and we fail to say anything. Or perhaps we fail to fully surrender our heart to the Lord and go through life struggling with spiritual issues; then we later realize the impact or significance it had on other family members who are following in our non-committed footsteps.

We have all faced situations where we have a hard time letting go and realizing that "that ship has sailed". We have all failed, some perhaps more than others. We've all made unwise decisions, made mistakes, and missed opportunities.

How silly would it be to try and chase down a ship and jump on board?! Yet that is what we do, more times than not. It's kind of like sitting in a canoe, seeing a ship pass by, then trying to catch up with it and board it. We know the likelihood of us succeeding are slim to non-existent, yet we can waste a whole lot of time chasing after it. Even if by some off-chance we did catch up to it, there would be no means for us to be able to climb aboard; and the wake of the waves would keep pushing us away. Instead of accepting the fact that the opportunity is gone and choosing to stop looking back and moving forward, we spend life going in circles. We try to move forward in some areas, while trying to chase after the past; and that just doesn't work. We end up going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.

One of my all-time favorite animated Disney movies is Frozen. In it, there is a song that has become popular and is often quoted from; "Let It Go...Let It Go.....". One of the lines say, "I'm never going back; the past is in the past." If only we could grasp hold of the truth of that statement in our lives: "the past is in the past." We need to just let go and quit trying to go back. There are no reset or redo buttons in life. We can't change our decisions or actions or failures or hurts of the past. But we can decide to quit trying to go back, let the past be in the past, and LET IT GO!

Paul encourages the Philippians with these words: "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sister, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

At times we recognize that certain ships in our life have sailed and we need to let them go. With the help of God, we press onward to that heavenly prize that God is calling us to.. We stop trying to grasp things that are gone, or over with, or behind us..... and look forward, not behind us. When we go through life always facing backwards, we end up running into things and crashing. Wonder why things keep going wrong and life is so tough? Perhaps you need to do a check and see if you're holding onto something in the past, or if you're moving forward and trusting that God has a good plan in store for you.


This reminds me of a story, but I can't remember where I saw or heard it. A woman was running late for a cruise that she'd been looking forward to for a long time. She misjudged how long the cab ride would be, and arrived at the dock after the check-in time, but just short of the scheduled departure. As she ran from the cab to the ship, she saw men pulling the gang-plank away. It was still a long run away, but she ran as fast as she could, yelling to put the gang-plank back, and let her on! They just seemed to ignore her, but they really just couldn't hear her over the waves and noise of the dock.

When she finally got to the dock's edge, the ship was already pulling away. She yelled at one person after another, but none of them seemed to have any sympathy for her. After 30 minutes of trying to convince someone to get the ship back or to take her to the ship somehow, and after the ship made its way into the distance, she gave up, and walked back toward the parking lot to find a cab. On her way, she noticed that there was a ship on the other side just pulling away from the dock. That was the ship she had a ticket for. They had stayed in port for an extra 30 minutes waiting for a passenger that never showed up.

It can be hard, sometimes, to tell whether we should strive after something or to look around for something else. The best things in life are worth working for, but sometimes watching something slip away means we should stop and look around. There may be something more important just on the other side of the dock.


Sunshine Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 cup oil

1 (10-1/2 oz.) package Jello Cheesecake mix

4 eggs

1 (8 oz.) sour cream

1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, undrained

1 (9 oz.) Cool Whip

1 Tablespoon sugar

Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and mandarin oranges for 2 minutes, until almost smooth. Pour into 3 greased and floured round cake pans. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Frosting: Mix crushed pineapple, sugar, cheesecake mix (not the graham cracker crumbs), sour cream, and Cool Whip.

Put one of the cakes on a plate, frost; layer on the second layer and frost; layer with the third layer and frost, smoothing the frosting on the sides. Keep refrigerated.


When Jon and his siblings were kids, they would sneak downstairs after bedtime on Friday nights and watch Dr. Who and Monty Python. They thought they were getting away with something; but looking back, realize that their parents probably knew what they were doing; well, at least with them watching Dr. Who. Recently, the three of them got together and were reminiscing about how funny they used to think Monty Python was at the time, but now when they try to watch it, they realize that it's really not that great. It has a few humorous bits, but isn't very funny and is incredibly stupid. But all those years ago, it was all about the siblings doing something together, it being late at night and them being tired (which made the shows seem funnier), and the three of them thinking they were being sneaky and that they were getting away with something where their parents were concerned!


The Bible is like a stepladder.

It helps us see things from a different perspective and that changes everything. - Luke Lang


We love you!

Loretta & Jon