May 8, 2015
In this week's Coffee Break, while we continue with the same theme we began last week in dealing with being God's peacemakers, I'd like to share with you a story from my early childhood years -- a story which marked the beginning of my parents' miraculous years of ministry in Alaska -- a story which illustrates the authority that we have. Once again, here is what Jesus said:
Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
And -- again -- as we did last week, here is an amplified translation of that verse.
“Blessed and highly favored by the King [of Kings] are those who know what it means to have the peace of God — those who pursue with all diligence that peace in their being and in their environment — for God will cause them to be known and referred to as His mature and responsible sons (to whom He has entrusted His business.” (RAC Translation and Amplification)
We talked last week about Jesus being out in the storm — in this case, a virtual tornado or large waterspout on the Sea of Galilee (and this was no ordinary storm) — and simply commanding, “Peace, be still!” That storm died instantly.
In the summer of 1944, my father was at sea during the seven-week fishing season, hoping to make enough money with the fish he caught to pay off the thousand dollar debt on the church building he had built in Ilwaco, Washington.
Ilwaco was known as a salmon fishing port, but this year the Japanese current had swung way off course and was bringing Albacore Tuna into the pacific waters. Dad was not a fisherman at all by trade, and in fact had never fished commercially in his life. He was, by all accounts, a “landlubber” — a farm boy from Minnesota and North Dakota — whom God had called to Alaska. Ilwaco was just a stop on the way to Alaska, and 1944 was the year for the family to make the move north.
Dad felt that he could not leave for Alaska and leave an unpaid debt behind on the church he had built in this fishing community. Having no other means at hand, he convinced a local cannery owner from Raymond, Washington to loan him a boat so that he could try his hand at fishing. When the fishing season opened, the cannery owner reluctantly provided Dad with a 30-foot boat. The boat had no cabin so he was at the whim of the elements.
That first week of the fishing season saw God provide a catch of fish that shocked both the cannery owner, and the professional fisherman from the area. The owner decided he’d underestimated this landlubber-preacher, and provided him with a 50-foot boat with a cabin to finish the season.
Week after week after week, the size of Dad’s catch of fish amazed the fishing community and the Associated Press decided to cover this crazy “Landlubber-Preacher-Fisherman.
Without getting into the whole story here, we come to the seventh and final week of the fishing season. Dad had been routinely fishing a hundred or so miles to the west of Astoria. The seasoned fisherman saw the makings of a big storm at sea and decided it was time to head back into port.
The lack of experience at sea left Dad with no indicators that anything was amiss with the weather, and by late Wednesday the seas were tossing the boat like a cork. By Thursday morning, the boat was cracking and making noises such that he knew this just couldn’t continue.
The waves had increased to the point that they were fifty and sixty feet high, and frequently breaking over the top of the boat, submerging it momentarily before it bobbed back to the surface.
In his cabin, Dad prayed and said, “Lord, I know you didn’t call me to Alaska just to have me drown at sea.” He got to his feet stood at the cabin door and waited for one of the big waves to pass. He opened the door, ran out on the deck and stretched his hand over the water.
“In the name of Jesus, I command you, Peace! Be Still!”
Then he ran back into the cabin and waited. Within twenty minutes the storm had ceased and the waters were glassy calm. The storm had blown him more than two hundred miles out to sea — well beyond the range of his ability to return to shore. A gentle breeze sprang up and began to blow him back towards the Oregon coast.
Meanwhile, the fish began to bite. Dad had no money to purchase professional fishing gear so he had simply strung out a bunch of lines over the side of the boat. Suddenly all of the lines were tugging and he began to pull in one fish after another. Hour after hour after hour he pulled in the fish. Before long the hold was completely full, so he began throwing fish in the cabin.
Back at port, the Ilwaco fishermen came to visit Mom and said, “Mrs. Capener, we’re really sorry about the loss of your husband at sea. If you like, we’ll begin making preparations for his funeral.” They meant well, but had no idea what God was doing, and the kind of display He was about to put on for them.
You see, the overwhelming majority of the fishermen had already begun the process of cleaning their boats and gear and putting things away for the season. They recognized the storm as a killer storm and had no intention of being caught in it. Besides, they had all had pretty good seasons and were not going to take any chances.
For the commercial fishermen, and for the people of Ilwaco, Dad had lost his life in the storm. There had been no sign of him since the storm hit. He had no radio gear on board and no way to let folks know that he was still alive.
Mom, likewise knew that God wasn’t going to pull the plug on them after having called them to Alaska and she put off the fishermen’s offer saying, “Thanks, but we’ll wait. God has everything well in control.”
Early Saturday, the well-meaning fishermen made one more try. “Mrs. Capener, really! You have to face reality! No one could have survived that storm. Please let us begin making preparations for the funeral.”
Her answer was short and sweet. “No, we’ll wait.”
Late Saturday afternoon, someone spotted a dot on the horizon and by the time Dad made it into port, much of the community was there to greet him. They couldn’t believe their eyes!
Dad was standing knee-deep in fish. The Albacore Tuna covered the decks, were covering the floor of the cabin, over and under his bunk and camp stove, and all around the wheel house. The decks were riding not more than four or five inches above the water line.
When he stepped out on the deck and commanded, “Peace,” not only did the storm die, but nature cooperated with the command. The elements were “set in order”.
The breezes blew him back into port so that he didn’t have to use up his fuel supply, and the fish began to bite. It proved to be a record catch of fish and a record-setting season that has never been broken to this day. 39,000 pounds of tuna, all caught by hand during the seven-week fishing season, and it brought Dad $6.300.00. The debt on the church was paid off and we were able to move to Alaska in October of that year for ministry to begin among the native villages.
We like to sing the verses from Philippians 4:7-8, but consider them in the context of what we are sharing today.
Philippians 4:7-9: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
When the peace of God commands our minds, our thoughts, and the words which come out of our mouths, we become “peacemakers.” Peace surrounds us. We bring peace with us wherever we go.
I should have included verse 6 in this passage which goes like this:
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
That word, “careful,” is a translation of the Greek word, merimnao, which means: to be troubled with cares, to be fretful, to be anxious and worried.
So many people have made their own needs and crises the most important thing in their lives, and they’ve put their trust in money, in “stuff”, in homes, in family, or in any number of things that ARE NOT the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no peace in them, and they are not allowing the peace of God to rule in their hearts and minds and thoughts — or any part of their being.
Over the past months, Della and I have fielded literally hundreds of phone calls from people in various stages of utter panic — some people calling three and four and five times a day looking for some morsel of information that would put them at peace. There’s a huge difference between getting some kind of information that will satiate worry and actually having God’s peace dictate our thoughts and conversation.
For us to be “peacemakers,” we must first allow the peace of God to rule in us. Once again, peace is a ruler. God’s peace has the ability to overrule every conceivable concern, fretfulness or worry that the Enemy would like for us to focus on.
The Word of God is replete with examples of the power and stupendous authority that the peace of God — the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ — can and does exercise for those who yield their own minds, thought processes and conversations to the mind of Christ. Let me wrap up this discussion with a translation that I did from II Corinthians 10:4-6.
For the weapons and instruments of our war and executed actions [against Satan] do not have their origins and [weak, impotent] operation in natural flesh and human abilities, but they are skillful, potent and powerful – like dynamite – through God to the demolition and extinction of all fortified and guarded places of opinions in opposition, Bringing down violently and demolishing (to total extinction) all mental reasonings and thought processes, and every mental barrier or arrogant and self-elevated attitude that justifies itself in opposition to the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity and making a prisoner every perception of the intellect and every mental purpose or determination to the compliance and submission of Christ and His anointing [in the same way that He complied with the will and desire of the Father]; And holding in readiness and preparedness the [spiritual] fitness to vindicate and punish all refusal to hear what the Spirit is saying when your attentive and obedient submission has been satisfied fully and executed. (RAC Translation and Amplification)
Next week we will talk about the blessing of persecution! OK, don't look at me in that tone of voice. I'm serious! But you'll have to wait until next week to see what I mean.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Once again, the number to call for healing is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long.
Blessings on you!
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