Nathan, PQ and I were headed out this evening and in our travels there was an older woman who was weedeating her entire front lawn. It was really hot and humid today and even though Nathan had just got off work from his own hot and sweaty job, I saw his face and I asked, “are you turning around?” He said, “yes! She shouldn’t be out here.”
PQ and I stayed in his truck but I could tell he didn’t want to scare her so he had his hands up. I don’t know what he said but next thing I know Nathan is weedeating her front yard. (He learned her mower started smoking and died hence why she was weedeating the yard.)
The woman’s 83 year old mother lives with her and she came out and offered Nathan a Diet Pepsi, which he politely refused. The mother started crying because Nathan was kind enough to pull over the side of a busy road and help. Nathan said he would have weedeated the rest of her yard because he didn’t want her out there doing it. But she said, “no” and thanked him profusely for what he did do.
Folks, I don’t share this to brag about Nathan. In fact when he sees this post he will be less than thrilled that I shared this!!! Even with all that is happening in the world, God still gives us opportunities to do good and to help others. May we take the time to notice!!!
Lord God, thank You for all the ways that You direct us to help others. May we never stifle those promptings. May we never stop looking for opportunities to be a light in this dark world. Lord God, thank You for Nathan. Lord God, thank You for this reader. Help us to love You and our neighbors well. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Lord, as this world becomes more and more political, help us to remember that we are citizens of Your Kingdom and that this world is not our home. Lord God, in light of this truth, help us to not retreat, abandon and run away from this world, but to see this world through a biblical lens.
Lord God, every second someone is dying without knowing Christ. Lord, help Your people to be salt and light, evangelists and disciplers. Lord God, give Your people wisdom and discernment. Lord, it is grievous the errors that have been allowed to grow in the Church. Lord God, the apostate church is the greatest threat to orthodox, sound Christianity. Lord God, for those of us who live in an area where we can still speak and read Your Word freely, may we do so in confidence.
Lord God, reading Your Word is not a luxury or blasé blasé, it is life, it is our standard. In a world that rejects any form of absolute truth and is twisting truth to satisfy emotions, Lord again, help us to be discerning. Help us to be wise. Help us to have courage.
Lord God, strengthen and comfort our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted and tortured for their faith. Lord God, for areas that are increasing in hostility toward Christianity and harassing Christians, help us to not give up. Lord God, help us to not compromise and conform. Help us to want You more than comfort, safety and security.
Lord God, be with the millions of children all over the world who are growing up in a world of chaos and confusion. Lord God, watch over the children whether they are growing up in believing homes or not. Lord God, it is unconscionable and an affront to You what children are being taught. Lord God, be with believing parents, give them guidance and wisdom when it comes to parenting, education etc.
Lord God, thank You for this reader. Lord God, thank You that You are still changing hearts. Lord God, help believers to be agents who draw people to yourself. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
I am sweltering out here on the water. Today is 90f and 40% humidity. This is our first time out since Raystown.
Nathan is doing exceedingly well so far (praise God always puts him in a good mood!). I have attempted to fish but my focus resides on not passing out from heat exhaust, getting sunburned nor getting bit by bugs.
My time out here today convicts me that in Heaven the one thing we won’t be doing is evangelizing. We will not share Jesus with the lost. I am reminded that Jude tells us to “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire…” (1:22-23 ESV).
Hell is a literal physical place. Unbelievers will be cast out and will spend eternity in torment where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I don’t know where God has you today or what your outside temperature is like but may we be a people who fight the elements to save others while there is still time.
Lord God, evangelism and discipleship are messy. It is not easy nor is it for the faint of heart. Lord God, teach us to fish. Teach us to show people Jesus as well as talk about Jesus. Lord God, thank You for this reader and lead and guide them today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol (Psalm 86:8-13 ESV).
Lord God, thank You for another new day, another new month and another opportunity to love and serve You. Lord God, thank You and praise You that there is no god but You! Lord God, the god of this world is bombarding and distracting us like never before. Lord God, as this world changes by the minute may we never forget that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Lord God, comfort Your people with Your Presence and may Your Presence motivate Your people to tell others about Jesus while there is still time!
Lord God, only You know what nations will exist when You return. Thank You and praise You that people from every nation, tribe and language will be part of Your Kingdom. Lord God, may the reality that at Your appointed time every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of You Father God, never be far from our minds! May we obey You and bring Your glory in this new month! May Your people seek to live with one another peaceably focusing on the majors and not the minors of our faith.
Lord God, You are great and do wondrous things! Lord God, may we never cease to marvel at Your works whether that is in a sunrise, sunset or a baby’s laughter. Lord God, may we never forget that we are but dust, that we are the creature, not the Creator. Lord God, more and more I am in awe of You: One God, Three Persons. Praise You Holy Trinity that You do not ask us to figure You out but rather ask us to love You and others, trusting and obeying You.
Teach us Your ways and give us a heart to want to obey You. Lord God, impress on us this month Lord that in biblical thought the heart encompasses the mind, will/volition and emotions, the total being of a person. Lord God, help us to think right in this new month, help us to discern our emotions this month and may this motivate our hands to do right by You in this month. Lord God, good theology always moves from head, to heart, to hand. May we unite our hearts to Your heart in this new month so that when persecution comes, we will know how to stand firm in You. Lord God, may we be prepared to glorify You and praise Your Name in the hard, dark and tough times.
Lord God, may we learn more about Your hesed this month, Your covenant faithfulness. Lord God, You are faithful to Your covenant, may we be faithful to You. Lord God, as You know our society wants us to pledge loyalty to various causes, may Your people be loyal to You because of Your covenant faithfulness, because of Your steadfast love, because of Your Character and Work. Lord God, may evangelism and discipleship be the cause in which we pledge our love and allegiance.
Lord God, thank You for the testimony of each of the believers reading this. Thank You for all the ways that You have delivered our souls form the depths of Sheol. Lord God, for the reader who does not know Christ, may they seek You while there is still time. Not just so that they may escape the fire and judgement of hell, but so that they will be able to serve You now, understanding their purpose in a world gone mad.
Lord God, thank You for this reader. Thank You for all the ways that You will use this reader this month if they will allow You. Lord God, make us willing and available servants to be Your Hands and Feet this month. Thank You Jesus that the time of Your arrival is drawing ever closer. May we be reminded that it is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God. Thank You for Your gift of salvation by grace through faith. May we hear, read and mediate on Your Word more this month, as it is guaranteed to transform us for the better if we will allow it. Lord God, open our hearts to You today. Praise You for this reader! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
When we first boarded our houseboat on Monday May 24, 2021 I was really excited. It did not take long for me to become agitated with the houseboat itself.
I must confess in certain ways I can be Princess Mandy. I have a standard of clean which I expect of myself and others. This boat did not meet that standard or any level of tolerance. I chose to rent this boat because of its top deck; however, I do not think they have ever cleaned my much wanted deck!
Nathan and I have been married for 3.5 years and this was our first vacation. I was either in Seminary or we were moving so this is the first time we have done something like this. Nathan in his love and kindness for me knew that I was unhappy and he started cleaning while I was sulking.
Pride is a vicious beast! I wanted a beautiful boat to see God’s Beautiful Creation and I am SO thankful that God humbled me to see His Beauty, to see Nathan’s love and to get over myself so that I could see God and to see Nathan as God wants me to see Nathan.
Nathan, PQ and I experienced many adventures on this trip. From docking/anchoring the boat to trees, to fog, to a severe thunderstorm with 70 mph winds.
We knew there would be storms on Wednesday May 26, 2021 we just didn’t know how severe. When we saw the clouds forming we tied the boat down on an island that we thought was safe. Well, the first big gust of wind ripped the metal cleat right off the boat. Nathan had to quick jump off and untie the other side and we were just spinning and spinning. I remembered seeing that the upstairs deck furniture was unstacked and untied down. I quick went up to stack it and Nathan started screaming at me to get down. I had never seen Nathan so shaken and upset, he said I could have really been hurt and if the stuff blows over oh well, your life is worth more than some deck furniture. Nathan also said he was concerned the wind was going to turn the boat on its side.
I had been joking earlier in the day maybe we have our own Jesus calms the sea/storm/winds/waves moment; however, I never anticipated it would look like that!
What we didn’t know until returning the boat yesterday May 28, 2021 was that when Nathan went to the marina to buy live bait on Wednesday (May 26) before the storm. The marina requires houseboats to be docked by their employees. Well, the employee who worked for the marina when docking the boat, hitting the side of the boat against the dock, putting a hole in the side of the boat that Nathan and I never saw. After it was pointed out to Nathan yesterday he said had he known he wouldn’t have taken the boat back out again. Thank God the marina has their employees dock the boat so this wasn’t on Nathan and I and even greater thank God for this hole not being an issue in the storm!!!!!
We fished for many, many hours each day. In 4 days we caught zero fish. From what we could tell no one else was really catching fish either. Tuesday May 25, 2021 was a full moon and that may have had an effect on the fish. Fishing is a great analogy for the Christian life. Jesus tells Peter, Andrew, James and John that He will teach them how to fish for people. The call is to discipleship, but fishing is also an appropriate analogy of evangelism as well. Both take time and diligence. As Nathan says, “if you don’t have a line [or net] in the water you’re guaranteed to not catch any fish.” I have a greater appreciation for seeking out where the fish are!
I know that every blogger, podcaster, vlogger says they have “the best followers.” Precious readers, I am SO thankful for your love and support and prayers on this journey. I do NOT view any of y’all as followers but friends who I am doing and sharing life with.
I know that most of my blogs lately have been more biblical theology based than personal life application. This adventure has restored to me a sense of being personal and vulnerable with y’all as well as to share what I am learning from the Lord and His Word. Again, I cannot thank y’all enough for your love, support and encouragement.
The Lord has restored my love for taking pictures of His creation and I want to share more of what I see when I am out and about with y’all.
Maybe dear reader you have wanted to go on your own adventure but don’t know where to go or can’t at this moment. I would love to encourage you to read or listen to an audio Bible version of your choosing on Acts. The Book of Acts is an epic adventure. There’s the ascension of Jesus, the start of the church, conversions, missionary journeys, snakes, shipwrecks, imprisonments, stoning etc.
Life in Christ is an adventure. There are NO days off in the Christian life. While this post 2020 covid world may seem more like a nightmare than an adventure; life in Christ is life to the fullest if we are willing to follow Him. This life is not easy. But it wasn’t easy for any of the real life people in Acts either.
I am thankful that God continues to remove me from my comfort zone. It is not pleasant at first but it always leads me to growing closer to Him and to others in the process. I am not the same person today, May 29, 2021 that I was on Monday May 24. Praise God for His Work in our lives and meeting us right where we are. May you dear reader, grow closer to our Savior today!
Lord God, thank You for the gifts of adventure, wonder, awe, humility and transparency. Lord God, help us to not fear what is next but to cling to You, holding to You, journeying with You and with others. Lord God, thank You for the heart that You have given these readers for me and I pray they know that my heart is with them. Lord God, I do not know what favor and blessing looks like for this reader but I ask that You will bless them for the love and support they have shown me. Lord God, thank You that when we actively seek You that You will transform us more in Your Image. May Your people seek to glorify You! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Here are more pictures if you’re interested (all photos taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn).
Psalm 8 (ESV) To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David. 1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Lord God, we praise You for who You are. Lord God, may we never cease to marvel and be in awe of You. Lord, help us to think less of ourselves and think more about You.
Praise You Lord for the sun rising and setting each day. Praise You Lord for gravity and order and holding all things in place. Praise You Lord that as You care for the birds, fish and trees, You care for us.
Lord God, thank You that Your glory will be known in all the earth. Jesus, one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that You are Lord and Savior.
Praise You Jesus for who You are and what You have done for us. Stir this reader who is a believer to praise Your Name Jesus and to take comfort in knowing that they will be with You now and forevermore. For the reader who does not know Jesus, Holy Spirit stir the reader’s heart to trust Jesus by grace through faith today while their is still time.
Praise You Holy Trinity for etching eternity on our hearts, for creating us in Your Image and purposing us to bring You glory. Praise You Trinity for Your Majesty, Holiness and Otherness. Praise You Trinity for dwelling amongst sinful people and calling us to repentance. We praise You, we love You and it’s in Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
Lord God, as fog and confusion are increasing in culture, may we be reminded that Jesus is the Light and the Holy Spirit Guides to the Glory of God the Father.
Lord God, thank You that even when we cannot see what is right in front of us, we can trust that You are still there, that we can make decisions based on who You are.
Lord God, so many today are trading Truth for lies. Lord, may we never forget that while Satan is a defeated foe, he will bombard us and distract us and disguise himself as antichrist, a false light. Lord God, may Your people point the whomsoever to the Light of Christ. May we grow in our love and devotion to You and Your Word.
Lord God, while we are NEVER to worship creation may we take time to look at the trees in our midst or hear the birds in the sky and reflect that You called this “good.”
While this earth is perishing and fading away, we know that Your Word remains forever, it will not perish or be destroyed. It will exist forever and ever. Lord, help us to be agents who break the darkness and fog that plagues this society. Lord God, may we obey You, being in this world and not of it.
Thank You Lord for this reader. For those who are in Christ may they hold to the Truth that Jesus loves them and for those who are far from Christ may they seek You while there is still time. Lord, fill this reader with the Peace of Your Presence. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Nathan, PQ and I have now left the dock and the three of us are about to spend four nights aboard this vessel.
I will confess I have been on ocean cruises, river cruises, large boats, small boats, this is the first time I have been on a houseboat where we (Nathan) decide the itinerary.
God has been gracious to me and I will have cell service so I can connect with y’all! PQ is NOT enjoying himself at all as of yet.
I am looking forward to reading and praying. I will do more casting than catching fish but it will be fun nevertheless!
Father God, thank You for new opportunities, new adventures, new weeks, new days and above all new mercies each day. Lord God, thank You for this reader. Thank You for all the ways that You care for us and allow us to commune with You. Lord God, lead us and guide us. Thank You Jesus that for all of us who have placed our faith in You we know that You are the Master and Commander of our lives, not ourselves. Lord, fill this reader with the peace of Your Presence. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Here are a few pictures so far if you’re interested: