Set sail or lie at anchor?



From the northeast corner of Alabama, the Appalachian Trail runs down and is filled with bubbling streams and waterfalls, rivers and lakes; from the northwest corner- the mighty Tennessee River runs through – dotted throughout the state- are hydroelectric dams to provide electricity and form lakes of wonderous beauty. The most incredible thing about all of this water- is that Alabama doesn’t just have fresh waterways- go south as far as you can go-lo and behold! There is an ocean, yes, the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay, inlets of salt water teeming with all of that good seafood we love to eat! The beaches are called ‘sugah sand’ because of the white soft sand. Needless to say, water sports, fishing and boating are an important part of the culture of Alabama!

On this weekend, at the beginning of summer-  ‘the waters’ here in Alabama, put me in mind of a few lovely quotes, a prayer, and some incredible photographs from our resident photographer, Jeremy Miniard.


The quote which inspired me to write this post:

‘I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. We must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.’

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.-from Quotable Quotes (italics mine)

‘We must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it…’

In the Gospel of John, the disciples decided to set off in their boat without Jesus, and a great wind blew up while they were alone in the boat-they were terribly frightened. Now these were mostly fishermen, not prone to fear on the water, but they did know that storms blew up frequently on the sea- this was a bad storm…why had they left without Jesus? It was a bad decision- it does matter Who you have in the boat when you sail.


‘How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks but into the desired haven.’ George MacDonald

Now, if the disciples thought they were afraid of the storm – when they saw Jesus walking on the water toward their boat in hurricane force winds, they were even more terrified of their deliverance!

‘He will do whatever it takes to rescue you from the storms of life. He is far more interested in rescuing; He is much less interested in why you got in the boat without Him than He is finding a way to get to you…Even when you get it wrong; He can make it right…Watch for Him in windy weather – in the storms. Respect the One Who can calm the storm. He will tell you when to stop being afraid. You will be glad He is there. Be willing to take Him aboard during the storm. He’ll be in the boat with you.’

 On this Sunday morning, the quote above and the prayer to follow are from Four Days-the Lazarus Principle, the words seem appropriate for these beautiful photographs of the Alabama Waters and the quotes which have inspired me.


‘Oh Lord, many times we have steered our own craft, and in our impatient rowing – have left You ashore. Come to us even in the stormy midst of our poor decisions and sorry situations. We welcome You aboard our rickety boats, calm the storms that rage within and without. Come aboard, get us back on course.’

It does matter Who is in the boat with us; with Him- ‘The storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.’

‘Calm the storms that rage within and without…come aboard, get us back on course.’

‘It is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving…sometimes with the wind, sometimes against it. But sail we must, not drift, nor lie at anchor.’


Can I get an Amen? Have a wonderful blessed Sunday! Love y’all, Camellia

*This post was edited and re-blogged to include the photograph above, which was taken at Orange Beach, Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico- where visitors are often delighted by the sight of the Blue Angels as they practice. This photograph stands as a memorial to the Blue Angel pilot who lost his life, this past week at a Tennessee Air Show. He shall be sorely missed but not forgotten. The Blue Angels are stationed at the U.S. Naval Base in Pensacola, Florida, very close to the Gulf of Mexico.

*All other photographs are the sole property of

Blue Angels Amazon Affiliate link

Four Days -the Lazarus Principle by Brenda Wyatt- Amazon Affiliate link

The Stalwart Pear Tree…

This little dogwood tree struggles and survives every year despite it’s poor location, yet it reminds me of another tree,  ‘The Quickened Stalwart Pear’, found in chapter 38  of my book- ‘Four Days- the Lazarus Principle’img_1996

Here is an excerpt with some added emphasis…

“Go with me…to New York City. While we were there we visited the 911 Memorial. I was expecting to be moved by it. I was expecting to feel anger. That is not what I felt – I felt an overwhelming sadness for what America had lost…the loss of a type of innocence which turned many of our people into distrustful cynics. A harsh rhetoric, indicative of anger and fear has descended on our people…the-stalwart-pear-planted

The most hopeful thing of all in that tragic somber place was a Stalwart Pear Tree, known as the Survivor Tree. It is now 30 feet tall and was the last living thing to be removed from the rubble. The tree was moved to a park in New York to see if the broken charred remains could be revived. By the spring of 2012, having survived two collapsing skyscrapers, several moves, and one hurricane, the stubborn little tree is a testament of resurrection power; a living lesson that we can survive, we can be quickened after the worst loss imaginable. Many Wounded Warriors come to the 911 Memorial to have their photo taken by the Survivor Tree. Native New York Swamp Oak trees were also planted, they are alive but are not yet thriving.

Isn’t that the choice we have? We can be alive, cloaked in grieving clothes-south-tower-world-trade-center-stalwart-pearor we can yield to the Savior who has breathed the Breath of Life into us while we are bound by our circumstances… We can struggle and thrive like the Stalwart Pear or we can merely survive like the New York Swamp Oaks. When I saw the Quickened Stalwart Pear, it gave me so much hope amidst all the sadness. So, hear this-

‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for your welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome….you will find Me…when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you…and I will release you from all captivity…’  from Jeremiah 29″


Whatever it is that is holding you back, whether sorrow or sighing,  alive but not yet thriving, the survivor of disaster or dogged with depression, I hope on this blessed Lord’s Day, you will read of the survival of the Stalwart Pear Tree and find sweet comfort in this – and in the Love of God.

Love y’all, Camellia

The Stalwart Pear – New York, 911 Memorial -images from AOL images

The Survivor Tree The Survivor Tree

Four Days- the Lazarus Principle Four Days-the Lazarus Principle