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January 22, 2017 | JOHN RAY


My friend Mike Hansen is a unique individual, something of a hero to me as well as a friend.

You might not think it when you first meet him, because he’s humble and unassuming,

but the dude is a stud. He’s a graduate of West Point and a combat aviation veteran,

and he has a master’s degree from an Ivy League school.


But his first adventures started when he was a kid. Michael put it this way in a reflection he recently posted:


“I was raised a third-generation commercial salmon fisherman. Grandfather, father and great uncle all owned

and were captains of fishing boats. I learned at a very early age how to lace and mend holes in the net. Drive

skiff. Splice. Change hydraulic lines. Purse the net and much more. At 15, I still worked in the ‘partial’ role early

in the season and we had been on consecutive fish openings on the ocean. The weather had been downright

nasty. Winds somewhere between 20-25 knots gusting to 35. Swells ranging from 12-15 feet. I remember loading

the net and watching the wind screaming fiercely as it peeled water off the top of waves and tossed it around

aimlessly. Fortunately we had a few days off in between fishing openings to rest. Some crew members would fly

back to Seattle during these breaks. But for one guy the weather proved a bit too much. When he didn't return

in time as we were casting off the lines to head out for our next opening, my dad quickly glanced at me, nodded

his head, and said two words. ‘You're on.’ It was in that brief instant I became a ‘full time’ crew member.”


Peter has a similar experience with Jesus. In Luke’s account, Peter was acquainted with Jesus, probably heard him teach a few times, hosted him in his home at least once when Jesus healed his mother in law, but was still spending his days fishing for a living. Then something happens, Jesus gives Peter the nod “you’re on” he says, “from now on, you are full time on the crew fishing for people”. Notice Peter didn’t ask for the job. He was probably content to drop in for an occasional sermon or healing service, but hey, fishing was his gig. Then Jesus invitation changes it all. And while the offer/invitation/command wasn’t a negotiation, Peter did have a choice. Follow or not.


Y’all, it’s pretty much that same for us, individually and collectively. Jesus’ invitation isn’t negotiable. “Fishing for people” defines what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Being in His boat, following His instructions, learning His ways of loving, living and serving and finding our ultimate identity in Him is what it means to be a Christian.


Last week we started this discussion: What does it mean for this group to start thinking outside its current members?

This week, take some time to reflect on this. To do so, use the Grace Church Teaching Guide for the week.

This will also help you get familiar with the way we present the weekly teachings at Grace and help

our conversation next week.


On Sunday morning, we will gather at Grace Church in Fayetteville to hear Darrel Harvey speak.

We’ll stick around after and share a meal to debrief.


If you want further insight into the way one church plans and prepares, join Darrel and me

Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Pure Charity offices.


Finally, still waiting to hear from a couple of people about the best time to possibly schedule Greg Russinger from Portland to come down and lead a local retreat. Take a look at your calendars and respond on Facebook with which of the following dates would work for you to participate: March 3-5, March 10-12, or March 31-April 2.  


Grace and peace, y’all,



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