Scared Straight and Healed

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

A man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” – Mark 1:23

Scared Straight

Think on this a wee little bit: the devil’s demons know all thar is ter know ’bout the Son. Know and be terrified.

Fer example, demons know that:

* The Son be in thar midst in order ter conduct Skipper’s business.

* The Son be from Nazareth.

* The Son be intent on destroying unclean spirits and the power the devil’s darkness holds over folks.

* The Son be of a holy nature.

Such unclean spirit knows all this but do we?

A good many smart folks who know all ’bout the Son and Skipper and study with earnest energy in seminaries  but hain’t got nary a clue as ter the real power and authority of the Son and his Spirit. Listen ter what that great prophet Malachi says:

You who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. (Malachi 4:2)

The Son be the Sun: the one who be righteous. And because the Son be righteous through and through no spirit of sickness, no unclean spirit of perversion, wickedness, or torment kin remain in his presence. All such vile spirits must flee. That be why that filthy spirit living inside the man from the synagogue feared fer its existence. The Son brings healing and wholeness.

The Son’s command ter all such filthy spirits be this: “come out!”

When we come face ter face with the Son and see him fer who he really be, we ‘ill get scared straight. We ‘ill fall ter our knees in fear. We ‘ill ‘ave deep respect or admiration fer him on account of we see the glory of his holiness.

If you hain’t nary enjoyed such an encounter, if you hain’t nary been humbled in the presence of yer Lord, then ask Skipper ter introduce you proper like ter the Son. An invitation of this sort ‘ill always be one Skip ‘ill confirm. And when you come inter the presence of the Son, his righteousness ‘ill flow inter you. Soon as it does you can rest assured all unclean spirits ‘ill begin ter tremble in fear.


Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

Lord, I know “you are the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:23). And because I believe in your healing power and authority I renounce all spirits of death and sickness coming against me and my loved ones. I declare that such unclean spirits be cast out, bound, and cast into the abyss where they will be held for the day of your judgement. Lord, you came to set the captives free. By your power and nature those I name are set free from the bondage of perverse spirits. May we be free indeed! Amen and amen.

Pirate Facts

Julius Caesar whar captured by pirates when he be but 25. While prisoner, he told the fellers he would come back and kill ’em all. And in time he did jest that.

After becoming leader of ancient Rome and by expanding Rome’s geographic reach and establishing its imperial system, Caesar transformed his small kingdom inter what they called the Roman Empire. By 31, Caesar had been in several scrapes and whar finding his footing, as it whar, in Roman politics. After making several alliances and gaining military victories, the rascal became dictator of the Roman Empire, a title that lasted for just one year before he went ter Davy Jones.

Julius Caesar . . . once a pirate, always a pirate.

Skipper’s Word Says It — Do We Believe His Words?

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:21

They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began to teach. – Mark 1:21

James and John, Simon and Andrew followed the Son in ter Kepher Nahum (Capernaum), a small village along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They believed in the Son. They believed in the words of the Son. Simply put, they believed. 

On the Sabbath, which be Saturday in them days, the Son entered the synagogue and began ter teach. Now right off the Son’s teaching ought ter ‘ave got tongues ter wagging on account of the Son be a carpenter and son of a carpenter, not a student of a famous rabbi. Most likely folks whar asking how the Son got his learning and from which rabbi, fer he spoke ter them as a feller who had authority, not as the religious scribes.

Skipper’s Word Says It But Do We Believe His Words?

Way back in the beginning, scribes only whar fellers who made written copies of Skipper’s Code of Conduct. In time folks began ter see ’em as experts on Skip’s Code. Reason being, they knew Skip’s instructions ter folks from front ter back and could spout it from memory. Only the thing be, knowing ’bout Skip’s Code not be the same as believing Skip’s Code.

A good many ter day know all manner of stuff ’bout Skipper’s Code of Conduct. Some claim ter read Skip’s words daily, study his words, pray his words, and seek ter live by his words. Others ‘ill admit that while they know much of Skip and his words, they don’ actually believe what he says.

Skipper’s Word Says It But Some Don’t Believe His Words

“The Bible says it, but I don’t believe that settles it,” seems ter be the thinking of a good many. Such folk ‘ill spout things like:

“We must read the Bible’s words in the light of their historical context.”
“We need to try to understand why the authors wrote what they wrote.”
“We are to read all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ, his life, teachings, ministry, death, and resurrection, because He is the only unmitigated Word of God.” (As though suggesting all other Scripture is not the unmitigated Word of God.)

But Skip’s words say:

Jesus [is] the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1).

All things were made through Jesus. Without Jesus nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3).

If all things be made through Jesus then Scripture be made through Jesus.

So when a feller claims we “must read the Bible’s words in the light of their historical context,” he actually be suggesting the Son and Skipper mean sumpin’ different ter day than they did back when they gave us thar words. If that be the case, then the pair be double-minded and speakin’ out of both sides of thar mouths.  

If our “historical context” can change Skip’s words, then pert near all of Skip’s words be of no account ter day, since our “historical context” be different than them scribes who wrote down what Skip told e’m.

When a feller says we must “try to understand why the authors wrote what they wrote,” he be suggesting the motivation of the scribe be of more importance than the motivation of Skipper fer giving us his words ter start with.

A good many fellers who wrote fer Skip had no idea how prophetic the words they scribbled might become. The Apostle Paul wrote a good many letters from prison ter churches with instructions fer how folks whar ter conduct them selves. Doth we think Paul knowed ’em letters would make it in ter Skipper’s code book? If he had, would Paul ‘ave wrote differently?

When a feller says we must “read all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ” what he really be saying is the Son who walked about in the flesh be different than the Son who be with Skipper in the Garden when Adam and Eve be created—different from the Son who appeared in the writings of Moses and all the Prophets (Luke 24:27).

But the Son don’ change. He be the same ter day as he whar in the beginning.

This be why, when the Son begins preaching and teaching and explaining Skip’s Code, jaws dropped, eyes bugged out. All about folks be silent, hanging on ever word. They knowed he be speaking truth with authority. An author always speaks with greater authority than a feller who simply reads the author’s words, fer an author knows exactly what he said and why he said it.

The ilk of a good many “teachers of the Law” ter day be the same as in the days of Jesus—they deny the power of the Son and his authority. Oh, they might not come right out say such. Ter do so might run off some folks. So they soften things and simply say the Son’s words don’ mean ter day what they meant back in his day and be fer the day of his coming.

Jesus entered the synagogue and began ter teach. He taught as one with authority. His words carry authority, fer he is above all authorities—specially so-called religious authorities.

Ask Jesus ter enter yer heart ter day. Then ask him begin ter teach you his words, ways, and truth. Trust him when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is, you may lay ter that.

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

“My Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name. Holy are your words. Ter day bless the reading of yer words ter the nourishment of me soul.” (Matthew 6:9)

Pirate Facts

Avast! / avast ye! be Dutch speak fer “pay attention, mates!”

Put Out Inter Deep Water

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:16

Jesus said to them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (Mark 1:16)

Whilst tha Son walked about on shore he saw two brothers casting nets inter the sea. Right off he seen that the pair be hard workers, fer as we well know, fishing not be an easy chore. Catching a meal kin some times take all day, weeks some times.

He saw Simon and Andrew and said to them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. “Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you become fishers of men.”  (Mark 1:16) (Luke 5:4-6)

But as soon as the Son called the pair, they cast down thar nets and followed him.

Put Out Inter Deep Water

Now it could be the brothers may ‘ave thought: Anything be better than fishing with Pop. We keep doing this we ‘ill die hunched over and broken old men with hands so calloused we kin sand a plank with our bare palms.

More ‘n likely, the brothers seen that the Son be well versed in Skipper’s Code of Conduct. Most all lads in them days be required ter read and memorize the first five books of Skip’s Code. From thar they moved on ter learnin’ ’bout the Prophets. The pair likely knowed some of Skip’s Code, but had ne’er been picked ter train under a real rabbi. Perhaps they also be in the crowds when the Son preached on the arrival of Skip’s kingdom and wanted a share of any prize thar might be fer them working fer Skip’s crew.

But probably the biggest factor in ’em up and leavin’ the fishin’ business be the great catch of fish they caught when the Son told ’em ter toss thar nets over the side once more.

Without the Son, no fish. With the Son so many fish they couldn’ haul ’em all in the boat. That be the power and authority and presence of the Son in our lives.

After he went down the shore a ways, the Son spied two other fellers mending thar nets. Like with Simon and Andrew, the pair be working hard, not lounging about waiting fer good luck ter find ’em. Soon as the Son hailed fer the pair ter join him, them sons of Zebedee, James and John, left thar pop with his hired servants and took off ter follow this fisher of men.

Now think on this a wee little bit: Simon and Andrew left thar vocation in order ter learn another trade: fishing fer folks. James and John also left thar vocation in order ter follow tha Son. Nary a one hemmed and hawed, made excuses, asked if they might ‘ave a few days ter consider his offer. None went home ter discuss any of this with the misses. They simply dropped what they whar doing and went off with the Son.

Be that the way we act when the Son calls us ter a new task? Doth we act with such conviction and obedience that we ‘ill stop in mid watch, come about, and sail off on a new heading without knowing what tomorrow ‘ill bring?

Them four fishermen became the core of the Son’s crew. You find ’em near ’bout always right close ter the Son and the Son right close ter them.

Obedience ter the Son comes with a cost, but we get the blessing of his fellowship in return. This day if you hear the Son calling you, if you be reading Skipper’s Code of Conduct and hear his voice asking you ter change course, ter put out in ter deep water,  do as commanded. Doth not delay. Might be his call be the chance of a lifetime fer you.

The Son came fishin’ fer folks—not jest some but all. Make it yer task ter get caught in the Son’s net of Love.

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

Lord, as the Father has loved you, so you ‘ave loved us. Bless us ter remain in yer love always.” (John 15:9)

Pirate Facts

The Doldrums be an area of calm winds often found a wee bit north of the equator and between the two belts of trade winds. It be widely assumed that the phrase ‘in the doldrums’ be derived from the name of this region, but it whar actually the other way ’round. In the 19th century, “doldrum” whar a word meaning “dullard; a dull or sluggish feller.” This most likely came from “dol” and “dolt” with its meaning eventually becoming “dull.”

Others contend doldrum means “dole out the rum.” Whar ya come down on this probably depends on the vessel you sail and spirits you hang out with.

Angels Attended ter the Son

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:13

Angels attended him. (Mark 1:13)

Angels Attended ter the Son

Though Skip may call us inter dangerous situations, he ‘ill often times command his angels ter watch over us. In fact, it be a good habit ter pray daily fer Skipper’s angels ter build a fortress of protection ’round us and them we love. Yer prayer might be sump’en like this.

“Father, please ‘ave yer angels build a fortress of protection around (and then name them ya love who need watching over).”

If you know of some who be at risk of getting attacked by the devil, ask fer added protection ter keep the Prince of Darkness and his demons from breaking in and dragging ’em off. Here be some promises fer angel guardians you kin pray back ter Skipper.

Angels Be All Around Us

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11)

For it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you.” (Luke 4:10 19)

Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14 17)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:7 16)

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 10)

Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! (Psalm 103:20 9)

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2 8)

I dare say, when we look back on our life, we ‘ill be shocked at the number of times angels stood watch over us and kept us from harm.

Angles Be On Guard

If Skip commands us ter go in ter a wilderness, ter go without food and shelter, ter be tested and tempted in all manner of ways, ter be under constant threat of death from wild beast and wicked men, he ‘ill send his angels ter keep an eye on us.

He ‘ill also ‘ave his ears alert ter our prayers, pleas, cries fer help, as well as our calls fer praise and thanks. It be in the wilderness that a feller ‘ill either grow closer ter Skip and learn ter want more of him or turn his back and trod off in ter eternal darkness.

Our angels aways be on guard ter watch over us. Question be, will we be on guard ter watch over our words, actions, thoughts, and motives?

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

“Open our eyes, Lord, so that we may see. Lord, open the eyes of others so they can see.” (2 Kings 6:17, 20)

Pirate Facts

Pirates spent thar lives sailing or lounging on a beach or burying treasure or — and they done this a lot — drinking and carousing with fellers and lasses. But few wished ter spend all eternity in Davy Jones’ Locker getting clawed on by crabs and feasted on by tha Kraken. That be how come ear piercings be thar burial insurance policy.

Even if a pirate’s dead body washed up on shore, a nice gold ring or itty bitty diamond fixed in thar ear lobe saw ter it the chap got a proper burial. No matter if it be gold or silver, the metal could be melted down and sold ter pay fer a casket and other fancy funeral stuff. Some pirates went so far as ter engrave the name of thar home port on the inside of earrings so that thar bodies could be shipped home fer a proper planting in tha family’s home plot.

Tha Son said ter his mates, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Spend less time on earthly treasures and store up fer yerself wealth in heaven. Do and that and it won’ matter in what plot you be planted.


Forty Days of Testing

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:12

Immediately the Spirit brought (sent) Him out into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)

Forty days be long spell ter go without food and water. Forty days be long spell ter go without spying another feller or lass who ‘ill offer a kind word or bite ter eat. After forty days a feller might think that Skipper done give up on him.

But Skip ne’er gives up on us.

Ter be sure, we kin give up Skip. We kin harden our hearts ter the place whar we no longer hear his voice or feel his touch. But always Skip be calling ter us—even ter the very end of our days.

Forty Days of Testing

Forty days of testing be a regular thing with Skipper.

Back long ago, when folks seen that Moses whar taking a long time coming down from the mountain, they said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

After they fashioned themselves a whole passel of little gods, they rose early next day and sacrificed burnt offerings ter thar tiny gods. Afterward they sat down ter eat and drink and ter indulge in revelry—which be a fancy way of saying they took drunk and commenced ter ‘aving thar way with one ah nudder in a fashion a body ought not.

That be when Skipper said ter Moses, “You best go down because your people have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them.” (Exodus 32:1-8)

How Long Will You Wait On Skipper?

How long will you wait on Skip befer yer time of testing proves too much?

Four days?

Forty days?

Fer a season and no more?

Our Times of Testing Lead ter Blessings

Our times of testing can lead to cleansing, new vision, purging, deliverance, transition and renewal.

  • Skipper caused it ter rain forty days and forty nights when he washed wickedness from the face of the earth. (Genesis 7:12).
  • The twelve spies examined the Promised Land fer forty days before returning with a report. (Numbers 13:25).
  • Goliath taunted Saul’s army fer forty days befer David stepped forwards ter slay that big giant. (1 Samuel 17:16).
  • Elijah fled from Jezebel, traveling forty days and forty nights befer the Lord delivered him ter Mount Horeb.  (1 Kings 19:8).
  • After the Son rose from the grave, he stuck around forty days befer going up inter heaven. (Acts 1:3).

In ever case, those who trusted in the Lord received blessings but first they endured forty days of testing.

If you be in a desert wilderness, examine yer circumstances ter see what Skip be trying ter alter. Doth you need ter be made pure, catch a new vision, purge doubters and doubts from yer midst, be set free of a giant, be delivered from an enemy, transition inter a new role?

Skipper ne’er waste a day on ya. If you be in time of testing, thar be a reason.

Look up, look about, and ask Skip ter show you how come you be out in the wild. Then wait upon the Lord fer the answer.

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

Lord, you be good ter those who hope in you—ter those who seek you. Give me yer strength ter wait quietly fer yer salvation and deliverance. (Lamentations 3:25-26)

Pirate Facts

“Avast! Avast ye!” be Dutch speak fer “pay attention, mates!” In times of testing, avast ye!


Why Be Baptized?

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:9-13

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (Mark 1:9)

Skipper’s Son grew up in a region always on edge. Centuries of conflict between one sect and ah nudder, between different beliefs, diverse backgrounds and races and loyalties left folks distrustful of one ah nudder. Bandits roamed about. Zealots terrorized folks. Rome ruled, but due ter its distance from seats of power, much of Galilee remained under the control of whatever local militia might ‘ave the most power. Bribes be expected and beatings the punishment fer them who refused. This be the neighborhood the Son come from.

So it whar a fair question fer Nathanael ter ask, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46). It be like asking if anything good kin come from the slums of Bristol.

‘Bout that same time, at age thirty, the son of a carpenter set out from Nazareth with no influence, no followers, and no formal rabbinic teaching. Also, ’em who grew up with him held no expectations that he would amount ter anything.

Only a few know him ter be Skipper’s Son, fathered as it whar by the Holy Spirit, and most dared not speak of it.

Down ter the Jordan River the Son walked. Thar he found his cousin, John the Baptizer, calling folks ter repent, and be washed clean of thar sins. Now the Son didn’ ‘ave ah thing ter be washed clean of. He ne’re committed an infraction. But other folks didn’t’ know this. They seen him as jest another chap clamoring ter fall in step with John the Baptizer.

In order ter set things right from the start, the Son waded in ter the Jordan ter show that being washed clean of our filthy living be the first step towards turning ter Skipper and following him, his commands, and his character.

Why Be Baptized?

Ter day ah good many folks ‘ill make all manner and excuses fer why they don’ need ter be baptized. Folks bathe. Folks shower. Folks frolic in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and sea. But they won’ take a dip fer Skip.

Some claim they had water sprinkled on thar head when they was a tiny tot. Only as a tot we kin not recall such an event. The tiny brain of a tot be not large enough ter hold such memories.

Others claim they whar baptized as a youth, but kin not recall how and whar.

Even more claim being baptized be an out-dated way of showing you be a follower of the Son. That such a public showing be of no real benefit ter thar faith.

Only think on this a wee little bit. Doctor Luke writes:

Because they had been baptized by John, all the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right.

But because they had not been baptized by John, the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves. (Luke 7:29-30)

Why Whar the Son Baptized?

The Son knows Skipper’s ways be right, just, and lead ter life. Though it be a mysterious matter, when we be baptized by water, our spirit aligns with Skipper’s Holy Spirit and in doing so we also align with Skip’s ways.

If the Son, Skipper’s only boy, the one fathered by the Holy Spirit thought it worth his time ter take a dip, could it not be a thing we ought ter do as well? The Son humbled himself like the common folks gathered on the banks of Jordan. Doth we think ourselves more high and mighty than the Son?

What Benefits Be Thar from Baptism?

The Son seen the heavens opening. Now that be an odd thing ter see in it self, but right after the heaven’s split, Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth descended upon Son in the way a dove might come ter alight on a branch.

A voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son. In You I am well pleased.”

Would you like ter see inter heaven? Catch a glimpse of the heavenly realm? ‘Ave Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth come upon you in such a clear and obvious manner that thar ne’er be any doubt you ‘ave been washed clean of yer sins? Would you like ter receive Skipper’s purpose fer yer life and know his ways?

Would you like ter hear Skipper say ’bout ya, “You are My beloved one. In You I am well pleased.”

Repent and Be Baptized

‘Ave you done the first things first? Or did you head off on yer walk with the Son without taking the steps he took at the start?

We be called ter follow the Son, not get ahead of him. If you wish ter walk with the Son start at the start with repentance and baptism in water and Spirit. Start now from whatever hood you come from. And should ah feller or lass ever say, “you ‘ill ne’er amount ter anything. Yer jest a nobody.” don’ you believe it fer a second. Once you be in the family of Skipper you be his beloved one and always under his care and protection.

Be baptized in ter the Son and you ‘ill become Skipper’s child. If you ne’re do anything else, that right thar be a right fair accomplishment. Take a dip fer Skip. Then sail on, brothers and sisters and tell others ’bout the Son and Skipper.

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

Lord, with humility, teach me to walk in your authority. (Psalm 8:1)

Pirate Fact

“Keelhauling” be a form of punishment whar by a length of rope would be tied ’round and under the ship’s hull. The law breaker of the ship’s rules then be tied ter the rope and tossed in ter the sea. Back and forth, up and down the feller goes ’till he be drowned dead or cut ter shreds by barnacles. Even pirates know thar be punishment fer breaking the captain’s code of conduct and yet a good many think nothing of breaking Skippers Code of Conduct.

Our baptism be a symbolic way of acknowledging we deserved ter be keelhauled fer our offenses—killed fer breaking Skippers Code of Conduct. The Good News is, once we be baptized (keelhauled), we ne’er need fear the sting of death, fer in the Son we ‘ave life and ‘ave it ter the full.

Beginning of the Good News

The Pirate Gospel: Mark 1:1-8

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Because Skip’s words go forth and bring life we find at the beginning of John Mark’s tale that all folks whar flocking ter a strange prophet who whar telling folks ter repent, be baptized, and come inter the kingdom of heaven.

All the country of Judea was going out to John the Baptist, and all the people of Jerusalem. (Mark 1:5)

John Mark appears ter ‘ave spent a goodly amount of time listening ter the preaching of Simon Peter and making notes. Fer a time John Mark ministered with Saul Paul and Barnabas, but then the lad got a bad case of homesickness and jumped ship.

Though at first Saul Paul refused ter take John Mark back, at the end of his life Saul Paul pleads with Timothy ter come quickly and bring Saul Paul’s cloak, parchments (perhaps so Saul Paul could pen more letters), and scrolls (so as ter read more of Skipper’s words) and John Mark, fer he whar helpful in Paul’s ministry.

It might be said of John Mark that he learned under a pair of Skip’s greatest Good Spiel messengers—Old Pete and Saul Paul.

When we read John Mark’s words it be as if through the Holy Spirit of Truth we be transported back ter the first century and enjoy a front row seat of the Son’s travels, actions, and words.

The Beginning of the Good News

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)

After reading short passages of John Mark’s tale, close yer eyes. Feel the dust on the tops of yer feet, the caked mud ‘tween yer toes. Taste the salt of sweat in yer mouth whilst the sun bakes down on you. Hear the murmuring of others whilst the Son’s words echo off buildings. Inhale the odor of sheep and cattle being led ter stalls near the perimeter of Jerusalem.

How Will We Respond to this Good News?

If this whar yer first time hearing, how would you respond ter the Son’s words? This be our challenge: ter hear afresh these loving and hope-filled words of Skipper spoken about his boy.

The Message of John the Baptizer

John the Baptizer appeared preaching a baptism of repentance fer the forgiveness of sins. As folks whar confessing their sins, they whar baptized. While all of ’em in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem whar traipsing out ter hear John, he let ’em know though baptized with water, but the one coming after him would baptize with the Holy Spirit of Truth. The prophet Malachi had promised:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way.” (Malachi 3:1)

The prophet Isaiah called folks ter cut a straight path fer the Lord ter come.

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” (Isaiah 40:3)

Our Response ter This Good News

This be our challenge from John: that we be washed clean in waters of baptism as ah testimony of our filthy spirit—that we repent, and prepare to meet the one Skipper ‘ill send ter take away all our sins.

John preached of how all the wrong we done kin be cleared off Skipper’s ledger when we come in ter the Son. No matter how bad ah thing you think you done, the Son kin wash away all filth if only we ‘ill come ter him, confess, and be saved by his nail-scarred hand.

Repentance be our deliberate act of turning away from sin and turning towards Skipper’s righteousness.  Skipper always grants fergiveness when thar be true repentance.

Fact be, the Son fergave all who came ter him, even ’em who didn’ ask fer fergiveness. Like the free food he served up ter ’em who whar hungry, the Son doled out fergiveness ter all. Fergiveness be not conditional upon our response. Fergiveness simply be the character of Skipper and his Son. But livin’ as one fergiven and free from sin flows from a life marked by repentancebaptismand being led by the Holy Spirit of Truth.

This be the theme and message of this tale from John Mark: that we receive the love, grace, mercy and fergiveness of Skipper and his Son in order that we be counted as one of thar crew.

What says you? Will you cast yer lot with the Son and sail ter paradise aboard Skip’s good ship of fellership?

Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s CrewParroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew

Lord, look with favor on me ’cause of yer loving-kindness. ‘Cause of yer great love take away my wrong-doing. Wash me clean of my sins. (Psalm 51:1-2)

Pirate Facts

Although technically not ah rank, Swab be ah sailor who mops the decks using the swab is called ah “swabbie.” The term has come to describe someone who is not held in high regard by the commanders and crew. Many of ’em who came ter hear John the Baptizer whar of the sort held in low regard by religious folk. Praise be Skip looks at our heart, not up our outward appearances.