How Rosaria Butterfield Learned to S.W.I.M.

June 22, 2016 at 11:33 am | Posted in Quotes | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some people probably learn how to swim by falling off a boat and almost drowning. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they would make great swim coaches.

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James 3:1

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

II Timothy 2:2

A Long-Distance Swim

February 22, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Posted in BiblicalSwimming | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , ,

This is the 1000th blog post on The Deep End! I don’t know if that sounds like a big number to you, but it does to me. It has taken me a little over seven years to “swim” this far, and I thank the Lord for allowing me to continue doing it. It has been a blessing to me personally, and I can only pray that it has helped others. Thank you to those of you who read regularly, subscribe, and share posts from here on other outlets.

The idea of giving the blog a “swimming” theme came from a series of Bible lessons that I had written for my church’s weekly prayer emails, featuring different swimming “strokes.” Later, I came up with another series having more generally to do with water, based on the vision described in Ezekiel 47, and, later still, I added one post featuring shark attacks. My wife is the one who devised the acronym S.W.I.M. In honor of the occasion, I am using this 1000th post to provide links to the category called “Biblical Swimming.” As you read (IF you read) don’t forget to come up for breaths, kick your feet, remain calm, and keep swimming!

Getting Ready to Swim

The Back Stroke (Acts 27:41-44)
The Breaststroke (Isaiah 25:11)
The Butterfly (Matthew 23:27-28)
The Crawl (Psalm 104:19-20)
Freestyle (Galatians 5:1)
The Dog Paddle (Philippians 3:2)

Waters of Grace (*)

God’s Plan for Water Pollution (Ezekiel 47:8-9)
The Grace of Running Water (Ezekiel 47:1-2)
The Grace to Swim (Ezekiel 47:4-5)
Swimming for Spiritual Fitness (Ezekiel 47:5)
Getting Your Feet Wet (Ezekiel 47:3-4)
Seeking the Source (Ezekiel 47:5-6)

Breaching Reality (II Corinthians 4:4,6)

* most-viewed post in category

300

May 25, 2010 at 9:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Celebrating the 300th post on this site with a blast from the past:

Getting Ready To Swim

We live in a day and age when the fountain of God’s Word seems to be flowing in pitifully small, and rapidly drying, streams. By and large, the practice of the world is to stomp right past the cleansing fountain of the wisdom contained in the Bible, and to wallow instead in the muddy imaginations of man (II Corinthians 10:5). However, there is coming a day when “… the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). In that day, experienced “swimmers” will have an advantage. Having spent much time learning to maneuver in the cleansing water of the Word, some will not be shocked or afraid as the tidal knowledge of the Lord’s glory rises, and covers the whole earth.

Over the past few weeks, our S.W.I.M. lessons have looked at the competitive strokes of literal swimming, and applied them to spiritual truths found in Scripture. This week’s lesson will serve as a brief review:

  1. The Backstroke: True disciples of Christ will encounter opposition that will at times push them backward into troubled waters. The Bible’s solution to this situation is to look up to the Lord, and keep moving ahead. (Acts 27:41-44)
  2. The Breaststroke: God’s hands go forth from God’s heart, and the love of God will cause His hands to reach out and push away the encompassing enemies of His people as they humbly call upon Him. (Isaiah 25:11)
  3. The Butterfly: Some swimmers follow strict rules of form to appear graceful, when in fact they are thrashing violently beneath the surface. God is not impressed by a false show of outward beauty or self-righteousness. (Matthew 23:27-28 )
  4. The Crawl: Creeping and crawling is sometimes seen as a reason for scorn among the skeptical, but God has appointed to all things a time and an order. Just as there are nocturnal animals which creep forth at night because of the design of God, so also new believers in Christ Jesus must go through a period of spiritual crawling, before growing into walking and running. (Psalm 104:19-20)
  5. Freestyle: Competitive swimmers with the freedom to choose the stroke they want, will choose a style which allows them to swim most efficiently. Christians, striving for the prize of the high calling, see their freedom in Christ as an opportunity to do those things which are most profitable for the cause of Christ and the glory of God. (Galatians 5:1-7)
  6. The Dog Paddle: When new Christians begin to navigate the waters of spiritual maturity, they must be careful not to imitate, or pick up the bad habits of, those who would promote a “watered-down,” or ritual-based gospel. (Philippians 3:2)

Those who have believed on Christ Jesus in their hearts, and who have called upon the name of the Lord, must dive into God’s Word and learn to “see what it means” (S.W.I.M.). In His Word you will find reasons to be grateful, and promises and comfort for the coming storms.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

“Count Your Blessings,” Johnson Oatman Jr.

Seeking the Source

November 19, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some lakes are formed by rivers or streams flowing into a lower land area. Bays are formed when the ocean washes into a cove. Some creeks are formed by water springing up from an underground source. Puddles are formed by rain falling down. The point is, bodies of water have sources.

As the angel in Ezekiel 47 brought the prophet to the place where the waters of God’s grace were deep enough to swim in, he paused.

Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

Ezekiel 47:5

At that point, the angel turned Ezekiel around, and they returned to the brink of the river.

And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

Ezekiel 47:6

The river of God’s grace which flows steadily into the lives of Christians is a wonderful thing. It brings such blessings, in fact, that there is a temptation to bask in these blessings, and to forget the Source of the river. In other words, we sometimes enjoy the blessings and ignore the “Blesser.” When you find yourself saturated in the grace of God, and you are splashing, soaking, and swimming in His blessings, do not forget to seek the Source of the river of life. The sweetest, coolest, and best waters are found in the presence of the Source Himself.

Swimming for Spiritual Fitness

October 19, 2009 at 9:06 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Ezekiel | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. It utilizes almost the entire body: the arms, legs, shoulders, back, and abdominal muscles. It is great for the cardiovascular system because it increases the heart-rate and helps to control breathing. Water can seem as hard as concrete if we fall into it from a high distance, but swimming in it is a low-impact exercise because it causes no jarring to the bones and joints. Water is thicker than air, so swimming involves muscle-building resistance.

The water of God’s grace is likewise a good place for spiritual exercise.

Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in

Ezekiel 47:5 (Emphasis added.)

God’s grace teaches us to present our entire bodies over to Him for our complete spiritual exercise (Romans 12:1-2). The grace of God influences our breathing (Psalm 150:6) and our heart rate (Luke 24:32). The impact of God’s grace can break us like a rock, but He is the Rock Who then redeems us, puts us back together, and makes us whole (Psalm 78:34-35). The very presence of God Himself envelops Christians the way water engulfs a swimmer.

For in him we live, and move, and have our being…

Acts 17:28

S.W.I.M. with Spurgeon

June 10, 2009 at 8:49 am | Posted in Quotes | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Lord Jesus is a deep sea of joy: My soul shall dive in and shall be swallowed up in the delights of His company.

Charles H. Spurgeon

The Breaststroke

January 14, 2009 at 10:01 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Isaiah | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

USA Swimming defines the “breaststroke” as “the oldest stroke, dating back hundreds of years.” It is a type of swimming in which the swimmer uses “simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane. The hands are pressed out from in front of the breast in a heart-shaped pattern.” It is often said to be a type of swimming which requires great endurance because the swimmer is constantly exerting effort.

This type of swimming stroke exemplifies one of the images the Bible gives of God moving on behalf of His people, as He saves them from the midst of their enemies.

And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.

Isaiah 25:11

As God spreads forth His hands among the enemies of His people, we get a mental picture of His hands making the shape of a heart, representing His love for His children. The enemies are then pressed away and aside, along with their pride and their ill-gotten gains. God’s endurance, unlike that of a human swimmer, knows no limits, as He is all-powerful. If you feel you are drowning in a sea of suffering, misery, or even apathy, admit your sin, smite your heart of pride, and call upon the Lord for mercy (Luke 18:13). He will rescue you, and pull you close to His heart, so that you may fellowship with Him and share His secrets (John 13:25).

The Backstroke

January 12, 2009 at 9:51 am | Posted in Acts, BiblicalSwimming | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

According to USA Swimming, the different types of recognized repetitive swim motions are called “strokes.” One of these, the backstroke, “consists of an alternating motion of the arms with a flut­ter kick while on the back.” Anyone who has seen this type of swimming in action knows that the swimmer is in the unusual position of being flat on his back, looking up, yet moving swiftly.

Scripture is silent on the subject of exactly what type of swimming stroke the Apostle Paul used, or whether he used a 1st Century “floatation device,” to make it safely ashore when he experienced a shipwreck.

And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

Acts 27:41-44

What is certain from Scripture, however, is that the Apostle Paul was someone who, despite being knocked flat on his back many times, always looked up to God, and kept moving forward. The soldiers were afraid of escaping prisoners, but Paul was a man of faith, not a man of scheming. Some saw the storm and shipwreck as reasons for despair, but Paul saw an opportunity to glorify God, and to serve others. Can we say the same when we’re in the midst of a “storm,” or when we find ourselves in “deep water?”


Entries and comments feeds.