A Long-Distance Swim

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

Charles Spurgeon Liked to S.W.I.M. Poetically

March 21, 2012 at 10:09 am | Posted in Isaiah, Quotes | 1 Comment
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All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled;
Bled and suffered in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.
Then a drop of heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.
Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.
All within my soul was praise,
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.
More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping forth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.
Lo! A river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.
Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs and psalms and hymns,
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.
Hallelujah! O my Lord,
Torrents from my soul are poured.
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.
In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned. So let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.

Charles H. Spurgeon (believed to be the last poem he wrote before he died, based on Isaiah 41:18)

300

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

John Piper’s S.W.I.M. Prayer

October 22, 2009 at 8:51 am | Posted in Hebrews, Quotes | 3 Comments
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Father, we fear our deadly fondness for floating toward the falls when we ought to be swimming against the current. Oh, God, have mercy to waken us again and again to the perils of drifting in the Christian life. Help us heed Hebrews 2:1… Woe to the drifters in a world where all the current is toward destruction!

John Piper

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Hebrews 2:1

S.W.I.M. with Spurgeon

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

January 21, 2009 at 10:21 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Galatians | 8 Comments
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The previous S.W.I.M. lesson focused on a swimming stroke called the crawl, which, despite its name, is actually the most efficient stroke for speed. USA Swimming lists the five competitive swimming strokes as: individual medley, butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle. “In freestyle events, the competitor may swim any stroke. The stroke most commonly used is sometimes called the crawl…” It is hardly surprising that racing swimmers, when given the “freedom” to choose any style they wish, choose the style which allows them to swim the fastest.

Likewise, Christians (those who are truly saved by grace through faith in Christ) are given freedom to run the Christian race in a variety of “styles.”

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1

The freedom we have in Christ is freedom both from the yoke of legalistic bondage, and from the slavery of sin (Lamentations 1:14). But the Christian race is not a short “swim-sprint,” where the swimmer throws himself wildly into the water and violently writhes and thrashes his way to the other end of the pool, flopping out of the water and lying, chest heaving, exhausted and spent for the rest of the day. No, the Christian’s race is more like a long-distance swim, sometimes experiencing pounding waves, sometimes calm sea. One day carried along easily on the current, other times battling his way upstream. At times making progress through a violent storm, at other times treading in place, trying to keep his head above the surface.

The Holy Spirit commended, but also admonished, the Galatian believers in Chap. 5, Verse 7: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” If you are a Christian, you are free to swim in any style permitted by Scripture. This is the freedom granted by Christ’s shed blood on the Cross. If, when you were first saved, you made a public profession, joined a church, were Scripturally baptized – if you read your Bible, prayed regularly, told others about the Lord Jesus – then you “did” swim well. But if you have stopped swimming well, you should ask the question, “What has hindered me?” Are you sinking because you are burdened with unnecessary worldly possessions or interests that weigh you down in the water? Are you being slowed down because you haven’t spent enough time training with your Instructor or studying your “Training Manual?” Are you in danger of drowning before reaching the finish line because you lacked physical discipline and enjoyed the pleasure of a heavy meal right before jumping into the pool?

Swimmers, set free from rules which require them to swim in a certain style, use the style which allows them to swim most excellently. Christians should recognize their freedom in Christ as an opportunity to strive for excellence, not mediocrity.

The Crawl

January 19, 2009 at 9:56 am | Posted in BiblicalSwimming, Selected Psalms | 6 Comments
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The swimming stroke which is probably the most easily recognized is called the “crawl.” USA Swimming states that the crawl “is characterized by the alternate stroking of the arms over the water surface and an alternating (up and down) flutter kick.” Although this is probably the most efficient way for a person to move through the water without artificial propulsion, its movements make it appear as though the swimmer is crawling along on his belly on the surface of the water.

In Psalm 104:19-20 the Bible tells us that God, in His glory, has appointed the day and the night for different types of creatures. Although nocturnal beasts often move in a creeping or crawling fashion, they are just as much in the will of God as men who are appointed to be upright in the daylight.

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

Psalm 104:19-20

Immature Christians are compared in Scripture to babies (Hebrews 5:12-14). It is natural for babies to crawl. More mature Christians need to understand that, although moving from milk to strong meat, and moving from crawling to walking and running, can be a tedious process, it is part of a process appointed and prescribed by God.


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