Thanks so much for continuing with me along my adventure aboard the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise  ships, from March 7th to April 4th, 2020. This is a continuation of the lessons learned and of God’s  interventions, His revelations, His sustaining power, as well as the miracles He performed during my  voyage.  

In the previous LIFE study, Batten Down the Hatches, I shared how we had been quarantined to our  rooms for an undetermined amount of time. I also shared that our stateroom was a 183 square foot  interior room without a window or balcony.  

Talk about togetherness. I don’t know if Derrick and I could have been any closer. We worked hard to  keep a routine for the first couple of days. I would move the furniture (okay, the one little table) around  to reconfigure the room, making different spaces. I moved the table against the wall to make our “gym.”  I would then pull it in front of the couch to make our dining area and then back to the middle of the  room to make our study/work/devotional area. I made us shower and dress every day. We watched  movies. We critiqued movies. Derrick jogged in place, did planks (he got up to 4 minutes!), and did  pushups. I came to love Tabata workout videos with Ranier (A 30—Minute Tabata Session to Burn Some  Serious Calories) and stretching and meditation with Revelation Wellness ( I put my courses online. Derrick re-wrote working policies.  We occasionally texted family and friends. We slept. We ate. We prayed. Repeat.  

By Day Three, we were going crazy. It wasn’t so much the limited routine and activity as it was the not  knowing how much longer this would go on. And we were becoming claustrophobic. And even worse  was inhaling and exhaling of recycled air and the absence of sunshine. I needed my daily dose of vitamin  D. I needed the warmth of natural light. I needed to take a deep breath of oxygen. I needed to feel the  droplets of ocean mist upon my skin. I needed out!  

On Day Five of quarantine, the infamous “this is your captain speaking” rang out and interrupted our  movie. But for once, this was a good interruption. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones experiencing  cabin fever. We were given 30 minutes to walk around the deck for fresh air and sunshine. HALLELUJAH!  I don’t know if you could’ve found two happier people. Thirty glorious minutes outside was more than  we could stand. Now every floor was assigned a time slot to venture out on deck. And 30 minutes was  the limit. So if you missed your time or if you started late, it’d be “so sorry for your luck.”  

Needless to say, Derrick and I got up early, got dressed, ate lunch, and waited. We were not going to  miss our time. We were “standing by the ready,” and when the announcement for our floor came, we  were the first outdoor and on the deck. And I declare, I burst out in song. “Air glorious air. Precious  nitrogen and oxygen. Sun glorious sun. I’m so glad I can get some.” (Yes, it was sung to the tune of “Food  Glorious Food” from the Broadway play, “Oliver”). And I think I cried. I had never been so energized,  appreciative, and overjoyed to be outside. We treasured every step. We savored every inhale and  relished every exhale. We basked in the sunshine and counted every single blessing, named them one by  one.  


Ezekiel 37:5-6 — Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and  you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with  skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Psalm 34:1 — I will bless the Lord at all times, and His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 

Lessons Learned

My Aha moment: If I could get this excited over 30 minutes outside, how much more excited should I  get for the One who created me, the One who sustains me, and the One who put a plan of salvation in  place to redeem me.  

We cheer and scream for our favorite sports team. We lift our hands and raise our voices at concerts.  We celebrate birthdays and holidays. But how do we celebrate, worship and praise our Lord and Savior? 

Lessons Lived

Because God is the very air we breathe, we should exist in a perpetual state of praise, if for no other  reason than our existence. Like David, we should be so overcome with gratitude that we dance until our  clothes fall off (II Samuel 6:14-22). Like King Jehoshaphat appointed the praise team to march in front of  the army, praising God for His power and might and for what they expected He would do, we too should  face our battles with praise (II Chronicles 20).  

How can we continually offer up a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15)? Here are a few suggestions. 

Sing for Joy (Psalm 95:1) — Music has been a part of worship, beginning with the angels in  heaven (Job 38:7), continuing with the children of Israel (I Chronicles 6:31-32), as well as in the  New Testament church (Colossians 3:16-17). Music helps us connect on a deeper, emotional and  spiritual level with God (James 5:13). Music is the universal language that connects us to fellow  believers (Ephesians 5:18-20). And music helps us remember God’s Word (Deuteronomy 31:21).  More importantly, it allows us to express our love to God (Psalm 147:7), which pleases Him  (Hebrews 13:15-16).  

God has always been pleased with our musical expressions of praise and worship, and just as it  served as the fabric of worship then, it should be the same for us today. Now I must admit, I don’t  have a great singing voice, and my husband can attest to this. I remember growing up singing in  the church choir (a must for a PK), and during rehearsals, the choir director would section us off —  sopranos, altos, tenors and the Jones girls. But God doesn’t say, “only those who are gifted with  the voice of the angels are to make joyful, melodic, well harmonized, syncopated musical  rendition .” No, the command actually says, “make a joyful noise (Psalm 100).” So I think my praise  and worship is covered because I most certainly consider it joyful, and others probably consider it  noise. But what matters most is that it’s acceptable and even pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). 

  • Memorialize God’s Goodness (I Chronicles 16:12) — How easy it is to forget all that God has  done for us. Like Elijah, we bask in the mountaintop experiences, but as soon as the next trial  comes along, we’re wallowing in the valley of despair (I Kings 18:20-45 and 19). No wonder God  tells us never to forget (Isaiah 46:9-11). He knows us all too well. So how can we memorialize  the goodness of God? Like Joshua, who set up stones after he and the Children of Israel had  crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 4:6-7), we can create tangible reminders of God’s goodness.  One idea is to create a centerpiece that holds your Stones of Remembrance (I used a metal bowl 

and created a rock garden). I have smooth white stones on which I write the various blessings  bestowed upon my family and me, and I display them as a constant reminder. I also have a  gratitude journal where I document answered prayers. 

  • Additionally, I keep a gratitude calendar where I document a blessing each day. And I am also  intentional about offering prayers of thanksgiving daily. All of these things keep me in a  continual state of praise.  

I could say much more about praise and worship, and perhaps I will in another post. But for now, this  should give you something to think about. Also, an excellent book to read is Holy Roar by Chris Tomlin.  So go ahead and make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Turn up the volume, sing like nobody’s listening, and  dance like nobody’s watching, all to the honor and glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ!


  1. How do the texts Ezekiel 37:5-6 and Psalm 34:1 speak to you? 
  2. King David danced in celebration and sang before the Lord with all his might. How do you  celebrate before God? (2 Samuel 6:5)
  3. How can we change our worshipping practices to be more God-focused than familiar and “me focused?” (1 Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:19-20)
  4. How do we avoid boring, empty ritualistic worship?
  5. What are your personal LIFE Lessons?
    • Liberation: What new insights have you gained that have freed you from past thoughts  or practices?
    • Inspiration: In what ways have you been spiritually, emotionally or mentally motivated  to live for Christ?
    • Fortification: What additional scriptural texts, passages or stories can reinforce and  strengthen you against the attacks of the enemy
    • Edification: How might you share your story to edify others and bring glory to God?