IN THE JETSTREAM – June

Terminals and Gates

June 2022

   Much of our business in the commercial aviation industry has to do with our constant use of airports, their facilities, and their installations. Let us imagine that the world we live in is a gigantic airport terminal with crowds, billions of people living their lives as best they can as they approach the time to leave this earth. Most do not think about it and seem to live as if they will live forever, sometimes becoming careless. However, deep down everyone knows that it is only a matter of time before a disease, a pandemic, a war, or an accident puts an end to their existence. Living amid a world so full of options and alternatives, one might ask these questions:  “Which path is true?” and “If there is such a path, can one choose and follow it with absolute confidence?”

Affirmation from Our Shepherd

   Jesus found Himself in a similar context. As he was going through the cities, villages, and countryside of Ancient Judea, the Bible says that He, “saw the crowds…(and He) had compassion on them, because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36).  In another part of Scripture, while addressing His disciples Jesus affirms, “…I tell you the truth, I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7). He later explains the purpose of that statement and adds, “I am the door; he who enters by me will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). The truth is simple. It is through Christ that every human being can find salvation, purpose, and rest for his burdened soul. He is undoubtedly the true Way and the One in whom we can place all our trust.

Finding the Right Path

   A few years ago my family and I were visiting a friend in Tampa, Florida. It was time to return to Bogota, our home city in Colombia, and we traveled to the airport early, which would put us there three to four hours before the flight. However, upon traveling via the I-75 highway, halfway between Naples and the Miami area, we found that traffic was at a complete standstill. There had been a car accident! As the minutes ticked by and no vehicles were allowed to pass, we began to pray.

Finally, the way was cleared and we continued, first to return the rented vehicle at the Miami Airport and then to check in less than an hour before departure. The airline employees received our checked luggage, and we hurried as best we could to get through TSA screening and then to the gate. Our fear was that we would not make it before they closed the gate. We finally found the gate, presented our boarding passes, and ran to our plane. We were the last to board and the door closed behind us! I did not look at the faces of the other passengers as we located our seats because I was too embarrassed. As we sat down and buckled our seatbelts, we experienced an incomparable relief. What joy we felt to know we had not missed our flight!

This leads me to conclude that the important thing is not the terminal and the waiting rooms, no matter how modern and well-equipped they may be. All of us in this immense terminal we call earth are waiting for our turn to leave. However, many are more concerned about how to make a profit and even how to build things in the terminal without understanding that when it is their turn to leave, they will not be able to take anything with them. The important thing is not to miss the narrow gate despite its difficult path (Mathew 7:14). What a joy will echo in our hearts when we find ourselves seated, saved, and redeemed with our beloved Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!!!  DS

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Matthew 7:14  ESV

This article was written by Diego Suarez.  Diego currently is a pilot for Easyfly, a domestic Colombian airline. He also serves on our FCAP Board of Directors and has facilitated FCAP Workplace Seminars held in Latin America.

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IN THE JETSTREAM – May

Adjusting the Thermostat
May 2022

It’s quite warm when walking into the crew room or break room.  The hallways outside in the terminal are refreshingly cool, but the crew room is awkwardly uncomfortable.  The temperature seems on the higher side.  What do you do?  Depending on your crew room, you might say something to another peer and ask if they also feel quite warm or just find the thermostat and seek to lower the temperature setting to cool it down.  The thermostat becomes adjusted.

Application in Our Lives

   How does this apply to us spiritually?  Adjusting the thermostat can be related to being fragrant, so to speak.  In 2 Corinthians 2:15-17, the Apostle Paul speaks of being the fragrance of Christ. As a Christian, I want to have the aroma of Christ Jesus, the fragrance of His life which was given to everyone who has acknowledged and received Jesus into their hearts through faith.  We need to take time and think before speaking …so that when words and actions are given, may they be with grace, seasoned with salt as in Colossians 4:5, 6.  The metaphor with salt is that it provides seasoning and flavor, and also preserves.  This applies to words as well … may the words spoken be with wisdom, have flavor and be valued for a long time.

Seek wisdom to relate to each unexpected encounter at any God given time.  Discernment is important for accountability to keep focus on Christ Jesus.  Sometimes pride or burdens might set in, and we may forget to let go of or lay these down at the feet of Jesus.  Common sins that take root will block our ability to reflect God’s love through Christ Jesus.  Before He prophesied about His death and resurrection, Jesus shares (Matthew 11:28) about giving rest to “all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens…”  He draws us to himself.  He will give each person rest.

Laying Down our Burdens

   Several years ago while in our crew room, I shared a very stressful situation with a fellow captain.  He listened intently and then asked me a basic question, “Do you know where to lay it down?”  I responded to him and asked the clarification question, “You mean, my burden?”  He said, “Yes!”  I responded, “I do know”.  He then stated, “You will be just fine then.”  He left the crew room shortly after the comment.

I have reflected on this conversation many times since then.  He had listened to me and then gently asked a basic question with which I could identify.  At that point, I made the choice to surrender my burden to Jesus.  The selfish feelings of entitlement while hanging onto my bitterness takes up precious time that could be used for praising and worshiping God and praying for others throughout the day.  We need to be aware of how these burdens block our focus and how they affect the focus of others around us.  Surrendering or laying down my “Why me?” burden, my “anxiety” burden, the “unknown fear” burden, and “insecurity” burden…I need to do this daily and sometimes several times a day.

The pilot was a brother in Christ, and he was setting the thermostat controls to a desired temperature that would lighten my load, make the room more comfortable, and allow me to refocus and be drawn back into the realm of concentrating on what I need to here on earth as it is in heaven.  “Do you know where to lay it down?”

Entering the Throne Room

   The Lord’s Prayer provides guidance as to how to lay down the burden.  Enter the throne room of God and, as a servant, express and acknowledge God’s holiness and greatness.  Acknowledge the burden, be transparent, ask Jesus for help.  Then as transparency is given, I believe pride loses grip, resentment dissolves, and extending forgiveness becomes easier to the person who burdened me, even if that person is me. I pray for God’s hand to be involved.  Trusting God’s ordained timing, I believe the aroma and fragrance naturally grows stronger.  The thermostat will naturally be adjusted for the Kingdom of God. EK

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.”   Matthew 6:9-13 NASB

Additional Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 2:15-17; Colossians 4:5,6; Matthew 11:28

 This article was written by Eugene Kraybill.  Eugene serves on our FCAP Board of Directors and as Senior Chaplain at the Washington-Dulles International Airport. He is regional Chief Pilot for Mesa Airlines at IAD.  His wife Christina also serves in the IAD Chapel.

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IN THE JETSTREAM – April

 Baggage …
April 2022

  Many years ago I had the opportunity to work for an airline as a ticket agent and gate agent.  In the few years of working in such a position and even now as an airline pilot, I’ve come across millions of passengers.  These passengers are such a diverse group of people, vary in every category… some young, others old; some single and others married, and many with families.  I’ve seen people from all corners of the globe, travelling for all sorts of reasons… vacation, business, weddings, divorce, birthdays, death and many more.  When they come to the ticket counter to check in for their flight, some have several bags to check and others just have carry-on bags.  But, without a doubt, out of the many passengers I have seen, no matter how diverse and dynamic, they all have one thing in common… they all have baggage.  I have yet to see someone travel with absolutely no baggage.

We All Have It

   Isn’t this true with all of us?  We are traveling in this journey of life and we all have baggage.  There is not a single one among us without baggage.  No matter how different we are, no matter where we come from, we all have baggage.

If I were to use the analogy of baggage as representing sin in our lives, it could be any number of things.  I would like to focus on just one particular type of baggage.  It could be where someone wronged you or where you wronged someone. It could be a coworker, a neighbor, a spouse, perhaps a friend, or even a fellow church member. The degree of offense could vary from something petty to something deep and evil.  This quarrel, argument, fight or misunderstanding could have happened this morning or even 10 or 20 years ago.  Perhaps it has never been resolved, and it has turned to anger and bitterness, all because the involved parties never showed compassion or forgiveness.  At the end of the day that is what it is all about…forgiveness.

Forgiveness Is Not Easy

  Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for us to do.  It is one of those things easier said than done.  We know what we should do, whether it is to forgive or to ask for forgiveness.  And many times the latter is much harder.  So I would like to encourage all of us to check in our baggage, not carrying it on and especially not reclaiming it.  Check in your baggage and give God the control.  Surrender it and let God take care of it.  He is the only one who can take it from us and cleanse us from sin, because it is He who paid the ultimate price and purchased us.

Freedom in Forgiveness

   If the circumstances of life make it really hard to stand, then kneel and take it to the Lord in prayer. Just surrender to God and trust in Him, and pray for His will to be done.  Forgiveness sets us free. God created us to be free and not to carry this baggage. So check it in and don’t carry it on our journey of life. Forgive as you have been forgiven and give to others what has been given to you.  JGJ

 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”    Matthew 11:28-30

This article was written by Jake Joseph. Jake is a pilot with a major U.S. airline, serves on our FCAP Board of Directors, and effective this month is the new General Director of FCAP.

More to come…

Jake will share three additional thoughts related to this topic starting next week in our FCAP THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK. You can read them on www.FCAP.org or click here to sign up to receive our THOUGHT every week.

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IN THE JETSTREAM – March

The Positive Side of Vulnerability
March  2022

This past week was a tough one for our family.  Our foster daughter went back to be with her birth mother after living with us for two years.  She was our “pandemic baby.”  She arrived in February 2020 in all her 16-month glory just as the world was starting to get very familiar with the word Covid-19.  She supplied lots of laughter and hugs during those two years.  She was a great “snuggle puppy.”  Hugging a toddler just seems to make the world right even when she and you are dealing with some tough stuff.  While we hope and pray it is best for her to be with her biological mother, it stung our hearts and I am sure we will always be grieving her departure from our home.

Revealing Ourselves to Others

   The response we usually receive when we tell others about our journey as foster parents is, “I could never do that.  I’d get too attached to them.”  I am quick to respond that I cannot do it either.  It is only by God’s grace and strength through our family that equips us to love these children and then surrender them.  A piece of our heart always goes with them and the sting to the heart never gets less dull.  We struggle just as any family would struggle.

The day we had our final court hearing I debated about letting a group of coworkers know about her impending departure.  They knew about our foster daughter’s story because we were working together when she arrived.  We are no longer working together, but we still have a group chat that usually involves jokes or aviation news.  Many of the group members aren’t Christians.  I was hesitant about whether I should share with them.

Our culture seems to encourage not revealing our emotions.  Whenever someone asks how we are doing, we always put on a smile and say, “Great.  How about you?”  As Christians, I think we sometimes put even more pressure on ourselves to make sure we do not show cracks in our armor.  We mistakenly think we always need to show we have it together and exhibit the joy of the Lord no matter how we really feel.  I did not want to be an Eeyore in the room, but I felt like God was nudging me.  I told the group and asked them to pray for our family during this difficult season.   I was humbled by their responses.  They were all so encouraging and said they would be praying for us.

 Jesus As Our Example

   Jesus showed vulnerability, and it is why people could connect with him.  He showed vulnerability by leaving his perfect heavenly home to dwell with us, fully God but fully man.  Jesus is fully man amidst all the pains of this sinful world, grief, heartache, loss, rejection, and suffering.  You name it and he has experienced it, so now we have a heavenly priest that can come by our side and comfort us.  When we are vulnerable with our coworkers, it is an opportunity to connect with them and to point them to where our hope comes from.  SW

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16

 This article was written by Stephen Watts. Stephen is a pilot with Delta Air Lines and also serves on our FCAP Board of Directors.

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IN THE JETSTREAM – February

Laying Hold of His Purpose

February 2022

For every person reading this article … Christ has laid hold of you and has given you purpose in this life.  Therefore, you need to lay hold of what His purpose is for you.  Keep learning, keep persevering.

How Do We View Ourselves?

There is speculation that the apostle Paul perceived that some of the people in Philippi had the impression or feeling that they had achieved a sense of perfection in their Christian walk and did not need to do anything more.  They may have viewed themselves as already being at their peak.  This could be why Paul writes in Philippians 3:12-14 that he would never think of himself as having “arrived” in his Christian walk.  Nor would he use the word “perfect.”  He sees himself as needing to press on, to continue serving and to continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  Christ Jesus had laid hold of Paul; therefore, Paul knew he must lay hold of what Christ’s purpose was for him.  In the process of forgetting the past, there are at least two areas that can stand in our way: (1) failures and sins of the past and (2) achievements in the service of Christ.  We might feel incompetent as we realize that we do not deserve, or may not be able, to achieve our goals because of past attempts and failures.  Another area is more deceptive … we can become proud of what we have done for the sake of God and keep looking back in a false manner of pride.

Our Ultimate Goal

Paul has one goal, which is pressing on for the prize that is the fulfillment of the upward call of God.  The prize, in Greek, is written as “brabeion.” This word is used in the New Testament in two passages of Scripture:  Philippians 3:14 and I Corinthians 9:24. It is possible to think of the “prize,” which is Christ Himself as God’s call to the life above and also as the crown of life, the gift of His grace to those who persevere faithfully in their calling to the end.

I Corinthians 9:24-25 speaks of the rigid discipline that athletes experience when in training to receive a prize.  Paul is making the comparison of the discipline for the physical body to be controlled to win the prize, so we need to train ourselves spiritually to seek the heavenly prize from above.  Athletes may do it for a prize that will eventually wilt or attention from the crowd that will eventually fade away.  In contrast, the crown of life for which we should be striving does not fade away, it is eternal.

Keeping Our Focus

In our aviation environments what is our purpose and goal?  As a Chaplain and Chief Pilot, my goals are similar.  I want employees or pilots to be able to continue moving forward and to grow in their character and their knowledge, having good solid character with integrity.  I am honored to be a part of their spiritual and physical journey.  How can God use me in my specific role(s)?  I listen and pray when I sense there is pain.  I intercede on behalf of those that may not have a praying community to intercede for them.

Keep training, do not stop, keep looking ahead and keep the focus on Christ Jesus, our living hope.  EK

… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 3:12-14

This article was written by Eugene Kraybill.  Eugene serves on our FCAP Board of Directors and as Senior Chaplain at the Washington-Dulles International Airport. He is regional Chief Pilot for Mesa Airlines at IAD.  His wife Christina also serves in the  IAD Chapel.

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