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Friday, June 13, 2014

What lasts?

Don't ask me why this popped into my head now 'cause I don't know why, other than God brought it to mind.

When I was a naval officer, many years ago, I was stationed on the USS Skate, a nuclear submarine, and then the USS Forrestal, a conventional aircraft carrier.  The USS Skate was decommissioned in 1986 and awaiting scrapping in the Puget Sound in 1994. 

USS Skate in 1994, awaiting scrapping with other subs

The USS Forrestal was decommissioned in 1993 and sold for scrap for 1 penny in February (2014) and towed to Brownsville, TX.

USS Forrestal (CV59) underway
USS Forrestal (CV59) under tow (February 2014)

After leaving the Navy in 1986, I worked for Polaroid at manufacturing plant in Waltham, MA which made the (then) well-known Time-Zero film for the popular Polaroid SX-70 camera.  The plant was a huge, 3 floor facility that operated 24x7 except for the traditional holidays.  (It’s here that I first began my career in Information Technology.)  Production of Time-Zero file ended in 2005.  Out of nostalgia I drove by the plant ~5 years ago, only to find the plant abandoned.
We invest so much of our lives in areas that we remember fondly or believe have lasting value, only to find that we were investing in something that simply ceases to be of any importance.
You probably learned about the "Law of Entropy" in science.  I learned about this in High School Physics.  In short, the law says that everything is running down.  Everything wears out, runs down, and breaks. Nothing is forever.
Or it there something?
Julie and I are working for the Kingdom now.  We serve an eternal God.  He never grows weary.  He never runs down.  And 1 Peter1:25 says “… but the word of the Lord ensures forever.”
We may be missionaries on the field in Papua New Guinea (currently), serving He who is from eternity past and for eternity future, living by His word, which also stands forever (and is forever true). 
If you, our reader, are also a Christian, rejoice that this is true of your life as well.  Work for that which lasts forever… God and his word.  Invest your life in something that lasts.  It may not be as a missionary but you can have your own ministry: in the church, at work, in your community.
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, seek out someone who is.  Learn about what lasts.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A Lost Day, or Was It?

Many years ago we knew a guy whose nickname was “Johnny Freshlegs.” He could run long distances and seemingly never tire. He still runs today, but occasionally now someone passes him on the trail or track.

Since we arrived in PNG, we have hit the ground running—taking part in every community activity, working long hours, visiting with others, buying and preparing food, doing laundry the old fashioned way, basically running one continuous marathon.
On Friday, June 6, (Saturday here) Julie’s mom went into the hospital in NJ for the second time since we left home. She is experiencing a racing heart, shortness of breath and general weakness. The doctors are very concerned about the condition of her heart. And since we are so far away, we are very concerned as well.
Julie spent most of Saturday night (daytime in NJ) up running between her computer and Jon's, checking and answering messages, posting updates, praying, and calling mom from the MagicJack unit that turns Jon's computer into a phone.
Meanwhile, Jon spent the night running to the bathroom with an intestinal bug.
This morning, Sunday, Jon was finally asleep. Julie called mom and she said she had had a good day.  Then Julie—having had very little sleep—got up, dressed for church, and started into her regular run of the day. But she was too tired and weak.  So church clothes and all, she returned to bed and slept for hours. In fact, both of us slept the day away.
So this was perhaps a lost day. We didn’t accomplish anything productive. Or did we?
In Psalm 46:10, the Lord tells us, “Be still and know that I Am God!” And Moses brought us these words from God: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day, you shall rest.”  We took a day of rest.
Tomorrow is a national holiday throughout the British Commonwealth and here in PNG. It is the Queen’s birthday—not really—but this is the day it is celebrated publicly.  So, we’ll sleep tonight and see what tomorrow brings. We may need another day of rest; but if we do, it won’t be a lost day.