SAFE IN CHRIST, AWAITING ‘SHORE DUTY’ AT THE ULTIMATE HAVEN OF REST

3000123_BVR_Vikingos en la Tierra Verde

Sailing through life, with heart sin-laden
Viking warrior, tired of invadin’;
Now sings he new songs,
For to Christ he belongs:
Forgiven! — at peace, he’s done raidin’!

COMMENTARY:  See Ephesians 4:28 & Acts 20:35. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving is worth more than taking, in light of time and eternity.  Even some of the Vikings, historically, learned this valuable lesson, as is recorded, repeatedly, in the old Viking sagas.  (The original idea for this limerick came from “Dunraidin”, the Viking Longhouse model constructed by historian Dr. Bill Cooper.)

viking-longhouse-model

ABIGAIL, THE PROACTIVE PEACEMAKER

abigail-defuses-crisis

It was said, by a lady quite wise,
“I must act, before somebody dies!”
Ere David became rash,
She arrived (in a flash!) —
With speed, David she did advise.

COMMENTARY:   See 1st Samuel 25:1-42 & James 3:2-6.  Abigail saw a crisis about to explode — and, as a peacemaker, she proactively prevented the fire of violence before it could ignite. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

SAUL, A TALL MAN, SHORT ON FAITH

saul-anointed-by-samuel-1samuel10

Israel had a tall ‘king’ named Saul,

‘Head and shoulders above’ them all;

But, in faith, he was least

Scared, acting as priest,

Showing ‘pride goeth before a fall’;

In body, Saul was a big bruiser,

Yet in choices, such a poor chooser;

Despite having plenty,

Saul lived in envy,

So in life he was just a big loser.

COMMENTARY: See 1st Samuel chapters 13 & 14, in light of 1st Samuel 9:2 & 1st Samuel 16:7.  Interestingly, Saul’s original calling – and the anointing that God assigned the prophet Samuel to give Saul (see 1st Samuel 9:16 & 1st Samuel 10:1) — was to be a “captain” of the LORD’s army, not a “king” per se.  (Recall that this timeframe was during the period of the “judges”, before Israel was rules by a “king”.).  According to Genesis 49:10, a legitimate “king” of Israel was supposed to come from the tribe of Judah, but Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin.  However, despite Samuel’s prophetic warning of disaster, the Israelites insisted that Saul nonetheless be accepted as Israel’s “king” – and the outcome was ugly and tragic.

 

SAMUEL, GOD’S BEARER OF BAD NEWS

heartattack-death-of-eli

Once when the clergy were rotten,
God’s Word was all but forgotten;
The priests were so bad,
God selected a lad
Quick deaths ended those priests’ hot-snottin’!

COMMENTARY:  1st Samuel chapters 2-4.  Eli had two corrupt sons, Hophni and Phineas. neither of whom knew the Lord.  Eli himself was guilty of nepotism (see 1st Samuel 2:29-30), an abuse-of-ministry sin that God punished him for.  All three of those men died the same day (1st Samuel 4:17-18).  The “lad” who replaced Eli was the boy Samuel (one of several who brought bad news to Eli –see 1st Samuel chapter 3:10-18), who represented God during the days of Saul and David, when Israel transitioned from a nation guided by “judges” to one ruled by “kings”.  Choices have consequences.  Yes, we have limited freedom to make choices — but our freedom ends there, because consequences are built-in to the choices we make.  May God bless us with guidance and wisdom in our decision-making, as we honor God more than our family members (see 1st Samuel 2:29-30).

CAIN AND ABEL: THE TALE OF TWO BROTHERS

cain-murdered-abel

There once was a farmer named Cain
God’s favor he once sought to gain;
For fruit of cursed ground,
Cain just got God’s frown,
Because faith did lack in Cain’s brain.

Abel, however, believed God
(Since God’s true, that didn’t seem odd);
In Woman’s-Seed, Abel believed;
So, through Christ, Abel was received,
Since Abel’s faith was no façade.

In envy, Cain rages and hated,
So, in guile, Abel he baited;
God’s mercy Cain had nixed,
So Cain’s sin was unfixed,
Then Abel’s life Cain terminated.

Of truth Cain was a perverter;
Blood cried from the dead sheep-herder;
Sin despises what’s right,
And fuels hate and spite
Spawning lies, loathing, and murder.

There’s more of the history to tell,
Yet Abel’s outcome turned out well;
Due to Christ’s sacrifice,
Abel gained paradise,
But Cain sent himself straight to Hell.

COMMENTARY:  Unbelievers , since the world’s first family, have displayed how unbelievers scoff at and reject God’s redemptive grace (which is provided in Christ), even despising it (and their loving Creator-God Who offers it).  Moreover, unbelievers are not shy (when opportunity allows) to persecute believers, sometimes even to death.  See Genesis 4:1-16; Hebrews 11:4; James 3:16; Matthew 23:35; Luke 1:70 & 11:51; 1st John 3:12; Jude 1:11.

INTERRUPTED BY BRONCHITIS

jjsj-codliveroil-yummm

Some oft suffer from arthritis,
Others from appendicitis;
With health on / off
Sputter, spit, cough,
Tonight I’m hosting bronchitis.

COMMENTARY:  Trying times — especially afflictions — require God’s sufficient grace. See 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10; Romans 8:28; 1st Corinthians 10:13;  —  and especially Psalm 34:19 (“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivereth him out of them all”). But, to be frank, I have not yet reached the level of spirituality where I can honestly say , as the apostle Paul did, “I take pleasure in infirmities”. So far this bronchitis interruption has not been so much “pleasant”, although it has once again demonstrated to me what a good wife I belong to — and she is my best friend too. (Meanwhile, I am not finished with the entire process yet, so my evaluation of all that God is accomplishing, through this, would be premature, prejudged.) But, while I still look forward to getting back to “normal”, I know that many have endured much more serious afflictions than any I have been “interrupted” with.  By the way, the best book — besides the HOLY BIBLE, of course — that I have read, on the topic of affliction/suffering, is AFFLICTION, by Edith Schaeffer (Francis Schaeffer’s wife and best friend).

maine-thanks4listening-salmonfarm

A Secret Agent Recalls How RAF Bombers Sunk the TIRPITZ, Illustrating the Need for Reliable Eye-Witnesses, for Knowledge about Past Events

A Secret Agent Recalls How RAF Bombers Sunk the TIRPITZ,  Illustrating the Need for Reliable Eye-Witnesses, for Knowledge about Past Events

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CIHE, CNHG

tirpitz-bombed-ad1944-bwphoto

How was the German battleship Tirpitz sunk, during World War II?(1)   Also, regarding a completely different part of world history, how can we accurately explain the etiology of fossils, as the remains of once-living creatures from earlier epochs of Earth history?

To know the certainty of historic facts, especially non-repeating events that are no longer observable to us (or to anyone else), must we have an eye-witness report?  In a word, yesthis is basic forensic science.

After the fact, historic causes routinely leave behind physical effects, often with observable characteristics (such as fingerprints, tire or shoe tread impressions, blood spatter patterns, nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA, etc.) that can provide reliable inferences about what occurred, earlier, at a specific location.(2)

Yet what is the underlying “bread and butter” of forensic science?

Carefully examining physical effects in the present (perhaps with a magnifying glass, like Sherlock Holmes, or with more advanced technology), produced by physical causes of the past, is extremely helpful for learning about past events.

However, for complete accuracy, there is nothing that adequately substitutes for a reliable eye-witness. Reliable eye-witnesses can report relevant observations of past events—about who, what, where, when, how, and why—verifiable clues needed for understanding or solving a mystery about what really happened, including “whodunit”.   (To be “reliable” a witness must be competent, honest, accurate, able to observe what occurred (and observant about what is observable), able to remember what was witnessed, and able to report it with perspicuity and relevant detail.)  Sometimes an eye-witness report provides “minor” details of information that has “major” ramifications for reconstructing a series of causally related occurrences.(2),(3)

Eye-witness reliability relies upon honesty, opportunity to observe, accurate memory, and accuracy in reporting observations. These forensic evidence principles apply to the challenging tasks of reconstructing unique events of the past, because past events (unless recorded) can’t be seen in the present — whether those events occurred during a war, or during a global flood.

tirpitz-bombed-ad1944-colorpic

In a chapter titled “The Formidable Tirpitz Succumbs”, of her WWII history book SILENT PATRIOT, historian Astrid Karlsen Scott summarizes Tirpitz’s sinking, with emphasis on the role of Norwegian resistance fighters (i.e., spies and saboteurs).

Mrs. Scott’s history was reviewed by a Norwegian immigrant friend, Tromsø native Mimi Fossum, who served in the Norwegian resistance as a teen-aged spy during World War II.  Concurring with the book’s overall accuracy, Mrs. Fossum recalled how the Tirpitz‘s “ammunition storage” was bombed by British Lancasters [on Sunday, November 12th of AD1944] that “snuck thru a gap in the mountains,” after a prior attack by Lancaster bombers had braved a “wall” of anti-aircraft fire, without a “good hit”.(1),(4)

Mrs. Fossum ended her handwritten memoir with: I know. I was there.”(4)  Of course, some of what happened then (fall of AD1944), to the Tirpitz and nearby, could be inferred from physical effects (e.g., Tallboy bomb craters on land or under the sea) of the repeated bombings there. However, as in all forensic investigations, for some facts you need a reliable eye-witness.(3)

But what about the mixture of oceanic/tidewater animals, found in fossiliferous rock layers, that also contain land-roaming dinosaur remains? Why are land-based reptiles sometimes found buried in mud together with the likes of squid, shrimp, mussels, lobsters, scallops, oysters, clams, sturgeon, flounder, herring, and orange roughy fish?

Physical evidence can provide part of the explanation – but only part. To make adequate sense of the now-observable “what” there needs to be some kind of reliable eye-witness report on the no-longer-observable “how”.(5)

So, can we know what caused such physical effects, observable today in sedimentary rock layers? In a word, yes—but only if we rely on Genesis chapters 6-9, the perspicuous and inerrant report given – to us – by the global Flood’s only perfectly reliable eye-witness, God Himself.(6)

><>  JJSJ      profjjsj@aol.com

REFERENCES

(1) See Astrid Karlsen Scott, Silent Patriot: Norway’s Most Highly Decorated WWII Soldier and Secret Agent (Nordic Adventures, 2004), pages 203-206. See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuKyYn0B0dQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GJGZov-ZOM (YouTube footage regarding the supposedly “unsinkable” Tirpitz).

(2) James J. S. Johnson, “Is the Present the ‘Key’ to Our Past?” Acts & Facts, 43(6):19
(June 2014), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/present-key-our-past . See also, accord, Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2010), pages 1-32.

(3) James J. S. Johnson, “Mystic Mystery: Scientists Investigate Connecticut’s Pequot War Battlefield”, presented at the Creation Research Society Conference (Dallas, Texas), July 31, 2015, posted at https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/mystick-mystery-scientists-investigate-connecticuts-pequot-war-battlefield/ .

(4) Personal correspondence from Mimi Fossum, Tromsø (Norway) native, whose attention to visual detail is demonstrated by her many Norwegian rosemåling paintings.  Mrs. Fossum formerly belonged to the Viking chapter of the Norwegian Society of Texas (“NST”); now she belongs to Snorre chapter of NST.  It was my privilege, a few years ago, to be tutored in Norwegian rosemåling painting by Mimi Fossum (see example of my painting below).

rosemaling-plate-jjsj

(5) Brian Thomas, “Mesozoic Seafood Menu Caters to Noah’s Flood”, Acts & Facts, 45(10):15 (October 2016).

(6) John 5:44-47 & 17:17; 2 Peter 3:1-7. Regarding the importance of eye-witness testimony, see also Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 1 John 1:1-3.