On my Uber ride to work the driver asked me what I was going to do this weekend. I say: “I’m going to Church on Saturday, and idk what Sunday i’m going to do”.
He says ” You go to Church on Saturday?!”
I say: “Yeah”
he then says: “Why”?
“I’m a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I believe that all of Christ’s Commandments are still applicable to Christians. We also believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and He is coming soon!”
“When does Sabbath start?”
“Friday night to Saturday night!”
he then says: “Wow i’m Jewish and that’s when the Sabbath starts!”
Because we were about halfway there, I had to cut to the chase:
“So what is stopping you from becoming a Christian?”
He then says:
“You know i’ve grown up Jewish and my parents are Jewish”
I then say:
“You know your parents are Jewish, but you need to find God for yourself. You can’t get by on the faith of your parents. Faith is something that you need to have when you can have confidence in God. The Bible–especially in the book of Daniel– can give you confidence in God based on what He has done in the past”
He’s like: “yeah I see”
I then find a tract in my backpack for “A Love Letter from Jesus” I need to start carrying more diverse ones but this one fit.
So many people interact with Faith based on the beliefs of their parents. The guy was Jewish (or claimed to be) based on his parents, but he didn’t have any conviction for himself. I’ve met many people who come from Jewish families and seem to be based on their parent’s faith. It is not an exclusively jewish thing, but it is prevalent.
Jesus is my Hero, and He has saved the day and my life.
But for some others, He is just a name.
Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but He waits until the person comes and opens the door. He doesn’t force people and His forgiveness covers a multitude of sins.
I interact best with people who are on a search for Truth. My Uber driver started reading the tract as soon as I handed it to him. Heaven must be in the business of causing encounters with people who are on the search and who have a little faith. I like talking with people who are atheists or people who are certain about their philosophy of Truth, because that is a common ground we can communicate on. People who simply don’t care, or who are too caught up in the cares of this life are really boring people. I came to have Faith in the Son of God through investigation, and that seems to be my vehicle for sharing what I have found.
God has to be your Treasure. He has to be the One in the center of your life. When God is in your Heart, He will be the thing that you keep closest to you. For some people it may be their car, their bike, their house; but for those who love God, God will be their Treasure, the thing they keep closest.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Matthew 6:21
When it comes to the word faith, people seem to have opposing interpretations. For instance, some often say, “according to my faith,” or “my faith tells me.” Similarly, when speaking of religion we sometimes use the phrase (though erroneously) “of the so-and-so faith,” as in the Jewish faith; Christian faith; Baha’i faith; Muslim faith; etc. In this sense, faith is seen as a religious system. So then, being a person of faith is synonymous with being a religious person. I have, however, heard some comment that they are not very religious but do have faith. That is, they believe in God but don’t trust religion. There is an obvious contradiction here. What makes matters worse when people talk about faith, religious or non-religious, is that scarcely can they articulate a definition that makes sense. Usually you hear some kind of fluffy answer about an ethereal, indescribable feeling.
This year marks the 100th aniversary of the terrible sinking of the RMS (Royal Mail Ship / USPS) Titanic. On April 15, 1912 this ship was the largest moving structure ever built by the hands of mankind. It was luxurious, spacious and packed more than 2000 on what would be her first and last voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. Its also interesting to know that the ship was funded by J.P Morgan Chase. (I wonder if the bank will make any statement in regard to this tragedy) Over 1000 persons died when the ship broke into two–710 survivors were left in lifeboats that weren’t filled to the max. Everyone associated with the event is now dead.
But where was God?
This is a question people ask when disaster’s happen. And no doubt this question has been asked many times since the event. Is it possible to trace God’s hand in this event? It is possible to understand it through His eyes? Some would say that God didn’t care about these people, that He could have simply moved the iceberg and everything would have been okay. But the Christian should nevertheless look for God’s hand in the matter and this is what I hope to set out to do today.
Side Note: Class Restrictions
An interesting thing to notice that the Titanic was the most segregated ship of its time. Though all of the classes were treated better than what was accustomed to at the time, first and second class had nearly all of the luxury. For example, first and second class had multiple bathrooms while there were only two (one for each gender) for the entire third class (1,026 passengers). Third class passengers were on the waterline, so when the ship crashed into the iceberg, they would be the first to go. Third class had Iron toilets, while second class had Porcelain and first class had marble toilets! The most interesting thing is that each class of passengers were kept from interacting with each other. So a person in second class could not enjoy or even see all the tantalizing things that were happening in first class. But if you were in first class you were only a deck below where the lifeboats were! Luxury indeed were not for most of its passengers, just for those who could afford it. However the richest passanger abourd the ship, John Jacob Astor IV did not survive.
A Near Accident
When the Titanic left On Wednesday 10 April 1912 a few minutes after her departure at Noon, the ship had a near accident. The huge ship passed by a much smaller ship SS City of New York . The displacement of water caused the other ship to increase height drastically and fall back to normal levels. The ships cables could not support the sudden change and snapped. This caused the New York to spin out of control and it nearly missed the Titanic by 4 feet (1.2 meters). This delayed the ship for an hour.
The ship then went to France and Ireland. From there it went out of the English channel into international waters. It then traveled for three days smoothly.
With a disaster about to hit so many souls, it would have been even more disastrous if this event happened without warning. But there was a warning. I believe that God was trying to send a message to the Titanic to prevent what happened from taking place.
At least six warnings, like the one pictured here, were sent to the Titanic. The Marconi International Marine Communication Company, Limited, was the main telecommunications service operating in the North Atlantic Ocean. They had two operators on the Titanic: Senior Jack Phillips and Junior Wireless Operator Harold Bride. They were both considered very qualified and were tasked with carrying messages two and from the Titanic on the Marconi “Wireless” (their radios).
It is known that the wireless operators had an antenna that had power output of 1.5 kW per each of the two antenna that were in use. This allowed for a range of 1000 miles. The messages were communicated in Morse Code, which consisted of dots and dashes.
The wireless operators had many messages, along with weather reports, they were given news reports from newspapers and also a heavy amount of mail. As the ship got closer to New York, many passengers sent messages ahead to family members to make plans for their arrival. This resulted in a large load of information that had to be translated and communicated.
Ice Warnings Received By Titanic
Caronia (MSF) – Eastbound, New York to Liverpool, Queenstown. The message was delivered to the bridge, where Captain Edward John Smith posted it for his officers to read.
‘Captain, Titanic – West-bound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice in 42° N, from 49° to 51° W, April 12th. Compliments, Barr’
Baltic (MBC) – Eastbound, New York to Liverpool, Queenstown. This message was delivered to Captain Edward John Smith as he talked to Bruce Ismay. Ismay pocketed the piece of paper, and later showed it to several passengers. At 7.15pm, Smith asked for its return, when it was finally posted in the chart room.
‘Greek steamer Athenia reports passing icebergs and large quantities of field ice today in latitude 41° 51′ N, longitude 49° 52′ W. Wish you and Titanic all success. Commander.’
Amerika (DDR) – This message was actually a private one to the US Hydrographic Office in Washington DC, overheard by Titanic’s radio operators. Regretably, it never made its way to the bridge.
‘Amerika passed two large icebergs in 41° 27′ N, 50° 8′ W on April 14.’
Californian(MWL) – This message was actually to Antillian (MJL), but overheard by Titanic’s radio operators. This was delivered by Bride to the bridge, although Captain Edward John Smith was not made aware of it. He was in the a la carte restaurant, dining with the Wideners.
‘To Captain, Antillian: Six-thirty pm, apparent ship’s time; latitude 42° 3′ N, longitude 49° 9′ W. Three large bergs 5 miles to the southward of us. Regards, Lord.’
Mesaba (MMU) – This message never reached the bridge. Harold Bride was getting some much needed sleep, and Jack Phillips was busy on the key sending and receiving commercial traffic to Cape Race.
‘From Mesaba to Titanic . In latitude 42° N to 41° 25′, longitude 49° W to longitude 50° 30′ W, saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs, also field ice, weather good, clear.’
You can read more about the geographic reprsentation of the reported areas where the icebergs were reported here.
About forty minutes before Titanic began to sink, another message was sent to her by the S.S. Californian. The ship was in the same ice-field that Titanic was approaching, and was stuck in it. The Californian sent a message to the Titanic without the MSG prefix (which would require a response from the Bridge). Phillips, maybe beacuse he was tired or he was trying to send out all of those reports the passengers wanted sent out, replied to the Californian with a message of “D-D-D,” meaning shut up. Can you believe it? So, the Californian turned off their radio. When the Titanic sent out distress signals, the S.S. Californian which was only a few miles from the sinking ship.
So the Titanic was notified of the danger, and due to the stubbornness of some of the crew, and the myth of the “unsinkable ship”, they went full speed ahead. They saw the iceberg, made a turn and it hit it. At first they thought it was a minor scrape, but they did not know of the 300-foot gash well below the ship’s waterline.
When the captain assessed the damage, he predicted the ship would last about an hour. The minutes that followed would forever be encased in human minds until this very day. With over 40,000 tons of water filling the ship, it began to sank.
There are tales of a band playing Nearer my God to thee as the ship sank. This song would be played during the many benefit concerts that raised money for the victims of the tragedy, including their families.
This clip from the Titanic Movie(1997) seems to best capture the sadness of the event.
At least among those men, Faith was still alive and well in their hearts. Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats which could support about 1/3 of the total capacity of the ship. This was considered well above the standard of the day as the thought was that the boats would be used to ferry passengers to and from any other large boat that would be there for the rescue, in the unlikely event that something would occur.
The demise of the Titanic lead to drastic changes in safety regulation of Navel vessels. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was created to create global changes in the way ships were ran. 24 hour radio operators were made standard, and all messages dealing with the navigation of the ship were made the highest priority always, regardless of heading. There are also numerous other improvements that are still in effect to this day.
So God did not let this happen without warning. When I consider this, I thank Him for the warning messages. I could see Him crying out as the ship sank, with tears in His eyes as people fell victim to hyperthermia. We need to stay watch to the messages that God sends in our life, and be forever watchful of His hand when tragedy strikes.