Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blackbeard's anchor found

Remember as a kid being so entranced with pirates? At least I was. The success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series would indicate a widespread fascination with pirates. I lived on a sailboat for a couple of years and sailed up and down the east coast of the US and over to the Bahamas. You cannot live on a boat and not be captured by the legendary stories of east coast pirates of long ago: Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, and Blackbeard. At each town we stopped and visited, the historical society or museum would have information about the local pirates. Anchoring our boat in Georgetown Bahamas' "Kidd's Cove," you can't help but look down and wonder if that shiny thing is an overlooked gold coin...

Well, someone looked down, and looked and looked and looked and they found the famous North Carolina pirate Blackbeard's anchor. CNN reports, "Dead men tell no tales, but the sea does, as shown Friday when an anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard's flagship. An expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted the nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne's Revenge. Crews were working in just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Queen Anne's Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago." More at link.

As a girl, of course, the attractive thing about pirates was the treasure chest. The all important treasure chest. What gal didn't love to play in mom's jewelry box? Dipping our hands into the necklaces and feeling them swing from your hands, and then to put them on? Put all of them on!
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Christians know that worshiping Jesus in person and being able to look on His face fully is the treasure for which we all long. But His grace extends to so much more and in His love He gives additional treasures. The beauty of heaven is difficult to capture in words, but these verses tell us that we will be in, around, and surrounded by jewels and stones of beautiful perfection!

"...behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius (AKA carnelian) in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads." (Revelation 4:2-4).

Wow! But that is just the beginning. The treasures of heaven continue. New Jerusalem is being prepared for us. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3)

John saw this dwelling place for the Bride: "...The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." (Rev 21:18-21)

I wrote about transparent gold, here. I wrote in part, "Scientists have discovered that as the gold particle size is decreased, there are many intriguing phenomena. In one discovery if you shrink gold down to a nanoparticle, its properties change dramatically. Its color changes, it becomes a very good catalyst, and is no longer a metal - instead it turns into a semiconductor. Even today, ultra-thin gold is being used on buildings and air craft windows - thin film of gold display some unusual characteristics. When processed with ultra-thin sheets, gold becomes transparent. It allows green light waves to pass through but reflects infrared lights." Cool, huh?!

Below, some of the jewels mentioned in the verses. Whether these jewels will look the same or have the same properties as they do on earth is anyone's guess :)


The High Priest was required to wear a breastplate made a certain way, and embedded with each tribe's particular gem. (Exodus 28:15-29) Moses' brother Aaron was the first High Priest. "And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart when he goeth in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually" [Exodus 28.29]"

 I used to belong to the Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society. We used to go with other members to quarries and mines and look for local gems. Maine is known for tourmaline, beryl, quartz, amethyst and other beautiful stones. It was a thrill to find even the tiniest gem, extracting it from the ground, cleaning it and admiring its beauty. I think to some degree we are all fascinated with stones and gems and oceanic treasures such as pearls. They are simply beautiful! When we get to our home and dwell as Jesus' bride, these stones and gems will be all around us, we will be walking on gold! Entering and exiting doors of pearl! Leaning against foundation walls that have emeralds and sapphires embedded in them! And guess what? Despite a lifelong fascination with pirates and their treasure, despite hunting for gems in the earth and polishing them to admire, despite saving up for jewelry to wear so that the gems can gleam in the light of day, once we get to New Jerusalem, we won't care anymore! The real jewel of heaven and earth is Jesus.

"There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light." (Matthew 17:2)

Hallelujah! May He shine forever, and may we forever be bathed in His glorious Light!

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