From Beacon to Columbarium

One of the most valuable improvements contributed by modern technology is in the area of communications. As a result, many of the devices we grew up with have been either significantly upgraded or rendered totally obsolete. Sadly enough, lighthouses are no exception. Once hailed as the “Saviors of the Sea,” many of these iconic structures are being decommissioned due to the advancement in geolocation technology such as sonars, radars, and GPS navigation. Although many of them are being turned over to private organizations for upkeep it is still disheartening to know that many are being left to rot away. Such is the case with the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse aka Terrible Tilly (pictured above). Built in 1881 on a rock island off the coast of Oregon, it is one of the three most expensive lighthouses ever built in the US. Unfortunately, after suffering extensive storm damage and erosion it was decommissioned in 1957. Terrible Tilly was sold and passed through the hands of several owners before being converted to a columbarium: a storage house for urns full of cremated human remains. However, improper urn storage and bad record-keeping caused it to lose its license in 1999. It is now primarily a seabird nesting place and unless it is restored it will just sit there to rot along with its ashes.

It’s no secret that researchers have been experimenting with human genetics (gene editing) for quite some time. And while they claim that their work is all in the name of Science (to extend human life) some independent studies suggest that it is in hopes of finding a way to “upgrade” the human species. As Bible-believing Christians, you and I know that such efforts are totally unethical and ungodly. The only hope mankind has to achieve perfection is to be born again of the Spirit and await the sound of the trumpet. Until then we are to committedly continue to function as lighthouses for God being careful not to allow the storms of life to erode our spiritual foundation. The more challenges we face in this world the more determined we must become in honoring God, staying true to His word, and reaching the lost with the Gospel.

The storms of life will continue to rage around us. Some of them will pass us by while others will hit us head on. If our foundation is not strong enough we will crumble and will become dark and ineffective lighthouses. When this occurs, the enemy of our soul will seize the opportunity to present us with boxes that contain the ashes of our old self, our past hurts, and our bad choices. And if we are not careful, we will begin to store these boxes in our hearts and go from being bright beacons of hope to gloomy spiritual columbariums. So, rise up, keep shining, and remember that your heart is where the living God now resides. There is no room in there for ashes!

Prayer: Almighty God, my desire is to remain active in your kingdom and to stand strong before, during and after every storm I face in life. Let your joy, peace, and love reign in my heart each and every day. And if I am ever confronted with the ashes of my past, may they only serve to remind me that I was once dead in my sins and now have been made alive in You. In the name of Jesus, the author of my life, I pray, amen. 

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  – Corinthians 15:52 (KJB)
“…Christ loved the church and gave his life for it…in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty—pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection.” -Ephesians 5:25b & 27 (GNT)
“The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. So you too must count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” -Romans6:10-11 (BSB)
-All Scripture is quoted from the NIV except where specified.

Useful links:
Columbariums
Gene Editing
Super Humans?

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3 thoughts on “From Beacon to Columbarium

  1. You are right! NO ROOM FOR ASHES!
    Isaiah 61:3
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
    Only God can give us beauty for ashes! Love this devotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Years ago, I taught an Adult Sunday School class on the Letter of James. I called the study, “I’d Rather Be Sailing than…” You POST reminded me of what James tells his reader, “Only it must be in FAITH that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting).” Here it comes, “For the one who wavers is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind” (James 1″6).
    Love your descriptive writing Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

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