When I was serving in the U S Navy near the end of my last enlistment I had a T-shirt made up which I bought in the Philippines. I loved to wear it when I left the ship on liberty. The enlisted “lifers” and officers didn’t much care for it nor appreciate my wearing it, but I didn’t let that stop me. “Gettin’ Short” was the caption imprinted on the T-shirt along with an image. That refers to my time left in the Navy was getting short. Indeed, I was a “short timer”. On the back side of it it had another caption … “USN … Never Again!” Here is a picture of me wearing this T-shirt taken in Guam at a swimming hole in a local river with a water fall in the background:
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And here is a closeup of the T-shirt:
As you can see the image imprinted on the T-shirt consists of a head (face) wearing a sailor hat and two legs with feet wearing black navy shoes. There are no arms or trunk (abdomen, chest, shoulders, etc.) … The little guy is “gettin’ short”. Cute, huh? I got out the Navy for the final time back in 1976. That is quite a long time ago … over 37 years. Sometimes it seems like all of 37 years and other times it seems like only 3 years.
Percentage wise most people do only serve one enlistment in the military and then get out returning to civilian life. That was my original intention but I had been told about the Navy’s “Intermediate and Advanced Welding School” which I wanted to attend to get such a great education in welding … something that would be extremely costly to achieve in civilian life. I was told that I needed to reenlist for 4 years in order to attend this school. So I reenlisted and received my orders to attend this school. Upon getting there I found out that I would not have had to reenlist or even extend my current enlistment to get it. The Navy had lied to me! Also I found out that the school was not at all anything like I had been told it would be. They lied to me about that as well. The school was a farce and extremely disappointing! I became rather embittered over all of this. After all, I had given the Navy 4 more years of my life for this. Anyway, those first two enlistments gave me a total of 6 years active duty. When the time came I got out and remained out for 2 years and 8 months before reenlisting again for a second time for an additional two years. This was during the Viet Nam war and my rating in the navy (shipfitter/hull maintenance technician) was in demand so I got back in without losing any paygrade (rate) which was really nice. I had made the decision to reenlist because the economy was doing very poorly and jobs were scarce. I had been attempting to be self employed in my own welding business when the economy was hurting so my business was not doing well. I also was in debt and needed to have a means of paying off my debts. And there were other personal reasons which I won’t go into here. Anyway, returning to the Navy provided a means of starting over and getting myself all straightened out. It did indeed accomplish that. Even so, that last two years was hard for me as I really wanted back out badly.
Yep, I was counting down the days … I had my official short-timer’s calendar on which I marked off each day I had left to serve. When the time came I got out and never looked back so to speak. I have no regrets about my decision. It would, of course, be nice to have the retirement pension. I was not willing to stay in to get it however. 8 years of my life was plenty!
I was thinking about this Gettin’ Short T-shirt earlier today and it brought to mind something else which is “gettin’ short” … namely the time left before the end of this age comes and the Lord Jesus returns. Yes, the signs are there just as prophesied and there is no doubt the time left is short.
It was also aboard this same last ship that I served on which is part of the story of how I went from being a hard-hearted atheist to being a born again Christian. You can read about it HERE. A very big part of the path God took me down to accomplish this involved the study of End Time Bible Prophecy.
With all the end times signs upon us Luke 21:28 instructs true Christians believers: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (NKJV) For those who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus Christ this is a most precious promise. What or who do you hope and trust in?
Extremely difficult times are coming soon for those who “miss the bus”. By that I mean that they are not part of the people God removes from the earth before the final 7 year long period where God in His righteous anger deals with sinful rebellious Christ-rejecting mankind and pours out His wrath. God has said that those who belong to Him are not appointed unto His wrath and that He would come to get them and take them to heaven to be with Him. Bible prophecy is indeed fascinating but it is also scary for anyone who doesn’t know the Lord and have a right relationship with God. Most people are ignorant of what God’s Word has to say to us. We live our lives as though everything will just continue on as always and there is nothing to concern ourselves over. A very rude awakening awaits such people. It is most dangerous to ignore God and His warnings to us.
God loves all of us and it is His desire that we all turn to Him and deal with the sin issue we all have … deal with it on His terms. Jesus paid it all. All to Him we owe. Here are some good resources:
This was your life (the gospel presented in comic book form)
If you have never read the bible before I would suggest to you that you start in the New Testament and read the book (gospel) of John. And I would further suggest to you that before doing so you should do the following:
1) be sure to use a bible written in a language you can understand. I most definitely would advise you to avoid the King James Version (New King James Version is okay) as it is written in a language we no longer use, know, or understand. Many words in it mean something different today than they did back when it was written. If fact, some words mean just the opposite today as they did when it was written.
2) put aside any and all beliefs, teachings and thoughts you may already have concerning God and His Word
Approach this with a clean slate so that nothing clouds up communication between God and you.
3) ask God to help you to understand what you are going to read in His Word … ask Him to “speak to you” thru His Word.
If you don’t have a bible available to read you can read it free online. HERE is a link to the Gospel of John in the Living Bible. I don’t recommend a paraphrase version of the bible for serious bible study but they are ok for some things. It was this very book in this very bible version God used to speak to me initially. Again, I encourage you to read my personal testimony I have linked to further above. You can read about it HERE.
You can even listen to the bible read to you online: Audio Bible
Here are more resources:
Mark Correll videos (end time bible prophecy teaching)
Scottie Clark videos (end time bible prophecy teaching)
Dr. John MacArthur (well known and respected bible teacher)