Summary: While everything around us changes and the rate of change accelerates to warp speed, in the center of it all is and will be our Almighty God who never changes. In a world of change and decay, take hold of God’s unchanging hand. “Deus sempre idem” … God is always the same.

You all know what this is, I hope. [Hold up my laptop.] Yep … it’s a laptop … a computer. It has an Intel Pentium NB 3540 processor … whatever that is. It has four gigabytes of RAM. It has 500 gigabytes of memory on the hard drive. Anyone here know what a “gigabyte” is? A “gigabyte” is a numerical value. A “gigabyte” is 109 … or a 1 with nine zeros after it (1,000,000,000) which is a billion bits … or bytes … of data. And that’s nothing. We’ve gone a long, long, long ways past gigabytes. We now have PCs and thumb drives with “terabytes” of memory space. A “terabyte” … is 1012… or a million, million bytes of data.

Don’t blink.

We now have “petabytes” … which equals 1,024 terabytes. I literally have no idea how much data that actually is. But I can use this [PC] to go on the internet where I can go on-line and “google” everything. Anyone know what a “google” is? A “google” is also a numerical value. It’s a 1 with a million zeros after it!

You know what’s just as crazy as all this technology is the fact that you all sort of have an idea of what I’m talking about. Who here hasn’t seen a laptop? Who here doesn’t own a laptop? Who here has never heard of a thumb drive? Own a thumb drive? Knows what a “hard drive” is? Imagine going back just a mere 50 years … 50 YEARS … and trying to explain to the people back then what this thing [laptop] does … or this [mouse] … and tell them that it’s a “mouse” … or this [cellphone]. The closest thing that we could imagine back then was Dick Tracy’s wristwatch or the “tri-corders” on Star Trek. Now that I have this [cell phone] there are times when I want to toss it into the middle of Lake Junaluska … amen? Am I the only one who feels that way? {I didn’t think so.}

Fifty years ago there was no “internet” or the dozens and dozens of “social platforms” like “Facebook” or “Twitter” or hundreds of computer applications that we call “apps” today. The stuff we’re surrounded by today and almost take for granted was the stuff of science fiction 50 years ago. I grew up in the time of punch cards. There are probably a few of you here who remember punch cards. Then came punch tape … and then magnetic tape. Computers filled whole rooms. The idea that we would all own our very own computers or that computers would be portable like this one wasn’t even on the radar 50 years ago. And yet, here we are … 50 years later … and we are not only surrounded by this stuff … I doubt may of our young people today could survive without it. We couldn’t imagine this stuff fifty years ago … and now, fifty years later … we have a couple of generations who couldn’t imagine a world without it, amen?

When this techno-revolution broke into our lives, we had absolutely no idea how fast this technology was going to change and how much and how fast it was going to change our lives. In 1965 … 1965 … gosh, that doesn’t seem all that long ago to me … but we’re talking about 56 years ago … Gordon Moore … co-founder of Intel … the company who created the processor in my laptop here … made an observation that is now known by his name: “Moore’s law.” Moore predicted that computers would double their computing or processing power every two years … and his prediction has held true. If anything, the rate of change has accelerated much more than we or Moore expected, amen?

According to Ryan Ashad, a writer for Forbes Magazine, our technology will be 32 times more powerful than it is now in 5 years … and a 1,000 times more powerful than that in just 10 years. Stop and think about that for a moment … thirty-two times more stronger in five years, a thousand times more powerful in 10 years, and a million times more advanced in just 20 years. We already have “petrabytes” … what will we have in 20 years? Ashad predicts that “singularity” will occur in approximately 30 years. “Singularity” is a term that was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge to describe the point where technology will have become so complex and so intelligent that the human mind will no longer be unable to comprehend it. I … and I would guess some of you as well … attained “singularity” a long time ago, am I right? Change is happening so fast that our normal decision-making processes are struggling to keep up. “Blink,” warns Ashad, “and you might have missed a seismic shift [in technology] that could be cataclysmic.”

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