When I was a teenager, I splashed flaming oil onto my hand and forearm. Ablaze, the outer layer of skin sizzled and peeled away. At the hospital that night, all the doctors could do was clean the wound, apply some ointment and cover it with a bandage. The following day they scrapped and cut away the dead tissue. It was only a second-degree burn, localized on a small portion of my body, and ultimately it left only emotional scars. It hurt like H-E-double toothpicks! It was int
Solomon conscripted thousands of construction workers, “seventy thousand porters and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountains, not including his thirty-three hundred deputies in charge of the work” (1 Kings 5:13–16, CSB). The lavish complex cost untold billions (that’s billions with a B). David donated “3,775 tons of gold, 37,750 tons of silver, and bronze and iron that can’t be weighed because there is so much of it” (1 Chronicles 22:14, CSB). After seven years of const
Elijah is first mentioned in Scripture as he is thrust to center-stage. He wagged his finger in the face of evil-king Ahab and declared, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, in whose presence I stand, there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!” (I Kings 17:1, CSB). He appeared utterly fearless as he declared God’s judgment on Ahab’s evil empire. In obedience to the Lord, Elijah went from Samaria to the Brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. There he was su
When the angel appeared to the young carpenter named Joseph, he quoted from Isaiah, written seven hundred years before: “See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us’ ” (Matthew 1:23, CSB). Jesus was the Immanuel. God with us! At the conclusion of His earthy ministry, Jesus promised His disciples that He would not abandon them. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor t
Abraham, the father of the faithful, was born in the year 5000 B.Z. That’s 5000 years before the invention of the Zippo Lighter... 5000 B.Z. ... Before Zippo. Since they couldn’t “flick their Bic,” Abraham and the rest of the Patriarchs started fires the old-fashioned way: they struck flint rocks together to create a spark, or they rubbed sticks together to create enough friction to ignite dry grass or wood shavings. Apparently, they had a method of maintaining and transporti
The tombstone of Benjamin Franklin reads: The body of B. Franklin, Printer,
Like the Cover of an old Book.
Its Contents torn out.
And stripped of its Lettering and Gilding.
Lies here. Food for worms.
But the Work shall not be wholly lost.
For it will as he believ’d
appear once more
In a new and more elegant Edition
Corrected and improved
By the Author. The epitaph over Martin Luther King’s grave reads: “Free at last. Free at last.
Thank God Almighty
I’m Free at last.” Merv
In the spring of the year, with the mighty river overflowing its banks, God led His people through the impenetrable watery barrier. As if God simply turned the tap, the Jordan River stopped flowing and the once-muddy river-bottom dried up as the people crossed into Canaan (Joshua 3:13-17). Things were changing. Moses, their leader for forty years, had gone to “Mount Pisgah’s lofty heights” leaving Joshua at the helm. And, as they camped on the plains of Jericho, the daily bre
When daddy told me to do something, he expected results. If he had to repeat himself, I was on thin ice. The third time was never charming... it was harming. He knew how to warm a boy’s britches. What do you suppose was on God’s mind when he repeated himself seven times! Listen up, buster! Pay attention! Read the thirty-first chapter of Deuteronomy. Then read the first chapter of Joshua. In these two chapters, as God commissions Joshua to lead the Israelites into Canaan, God
An electric toothbrush ... a toaster ... a weed whacker ... a jack hammer... They all come with instructions! And they all say the same thing. IMPORTANT: Before you plug it in, turn it on, or take it out the box, read the instructions! “After the death of Moses, the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites ... Be strong
Forty years earlier, God had spoken to Moses from the Burning Bush. “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings, and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7–8, CSB). Now, on the eastern side of Jordan, just a stone’s throw away from Canaan, God spok