On one of his voyages to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered a remarkable tree. It had round fruit that bounced like a ball. Its Indian name was caoutchouc – “the weeping wood”. The tree was given that name because it emitted a sap that looked like the tree’s tears.
Eventually, inventors discovered that the sap could be harvested and allowed to harden into an eraser that rubbed out pencil lead – hence the name “rubber”. In the 1830s it was found that rubber could withstand very cold temperatures when sulfur was added to it. This led the way to a huge demand for rubber when the automobile was invented. Later it was discovered the sap could be used to make latex surgical gloves.
The weeping wood had been there for centuries, waiting to be discovered. Little by little new uses were discovered. Its like that with the Bible truths. They’ve been there since the book was written, but it takes a lifetime to search out the truths that God has concealed in there for us, waiting to be discovered.
What have you discovered in God’s Word lately?
Tags: discovery, hidden, rubber
Of all the US Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt was one of the toughest – both physically and mentally. But he didn’t start that way. America’s cowboy president was born in Manhattan to a prominent wealthy family. But as a child, he was puny and very sickly. He had debilitating asthma, possessed very poor eyesight, and was painfully thin. His parents weren’t sure he would survive.
When he was twelve, young Roosevelt’s father told him, “You have the mind, but you have not the body, and without the help of the body the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make the body.” So he worked hard to build that body.
At different times in his life, Roosevelt was a cowboy in the wild west, an explorer and big-game hunter in Africa and Brazil, and a rough-riding Cavalry officer in the Spanish-American War. Years after his presidency, while preparing to deliver a speech in Milwaukee, Roosevelt was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin. With a broken rib and a bullet in his chest, Roosevelt insisted on delivering his one-hour speech before allowing himself to be taken to the hospital.
I’m not sure where Teddy Roosevelt was in his faith, but his life brings to mind Paul’s encouragement in Philippians 4:13: “I do everything through him who gives me strength“.
How has God strengthened you?
Tags: discipline, Roosevelt, strength
An early Canadian fur trader and explorer, Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820), led a daring expedition across Canada to the Pacific Ocean. His incredible journey was completed in 1793, 11 years before Americans Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the West.
Mackenzie was determined to succeed, for an earlier attempt in 1789 had ended in failure. His crew of 12 explorers in three canoes had set out from Lake Athabasca in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific. The valiant group followed a mighty river (now named the Mackenzie) with high hopes, paddling furiously amid great danger. Unfortunately, it didn’t empty into the Pacific but into the Arctic Ocean. In his diary, Mackenzie called it the “River of Disappointment.”
Those who follow religions that lead nowhere are headed for an ultimate disappointment. Only Jesus can take us to the waters of eternal life. By trusting Him you will not end up in the River of Disappointment. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Tags: disappointment, Mackenzie
According to The History of Early Education in Eastern DeKalb County they had a unique method (by today’s standards) for construction of a new school building. Back in the middle 1800s, each township was responsible for public education, and had multiple one- or two-room schoolhouses strategically placed around the township. Many of these buildings still stand today.
In 1849 a new brick school building was to be built in Wilmington Township. Every adult male in that township between the ages of 21 and 50 was taxed two days labor on the facility. I don’t know how they paid for building materials, but we know how they got the labor: they ordered it.
I’ve often contemplated how to recruit more laborers for the Kingdom within our church. We can’t just “tax them”. And we can’t afford to pay them. What do you think is a solution to the labor problem among the many ministries of the church?
Tags: education, labor, work
The carpet is down in most of the basement and will be completed tomorrow. Last night I intended to install the baseboard trim behind our big upright piano so it could be returned to its place. I had cleaned up, restained and resealed all the baseboard trim, but couldn’t find the 66″ piece that goes behind the piano. So I went out to the shed where we had previously stored that trim after the flood.
Anita had made a play house for our granddaughter, Lauren, out of a large cardboard appliance box. After Lauren went back to Nashville she stored the house in the back of the shed, hiding several pieces of the trim I missed. So my project last night was to finish up those trim pieces so we can get the baseboard up pehind the piano.
Misplaced pieces can hinder progress. Missing important pieces of spiritual information can hinder our pleasing the Lord. As we spend time with the Lord and His word, He provides those missing pieces of knowledge. Let’s stay open to His word.
The apostle Paul wrote, “The time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6). ‘Departure’ is a nautical term that suggests shipping out, weighing anchor, slipping the lines that tether us to this world and getting underway. When we refer to a ship’s Departure, we are actually referring to the beginning of its journey, not its end.
For believers in Christ, death is not an end but a beginning. It means leaving this old world behind and getting to a better place, completing the purpose for which we were made. It’s a time for joy and excitement and a hearty “Bon Voyage!”
If Jesus is the captain of your ship, He already knows the dangers in the waters and what lies ahead. Are you ready for departure?
Tags: death, departure, heaven
Today Anita and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary! There won’t be a lot of fanfare, though. Alan Roth is coming to begin laying carpet in our basement today, so I need to be around to move furniture, etc. We’re still spending money for materials in our basement project, so that is our anniversary gift to each other. We are going out to eat with Al & Jo Fair tonight in Ft. Wayne, so that will be our celebration.
Thirty-five years is a long time. When we got married things were a lot different than they are today. First, we were a lot younger then. Also, we were a lot dumber than we are now. We made a lot of marriage mistakes in those early days. We got off on the wrong foot in a lot of ways. But those struggles helped to make us what we are today. We are able to help other young couples in their difficulties because we can identify with what they struggle with. And we have solid answers because we also walked down that path.
We learned (are learning?) the hard way that it is the Lord’s desire that “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
Tags: marriage, mistakes