Nicknames are often descriptive of some noticeable aspect of a person’s character or physical attributes. Growing up, my elementary school friends brutally called me “liver lips” since at that stage of development my lips seemed disproportionately large. Needless to say, I have always been glad that the name didn’t stick.
Shrek was a renegade sheep. He went missing from his flock and remained lost for 6 years. The person who found him living in a cave on a high and rugged place in New Zealand didn’t recognize him as a sheep. “He looked like some biblical creature,” he said. In a way, he was. Shrek was a picture of what happens to sheep who become separated from their shepherd.
For countless generations people have looked to the sun and moon to light the day and the night. Whether illuminating our path or providing the life-giving radiance for fruitful crops and the nutrients our bodies need, the sun and moon are part of God’s marvelous provision of light. The book of Genesis tells us that God gave “the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen. 1:16).
The name of the southeastern Asian nation of Indonesia is formed by combining two Greek words which together mean “island.” That name is appropriate because Indonesia is made up of more than 17,500 islands spanning nearly 750,000 square miles. Indonesia—an appropriate name for a nation of islands.
One of the hardest things about getting ready in the morning is picking out my socks. Are they blue or black? Because I’m color-blind, those two colors look the same to me in the dim morning light! So what I typically do is take them out into the kitchen and compare them under some bright lightbulbs, which helps me see their true colors.
In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a remarkable natural wonder—a pool about 40 feet deep and 300 feet across that Native Americans called “Kitch-iti-kipi,” or “the big cold water.” Today it is known as The Big Spring. It is fed by underground springs that push more than 10,000 gallons of water …
In the Czech Republic and other places, the Christmas celebration includes “Christingles.” A Christingle is an orange, representing the world, with a candle placed in the top of it to symbolize Christ the light of the world. A red ribbon encircles the orange, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Four toothpicks with dried fruits are placed through the ribbon into the sides of the orange, representing the fruits of the earth.
His presence in the room was obvious. Everyone else was dressed rather formally. He had on a pair of jeans, a T-shirt, and a weathered baseball cap. I couldn’t help but notice him as I addressed students that day in a seminary chapel in Bucharest, Romania. I have no idea why he didn’t conform to the norms of seminary attire, but I do remember his name.
William desperately wanted to find happiness and fulfillment. But no matter what he did, he still felt empty inside. Discover how William encountered the God of the Bible and found life-changing fulfillment like he’d never dreamed was possible!
Find out more of what the Bible says about “Beyond Reasonable Doubt.”
We would like to thank WPJL Radio Station in Raleigh, North Carolina, for partnering with us for this week’s program.
East Africa is one of the driest places on earth, which is what makes “Nairobi” such a significant name for a city in that region. The name comes from a Masai phrase meaning “cold water,” and it literally means “the place of water.”
Our little granddaughter Maggie and her family were back home in Missouri after visiting with us in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her mom told us that for a few days after returning home, Maggie walked around the house happily saying, “Michigan! Michigan!”
Throughout London, there are statues and other items made from a unique building material called Coade stone. Developed by Eleanor Coade for her family business in the late 1700s, this artificial stone is virtually indestructible and has the capacity to withstand time, weather, and man-made pollution. Though it was a marvel during the Industrial Revolution, Coade stone was phased out in the 1840s following Eleanor’s death, and it was replaced by Portland cement as a building material. In spite of that, however, there remain today dozens of examples of this sturdy, ceramic-like stone that have withstood the harsh London environment for over 150 years.
In cultures with an abundance of food choices, bread is no longer a necessary part of the diet so some choose to live without it for various reasons. In the first century, however, bread was viewed as an essential staple. A diet without bread was a foreign concept.
How is behavior altered? In his book The Social Animal, David Brooks notes that some experts have said people just need to be taught the long-term risks of bad behavior. For example, he writes: “Smoking can lead to cancer. Adultery destroys families, and lying destroys trust. The assumption was that once you reminded people of the foolishness of their behavior, they would be motivated to stop. Both reason and will are obviously important in making moral decisions and exercising self-control. But neither of these character models has proven very effective.” In other words, information alone is not powerful enough to transform behavior.