Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt… one of the more famous American personalities in history. While I knew about him on a peripheral level for years, I felt no connection to this complex, interesting man until I watched a little CBS show titled Blue Bloods. It centers on three generations of a family who are or were all involved in law enforcement roles in New York City. The sole person in the middle generation, Frank Reagan, holds the position of Police Commissioner. You could say he views Teddy Roosevelt as somewhat of a role model. He more than once draws inspiration from his life and the lessons he passed down by example. And boy, did Teddy ever live. Continue reading
Does one remember that initial meeting with an American Founding Father, when you first hear their name and fixed point in time and history? I do. It was in a cartoon called Ben and Me, based on a child’s book I never read. I learned Benjamin Franklin was not that brilliant, and a mouse took all the credit. Oh, wait, no. That’s not the true Benjamin Franklin. Continue reading
Moscow, Russia. It was the last third of the 17th century. Tsar Alexis of Russia was in power. A time of art development and baroque aesthetics. In Russia, it was also the heyday of the most important art—the theater. But few know the origins of Russian theater involve a Lutheran pastor, Johann Gottfried Gregory. Continue reading
Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love. – Eric Liddell
People often think of Eric Liddell with Vangelis’s glorious ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme playing in the back of their mind. But in my opinion, the classic hymn ‘Be Still My Soul’ should accompany Liddell’s memory. The melancholy tune was one of his favorites and the lyrics define him—for me, at least. Continue reading
When you think of women’s rights, I doubt the medieval time period comes to mind. Religion played a huge role in society during this time. That led to a more patriarchal culture, so it’s understandable. However, if an observer digs deeper into history, the medieval era provides examples of women who left behind memorable lives that promote equality. Such as Matilda, queen to William the Conqueror. Through the circumstances of her birth, marriage, and legacy, Queen Matilda is a historical figure who deserves more recognition. Continue reading
I was in my early teens when they released the movie Gettysburg (1993). My family rented it as soon as it hit the local video store. We settled down for a deeply moving, relatively accurate depiction of the battle at Gettysburg that turned the tide of the American Civil War in favor of the Union. Continue reading
On the night of April 4, 1968, in a poverty-stricken Indianapolis neighborhood, Robert Kennedy climbed on a flatbed truck and gazed through the darkness at an angry, jeering crowd. He grabbed a microphone, took a deep breath, and delivered one of the greatest speeches in American history. Continue reading
The gale rocks the scaffolding beneath you. The sweat on your hands causes you to lose your grip on the iron rail. You came up to straighten the boards. Your heart pounds. One foot forward at a time. You can do this. TITANIC needs you. Her iron hull rises beside you. The next brutal gust rocks the narrow platform so much, you cannot take another step. Stranded eighty feet above the ground, you panic.
“Hold on,” someone shouts beneath you. “I’m coming up.”
You focus on breathing. The boards have shifted. You’re too terrified to try climbing down. You sit and wait until a cheerful face appears over the edge. “Hello, Archie,” your pal Thomas Andrews says with his usual grin. “Got yourself in a bind?”
You manage a nervous chuckle. Andrews helps you climb down before he secures the boards himself. Continue reading
Just a Voice, Just a Servant, Just a Signpost
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?” Jesus asked.
No. They went out to see a prophet, a holy man, a man who spoke God’s words; his name was John. His words riveted the crowds. They marveled at the conviction behind them! If only we lived as though we (like John) were ready for God to do some shocking new thing. As if God will come to this earth where we live. (He will.) And if only we would read and think about the scriptures in the way John did. (As though God gave them.) Continue reading
Today you are not in the year 2019. Today you have time traveled back to an ordinary afternoon in 1996. No, you have not entered the Twilight Zone. But what you are about to witness is a true story. You are looking into a living room with a dark-paneled wall, a wood-burning stove, and an old square television set with dials. Seated in front of it is a little girl with scraggly blonde pigtails wearing a pink turtleneck under a jumper-dress. She fixes her eyes on the screen. The tall, thin man with grey hair she is watching on the screen removes his red sweater and hangs it in the closet, replacing it with a suit jacket. As he does so, he sings part of a song, “I’ll be back, when the day is new. And I’ll have more ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will, too.” And just before the man leaves through the front door of his home, the little girl leans forward and kisses him on the cheek… or rather, the static-y screen of the TV. Continue reading