As a student of history, I want to share some stories that I find interesting. Hope you enjoy them. You’ll find articles about Archaeology, the Civil War, World Wars One and Two, Naval history and English history.
by Richard Mansel
People don’t know how to handle things that are different from their own life experiences. They may treat such things with dismissal or derision. However, neither are healthy alternatives when dealing with the human heart.
People with chronic illnesses battle obstacles on a daily basis. Obviously, their health captivates much of their attention and energy. They simply want to be normal. Yet, they usually find themselves alone in a crowded room.
However, a healthy person may see such constant focus as unseemly. The more sympathetic may be embarrassed or uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say or do, and they just wish the situation would go away.
by Richard Mansel
In the book of Acts, we find a remarkable account of history. Not only is Acts inspired from the mind of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it’s recorded by a very capable, attentive and skilled historian. We can trust the message from his pen.
Despite the veracity of the Word, people still smugly doubt Luke’s account. From our modern perspective, we look down at ancient people and discount their abilities and intellect as primitive and juvenile.
However, when we study the accomplishments of antiquity, we cannot come away with anything but awe at their capabilities. We’re still helpless in our technologically superior age to grasp the true gift of invention among these so-called barbarians.
When ancient people had indoor plumbing and Americans were still in outhouses a few decades ago, we’re foolish to say a word against our forefathers. As our new buildings crumble, we glance at the timeless pyramids and hide our face in embarrassment.
Yet, in our enlightened age, we persevere in our childishness.
This thrilling story surpasses the greatest literature ever written because it’s completely true. A mass murderer finds himself both redeemed and hunted. No matter how much good he does, his past haunts him. Yet, he’s fearless against impossible forces.
Saul, who would become Paul, is a monster ravaging the Church (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-2). His bloodthirsty mission sends him to Damascus, where Saul stands with bloody hands before the only one who can remove the stain on his soul (1 John 1:7).
Saul is brought to his senses and to salvation by the light on the road to Damascus and the arrival of Ananias (Acts 9:3-9; 22:16).
Saul becomes Paul and is soon a force for the gospel. Paul worked under the shadow of an appointment that could not be forsaken if he remained obedient to God. Paul had to share the gospel message before kings (Acts 9:15).
Just like so many legends of literature, Paul is falsely accused and faces death at the hands of a crazed mob (Acts 21:26-36). Saved by a Roman officer, Paul winds through the justice system, appearing before Felix, Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25-26).
Carrying out God’s plan, Paul, Luke and Aristarchus board a ship to Rome and a hearing before Caesar (Acts 27:1-2).
Luke’s lengthy recitation of Paul’s voyage to Rome was once criticized before advances in knowledge led to the begrudging realization that Luke had likely produced the greatest maritime document in the ancient world.
Little is known about ancient sailing and this story is a landmark in the field, even today. Luke’s reputation as a historian continues to soar as we learn more about the Mediterranean and the sailing methods of the day.
The exhilarating story captivates the imagination as we breathe the air, roll with the waves and feel the fear in their hearts. Facing an enormous storm that exceeded the abilities of human knowledge and skill, God saved them and continued his gospel plan (Acts 27:22-25).
Anyone who discounts this story fails to understand the gravity of the redemptive plan of God. Moreover, it makes clear the inadequacy of man and savage nature of God’s creation.
Only in God’s hands can we possibly survive the storms that rage in our lives every day. Let us cling to our Savior, so we can arrive safely on shore (Revelation 20:11-15).
As a student of ancient history, I’m always on the hunt for juicy morsels that will aid in my studies. That led me to curate a page on Scoop.It in the area of Ancient History and Archaeology. I invite you to visit my page and catch up with the latest finds in the field. I have nearly 200 stories there already.
My main interests lie in discoveries in the Bible Lands, the Roman Empire and region of the Mediterranean Sea.
The first amendment to the United States Constitution says:
”Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.”
However, as homosexuality and abortion are praised in the media, opposing voices are labeled as deviants and fools.
Public speech is no longer free as the founders intended. Efforts are under way to silence Christians from sharing what the Bible says. But this is really nothing new to God’s people. We have faced these challenges before.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me [Jesus] before it hated you” (John 15:18).
The Apostles were told to stop preaching Jesus, and they replied, ”We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Centuries later, we’re still facing the same powerful spiritual enemy (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Paul faced death on numerous occasions, but he refused to stand down against sin (2 Corinthians 11:22-33). He would not be cowed. In the last recorded chapter of his writings, he said to remain firm in the Word and face the afflictions that will come (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
God has not “given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
With courage and resolve, we must be willing to give everything up to stand firm for God’s Word. He is watching and weighing our responses to the pressures of a pagan society.
Will we pass the test?
We all want blessings from God, but we must develop spiritual maturity to understand and identify them when they come. Not everything we call a blessing is from above.
God loves his creation (John 3:16), and especially those who serve him (Isaiah 59:1-2). He sent his Son to earth to live, die and establish his church (Romans 5:6-11; Matthew 16:18).
Those who are baptized into Christ are added to the body of Jesus (Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:22-23).
Jesus tells us that God takes care of his children (Matthew 6:25-34). If we’ll serve God faithfully, he’ll shower us with blessings (Malachi 3:10; Philippians 4:19).
We must realize the following four important facts about blessings and examine them in terms of spiritual maturity and prayer. A deep study of God’s Word allows us amazing insight into the mind of God.
by Richard Mansel
The bane of the Western world is materialism. We’ve been known for waste and greed in the United States for a very long time. Yet, we’ve been humbled by recent developments. Has it helped?
We spend a lot of money for Thanksgiving and then we go into debt on Black Friday. We thank God for what we have on Thursday and then bow to possessions on Friday.
The American economy has been a disaster over the past decade. /1
The national debt is more than $17 Trillion.
Personal debt is more than $16 Trillion.
Almost 48 million people are on food stamps.
More than 91 million people are out of the work force
More than 21 million people are unemployed.
Despite these staggering numbers, stores are filled with consumers spending money that they don’t have for the latest toys and gadgets. Nothing can stop the swipe of credit cards.
Materialism is defined as an “interest in and desire for money, possessions, etc, rather than spiritual or ethical values”. More distinctly:
“A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values” .
This philosophy of life is destructive and insatiable. It blinds us to what we have around us. It calls us to long for what is over the next hill. When we reach it, another hill rises in the distance, and we just have to keep running.
“What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough”.
The following clip from the film, “No Country for Old Men,” presents an honors class for writing an unforgettable scene.
In this brilliantly acted and directed scene, we find a masterpiece of suspense. It builds slowly and inexorably, and the viewer is filled with dread. Joel and Ethan Coen directed this 2007 film and adapted the screenplay from a novel by Cormac McCarthy.
Without histrionics, profanity, special effects or violence, the director and the writer work together to lure the viewer into their web.