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10 Steps to Reflect On for the Morning After Easter

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

I have tackled my share of jigsaw puzzles over the years, and the most satisfying part is when you’re into the home stretch and all of the pieces are coming together fast and furious. There is a particularly special feeling of completion when that one last piece clicks into place. I had that feeling recently when a Bible class took me through the events of Easter morning and showed me how all of the puzzle pieces from the four Gospels fit together. The first Easter morning was a crazy and confusing climax to the most incredible week in the history of the world. But if you read the accounts in the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it’s easy to get confused about how all of the stories fit together. There are a lot of names to keep...

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The Greatest Escape

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

I trudged along a canal in Berlin back in 2011, hoping to see the inside of one of the few remaining watchtowers in the city—a guard tower where East Berlin soldiers kept an eagle eye out for people escaping to West Berlin. The guards had shoot-to-kill orders. When I paid my visit, the Berlin Wall had fallen 22 years earlier, and this watchtower was only a distant reminder of one of the most bizarre barriers ever created—the Berlin Wall. In August of 1961, the border between Communist East Berlin and the free democracy of West Berlin closed overnight, and work on the Wall began in earnest. Some called it a “surreal cage,” which enclosed an entire nation behind a wall that snaked through the heart of Berlin. I had featured this watchtower in the novel I was writing in...

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The Miracle Worker and the Excuse Maker

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Moms and dads, if you haven’t discovered Doug Peterson’s “History by the Slice” stories, you need to take time to read them! You might even want to use them as part of your family devotions. These stories from history and the Bible are great to share with your children—and Doug always includes an activity or questions at the end so you can make this interactive. These are also great for homeschool families, teachers, and Sunday school teachers. In dramatic fashion, Jesus had just healed Peter’s mother-in-law in the disciple’s house along the Sea of Galilee, and the crowds began to swell around the miracle worker. So Jesus told his disciples to make ready to sail across to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. That’s when a curious encounter occurred. Matthew 8:19-20 says, “Then a teacher of the...

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A Light in Rome

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Imagine you are in ancient Rome inside the famous building, the Pantheon, and it is noon on April 21—the traditional anniversary date for the birth of Rome. Light pours through a circular opening in the Pantheon’s massive domed roof, streaming down from above and pointing like a spotlight at the main door. Suddenly, an imperial figure strides into the doorway, brightly lit up by the light pouring down from the ceiling. The figure is none other than Caesar Augustus, the emperor whom some declared to be a living god. Pretty dramatic stuff. My wife and I were in Rome last fall, and one of the guides at the Pantheon said that such a light show might actually have been orchestrated during the time of Augustus. Even Stephen Spielberg would have been impressed with these Roman special effects if he...

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The Real Saint Nick

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

A certain man living in the time of the Roman Empire had three daughters, but according to legend, they were penniless and their future looked bleak. To marry, a young woman was expected to have a dowry—money that is given to the groom. But these three young women were broke and hungry. A young man from a wealthy family heard about the poor sisters, but he didn’t want to just hand them money because he feared it would hurt the father’s pride. So the young man snuck out at night, crept up to the window of their modest house, and tossed three bags of money through the window—one sack for each daughter. That generous man, according to the story, was Saint Nicholas. In a variation of the story, Nicholas tossed the money through the window on three straight nights....

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Cubs Win! The Crazy 1908 Season

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

If you were among the millions who watched the dramatic seventh game of the World Series this year, you might have come away thinking you saw the greatest game of all time. The game was a nail-biter, as the Chicago Cubs finally won their first World Series after 108 long, excruciating years! How could it get any better? However, if you go back 108 years—to the very season when the Cubs won their last championship—you will come across a game just as suspenseful and much crazier. In fact, it was one of the craziest games of all time. It is also a story of grudges and grace. The Cubs and the New York Giants were battling over who would win the National League title and face the Detroit Tigers in the 1908 World Series. This crucial game was in...

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