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Don't forget to make some memories!

From God’s Restaurant to Mars Hill

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

The sky was as blue as the Aegean Sea when my wife and I left our hotel and hiked off to visit the Parthenon, the ancient ruins of a temple that has stood at the heart of Athens for about 2,500 years. Before we climbed the winding slope leading up to the Acropolis, where the Parthenon stands, we popped in for breakfast at an establishment that was actually named “God’s Restaurant.” You know you’re starting your day off right when you have an omelet at God’s Restaurant. We took a million photos on the Acropolis, where you could get a beautiful bird’s-eye view of the city and its sea of white buildings. But the greatest thrill was coming across a small hill on our way down from the Parthenon. We had stumbled onto Mars Hill, the site where tradition...

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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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