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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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The Artist Every Christian Should Know

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Most people have heard of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael, although some primarily know them as the names of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their true fame came from being four of the greatest Italian artists in history. If they ever add a fifth Ninja Turtle, I recommend they go with the name of another great Italian artist—Bernini. After my recent trip to Rome, I now understand why some people considered Bernini to be the next Michelangelo. His sculptures were the most life-like and exciting that I have ever seen. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a devout Christian, although not in his early years, when he was wild and crazy. Just one example: As a young man, Bernini had an affair with a married woman, Costanza. But when he learned that his brother, Luigi, was also having an affair...

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Audrey Hepburn Versus the Nazis

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

The teenage girl entered the forest on what appeared to be an ordinary stroll, stopping to pick wildflowers along the way. In truth, she was on a secret mission to deliver an important message to a British paratrooper hiding in the Arnhem forest during World War II. The German Army occupied the Netherlands, and they were planning to do maneuvering exercises in the Arnhem forest. So someone needed to warn this British paratrooper about the German soldiers. Because the girl could speak English, she was chosen for the job of delivering the urgent message. The girl had no trouble locating the British soldier and giving him the warning, but on the way back to her village, she suddenly encountered trouble. She came face to face with two German soldiers. The girl was petrified, but she knew she couldn’t let...

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Why Herod the Great Was Not So Great

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

With the Olympic games of 2016 still fresh in my mind, I was surprised to learn recently that just before the time of Jesus, Herod the Great rescued the Olympic games and made sure they continued to be played on various Greek islands. He did this because he loved sports, but also because it was an effective way to keep his name alive and make sure people remembered that Herod the Great truly was great. The problem was…Herod the Great was not so great. He wasn’t even Herod the So-So. He was Herod the Monster. Herod was a big-time planner and builder, responsible for rebuilding the Jewish Temple at a scale never before seen. His Temple was even larger than the one built by Solomon. But if you think rebuilding the Temple won him friends among the Jews, think...

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