An Amazing Fact: A woman who had just returned from a trip to Mexico frantically called the Los Angeles Police Department to report that a live rattlesnake had been placed in her overnight bag. Police went rushing to the scene with sirens screaming. They slowly approached the menacing bag, which the woman had heaved out of a window onto the sidewalk. Cautiously they scattered the contents of the bag-only to trace the rattling sound to her electric toothbrush, which had accidentally turned on!
I carry with me a photograph of a log cabin in Washington state. Although we visit this mountain retreat winter and summer, we never stay long enough for it to become a common place to us.
There's a variety of wildlife on this mountain, from the faithful hummingbird sentinel at the top of a tall, leafless sapling to the elusive elk, whose hoof prints tell us they frequent the top of our mountain.
In this article I want to focus on the vision of the valley of dry bones, found in Ezekiel 37:1-14, because we can learn many profound things from this fascinating passage of Scripture.
The book of Ezekiel was written by the prophet bearing the same name, which means "God will strengthen." A Hebrew from the tribe of Levi, he was among the elite of Judah who were captured by Nebuchadnezzar and carried away to Babylon. Ezekiel prophesied between the years 600 and 570 B.C. and was a contemporary of the prophet Daniel...
An Amazing Fact: The coconut tree is sometimes called the tree of life because of its amazing versatility. My father, who was a World War II pilot, says that when planes went down in the Pacific Islands, the stranded pilots sometimes survived for many months on little more than coconuts. From coconuts we get food, milk, butter, clothing, baskets, oil, wax, and even soap. Their shells can be used to make a bowl and other utensils, and their husks can serve as fuel for a fire.
Trees are essential to the life and well-being of this planet. For instance, most of the medicine we have today is derived from trees-even more than from plants. Aspirin is made from salicylic acid, which is found in the bark of willow trees. Taxol, a drug used to treat ovarian cancer, is extracted from the bark of the rare Pacific yew tree. Hundreds of other medicines are derived from trees in the rainforests of Central and South America.
An Amazing Fact: While under the influence of a light hypnotic trance, a man who submitted to a scientific hypnosis experiment was ordered to pick up a glass from the table. Although he was a strong, athletic type, the man could not budge the glass from its position. His most strenuous exertions could not lift the glass that was light enough for any child to remove.
Why could he not do it? Because the scientists, after placing him in the trance, had told him that it was impossible to pick up the glass. Because his mind was convinced that it could not be done, his body was unable to carry out the command to lift it. What a dramatic demonstration of the fact that no person can really obey commandments he believes are impossible to perform!
Does God Require the Impossible?It is probably safe to say that the majority of Christians today are resigned to falling short of the moral law. In fact, they are quite satisfied that God doesn't expect them to fulfill that law completely, either in the flesh or in the spirit.
An Amazing Fact: It is estimated that between 30,000 and 40,000 people die from snakebites each year, 75 percent of whom live in densely populated India. The most deadly snakes in India are the cobra, Russell's viper, saw-scaled cobra, Indian krait, and Ceylon krait.
Burma has the highest snakebite mortality rate, with 15.4 deaths per 100,000 people per year. Australia has some of the world's most poisonous snakes, but the average death toll there is only six persons per year. In South America about 4,500 people die annually from contact with the Fer-de-lance.
None of the snakes just mentioned are found in the United States, where the chief offenders are coral snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes.
An Amazing Fact: The Sun is a fantastically hot cosmic-radiation powerhouse, with a surface temperature of about 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Its interior temperature is estimated as high as 18 million degrees Fahrenheit. The pressure at the center of the sun is about 700 million tons per square inch. That's enough to smash atoms, expose the inner nuclei, and allow them to smash into each other, interact, and produce the nuclear fusion that gives us our light and heat. In fact, the material at the core of the sun is so intensely hot that if you could capture just enough to cover a pinhead, it would radiate sufficient heat to kill a man one mile away!
An Amazing Fact: Gordius was a Greek peasant who became king of Phrygia simply because he was the first man to drive into town after an oracle had commanded his countrymen to "select as ruler the first person who would drive into the public square in a wagon." In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his wagon to the god Zeus and securely tied the tongue of the wagon in the temple grove with a thick, strong rope. The knot was so intricately entwined that no one could undo it. Many tried, but all failed. A prophet said that whoever succeeded in untying the difficult knot would become the ruler of all Asia. Hearing this, young Alexander the Great attempted to untie the complex Gordian knot but was also unsuccessful, so he drew his sword and cut it through with a single stroke. Alexander of course went on to become the ruler of Asia and beyond. The expression "to cut the Gordian knot" is now used for resolving a difficult problem by a quick and decisive action.
An Amazing Fact: In Asia lives a remarkable little spider that has its home under the water. This water spider spins a tiny web in the shape of a bell and attaches it to stems of water weeds and plants just below the pond surface. All spiders must breathe air, so the water spider takes its air along like a skin diver. On the surface she traps tiny bubbles in the hairs of her body, then hurries home and releases them under her web. The spider makes many trips to bring air bubbles back for her home. The waterproof web becomes inflated with trapped air and makes a perfect diving bell where she lives, eats, and lays her eggs. If the air is used up, the spider surfaces to breathe and collect more fresh bubbles for her home below. Living below, and yet breathing the air from above, this little spider is constantly surrounded by water, yet remains perfectly dry!
Experts have proven that one of the most successful methods of memorization is through picture association. The Lord uses this teaching technique because He knows that humans are extremely visual creatures. This is one of the main reasons Jesus taught with parables.
An Amazing Fact! Houdini, born Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874, is perhaps America's most famous magician and escape artist. While visiting a psychiatrist friend in Nova Scotia in 1896, Houdini saw his first strait jacket. Instead of shock, he was inspired to create an act around escaping from it. And Houdini didn't just escape from a strait jacket-he did it hanging upside down from his ankles, suspended yards above the ground.
Houdini then expanded his act to escape not only from any handcuffs offered, but also from most any location suggested. Houdini escaped from jail cells, handcuffed bridge jumps, padlocked crates thrown into rivers, locked canvas mailbags-even a giant paper bag, without making a single tear in it. Possibly his most memorable escapes were the stage illusions he made famous, including the Water Torture Cell, the Milk Can Escape, and Buried Alive.