The Majestic Hotel burned
Over the weekend, the renowned Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas burned. It had been closed, shuttered up, since 2006, in desperate need of renovation and repairs. No one stepped up to do so, and in a tragedy of landmark significance, the resulting fire will dramatically alter historic downtown Hot Springs. The fire was significant to me since I went to college at nearby Arkadelphia, and Hot Springs was a popular destination for entertainment and dining.
Here are some great links detailing the hotel’s history and abandonment. If you’ve got a few minutes, it’s worth reviewing the past of this establishment which drew Chicago gangsters such as Al Capone regularly.
Your smartphone is robbing your sleep
Do you lie in bed doing work before sleeping.. on your smartphone? Research in this article says that using your smartphone late to respond to texts, emails and try to get a jump on the next day can inhibit your overall productivity and impact the quality of your sleep.
“..work-related smartphone use in the evening was associated with fewer hours of sleep… put down the phone and enjoy the evening.”
The article encouraged me again to implement a smartphone fast for a time. I called it my Digital Lifestyle Adjustment Experiment (DLAE) last year. Read about the experiment here.
HT: Jon Acuff (For you digital bloggie newbs, “HT” means “hat tip” and is a way to say “I first saw this at ___. Thanks.”) Jon said:
“A brilliant guy named Dustin Ah Kuoi created this. The thing I loved about it was that it parodied church signs perfectly. It was like a parody inside of a parody wrapped inside an enigma. Like Newman.”
Reasons you should know church history
I think I first heard the term chronological snobbery from Pastor John Piper. It’s a very real mindset which presumes that current thought and culture is the premier epicenter of human logic and existence. The idea that people before us were smarter or more moral is banished from our worldview. It’s an unquestioned embrace of supposed human mental and spiritual evolution.
However, we should look back often so that we can be humbled, encouraged and reminded that others have tread this path before us and offer invaluable instruction for our profit and peace. Many of those who have gone before us would make today’s intellectual giants look more like dwarves.
This article lists 10 reasons we should know church history. Here are a few that grabbed me and made me nod.
Church history comforts believers in their struggles. Jonathan Edwards was fired from a job. Martin Luther was plagued by fear. Elisabeth Elliot endured the death of two husbands—one at the hands of violent natives on the mission field. Yet none of their lives were ruined by these hardships. They all went on to fruitfulness. Knowing this encourages perseverance amid our own afflictions.
“Church history broadens our choice of devotional literature.” A hearty amen here. I get so weary of contemporary Christians devouring only modern Christian material and regaling over every new book released by a popular preacher. It’s desperately important to dine on the classics and the pilgrims of our faith. (By the way, due to age, many of them are now free. Search the web for pdfs.)
Here are some places to begin:
- Confessions by St. Augustine
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis
- Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
- The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter
- Pensées by Blaise Pascal
- Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
- The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
“Church history helps believers interpret the Bible.”
“Church history frees us from the illusion that modern, secular psychology is the only solution for emotional and behavioral problems.”
“Church history contains cautionary tales to remind us that Christians can dishonor their Lord. The crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition, and the Reformers’ squelching of religious freedom all engender humility and caution for believers. Zeal is not enough to justify our words or deeds. We must take care that actions we label “Christian” truly reflect Jesus.”
Were Christian missionaries imperialist society-ruiners?
Ever heard that line of thought? The rationale goes something like this – The worst thing that ever happened to many third world countries and aboriginal societies was the introduction of Christianity by western missionaries. It’s a popular assertion among intelligentsia and on college campuses in anthropology courses.
However, it’s distinctly and patently wrong.
Now there’s empirical research to not just discount the claim but reverse it. Democracy wouldn’t exist without the foundation of Christianity claims this ten-year study that many scholars are now confessing carries a lot of weight.
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