Dr. Mike Holloway
Dr. Jim Willoughby
Dr. Mike Holloway ~ May 24, 2020
One of the most recognized structures in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge, was opened to the public on this day in 1883. At the time of its completion, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The most fascinating thing about the bridge was not how it was built or designed, but the dedication of the Roebling family in seeing it through to its completion. The bridge was designed by John Roebling who went to the East River to determine the exact location of where he would build the bridge. While at the location, an arriving ferry crashed into the dock and smashed his foot. Three of his toes had to be amputated, and the severity of the accident was such that he died less than a month later. His son, Washington Roebling, then took over as chief engineer of the project and made important and innovative changes to the bridge. While working on the bridge, a fire erupted in one of the towers. Washington ran into the affected tower to help extinguish the flames, which saved the bridge but caused him to acquire decompression sickness (known as the bends). His health was so injured by this that he was forced to complete the construction of the bridge from his bed. It was during his recovery that his wife, Emily, entered the picture in relation to the bridge's completion. She received instructions from her husband and then carried them to the construction site, issued them to the foremen, and then oversaw their work. She taught herself bridge construction, and in her husband's absence, she took over the job of chief engineer and ensured that the work continued. It took thirteen years for the bridge to be completed, but its durability and longevity indicate the quality of its construction as well as the dedication of the Roebling family. John, the dad, envisioned the bridge and put it on paper. Washington, the son, then stepped in upon his father's death to take the plans and transform them into a reality. When his health was ruined while building the bridge, his wife then stepped in to see its completion. Their dedication as a family should be encouraging to Christians in relation to their involvement in helping to build the church. Doing God's business should truly be a family affair.
This Day In History
This Day in History
Dr. Jim Willoughby ~ February 7, 2021
Sunday, February 7, 1904, began like most other Sundays in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a chilly morning. Most businesses were closed, and families were heading to church. What started off normal, ended as anything but normal. It all began with a man throwing down a cigarette butt at the John Hurst and Company building on West German Street at Hopkins Place. At 10:48 A.M., the first call to the Baltimore Fire Department was received, indicating a fire at the building. They immediately responded, but high winds quickly caused the fire to burn out of control. Realizing their need for help, the fire department telegraphed nearby cities to send reinforcements. They also tried creating a fire-break by dynamiting surrounding buildings. In spite of their best efforts, the fire continued to grow faster than they could handle. Soon other engines arrived from Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Virginia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City. This included both public and private fire-fighting departments. Unfortunately, they were of little to no help. Since there were no national standards for firefighting equipment at the time, the hoses from these other agencies would not fit the hydrants in Baltimore, rendering them useless. The fire continued to grow and burn the city for over thirty hours. When it was finally brought under control, it had consumed over 1,500 buildings and severely damaged another 1,000. The destruction covered seventy city blocks, or an area of 140 acres. Thankfully, no lives were lost in this disaster, but the financial impact was devastating. In addition to leaving 35,000 people unemployed, the total loss came in at over $4.4 billion in today’s dollar, making this the most destructive fire in America since the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. It is amazing to consider the destruction that came from one carelessly discarded cigarette in the basement of a building. Likewise, the Bible warns us of the damage that can be caused by one errant word in James 3, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” Let us be ever vigilant to guard our words, using them to build and encourage, remembering that the tongue of the wise is health!