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 ~ December 20, 2020
November 6, 1861, James was born on a small farm in Ontario, Canada. He accepted Christ as a young man and had a desire to be in the ministry. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he taught for a short time. He then moved to Springfield, Massachusetts and took a position as chaplain and teacher at the Springfield YMCA. James belonged to a popular movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries called Muscular Christianity. The movement strived to build character, instill Christian values, and promote masculinity through rigorous athletics and other physical activities. According to a historian and biographer, “There was a sense among the upper class that young men were effeminate because there was less of a need to do manual labor.” When he arrived, he discovered a rowdy group of boys that were not able to go outside for activities due to the harsh New England winters. That meant they were playing games meant for the outdoors in the gymnasium, resulting in a lot of fights and unnecessary injuries. Therefore, the first task assigned to James by his boss was to develop an indoor game that would provide an athletic distraction, not take up much room, help the track athletes to keep in shape, and make it fair for all players and not too rough. In trying to create a game that would meet all of these requirements, James thought back to a game that he used to play as a child called, Duck on a Rock. After coming up with the basic premise, he met with the boys and explained the rules. Initially, they seemed less than enthused, but after playing for a short time, they loved it! In his own words, James said, “I showed them two peach baskets I'd nailed up at each end of the gym, and I told them the idea was to throw the ball into the opposing team's peach basket. I blew a whistle, and the first game of basketball began.” On this day, 129 years ago, James Naismith introduced a game that would not only help his students, but would impact the world! Since that day, the game of basketball has become a multi-billion dollar industry, touching nearly every country around the world. It is amazing to think that a game, created by a man simply being faithful in his duties would turn into something so incredibly large. As Christians, we can only imagine the impact we may have on eternity, not by trying to be great, but rather by simply being faithful in what God has called us to do!