[by Earl Blacklock] Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas was established in 1885 by the Methodist Episcopal Church to provide students with a liberal arts education. In 1951, the school took pride in its athletic program, and in its coach Harold Hunt. It was a difficult time for the school. The year before, a major fire had ravaged its administration center. With only 350 students, the school’s football team was always up against larger schools, and Coach Hunt had only 27 in his entire squad. College football was in trouble throughout the United States because of news stories about bribes and dirty play. The opening game against Central Missouri State College was one Southwestern badly wanted to win. Before a crowd of 2,000 fans, the team didn’t give an inch on defence for the entire first half, and the half ended with no score from either team.
[by Earl Blacklock] Dr. William Osler was a Canadian doctor who profoundly influenced the practice of medicine. To be a doctor was not, however, his first career choice. William intended to follow his father into the ministry, even entering seminary with that intent. After a year, however, William decided to study at McGill Medical School. After graduating, Osler continued his studies in Europe. In London, he became the first to identify the clumps that form in blood after it is drawn from the body. He correctly concluded that the clumps, now known as blood platelets, had a role to play in clotting. The acclaim that accompanied his discovery prompted McGill to call its former student home as a professor of physiology.
As Jewish worshipers were ending their sabbath early Sunday morning, March 22, 2015, an angry mob of 20 people attacked the synagogue. Nothing new here, as extremists have launched attacks against Jews for decades. But what is different is the location. The Ahavas Torah synagogue is found in London, England. Shortly after 1 am Sunday morning, a drunken group stormed the synagogue screaming “kill the Jews.” Inside the Jews struggled to hold them back, some picking up chairs to defend themselves. A couple of Jews were hurt, windows smashed and the synagogue vandalized.
[by Earl Blacklock] Something that has always astounded me is how completely the `world-changing influence of Christian men and women is ignored even as their legacy is celebrated. Ask the average person to give a summary of the impact of Christians on history, and you are more likely to hear their 10th hand rendition of real and imagined offenses during the Crusades and the Inquisition rather than how our modern society is indebted to the groundbreaking work of these Christians. One of the most influential of these Christian pioneers was a young woman, born to privilege, who created a profession that touches every life. Nurses around the world universally credit Florence Nightingale as the woman who made their profession one of honour. She introduced virtually all of the protocols and standards that are now understood by even a first year student nurse.
[by Dean Smith] As I read of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt found in the Book of Exodus, one thing always puzzled me. Why didn’t the Pharaoh just order a hit job on Moses? Moses came before the Pharaoh several times asking permission for Israel to leave Egypt. Each time the Pharaoh said no and then Moses announced another plague. There was plenty of opportunity for the Pharaoh to end it all by simply taking out the Jewish leader. But the Pharaoh didn’t do it? Why?
[by Earl Blacklock] Elyesa Bazna was the butler for the British Ambassador to Turkey in the final years of World War II. He was also the highest paid spy in history – at least on paper. Bazna is known to history as Cicero, his German code name. He approached the German embassy in Ankara with an offer they couldn’t refuse – an opportunity to regularly see the contents of British Ambassador Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen’s home safe. The Ambassador was careless about following procedure, regularly bringing sensitive documents home. He was unaware that his trusted valet had made a copy of the key to his safe, and was regularly rifling it for secrets.
[by Linda Wilson] When everything is changing, it feels like shifting ground beneath my feet. I have felt this many times and I’m sure I will feel it again. After all things change: people move on, children grow up, careers end. The list is unending really. Change is inevitable, whether I like it or not. I went through a season of change this past summer and fall. Firstly, I was dealing with some health issues and reduced work hours. Also, in October my daughter had surgery and my husband had some medical tests, both on the same day. But the biggest change came when my son moved away for work after graduating from university.
[by Barb Smith] I hadn’t been feeling well, still, I was determined to have a nice supper for our family gathering. I had rested in bed most of the day and managed to prepare a couple of dishes in the evening thinking I would finish the rest of my preparations the next day. Morning came and my strength continued to wane. Then it began, the barrage of self-degrading thoughts:
[by Dean Smith] Both my parents served in the Canadian military during World War II, and because of this I have always had a keen interest in that war. As I was watching a program on the war a while back, I learned an important lesson on deception. In John 8:44, Jesus describes Satan as the father of lies and in the devil’s first attack on humanity deception was the key to his success. Eve admitted to God she had been deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:13). Deception in its simplest form is having a person believe one thing, when something else, sometimes the complete opposite, is the truth.
[by Earl Blacklock] May 15 is the date that marks Israel’s independence, and in 1967 thousands of people gathered at Jerusalem’s Nation Hall to hear songs commissioned for the occasion. Jerusalem was at the time divided, in the hands of Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. The Mayor of west Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, had asked that one of the songs be about Jerusalem. Naomi Shemer responded to his call. Shemer’s Polish parents had taken her as a child to a number of Jerusalem’s biblical places that were closed to Jews in 1948. She was inspired to write a song about the Jerusalem that Jews from Israel could never see – the Wailing Wall, the temple, and even the “Dead Sea by way of Jericho”. She called her song Jerusalem Made of Gold. [A YouTube version of the song is available at the end of the article.]