The Lightning Rod that Created a Storm

The Lightning Rod that Created a Storm

Where would we be without Benjamin Franklin? For starters, we wouldn’t have any Ben Franklin department stores. And, without him, that oval in the middle of a fifty dollar bill would’ve been blank.   

Seriously, though, Franklin was a genius. For starters, he invented the Franklin stove and bifocals. But, perhaps his most important invention was the lightning rod. 

 

Unfortunately, Franklin’s lightning rod was not greeted with gratitude by theologians. Many devout churchmen believed lightning was God’s way of sending His wrath on a wicked world. Using a lightning rod, therefore, defied the will of God.  

Franklin introduced the lightning rod in 1752. Three years later, an earthquake rocked Massachusetts – causing some preachers to shout that this was God’s punishment for the “Franklin rods” installed on some buildings in their state. Soon, Bible scholars in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain united in denouncing Franklin’s invention as heresy. 

Let Prisoners Run Wild

Let Prisoners Run Wild

They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore what had once been devastated. 

Isaiah 61:4         

 In 1852, on Vancouver Island, British settlers founded the village of Victoria. The town was built by with beauty and Old World charm. Flowers were imported from England: hollyhocks, wallflower, and mignonette.  Every home boasted a lovely garden in the front yard.  

The peaceful village of Victoria was truly idyllic.  

 

But all this changed in a day. On April 25, 1848, most of the 450 residents were returning home from worship when an American boat, the Commodore, pulled into harbor with 450 passengers. Instantly, the size of the town had doubled.  

We Must Deal With It

We Must Deal With It

When my daughter, Krista, was two, she brought her toy doll into the living room and asked her older sister, Erika, is she would like to hold her baby.   

Erika played along. She gently cradled the doll in her arms and cooed “baby talk” to it.  After a few moments of this, Erika – ever the diplomat – exclaimed, “Oh no!  She’s crying!  I think she needs her mommy. You better take her back.”   

Uncertain that Erika comprehended the situation, little Krista leaned in close, and, with a low voice, so the baby wouldn’t hear, whispered, “She’s fake,”  

Newfangled Quartz Movement Contraptions

Newfangled Quartz Movement Contraptions

When Jesus reached in his pocket and pulled out a new contract from God, the people who had the hardest time accepting it were those who were legal experts on the original contract.  

 

In 1968, Switzerland dominated the world of watch making – owning over eighty percent of the market share in profits.  

The Swiss were proud of their watches – and for good reason: they made watches of exceptional craftsmanship. 

Yet, in a little over a decade, Switzerland was devastated. Their profit share plummeted to less than twenty percent. By 1988, employment in the watch industry in Switzerland sank from 90,000 to 28,000.  

 

What happened?

God Is Going to Blow It Up

God Is Going to Blow It Up

In 1908, Henry Ford developed the Model T.  It was the only car the Ford Motor Company made and it sold like hotcakes. In just a few years, half of all the cars on the road were Model Ts.  

But it only came in one color. In 1909, Henry Ford said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  

Ford’s ace production man, William Knudsen, foresaw that the company needed to improve to keep pace with the competition. So, when Ford took his family on a trip to Europe in 1912, Knudsen prepared a new sleek prototype with four doors and shiny red lacquer-work.  

When Ford was shown the prototype, he walked around the car three or four times with his hands in his pockets, and then he grabbed the driver’s side door and ripped it off! He proceeded to pop out the windshield and destroy the car.  The message was clear: don’t mess with my “baby.” 

Ford fired Knudsen, who went to General Motors. 

Bean Counters and Dreamers

Bean Counters and Dreamers

In Christ we, who are many, form one body, and each part belongs to all the others. 

Romans 12:5    

 Someone once said there are only three kinds of people in this world: those who are good at math and those who aren’t.  

I’m not good at math. 

Numbers are confusing, abstract things. I have a difficult time remembering people’s ages – including my own. My wife can recall phone numbers and zip codes from places where we lived over 20 years ago. I struggle, at times, to remember my current zip code. To me, numbers are not all that important.