I have vivid childhood memories of climbing the highest sand dune on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Pigeon Hill rose more than 300 feet above the entrance to Muskegon Lake and covered 30 acres. It was a tough challenge to climb this magnificent mound.
It was a significant statement by Luke when he wrote that the church was "scattered throughout . . . Samaria" (Acts 8:1). Prior to this time, the Christians lived in the familiar surroundings of Jerusalem—home to the memories of Pentecost and the explosive expansion of the church. The early Christians would have been content to stay there forever. But persecution scattered them into a new territory—Samaria.
Some people think that going to a church service is not much different than going to a music concert. There are similarities: We travel to get there, we assemble with people of a common interest, our attention is focused on the front, and the ceiling is high.
The driver of a hearse foolishly tried to warm himself on a rainy Saturday morning by drinking on the job. He didn't get warm (alcohol actually lowers body temperature), but he did get lost on the way to the cemetery. The funeral procession waited in vain at the grave for hours.
When the elevated railroad was introduced in New York City years ago, some people worried that it might collapse under the weight of its passengers. Francis L. Patton, former president of Princeton Theological Seminary, tells us that "the proprietors of the road took great pleasure in notifying the public of the fact that this road had been subjected to a most abnormal and enormous tonnage, and that consequently people of ordinary weight might deem themselves quite safe."
High on the list of God's tough commands for us is telling the truth. I've told my 9-year-old son Steven many times that if he wants us to trust him in a few years with a car and all of the responsibilities of being a teenager, he has to tell the truth in everything now!