Tag Archives: Rome

Having A Faith Like Roman Concrete

Ancient Romans built impressive structures. Among the most impressive are sea walls and harbor piers that still stand after two thousand years. A study published Monday in, American Mineralogist, reveals the secret behind the concrete…and it also happens to be a great lesson for Christian living.

What is so impressive about Roman concrete? As written in the Washington Post, July 4 article, by Ben Guarino: “harbor concrete, a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime, has withstood the sea for two millennia and counting.” One research engineer at DuPont recently called Roman concrete, “the most durable building material in human history.” Modern concrete, on the other hand, when exposed to seawater, corrodes within decades.

What’s the difference? Marie Jackson, ancient Roman concrete expert at the University of Utah, found the difference in “microscopic structures of concrete samples.” Roman concrete’s ingredients cause a chemical reaction, resulting in aluminous tobermorite crystals to grow out of a mineral called phillipsite.

The problem is that modern concrete is designed to ignore the environment while Roman concrete is designed to grow stronger from it. The crystals that grow in the Roman concrete act like armor, protecting it from cracks. Modern concrete fractures in seawater.

True faith is also designed to grow stronger by living in the world, not ignoring it.

In John 17:15, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” In Matthew 13, Jesus reminds His disciples that we cannot remove adversity from the world. Rather, He says (v30) to “allow both” (the wheat and tares) to grow together until the harvest.

In evangelism, we cannot ignore the environment we enter. Rather, we should learn from Roman concrete. We are designed to become strong, immovable, and faithful by entering a harsh environment.

Our true composition will be revealed and rewarded if we are in Christ and Christ is in us. He is the armor that strengthens our weakness. And if we build on the foundation of Christ, our work will remain eternally (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

A Good Mixture of Defects?

Have you ever thought you weren’t “beautiful” or attractive? Have you considered that others might think that about themselves too? In a world that places so much attention on external beauty, even the famous struggle with their “defects.”

You may not know the name Luca Dotti, but it is likely that you have heard of the star of his new book, Audrey in Rome. The book includes over 2,500 pictures taken of his mother, Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn is famous for a graceful beauty, a beauty which one writer called, “absolute 100% unmatched perfection.” Nevertheless, it turns out that Hepburn didn’t see herself quite the way others did. Dotti tells us that Hepburn “thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny…She would look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful.’”

In fact, she put a “humble” spin on it by saying that she was not “beautiful,” but rather, a “good mixture of defects.” A good mixture of defects! I love that phrase because it captures the essence of our perfection in God’s eyes. God knows we aren’t perfect, but our beauty in God’s eyes isn’t wrapped up in perfection or beauty as the world sees it. Consider the following through God’s eyes:

1)      God created him; male and female He created them…and it was very good (Genesis 1:27, 31).
2)      The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
3)      Beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30).

All our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). No one is good except God alone (Mark 10:18). And yet, God welcomes us if we come to Him through Christ (John 14:6). He loves and desires us so much that, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We are beautiful in His eyes. We are, “a good mixture of defects.”

Do you see yourself as God sees you?  Accept Jesus and begin walking in the faith today. Defects and all, you can be been made beautiful in Christ!