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A Short Christmas Interview with Jerry
350 sec promotional audio clip

"This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and ask where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your soul."
Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

Building Walls or Character?

By Jerry Stewart - Vision Productions    Of all the man-made spectacles in history, all of the seemingly impossible feats, there is one that truly sticks out in my mind. This unbelievable man-made structure was built for protection. And these people who spent literally hundreds of years building it thought that once it was completed, it would be uncrackable.     But, as you’ll hear, it didn’t quite turn out the way they planned. What I’m talking about is what we know today as the Great Wall of China.     Although some of the building of this great wall began even before the birth of Christ, most all of the building took place during the dynasty of the Ming empire from about 1368 through 1644 A.D. and after it was finished, it stretched for over 1,500 miles. That’s a distance of more than halfway across our United States. And the amazing part of this feat is that they didn’t have any bulldozers or tractors – only hard labor. At any one time they had as many as 1.8 million workers working full time on this wall. Many spent their entire life there - and died while working.     Now since the wall was built to keep their enemies out, it had to be unending with no gaps. It was built over mountains, through rivers, into deep valleys, through thick forests and blistering deserts. In some places the terrain was so steep the wall had to be built at a 70-degree angle – unbelievable.     Just how big was the wall? It was about 25 feet high. It measured up to 30 feet wide at the base and about 12 feet wide at the top. That’s wide enough for four men on horses to ride side by side.     At first the wall was built of mainly dirt and rock and logs. Later, the Chinese invented and built kilns for actually making their own fire hardened bricks. Scientists today say these brick are as hard as today’s modern brick.     Now, not only did they build the wall, they built towers and huge gates. To keep these gates from being knocked down they put up thick additional walls so that marauding enemies could not bust through. In some places, they even dug moats around the gates. Unbelievable. Now, 60 men to protect and watch for the enemy manned each tower. But, just how did they communicate between the towers? At first they used men on horseback. Kind of like their own pony express. But later they devised a great scheme – if they needed to send a message by day, they would send smoke signals. If they were attacked by night they would use fires or even fireworks.     Yes, it surely seemed like they had thought of everything. Surely they would be protected for a thousand years. Right? Wrong. According to all I’ve read, when the wall was actually finished and the enemy came, believe it or not, the wall did not work.     Why? It was certainly strong enough and tall enough. Why did it fail? Guards were bribed to open the gates – and the enemy just walked through.     So what’s the moral to this story? First, an observation. To have a successful military you certainly need guns and bombs and weapons. But the success of any military is based not on the weapons, but the soldiers. Men and women who are willing to fight and protect their land. How very fortunate and blessed we are today in America to have so many brave and loyal American soldiers. And we need to let them know that every day.     The moral of this story? Well, clearly, this Chinese empire, these great dynasties, they spent hundreds of years with hundreds of millions of work hours building truly one of the great man-made wonders of the world. But instead of spending all their time building this great wall for hundreds of years; instead they should have spent more time building the character and moral fiber of their people.     You see, the greatness of a nation is not defined by its buildings or its structures or its accomplishments. No, a great nation is defined by the great character of its people.