I came across an extremely interesting legend while researching the city of Ephesus recently... The Legend of the Seven Sleepers.
Around 250AD, when Christians were being fiercely persecuted, seven young men refusing to recant their faith, gave their worldly goods to the poor and retreated to a mountain cave to pray (and await capture, followed by execution I presume), where they eventually fell asleep. The emperor, seeing that their attitude towards Christ had not diminished, ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed, and effectively sealed their fate.
Two centuries passed and the landowner decided to re-open the cave, thinking to use it as a cattle pen. He did so, and to his astonishment, found seven men sleeping inside. They awoke and believed they had only slept one day. They wandered into the city of Ephesus, and were utterly bewildered at the many churches and the freedom of worship for Christians. The Sleepers later died naturally (and this time permanently) and were buried in the cave in which they had slept.
It is no secret that Satanists, death-metallers and other such lovely people deliberately adorn themselves with jewelery that most Christians find offensive. For example: The horned goat, and pentagram, and if you really want to freak us Jesus Freaks out... the upside down cross.
Ah Yes, the classic inverted cross - the most recognizable symbol of defiance against Christianity. Where did this symbol-abomination originate? When did this most unholy sign come into being? Obviously from the depths of hell itself, surely. Actually no. Not even remotely close.
I've used a quote in a few sermons that goes along the lines of "For each grain of sand on earth there are a million stars."
It is unbelievable enough that I have had people challenge me as to its authenticity. So, I decided to see if it is really genuine or if I have been guilty of the almost unforgivable sin of claiming something fictional as being factual (oh the shame).
I tracked down one of the the original sources of the quote, It was from a BBC documentary called "Space", narrated by Sam Neill. The quote verbatim is:
“For every grain of sand on our entire planet, there are one million stars out there in space.”