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    (see also FORECASTING)

    Fiedler's Forecasting Rules. (1) It is very difficult to forecast, especially about the future. (2) He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass. (3) The moment you forecast, you know you're going to be wrong -- you just don't know when and in which direction. (4) If you're ever right, never let them forget it. 

    Edgar R. Fiedler, economist, quoted in The Official Rules, Paul Dickson.

    I am fond of a line from Niels Bohr, the physicist, and have quoted it before.

    "Prediction is a very difficult art," he says, "especially when it involves the future.

    Scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center report that one of the largest stars in our galaxy is about to self-destruct. Eta Carinae, which has a mass 100 times greater than that of our sun, is giving signs that its life is about over. Researchers say that it could become a supernova -- a blazing, exploding star -- within the next 10,000 years. What was especially interesting about the Science 81 report was the statement that since light from the star takes 9,000 years to reach the earth, the actual explosion could have already taken place.

    This striking fact reminds me of the nature of biblical prophecy. For example, the predictions found in Revelation 8 are often written in the past tense. This is done because even though the prophet is writing of a future event, he has already "seen" it. Also, in the mind of God it's as if the events have already happened. Even though Christians differ on the interpretation of today's Scripture, we can definitely say that God's judgment against sin is certain. The outpouring of His anger against those who continually resist Him is so sure that it has been written about in the past tense. This should cause us to reflect with the apostle Peter, who wrote so appropriately, "Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?" (2 Peter 3:11). As Christians, we know what's ahead for this world, and that knowledge should keep us living close to God. 

    Our Daily Bread.

    The book The World's Worst Predictions lists some of history's all-time prophetic goof.

    King George II said in 1773 that the American colonies had little stomach for revolution.

    An official of the White Star Line, speaking of the firm's newly built flagship, the Titanic, launched in 1912, declared that the ship was unsinkable.

    In 1939 The New York Times said the problem of TV was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen, and that the average American wouldn't have time for it.

    An English astronomy professor said in the early 19th century that air travel at high speed would be impossible because passengers would suffocate.

    The World's Worst Predictions.

    Years ago a hydroelectric dam was to be built across a valley in Maine. The people in the town were to be relocated and the town itself submerged.

    During the time between the initial decision and the completion of the dam, the town, which had once been well-kept, fell into disrepair. Why keep it up now?

    Explained one resident: "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no work in the present."

    Source Unknown.

    The rule on staying alive as a financial forecaster is to give them a number or give them a date, but never give them both at once. 

    Jane Bryant Quinn.

    Dr. George Sweeting once estimated that "more than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy...Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1800 references appear in the O.T., and seventeen O.T. books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the N.T., there are more than 300 references to the Lord's return--one out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 N.T. books refer to this great event...For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ's second coming." 

    Today in the Word, MBI, December, 1989, p. 40.

    D.L. Moody once said, "I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another."

    Source Unknown.