A Mother’s Bible

Few things thrill me more than unearthing treasures that, for too long, have lay hidden in old books. Just such a treasure is Bishop Gilbert Haven’s sweet reflection on his mother’s Bible–a fitting piece to share on this Mother’s Day. I hope you’ll read it and be blessed by it. On one of the shelves in my library, surrounded by volumes of all kinds, on various subjects, and in various languages, stands an old book, in its plain covering of …

The Endearing Conceit of Young Men

I wonder if you have ever thought about the kind of courage—but also the kind of conceit—it takes for a young man to ask a father for the hand of his daughter. De Witt Talmage once considered this in a discourse on marriage and, frankly, his thoughts are hilarious. I trust you’ll enjoy reading about the very “sublimity of impudence” as he highlights it here. I charge you realize your responsibility in having taken her from the custody and care …

Become a Patron

Trinity Sunday

Among Nick’s things I found a collection of George Herbert’s poetry—a text from one of his Bible college courses (and presumably one taught by the book’s author, Jim Orrick). Herbert was a Puritan-era devotional poet who left behind some wonderful reflections on Christian living and doctrine. I especially appreciated this short one in which he displays skill through concision. Every word counts in “Trinity Sunday.” Lord, who hast formed me out of mud, And hast redeemed me through thy blood, …

To the Mourner

In recent months I have often mentioned the growing importance of poetry in my life. As we come to Good Friday and Easter, I have been enjoying some of the devotional poetry of days gone by, and was especially struck by Hannah Flagg Gould’s “To the Mourner.” It does not deal with Easter per se, but with the wonderful consequences of Easter, for if Christ rose, so shall those who have died in him. Here is her reflection on the …

Savior, Lead Me

I have been reading some of the works of Charles Ebert Orr who wrote in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Besides books he also penned a small number of poems and hymns and, among them, I most appreciated one titled “Savior, Lead Me.” It is a simple profession of confidence in God’s goodness and sovereignty and a simple consecration to his purposes. I think you’ll enjoy it as well. I do not pray that life be spent On flow’ry …

Thy Way Is Best

I have mentioned in the past that I have been exploring some of the Christian poetry of the nineteenth century—an era in which poetry was a prime devotional genre for the church. I was recently making my way through Christopher Newman Hall’s Pilgrim Songs in Cloud and Sunshine, and was taken by a number of works, including this one, titled “Thy Way Is Best.” I thought you might enjoy reading it as well, for it is a simple but moving …

The Penitential Tear

Few of us take the time to mine and appreciate the vast stores of poetry laid up by so many of our Christian forebears. Yet in centuries past poetry was the language of many a sorrowful and rejoicing believer. In the last several months I have been discovering some of treasures and particularly enjoying the work of the 19th-century American poet Hannah Flagg Gould. This work, “The Penitential Tear,” is representative of her spiritual meditations. Thou trembling, pure, and holy …

This World Is Passing Away

The Apostle tells us that “the present form of this world is passing away.” Horatius Bonar once reflected on this and wrote a beautiful bit of writing that shows just what that means and how we should live accordingly. The world is passing away — like a dream of the night. We lie down to rest; we fall asleep; we dream; we awake at morn — and lo, all is fled, which in our dream seemed so stable and so pleasant! So …

Something Left Undone

I have been making my way through the works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, first through his shorter poems and eventually through his epics. One of his shorter works particularly resonated with me since it touched on a theme complementary to an article I wrote just last week. Friday’s article was titled “There Is Only Ever Today” and told of the importance of embracing each day’s duty. Longfellow’s “Something Left Undone” deals honestly with the reality that some things will always …

When Jesus Brags About You

Jesus promises that “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” As I continue my dabbling in nineteenth century devotional writers, I came across a neat passage from Charles Ebert Orr in which he imagines how Jesus may do that very thing. I share it in the hope you’ll find it encouraging. Jesus will gather his holy angels before him and address them thus: “Do you behold Brother—? He is a …