Poignant

I’m not sure exactly why it is, but this letter just tears me up. I’ve come across it a few times now, and every time I hear or read it, it affects me deeply. It’s a letter from Lt. Col. John Butler of the 5th Marine Division and was written to his son, John Jr.. It was one of many letters sent from father to son while dad was far away, fighting in a terrible war. February 18, 1945 Dear …

The Unknown Waters of this Year

Yet another year is giving us its last gasps. Tonight we’ll celebrate the passing of an old year and the dawning of a new one. It is a good occasion, a good opportunity, to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. To that end, here is a prayer drawn from The Valley of Vision. It shares hope and encouragement for the new year. It is a good one to include in your prayers as you …

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A Prayer for Year’s End

Let me share again today a prayer from The Valley of Vision that great collection of Puritan prayers. This one seems appropriate as we approach the end of another year and look forward to the year beyond. O Love beyond Compare, Thou art good when thou givest, when thou takest away, when the sun shines upon me, when night gathers over me. Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world, and in love didst redeem my soul; Thou …

Things Vaguely Comprehended

Earlier this year John Naish, a British journalist, released a book titled Enough (which does not seem to be widely available in the United States). He subtitled the book, “Breaking free from the world of more.” He uses the book to encourage people to stop when they have enough–enough stuff, enough food, enough work, enough information. There were parts of the book I thought were much better than others; one part I thoroughly enjoyed was his discussion about information and …

Great Power and Great Stupidity

It will come as no surprise to you that atheists are becoming increasingly militant in their stand against theism in general and Christianity in particular. This militancy is often taking the form of mock horror and dripping sarcasm. I find it valuable every now and again to read quotes like this one from Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation. Why? Well, I suppose it helps me remember the old adage–the truth–that the Christian faith always has and …

The Dark Guest

Here is another prayer from The Valley of Vision. I think this one has somehow struck me deeper than any other in the book. This confession both shames and encourages me: “I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.” Here it is, a prayer that God would remove the dark guest who haunts me. O Lord, Bend my hands …

The Trinity

I have the privilege of preaching tonight on the topic of the Trinity. It seemed appropriate, then, that I would combine this topic with the prayers I often post on Sundays–prayers drawn from The Valley of Vision. This prayer is the first in the book and is known simply as “The Trinity.” What a great prayer it is. Three in One, One in Three, God of my salvation, Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit, I adore thee as one Being, …

My Heart Was Too Full

In his sermon this morning our pastor quoted John Paton’s Autobiography (still in print almost 120 years after it was first published). It’s a quote I’ve heard often and one that has stirred me every time. It describes Paton leaving his home in Torthorwald to attend missionary school in Glasgow (just to get to the train he had to walk some forty miles). His godly father accompanied him for the first portion of the journey. Here is what happened: My …

A Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving up here in Canada and we’ll be gathering with family to celebrate the day. I thought it would be appropriate to offer this prayer, drawn once more from The Valley of Vision. O My God, You fairest, greatest, first of all objects, My heart admires, adores, loves You, For my little vessel is as full as it can be, And I would pour out all that fullness before You in ceaseless flow. When I think upon and …

The Dream is Over. The Endless Day Has Begun.

I’ve met Terry Stauffer a few times–at Together for the Gospel and at least one or two other conferences. He has been a regular commenter at this blog and maintains a blog of his own. He serves as pastor of Edson Baptist Church in Edson, Alberta. Earlier this week I was shocked to receive an email from my pastor pointing to this entry on Terry’s blog. “Last night at about 4:45 our precious 14 year-old daughter Emily was attacked and …