Afraid? Of What?

Last week I read a short biography of John and Betty Stam, missionary martyrs to China. Stay tuned for a review. In that book, written by Vance Christie, was a poem and the story that inspired it. I thought I’d share that today. ***** The poem, entitled “Afraid?” was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who …

Eternity Without a Mediator

In his little book Fear Not!, an examination of death and the afterlife from a Christian perspective, Ligon Duncan writes about the horrors of hell. Having done so, he offers a final reflection on the ultimate difference between heaven and hell. And, though I’ve read extensively, I do not recall ever hearing someone express it quite like this. These are words that are worthy of some reflection. Though he has already discussed hell, there is one more thing he wishes …

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Humility in Service

It has been too long, I think, since I’ve posted a prayer from The Valley of Vision. This one, titled “Humility in Service,” seems appropriate for a Sunday morning as the day will undoubtedly bring us many opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ and many opportunities to share the Good News with those who do not yet know the Lord. Mighty God, I humble myself for faculties misused, opportunities neglected, words ill-advised, I repent of my folly …

Putting Unity First

The following quote comes from Iain Murray’s book Evangelicalism Divided (on page 291 if you must know). I think it offers good food for thought (even on a Saturday morning). The ecumenical call [in the mid-20th century] was not for truth and salt; it was supremely for oneness: the greater the unity of ‘the Church’, it was confidently asserted, the stronger would be the impression made upon the world; and to attain that end churches should be inclusive and tolerant. …

The King of the Ages

A few days ago, while studying 1 Timothy, I came across an interesting portion of Philip Ryken’s commentary and I thought I’d share it with you. Ryken comments on 1 Timothy 1:17, those verses that inspired a classic hymn of the Christian faith: “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Here is what Ryken says: ***** Demetrius was right to be worried. The Ephesian silversmith made shrines for the …

The Means of Relating to God

I’ve been reading a new book by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington. It is titled The Bookends of the Christian Life. I read it some time ago when it was in manuscript form (as I was asked to write a blurb for it) but I am reading it again for review purposes, now that I’ve received a printed copy. I should have a review of the book ready to go for Tuesday. For now, though, I wanted to share with …

Dislike of Dogma

It has been a bit of a theme in my life lately–the timeliness and relevance of words spoken or words written many years ago. Such is this case with this quote from the pen of J.C. Ryle, who wrote about the dislike of dogma that was so powerfully present in his day and age. Here is what Ryle had to say, words that could as easily be written about our day: [Dislike of dogma] is an epidemic which is just …

The Wings of Prayer

While Charles Spurgeon has justly gone down in history as “the Prince of Preachers,” he was also a man who prayed very powerfully. Tony Capoccia has gone to the trouble of updating just a few of Spurgeon’s prayers, removing some of the antiquated language and replacing it with language that is a bit more familiar to us. Though these prayers are clearly geared to corporate prayer, they are valuable even to individuals as we seek to pray better, more powerfully, …

The Valley of Vision

Many weekends I like to post a prayer from that collection of Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision. I do this because I need to learn to pray and because I know there is much I can learn from this book. Though it is not an instruction manual, there is a sense in which is serves in just that way. Most of us (perhaps all of us) learn to pray by imitating others. And the people who prayed these …

Evening Praise

It was a long but beautiful day today. I spent just about all of it, from beginning to end, with God’s people–time spent with them worshiping God, time spent with them in fellowship. Early this morning I had hoped to post a prayer from the Valley of Vision but time got away from me. It seems even more appropriate to do so now, with the day drawing to a close. Here is “Evening Praise,” a prayer that brings to a …