Like News from a Far Country

This morning I stumbled across the first few pages of Alexander Strauch’s Leading with Love. He begins this book by telling a story from the life of Dwight L. Moody. He tells of a time that the evangelist Henry Moorhouse was asked to preach at Moody’s church every night for a week. To everyone’s surprise, Moorhouse preached seven consecutive sermons on John 3:16, preaching on God’s love from Genesis to Revelation. Moody’s son recorded the impact of this preaching in …

With the Old Breed

Aileen is away for the day and I’m at home with some sick children. So we’re sprawled out on the couch and instead of doing my usual reading, I’m kicking back with an old favorite, With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. Sledge’s memoir is probably the best Second World War memoir I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a few). I first encountered it studying military history in university and have read it a few times since then. Once relatively …

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A Prayer for the Lord’s Supper

Today is widely regarded as the best Sunday of the month at Grace Fellowship Church. We gather in the morning for our regular morning service but afterward, instead of going our separate ways, we enjoy a potluck fellowship lunch. Following that, we have a brief second service that culminates in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. I thought this was an appropriate prayer for any of us who are preparing to enjoy Lord’s Supper on this Lord’s Day. It is …

What It May Cost

Yesterday I was reading Michael Haykin’s new book The Christian Lover (review coming soon) which is a compilation of Christian love letters. Well, all but one. This is a remarkable letter sent from Adoniram Judson to John Hasseltine, the father of Ann, the woman he wished to marry. In this letter he asks John for Ann’s hand, but, as he intends to head to Burma to serve as a missionary, he is forthright in his request. It is a remarkable …

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 …

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 …