On this date, April 20,1718, David Brainerd was born in Haddam, Connecticut. He was missionary to the Algonquin Indians.
These are a few of my favorite quotes from David Brainerd.
“Never think that you can live to God by your own power or strength; but always look to and rely on him for assistance, yea, for all strength and grace.”
“If you hope for happiness in the world, hope for it from God, and not from the world.”
“Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge.”
On this date, April 19, 1854, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, nineteen-years-old, was called to pastor the New Park Chapel in London. In 1854, it was one of the city’s largest churches.He was pastor of that church for thirty-eight years. During his lifetime, it is estimated that he preached to more than ten million people. He published many books including books on poetry, sermons, devotionals and was editor of a periodical, The Sword and the Trowel.
Here are a few quotes from Spurgeon’s pen.
“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.”
“The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.”
On this date, April 18, 1919, H. E. Darnell was born.
I remember hearing Rev. Darnell speak at Clinton Camp Meeting as a child multiple times. I respected him and feared his preaching. As a child I always grew uncomfortable as camp meeting closed knowing that he was going to preach on hell or judgment. My cousins and I would pretend preach to the empty tabernacle during the summer months and inevitable, one of us would always be H. E. Darnell. He was a dynamic preacher and often the altar was lined after he was finished preaching.
Though my style of preaching is not like Rev. Darnell’s was, there is a time and a place for this type of preaching when it is anointed by God.
On this date, April 17, 1521, Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings. Here is his famous quote.
“Unless I shall be convinced by the testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear reason … I neither can nor will make any retraction, since it is neither safe nor honourable to act against conscience.
Here I stand. I can do no other.”
On this date, April 16, 1911, G. I Straub was born. George Straub was one of the first pastors of the God’s Missionary Church denomination. While pastor at the third church that was started (Milmont PA) be became the General Superintendent of the small denomination. Under his leadership nearly forty-five new churches started.
Interestingly, he was not raised in the Holiness movement. He was raised a Lutheran and taught Sunday School in a Lutheran church. But was converted in Central Pennsylvania and experienced entire sanctification and was never the same!
On this date, April 15, 1892, Corrie ten Boom was born. Also on this date, 91 years later, April 15, 1983, Corrie ten Boom died. She died on her 91st birthday.
If you have ever read the book The Hiding Place or seen the film by the same title, you know that she and her family hid Jews during the Holocaust. Because of these actions, she was imprisoned in several Nazi concentration camps, ultimately ending up in Ravensbrück in Germany.
Part of her compelling story happened after her release from Ravensbrück, years later. She was approached by a former Ravensbrück camp guard who had been known as one of the cruelest guards at the camp. He asked her forgiveness for what he had done. She at first was reluctant to forgive him, she prayed that she would be able to and she did.
Here are her words that she later reflected on that moment.
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.”
Oh that we may embrace that type of forgiveness.
Today would have been William H. Booth’s 67th birthday. Most knew him by the nickname Bill. I knew him as dad. He has been gone now for almost 33 years.
Over the years I have wrestled with the looming question of why my father died so young. Yes, he did have heart problems. Yes, perhaps the medical team at the ER should have taken extra precautions. Regardless, he still died of a massive heart attack when he was 34.
But over these 33 years, with these and other questions still in my mind, I have discovered that God is trustworthy. The fact that my dad died has not shaken my faith, rather it has strengthened it. I stand amazed over these 33 years of how faithful God has been and still continues to be.
Yes, on days like this, I miss my dad. I wish that I could text him happy birthday. I wish I could have taken him out for breakfast this morning. I wish that he could see his granddaughters …
But I have hope. I know that he is in heaven. And I aim to make it there too.
In the meantime, I thank God for the five years that I knew my dad. I thank God for providing me with a strong mother who raised me by herself for ten years. I thank God that he provided her with a great husband, and me with a bonus dad. And meanwhile, I live my life as God wants me to.
Happy birthday dad. I will see you in heaven someday.
On this date, April 14, 1759, George Frideric Handel died in London. Handel was a composer of oratorios and concertos. His most famous one is The Messiah which was first performed in Dublin in 1742.
His music still inspires countless individuals even though he has been gone for more than 250 years. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Watch one of his more popular works titled Water Music.
On this date, April 13, 1742, The first production of The Messiah, written by George Frideric Handel took place in Dublin Ireland.
The music was completed in 24 days! And at the end of the original music script, he is said to have written SDG. Soli Deo Gloria. Translated it says, “To God alone the glory.” What a fitting end to a masterful composition which magnifies God.
Here is a YouTube of The Messiah performed by the Choir of King’s College in Cambridge.
On this date, April 12, 1850, missionary Adoniram Judson died. When Adoniram Judson entered Burma in 1813, according to historians it was a hostile location. Missionary William Carey had
encouraged Judson just a few months earlier not to consider going there. But Judson went there and worked there for 38 years, with reportedly only one return visit to the United States. He gave his all.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the grave of the Adoniram Judson which is located at Burial Hill in Plymouth Massachusetts.