Tag: trials

Vanauken: I Loved Lewis Like a Brother

One of the strongest friendships C. S. Lewis forged with an American was with Sheldon Vanauken, who studied at Oxford in the early 1950s. Neither he nor his wife, Davy, were Christians when they arrived, but after reading some Lewis, and via letters with that famous author, they both were converted while in residence there. The connection became more than that of an author and correspondent. They met regularly; Lewis even came to their apartment for fellowship. When their time… Read more »

The Pilgrim Story: Dealing with Death

The Pilgrims survived the voyage to the New World. They avoided civil disorder by establishing the Mayflower Compact. But they weren’t able to escape the specter of disease and death. How did they handle this new challenge? First, they had to search out a place to call home. They sent out a party of men to try to find an opportune piece of land, but the Cape Cod area wasn’t hospitable to farming, and they also had their first encounter… Read more »

Those Dark Nights of the Soul

A couple of Sundays ago, I offered an excerpt from Winkie Pratney’s book The Thomas Factor: Dealing with Doubt. As I’ve been steadily reading it, using it as a devotional, I keep coming across passages that make things so crystal clear, I want everyone to read them. So I have another section of the book to give you today. It’s in a chapter where Pratney is talking about how every Christian experiences, for want of a better phrase, “the dark… Read more »

Convictions in an Anti-God Culture

I’ve been reading evangelist Winkie Pratney’s book The Thomas Factor: Dealing with Doubt. Although it’s not necessarily intended as a devotional book, that’s the spirit in which I’m reading it, and so many of his comments and explanations have served to confirm what I already know and have challenged me to remain committed to the Truth. I was particularly impressed with his treatment of what it means to have deep conviction of belief. Here’s a sample: We are to take truth… Read more »

The Pilgrim Story: Convictions, Not Preferences

You’ve heard the cliché “actions speak louder than words.” The New Testament book of James puts it another way when it says that faith without works is dead. People may say they believe something, but you don’t know if it’s a real belief until you see if, under pressure, it holds solid. A few days ago, I began an examination of the English Separatists who eventually became known as the Pilgrims when they settled in America. How solid were their… Read more »

Finney: Dealing with Unjust Accusations & Trials

In his Revival Lectures, Charles Finney writes about the indications that one is filled with the Spirit. There are a couple of these that have always been difficult for me. Perhaps you may find a portrait of yourself as well in these words: If you are filled with the Spirit, you will not find yourself distressed and galled, and worried, when people speak against you. When I find people irritated and fretting at any little thing that touches them, I… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #6

When I teach history, the emphasis is not on statistics, charts, or graphs, helpful as they all are. Instead, I concentrate on individuals and their impact on events. I believe history is a story, which includes themes, plots, and character development. As we begin to delve into the events of history in class, I reveal to my students another Snyderian Truism that I hope will make them see a significant distinction: Personality and character are not the same: the first… Read more »