If you have the guts to take it the hard way, you’ll get a lot more out of life.”
–William MacLeod Raine (Rustlers’ Gap)
“Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.”
–2 Corinthians 11:25 (NLT)
I have always enjoyed reading biographies. Since the first of the year I have started reading them again and I have found a few little biographical sketches in a book by Robert J. Morgan. I’m sharing the story of Christmas Evans this morning.
He was born, guess when? Christmas, 1766 to a poor Welsh shoemaker and his wife. His father died when he was nine so his mother “farmed out” the children. Christmas went to live with an alcoholic uncles. “The boy ran with rough gangs, fighting and drinking and endangering his life. His was unable to read a word.
“But then Christmas heard the Welsh evangelist David Davies. He soon gave his life to Christ, and Davies began teaching him by candlelight in a barn at Penyralltfawr. Within a month Christmas was able to read from his Bible, and he expressed a desire to preach. His old gang, however, was annoyed. One night they attacked him on a mountain road, beating him and gouging out his right eye.
“The young man resolved nonetheless to preach, and preach he did. Wherever he went–churches, coal mines, open fields–crowds gathered and a spirit of revival swept over the listeners. Unable to afford a horse, he started across Wales by foot, preaching in towns and villages with great effect.
“But Christmas Evans eventually lost the joy of ministry. His health broke, and he seemed to have used up his spiritual zeal. On April 10, 1802 he climbed into the Welsh mountains, determined to wrestle with God until his passion returned. The struggle lasts for hours, but finally tears began to flow , and Christmas felt the joy of his salvation returning. He made a covenant with God that day, writing down 13 items, initialing each one. The fourth said, ‘Grant that I may not be left to any foolish act that may occasion my gifts to wither…’ And the eighth said, ‘Grant that I may experience the power of thy word before I deliver it.’
“The burly, one-eyed preacher left the mountaintop that day with a power that shook Wales and the neighboring island of Anglesea until his death 36 years later. He is called the ‘Bunyan of Wales.'”
It makes me wonder what all thirteen of his items were in his covenant with God.
Ponder This: The past is vital for our survival. For good or bad it is a legacy. Read the following and reflect.
“Yet today, at the respective ages of 82 and 79, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld say they are horrified by the state of affairs in Europe and beyond: the rise of right-wing populist movements, and now governments, across the continent, often fueled by support from young voters. The parallel forces of nationalism and xenophobia, once again permissible in the public sphere. The apparent desire — from Poland to the United States — to play with the truth of the past so as to alter the norms of the present, the norms the Klarsfelds spent decades upholding.”
Did you pick up on that phrase, “play with the truth of the past so as to alter the norms of the present,”? That is exactly the purpose of postmodernism. Change whatever is needed, keeping a bit of truth, to fulfill the agenda.