Today is the birthday of William Carey, “The Father of Modern Missions.”
At first, his superiors wouldn’t confirm his call. Nor the need to send missionaries at all. Driven to spread the gospel overseas, William preached and wrote about it until his peers formed a missions board. They sent William and another man to India.
It wasn’t easy. There were personal losses on the road to winning souls for God. He invested his last 42 years in India, opening the door to the great missionary century of the 1800s.
Learn more of the William Carey story here.
Eliza Hewitt (1851-1920)
Eliza graduated class valedictorian and became a school teacher. She also dedicated her life to learning about God and writing poems about her faith. Others added music to her words, turning “Sunshine in My Soul,” “When We All Get to Heaven,” and others into hymns.
She also wrote Sunday School literature and poems for children. Eliza never married.
To learn more about Eliza’s songs and what she did in 1905 to honor her friend Fanny Crosby’s 85th birthday, read here.
Today, David Wilkerson—founder of Teen Challenge–would have turned 85.
I read his book The Cross and the Switchblade, about the dramatic origins of the Teen Challenge ministry, while in high school. It captivated me. When I later watched the movie, it made David’s story even more enthralling.
If God could use a small-church pastor like David Wilkerson to reach drug-addicted gang members, I believed He could do something with me if I remained yielded to Him.
Little did I know then that I would someday serve as a Teen Challenge counselor.
Here’s a short bio of David Wilkerson that I wrote four years ago. His family read it and endorsed it. Since then, it’s received over 1,000 views—https://lights4god.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/david-wilkerson/.
Image: courtesy of World Challenge- http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node.
Johnson Oatman Jr. [PD-1923]
Prolific hymn writer Johnson Oatman Jr. gave us enduring songs. Among the 5,000 hymns he wrote are “Count Your Blessings” and “Higher Ground.” Today, on Johnson’s birthday, read the Christ-centered lyrical messages behind five of his most-sung songs today.
Celebrate his contributions to Christianity by learning more about his best-loved hymns, here.
Thoro Harris. [PD-1923]
His gospel themes and children’s songs live on today. Thoro’s lyrics capture both the sense of deep-felt need and the internal peace of Jesus’ provision in songs like “Hide Thou Me” and “All that Thrills My Soul is Jesus.” Read his bio.
Thomas A. Dorsey [PD-1923]
When Thomas turned from a career in non-Christian music, God turned Thomas into the “Father of Gospel Music.” His two most enduring compositions, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “Peace in the Valley” were inspired by unforgettable circumstances. Read his bio.
Andrae Crouch. Image: Sparrow Records (2003)
As a child, Andrae learned to play piano without a single lesson. He grew up to write and sing songs that won Dove and Grammy awards. Read the stories behind his songs, “The Blood Will Never Lose it’s Power,” “My Tribute,” and “Through it All” in his bio.
I started a second blog in November of 2015. Titled “Mile Markers,” it’s devotional in nature. My Monday-of-each-week posts emphasize the blog’s sub-heading, “Gaining ground in the Christian Journey.”
Why Two Blogs? The purpose of both is spiritual inspiration. Apart from that, here are four ways they differ.
- Lights 4 God highlights people of the past. All, heroes of faith, are men and women who kept the faith and finished their course. Mile Markers addresses the day-to-day steps for those of us still completing the course.
- Lights 4 God spans three centuries: 1700s-1900s.
- Mile Markers refers to recent decades rather than recent centuries.
- Lights 4 God has always appeared in text format only. Every Mile Markers post comes with an audio version.
- Lights 4 God is mostly informational. Mile Markers always concludes with personal applications under the heading, The Road Ahead, with additional Biblical verses to read as Further Fuel.
Here are the titles and links to the first 10 Mile Marker posts.
Mile After Mile
People I Should Thank God For
Funny and Not Funny
The Journey to Bethlehem
This New Year: Read the Bible Wholeheartedly
This New Year: Pray Without Ceasing
This New Year: Witness Unashamedly