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Showing posts from January 24, 2012

Fresh Start Devotionals

Empty Tomb I’ve never been to Israel, and frankly, I’ve never really wanted to go. The Dean of the Seminary where I taught in Albuquerque offered to help finance a trip for me if I went with the students on an archeological dig. I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I know, I know, it isn’t normal for a preacher not to want to go to Israel, but I don’t. The last thing I want to do is play Indiana Jones in a part of the world that is always at war. (Remember the scene with the snake pit?) Besides that, there’s nothing I really want to see there. But I do have a dear friend who always wanted to go and got her wish a few years before her husband passed away. One morning, over breakfast, she showed me her pictures of the trip. I stared at one particular photo longer than the others—Jesus’ tomb. Of course, there is no way of knowing if it was the genuine tomb or a tourist trap, but I suspended any disbelief I had and looked with fascination. I listened to Nell as she described the heavy glo…

Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

January 24 FROM GREENLAND’S ICY MOUNTAINS Reginald Heber, 1783–1826 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37, 38) We hear many missionary sermons in our churches, but not often do we sing such a beautifully worded and challenging missionary hymn as this one, which was quickly and spontaneously written by Reginald Heber. These well-chosen words and ideas inspire us to spread the blessings of salvation to all people and nations until our Lord “in bliss returns to reign.” Heber was a minister in the Anglican church in England. With his keen interest in world missions, he did much through his writings and influence to promote the missionary activity that greatly increased during his lifetime. In the summer of 1819, Heber was asked by his father-in-law if he knew a worthy hymn that could be used at a missionary service the next Sunday. Reginald wen…