Simon Kenton never became as famous as his close friend and contemporary, Daniel Boone, but he lived an even more extraordinary life. If his story was made into a movie, we would be tempted to think it was exaggerated beyond what is possible. Kenton was a courageous and powerful man, feared by Indians and respected by settlers; he was not a man to be crossed.
Two hundred years ago Simon Kenton was transformed by the gospel. His conversion story is not only encouraging for the gospel’s sake, it also leaves us with a powerful reminder of the glory found in all coming to Jesus stories.
Kenton frequently went to church, though in the Kentucky days it was more often as lookout and sharpshooter — guarding the congregation against Indians — than as a devout participant in the ceremonies.
Since coming to Ohio, however, it had become a regular practice of his to attend the camp meetings with Elizabeth when the autumn season rolled around. In October 1808 when meetings began under Rev Bennett Maxey, he attended, along with other members of the family. For several days they camped at Voss’s campgrounds on Buck Creek a few miles above Springfield, listening to the sermons and watching as friends and neighbors were saved.
One day Simon kept to himself, a troubled expression on his face, until finally he approached the Reverend Maxey. “Mr. Maxey,” he said slowly, “I’d take it kindly if you’d walk out into the woods a bit with me.” The preacher readily assented and the two men strolled together through the woods until the sound of the camp meeting was lost behind them.
Finally Kenton stopped and faced the minister. “Mr. Maxey, I am going to communicate some things to you which I want you to promise to me you will never divulge.” “If it will not affect any but ourselves,” Maxey replied immediately, “then I promise to keep it forever.” With the preacher thus pledged to secrecy, the frontiersman sat on a log and broke into a long and detailed confession of the things he had done with his life, of the wrongs he had committed.
At Maxey’s direction, both of them fell to their knees and prayed aloud to God for mercy and salvation as Maxey beseeched Jesus, the Almighty Savior, to help this man. As he did so, a great transformation came over the frontiersman; he came to his feet with a joyous cry that rang through the woods. Then he ran, leaving Preacher Maxey behind, leaping over logs and bushes and bellowing with a fierce exultation. He burst from the woods into the campgrounds and, when the startled crowd had gathered around him, told them all in a roaring voice of his being saved. He was joining the camp of God at last!
Soon the Reverend Maxey made his way to the inner ring of people encircling the frontiersman and, during a pause in Simon’s enthusiastic outpourings, said, “I thought we were to keep the matter a secret.” Kenton shook his head violently. “Oh, it’s too glorious for that.” His voice rang out above the murmur of the crowd, “If I had all the world here, I would tell of the mercy and goodness of God!”
May we all be reminded that our salvation story is also too glorious to keep secret!
This account is taken from “The Frontiersmen” by Allan Eckert
Raising children is one of the easier tasks in life – until you actually have children and are faced with raising them!
The world is filled with dangers
Our children are filled with resistance
We are filled with uncertainty
Watching our children grow up is satisfying, frightening and exhausting. Yet it is a process God has given to parents for wonderful and gracious reasons. God wants our home to be a place of joyful growth in all that makes family life good.
Marty Machowski who is Pastor of Family Life at Covenant Life Church in Glen Mills, has richly blessed the church through his outstanding books for family devotions:
The Long Story Short (10 minute devotionals from the New Testament)
The Old Story (10 minute devotionals from the Old Testament)
The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments
In this blog article, Marty makes the helpful distinction between Sowing and Growing. When we understand which of these jobs belongs to us and which belongs to God, it encourages us and gives us a better focus for our important efforts on our children’s behalf.
Stephen Altrogge shared an experience on his blog that he had watching a couple tipsy middle-aged women yelling complaints against players during a Phillies vs Pirates game.
As Stephen points out, neither of the woman likely had much experience themselves in being baseball players, yet they didn’t hesitate to mock the best players in the world, because those athletes didn’t perform according to their expectations.
It is an interesting article that becomes a TERRIFIC article, when Stephen makes this application to the women’s behavior .
by Debbie Huber
There is a saying that I see a lot around Mother’s Day: “God couldn’t be everywhere so He created mothers.” I think that whoever wrote that had the intention to make mothers feel honored and loved but if that saying was really true, I would want to crawl right back into bed and hide under the covers! That is more pressure than I can handle.
I can’t be everywhere so I need my life to be fully dependent on God! Mothers have so many concerns and worries regarding our children. Are they doing well in school? Will they be safe riding their bike round the block? Is their fever a sign of a serious illness? Are they eating healthy food at college? What are they seeing on the Internet? And the list goes on and on.
As a mother, it is difficult not to be anxious and worry about our children. But we know that God in His word tells us not to be anxious.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” (Luke 12:25, 26)
So how do we stop being anxious? We cannot control our anxiety for very long on our own without it creeping back because the pressures of life are still there.
Later on in the same passage in Luke, God answers this question for us: “And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:29-31)
Seek His kingdom. Seek to make your greatest fulfillment to worship, serve, and love God. We learn contentment in God’s word, not to make everything better, easier, or safer. We learn contentment to conform us into His image. He desires for us to come to him with our burdens, even if they seem insignificant.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
The awesome Creator of the universe cares for us! He cares about our children even more than we do. When I think of casting my anxieties on him, I picture heaving the burdens to a place where they can no longer be mine.
We can be joyful mothers who glorify God in the good and the difficult times which will be an unmistakable witness to the family God has given us.
Yesterday, Christian mega-blogger Tim Challies presented a thought provoking article inspired by a recent book he has read on prayer. His big take away from the book is this statement:
“The things you pray about are the things you trust God to handle. The things you neglect to pray about are the things you trust you can handle on your own.”
Challies shares his thoughts about his own prayer life in this article. In it you will also find out more about the book which inspired the blog as well as a link to some helpful Prayer Guidelines.
I know we hear about prayer so often we can easily brush another article off as uninteresting or simply feel too guilty to read it. But we REALLY do need prayer; and prayer REALLY will bless us immensely. So, take 8 minutes and read these thoughts about taking our prayer-fulness seriously.
“The Christ-centered home” Luke 10:38-42
Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Martha is a great illustration for us
She is a good example for what she had right
She was a godly woman who loved Jesus. She faithfully served Jesus and his ministry
As we conclude our family series, we want to commend all parents who faithfully serving Christ in their home
We also want to encourage you to keep growing in it
Martha is also a good example for what at times she got wrong
Sometimes like Martha, we can get a lot right and yet still lose focus
Martha didn’t reject God, or live in disregard of him
But she did get “distracted” from his agenda for her agenda
Mary made the better choice by giving her time to listen to Jesus
Martha ended wrong by starting from her perspective, what she thought was good
She failed to see that what God always wants most from us is our whole-hearted devotion to him
Yet, Martha is the type of person the world tells us we should try to be
A person who accomplishes things that we can all see and approve
A person who does what they enjoy and makes them feel important
When we follow this path we get “distracted” in our attempts to have a fulfilling life
At times we get distracted by bad things, but more often we are distracted by good things
Luke 10 is not contrasting an ungodly home with a godly one
It is contrasting the good that is insufficient, for the best that is necessary
The insufficient good, is what we do, because we are insufficient
All human effort combined cannot save, sustain, or restore anyone’s soul
The necessary thing is to draw ever closer to Christ
For Christ is the only one who can save us
Christ is only one who can sustain us
Christ is only one who can restore us
Life is meant to be relational
The entire flow of the Bible conveys this truth
In the Garden of Eden Adam is given to Eve, and God walked with Adam
In God’s covenant with Israel he declared “I will be your God, and you will be my people”
In the person of Christ, God joined himself forever with our human nature
In the purpose of salvation, which is to reconcile our broken relationship with God
In the Great Commandments which call us to love God with all we are, and to love our neighbor as our self
So if we want to live life well, it must be relationally focused
To be a good parent we must be relational, or we are just good providers
To be a good spouse we must be relational, or we are just roommates
To be a good church member we must be relational, or we are just attending the same events
To be a good Christian we must be relational, or we are just casual fans of God
Martha reminds us what is not enough to be made the center of life:
Good intentions were not enough, good works were not enough, and even her positive feelings about Jesus were not enough
Martha let the details of life distract her from the purpose of life
Mary reminds us of what is worthy of being the center of our life:
To give Christ our time and attention is worthy enough
For Christ is perfect and glorious
Christ is our sustainer, savior, and Lord
Christ is wisdom, he is strength, he is hope, and he is peace
What is a Christ-Centered Life?
It is when he takes over our spot, when he replaces us as the center of our world
It is when life is no longer about our expectations and goals, and we have replaced ours with his
We should not fear this, because we will not lose!
It will simplify life and enrich it
What is a Christ-Centered Home?
It is when Christ is in charge of it
It is when the priorities and practices of our house are led by him
Where do we start?
See yourself fundamentally as a worshipper, someone who lives in response to God.
Then spend time with him, get to know God and his word, as we embrace his ways, we grow to love them
My life has been wonderfully affected by the lives of two moms, the one who raised me, and the one I married.
Susan Huber is my mother and Debbie Huber is my wife. They are uniquely different people and yet in what matters most, they are similar. When I think about their lives, two defining qualities always come to mind. These qualities are so obviously apparent that everyone who knows them and reads this blog will be able to give an enthusiastic “amen”!
The first quality is love for God. They want to serve Him and please Him in every way they can. As with anyone, they have to labor at living for God, but His rule is not an imposition to them. I have regularly seen them take joy in the opportunities they have to follow God.
Being around them causes me to more easily see and be convicted by my own half-heartedness toward God. This truly is a gift, because it routinely prods me to work at being faithful. Their maturity and love for God doesn’t stay within themselves, God wonderfully uses it to grow me, and so eventually touch even more people!
The second quality (which flows out of the first), is their consistency. Each day their attitudes are the same. Like everyone, some days they are tired, frustrated or harried. However, that does not keep them from living the same way as they do on cheery days.
I have never had to wonder, “How will she be today”? This is also a great gift to me, because it has made my life smoother and much more pleasant. And it causes my sour moods to stand out and helps me to recognize that they are out of place.
These two entwined qualities have been a tremendous benefit to me and to all whose lives are touched by them. These character traits have turned their lives into resplendent displays of God’s grace. We can take encouragement in knowing that these qualities will grow and bear an abundant harvest in any heart that is fertile soil.
For all the moms who read this blog – your lives are appreciated far more than you probably know. May God allow you to see that reality with fresh eyes!
Thom Rainer conducted a survey asking pastors to list what they desired most from their church members. He then created this top 10 list from their responses.
It is a good list and I would have mentioned many of them myself. The only item I would not have thought to include on my list is #3, because it has never been an issue in our church.
As you read over this top 10 perhaps you can consider a couple areas to improve on to be an increasing source of strength and blessing in your church home.
Infatuation is effortless. Romance involves some effort, but we are typically motivated for it – at least early on. While love in the context of a lifelong relationship can be hard and takes work.
However, when our perspective about love flows out of clearly seeing God’s love for us, the labor to love becomes a labor of love.
One of my favorite biblical statements about love is at the end of the famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13. In verse 8, Paul sums up his description with the declaration “Love never ends” or “Love never fails” depending on your translation. The phrase can literally be translated as “Love never falls off”. The picture is that of a flower whose blossom never ends – fails – falls off. This is the kind of love God always has for His people, which means His people can always express this love for others.
How wonderful to meditate on the truth that the blossom of God’s love never falls off. It is ever beautiful and fragrant.
Do you find it hard at times to carry out the labor of love for someone God has placed in your life? More pointedly, does your love for the one you vowed to love still carry its flower and fragrance?
Recently I heard a beautiful and poignant story of the love between the grandparents of Peter Guirguis, which he posted on the Not Ashamed of the Gospel Blog. You can read about it and (make sure you) watch the moving video testimony here.