Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: William Borden

Hello All,

I've decided to every now and again post a book review.  These reviews will contain what I've learned from the book, things I disagree with, and things I need to work on.  So first things first.... 

About a month ago I finished reading the book to the left "Borden of Yale" by Mrs. Howard Taylor.  I LOVE to read, especially a book about young evangelists/missionaries and this book hit the spot!!  I've read most of the books on our shelves several times when one day I spotted this one and realized I hadn't read it yet.  I immediately began reading and could hardly put it down (not unusual for me :).  William Borden was born into a well to do family in Chicago on November 1st, 1887.  Although raised wealthy he was also raised by a father and mother who not only went to church but had a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  As he grew older his parents religion became his.  He never closed a day without reading the Bible and praying, no matter how tired he was!  After high school, at the age of 16, his parents proposed a trip around the world for an entire year with a godly family friend before starting collage.  This trip would open the eyes of William to the need of Jesus so many people have, sometimes entire nations.  In one of his letters to home he stated that he felt the Lord calling him to the mission field.  When he arrived back in America, his calling to the mission field and relationship with Jesus had only strengthened during the previous year.  He had felt the Lord require complete surrender of him while in England and to quote the author's words, "Surrender in his case meant not only giving up worldly amusements and indulgences, it meant taking on his Master's yoke, living with Him for others, always and everywhere."  Wow, did that convict and give me a yearning to be in COMPLETE surrender to Jesus and His will for my life!  To continue with my biography, William, soon after arriving back in the US, began attending Yale CollegeWhile at Yale he began attending the local YMCA and started a Bible/Prayer study group of his own with other college students.  Near the end of his freshman year he attended his first missionary conference.   He heard the appeal of Mr. Samuel Zwemer of the need for the gospel in the Muslim world, specifically China.  At that time China had more Muslims than all of Persia, more than all of Egypt, and more than all of Arabia - where Islam started.  Seeing the overwhelming need, William heard God say "Yes" and immediately his heart was given over to the Lord and what He wanted to do.  After finishing Yale he attended Princeton Seminary then headed to Egypt to study  two of the hardest languages, Arabic and Chinese, in preparation for his calling to the Chinese Muslims.  Also while in Egypt he began evangelizing and preaching to the Muslims there, in practice for China.  Sadly, while in Egypt he contracted cerebral meningitis and died before ever reaching his final destination...China.  I cried at the end of this book.  He simply wanted what the Lord desired for him.  He was wealthy, donating several thousands of dollars to various missions in his will, but was willing to give it all up to preach the gospel to those dying every day without the knowledge of Jesus.  What about me?  Would I be willing to give up ALL to preach the gospel?  Am I living the true Christian life now, as a young teenager?  The Lord does not put an age on when He can use us, He's simply looking for those willing to be used.  Are you willing? Am I?

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Friday, January 21, 2011

About Psalm 37:4

"  Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."    Psalm 37:4

What does "delight thyself...in the Lord" mean?  I see it to mean that you delight to be in a loving relationship with a loving Creator.  He made you, formed you in your mothers womb, He died so that you and I could be saved and have a living personal relationship with Him.  Why should we not love Him?  Why should we not strive to delight in Him every second of every day?  It is a personal choice we have to make, to delight in Jesus.  It doesn't come naturally.  We are human and our flesh hates it when we forsake ourselves and try to live for Jesus.  However we're not in this fight alone!  The Scripture says, "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7b and "  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke  is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 If we allow Him to work through us He can change us from vessels of dishonor to vessels of honor, able to be used for His purposes!

 Well, what about the second part of the verse: "...He shall give you the desires of your heart."?  Does this mean that He'll give us a great job, fancy car/house, no sorrow or persecution, no pain, etc.?  I don't think so!  Rather I believe this part to mean that when we delight in Jesus the desires of our heart will be what Jesus desires in us - love, joy, patience, a better relationship with siblings and parents, and most importantly a better relationship with Himself.  Why do I believe this?  I believe this because as we get to know Jesus better, delight in Him more, we'll desire what He desires and not our own selfish wants and ambitions.  Here are some verses to reaffirm my declaration:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." Ezekiel 37:26-27

"Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” 

And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”
So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by." Zechariah 3:3-5

These verses show that once you become a Christian your priorities change.  No longer do you live for self but rather, you are a new creation, you have a new heart, and you live for Jesus.  No longer are you clothed with the dirty garb of sin but with the shining raiment of one changed by a living Savior and Lord!  So come to Jesus, rest in Him, delight in Him, and let him teach you so you may desire what He desires.

Learning to delight in Jesus,