Strenghthening What Remains: God’s Smuggler

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

“Awake and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death” (Rev. 3:2)…Could it be that God was speaking [these words] to me right now, telling me that my life work was here behind the Iron Curtain, where His remnant Church was struggling for its life? Was I to have some part in strengthening this precious thing that remained?


Here in the U. S. we are so blessed and privileged to have free access to God’s Word, and liberty to speak about our beliefs and worship the Lord as we desire. Over the centuries and even today, this has not been the case in many places throughout the world. Brother Andrew’s story, as told in the book God’s Smuggler, gives us an idea of the oppression suffered by Christians living behind the Iron Curtain, specifically during the 1950’s and 60’s.

It was 1987, the year after my husband and I were married, that we took a trip to Macau to spend a couple weeks working with a missionary family that we knew there. One day the plan was to go on foot through the border into China, accompanied by Mrs. A. While we were tourists there to see the local sites, we also had an ulterior purpose for going there –to deliver Bibles and other Christian literature to waiting recipients. Yes, for one day my husband and I were Bible smugglers, and not only that, but we were caught! Continue reading

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Understanding – the First Step Towards Compassion: Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

“…it did not occur to them that this twelve-year-old boy might be as gifted at peace as he was at war.”


Well, I’m not a huge Sci-Fi reader, but I had seen the movie Ender’s Game and decided to give the book a try, and I’m so glad I did! One of my rules is that typically I won’t watch a movie until I’ve read the book first, but this was one of those cases where I didn’t know about the book (which was published in 1985) until after seeing the film. I still hold to my theory that the book is always better than the movie, but I am going to watch the movie again, now having read the book. This may not be the greatest science fiction novel – I don’t read that much sci-fi so I may not be the best judge – but I liked it. Continue reading

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A New New Year’s Challenge: Learn a Catechism!

Happy 2018 Everyone!

Every year at this time, I typically challenge my readers to consider reading through the entire Bible during the coming year. As I’ve said before, the Bible is not a book that is meant to be read once, then checked off a reading list and set back on the shelf. I have made it my habit to read through the whole annually for probably about 20 years or so. There are many One Year Bibles and Bible reading plans to choose from. I’ve read One Year and Chronological Bibles in different versions, and a couple years ago I started using the free YouVersion app on my phone, but there are others out there as well. If you have a long commute to work, maybe the Bible on audio would be a good way to go. The key is to find a method and format that works for your lifestyle and will help you to be regular in your reading and stay on track. Continue reading

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‘Tis the Season – to Try a Little Dickens!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“Who can listen to objections regarding such a book as this? It seems to me a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness.” – William M. Thackeray on A Christmas Carol


It seems an appropriate time to reshare my thoughts on this well-known story, mainly because it’s an opportunity to talk about a book by one of my favorite authors. I know Dickens isn’t for everyone; he can be rather wordy, and many of his novels are REALLY long (like, 600+ pages). His stories always have complex plot lines with lots of characters and interesting twists, and he has created some of the most interesting and memorable characters in all of literature, Ebenezer Scrooge being one of them. Continue reading

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God’s Plan of Redemption, From Start to Finish: Better than the Beginning

Better than the Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective by Dr. Richard Barcellos

“God brought Adam into a covenantal relationship with Him at his creation… But he violated God’s covenant. He sinned. He transgressed God’s law…[as a result] Adam got kicked out of God’s house. Now he’s sinful, is a terrible image of God, a covenant breaker, and no longer the keeper of God’s garden-temple. What will God do now?”


Pastor Richard Barcellos’ book Better than the Beginning is the result of a sermon series he preached on creation. The purpose of his book is to show the importance of understanding the Biblical teachings on creation and how the doctrine of creation is directly related to the doctrine of redemption. He submits that it is of utmost importance to know not only who the Creator is, but His purpose for His creation and His ultimate goals for it. He explains,

God’s story [recorded for us in the Bible] tells us that He created, what He created in the first place, why He created man and what man’s supposed to do, why there’s so much trouble on the earth, and where history is heading.

Continue reading

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The First Thanksgiving: The Back Story

Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford

“In this precious volume…is told the noble, simple story ‘of Plimoth Plantation.’ In the midst of suffering and privation and anxiety the pious hand of William Bradford here set down in ample detail the history of the enterprise from its inception to the year 1647. From him we may learn ‘that all great and honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages.'” (Roger Wolcott, Governor of Mass., 1897)
The First Thanksgiving

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”
by Brownscombe

What American isn’t familiar with the story of the Pilgrims? Well, I think MANY Americans don’t know the whole story, and some people nowadays talk as if it’s nothing but a legend or exaggeration of what really happened. Of Plymouth Plantation is an account that should be required reading in every American high school, as well as one that every American Christian should be familiar with.

There are only two primary sources which give firsthand accounts of the landing of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving: Bradford’s History (written in 1647) and Mourt’s Relation, attributed to Edward Winslow (published in 1622). Mourt’s Relation (named after the publisher) describes only the events of the first year, from the landing at Cape Cod in November 1620 until the following November. It’s interesting to look at this comparison of the two accounts we have of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth. Continue reading

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