American Minute with Bill Federer
FEB. 22 – John Bunyan and Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan wrote in aRelation of My Imprisonment:
“Upon the 12th of…November 1660…the justice…issued out his warrant to take me…as if we that were to meet together…to do some fearful business, to the destruction of the country; when alas! the constable, when he came in, found us only with our Bibles in our hands, ready to speak and hear the word of God…
So I was taken and forced to depart…But before I went away, I spake some few words of counsel and encouragement to the people, declaring to them…that they would not be discouraged, for it was a mercy to suffer upon so good account…we suffer as Christians…better be the persecuted, than the persecutors.”
John Bunyan was imprisoned for 12 years, during which time he tried to support his family by making shoelaces.
He wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, published FEBRUARY 18, 1678.
It was an allegory of a pilgrim, named Christian, who fled from the City of Destruction and was directed by Evangelist to follow the narrow path, overcoming temptations, depressions, deceptions, and persecutions till he reached the Celestial City of Zion.
Pilgrim’s Progress was translated into over 100 languages and, after the Bible, was the world’s best-seller for hundreds of years.
It was found in nearly every colonial New England home, along with the Bible and Fox’s Book of Martyrs.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in hisAutobiography:
“My old favorite author, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress…has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible.”
Pilgrim’s Progress began:
“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.
I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?”
Later in the book, John Bunyan wrote:
“Christian ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross…So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back.”
Further in Pilgrim’s Progress is written:
“Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither shall I fly to be safe?…To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life-everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward…
Frighted with the sight of the lions…Christian to himself again, These beasts range in the night for their prey; and if they should meet with me in the dark…how should I escape being by them torn in pieces?…
He lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him…He entered into a very narrow passage…he espied two lions in the way…
The porter at the lodge…perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that had none. Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee…
He went on, trembling for fear of the lions, but taking good heed to the directions of the porter; he heard them roar, but they did him no harm…”
John Bunyan continued:
“But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it…a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground.
But he considered again that he had no armour for his back; and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground…
The monster was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales…wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke…
Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said…prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul. And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast; but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it…
Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot…
This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker…
Christian’s sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now. And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life;
but as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back…
And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more…
A more unequal match can hardly be, –
Christian must fight an angel; but you see,
The valiant man by handling Sword and Shield,
Doth make him, though a Dragon, quit the field.”
Ben Franklin wrote in hisAutobiography:
“From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the Pilgrim’s Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes.”
President Theodore Roosevelt stated while laying the cornerstone of the office building of the House of Representatives, April 14, 1906:
“In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress you may recall the description of the man with the muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand, who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”
President Grover Cleveland had memorized Pilgrim’s Progress as a youth, and commented:
“I have always felt that my training as a minister’s son has been more valuable to me as a strengthening influence than any other incident in life.”
President Ronald Reagan greeted Australia’s Prime Minister, June 30, 1981, referring to John Bunyan:
“Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, ‘We are all travelers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world. And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend – they keep us worthy of ourselves.’”
President Franklin Roosevelt referred to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress on January 19, 1936:
“When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’:
Subject: Only by Gods Grace…by Kerry Mauldin
also read Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in all the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above3 the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—-
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!
|Julius Caesar Watts, Jr., better know as J.C. Watts, was born NOVEMBER 18, 1957. A college and pro football player, he was a youth minister and, in 1994, was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he was chosen House Conference Chairman. In response to the President’s 1997 State of the Union Address, Congressman J.C. Watts stated: “I was taught to respect everyone for the simple reason that we’re all God’s children. I was taught, in the words of Martin Luther King, to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. And I was taught that character is simply doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.” Also on NOVEMBER 18, in the year 1886, President Chester Arthur died. The son of a Baptist minister from Ireland, Chester Arthur became an abolitionist lawyer, defending the rights of African Americans, and, during the Civil War, was Inspector General. Upon the assassination of James Garfield, President Chester Arthur wrote September 22, 1881: “The deep grief which fills all hearts should manifest itself with one accord toward the Throne of Infinite Grace…We should bow before the Almighty and seek from Him consolation in our affliction.”|
|“My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From every mountainside, Let freedom ring!” This hymn was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895. A Harvard classmate of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister. While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal, the same tune used for British, Canadian, Russian, Danish, Swedish and Swiss National anthems. Smith stated: “I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune. Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.” In proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recited the hymn’s 4th stanza, stating: “As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty‘s rekindled torch calls forth…throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to rededication, recalling those words we sang as children: ‘Our father’s God, to Thee, Author of Liberty, To Thee we sing, Long may our land be bright With Freedom’s Holy Light. Protect us by Thy might, Great God, Our King.’”|
Please take the time to read the complete story at Life News and watch the video, then consider the context my friends. This is so wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start. 1) he is performing abortions on children as young as nine years old and yet the news department that is questioning him, never bothers to question if he reports these abuse’s of children. 2) he profess’s to be a man of faith and prays to God as he commits the murder(which he freely admits is murder), this is outrageous on it’s face, as if God is okay with the murder because it is babies. 3) the way that it is handled by the media as if he is just performing another service for the community. I am sorry friends, I could go on, but this is just beyond me. I am afraid that people are becoming morally numb because of the pervasiveness of this kind of attitude. Please read the story, watch the video, pass it around, bring it up in your families and churches, stop this madness. God bless you all, and keep these babies in your prayers!
n October, we told you about Medicaid paying for $9000 late-term abortions at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) in New Mexico. Operation Rescue has since revealed that SWO is willing to do abortions as late as 30 weeks to kill unborn children with Down Syndrome at a cost to Medicaid of up to $16,000 per procedure.
KVUE Anchors: A north Texas doctor who performs abortions is back in the spotlight this mid-day. His clinic shut down a while ago, but now he’s re-opened a surgery center. He is now the only doctor in the area who will perform late-term abortions, that’s for women who are up to six months pregnant. It’s not surprise that he’s been the target of protests, but as KVUE’s Jim Douglas shows us, there is a surprise in the doctor’s story.
Dr. Curtis Boyd: Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.
Reporter: It’s a jarring admission, especially from a doctor, and perhaps even more so from this doctor.
Boyd: I’m an ordained Baptist minister.
Reporter: He’s now Unitarian who says he prays often. Maybe not as often as members of the Catholic pro-life committee who gather outside his office hoping to stop his work, and certainly his prayers are different.
Boyd: And then I’ll ask that the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and with understanding.
Boyd is certainly not new to the abortion business nor to claiming divine endorsement for what he admits is direct killing. In an article for the pro-abortion publication Voices of Choice, Boyd admits to having been an abortionist in the Sixties prior to the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion. He claimed that the decision to have an abortion is “responsible” and even more “moral” than the decision to choose life.
When a woman acts in a responsible way, doing what she believes is in her best interest and the best interest of her family, she’s being moral. This is a moral decision, and I believe in that. Even today they walk in my office and they think that what they’re doing is wrong and that they’re a bad person for doing it. And that’s really sad because what they’re often doing is showing a higher level of moral development than probably most anyone else. Read the rest at Life News.com
One of my first church experiences was also the most memorable. It was a spontaneous occurrence, when the power went out.
I was in a huge, mostly black church in a rough part of town. This was at a time when church shootings in that city had reached epidemic proportions.
The pastor had started delivering his sermonwhen suddenly most of the lights went out. The stage and the auditorium were very dimly lit.
Over a thousand people sat there in awkward silence. From what I could see of the stage, the minister and the staff who rushed to help looked worried and uncomfortable.
All of a sudden, an older black woman rose from the audience and strode confidently up to the stage. We all stared at her; no one had any idea what she was going to do.
When she reached center stage, she started singing, passionately, a cappella. She sang some sort of “Negro spiritual” (as they were once called), one that I had never heard before. Most of the black people in the audience applauded thunderously and stood up to sing along. Though the church was nondenominational, the majority of them were likely raised Baptist and were familiar with the songs.
I could see the excitement and feelings of pride on the faces of those standing and singing. They were not just sharing their history and songs. Their soaring spirit was shining a bright light in the darkness. One song led to another and another, and soon most of us, of every race, were standing up, clapping, and trying our best to sing along.
Once the lights went on, the minister again took to the stage. He appeared moved, astonished, really…swept away by the power of God to bring us all together peacefully in the darkness.
I thought of this amazing happening when I read about what Herman Cain decided to do when thepower went out at his recent speech in Tennessee. He had just started delivering his talk when thegenerator fueling his mike failed.
After a few awkward moments, Cain did the most amazing thing, something perhaps unique in the annals of politics: he started singing — and an apt song, “The Impossible Dream.” Perhaps inspired by the power of music, Cain even ended his appearance with a hymn about God’s infinite grace and forgiveness called “He Looked Beyond My Faults.”
One could hardly imagine Obama handling the situation so seamlessly and graciously. When his teleprompter fails, Obama is usually rendered speechless or tongue-tied. My guess is that Obama also becomes irritated at the people running the show.
Yet Cain didn’t flinch or get frustrated or angry. He did what my church friends did…he invoked music and joy and, even more importantly, God, the only true force that unites. Not surprisingly, the mostly white audience was dazzled.
What Cain did that day reminds me of the legacy of “Negro spirituals,” of how blacks composed and sang them during slavery. Astonishingly, the slaves did not lose their faith, even amidst the horrors of slavery. Instead, they summoned God Himself through their sonorous songs. Rather than descend into misery and despair, the slaves sang words that invoked God’s mercy and deep and abiding love. Read the rest at American Thinker http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/the_