I want to post a short biography on each of the authors I am using in Daily Devotions. These men and women of God, many of whom lived a century or more prior to our time, wrote from a depth of faith and devotion that calls us to hear them as part of that "great cloud of witnesses" spoken of in Hebrews. I believe we can learn much from them, and the testimony of their lives!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
BOUNDS, Edward McKendree
E.M. Bounds was a Methodist minister, born in rural Missouri in 1835. As a young man, he apprenticed as an attorney and was accepted to the bar; however, God had other plans for him! He called him into the ministry, and Bounds was ordained to his first pastorate in 1859.
Following the war, he married and became the father of two daughters. After his wife's death, he later remarried, and became the father of five more children. During this time he served in churches in St. Louis and Nashville, as well as other southern cities; eventually settling in Washington, Georgia, where he worked for 18 years until his death in 1913.When the American Civil War began two years later, Bounds became a chaplain in the Confederate States Army and was taken prisoner during the first battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Upon his release, he felt compelled to return to war-torn Franklin and help rebuild it spiritually. His primary method was to establish weekly prayer sessions that sometimes lasted several hours. Bounds was regionally celebrated for leading spiritual revival in Franklin and eventually began an itinerant preaching ministry throughout the country.
Bounds was also named associate editor of the official Methodist newspaper, the Christian Advocate. He began writing books and articles almost continually until his death on August 24, 1913 (in Washington, Ga.).
He became known as a great man of prayer, rising at 4 a.m. and praying until 7 a.m. His books and written works were frequently on the topic of prayer or heaven.
This quote regarding his books:
BROTHER LAWRENCEClaude L. Chilton captured the essence of Bounds's prayer books when he said.
"These books are unfailing wells for a lifetime of spiritual water-drawing. They are hidden treasures, wrought in the darkness of dawn and the heat of the noon, on the anvil of experience, and beaten into wondrous form by the mighty stroke of the divine. They are living voices whereby he, being dead, yet speaketh!"
Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk who lived in the 1600s in Paris, France. He came from a poor family, and lacked the education necessary to become a cleric; he entered the priory after an injury forced his retirement from the army, and worked in its kitchen for the majority of his life. In spite of his lowly position, he was a man of great peace and wisdom, and attracted many who sought his guidance. Following his death, several of his letters and conversations were compiled into book form, and entitled "Practicing the Presence of God", which has been a highly recommended book by many church leaders for centuries.
Amy Carmichael was born in 1867 into a Christian family in Northern Ireland. She worked with the poor even as a young girl and felt called into missions work at the age of 26. After 15 months in Japan, she was forced by illness to return to Britain, where she lived until 1895. At that time and opportunity arose for her to go to India; she never returned to Britain.
A few years after her arrival in India, Amy became aware of the Devadasi Hindu practice of dedicating baby girls to the temple, to become servants of the gods. These girls eventually became temple prostitues. Amy was convinced that God had brought her to that place at that time to help rescue these girls; she began a dangerous work of providing a home to them. Eventually this developed to become the Dohnavur Fellowship, which is still in existence today. It is a large compound filled with shops, cottages, farms, libraries, and a hospital, and has changed the lives of thousands of children in need over the years.
About 20 years before her death, Amy was badly injured in an accident. She spent the rest of her life in her bed, in great pain. It was out of this experience of suffering that she was able to minister through poetry and prose to others who suffer. She also wrote many inspirational works, both prose and poetry, of her life and experiences in India.
ECKHART, Meister von Hochheim (from Wikipedia)
Meister Eckhart O.P. (c. 1260–c. 1328), is the most common formula used to refer to Eckhart von Hochheim, a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Erfurt, in Thuringia. Meister is German for "Master", referring to the academic title Magister in theologia he obtained in Paris. Coming into prominence during the decadent Avignon Papacy and a time of increased tensions between the Franciscans and Eckhart's Dominican Order of Preacher Friars, he was brought up on charges later in life before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition. Tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII, his "Defence" is famous for his reasoned arguments to all challenged articles of his writing and his refutation of heretical intent. He purportedly died before his verdict was received, although no record of his death or burial site has ever been discovered. Well known for his work with pious lay groups such as the Friends of God and succeeded by his more circumspect disciples of John Tauler and Henry Suso, he has gained a large following in recent years. In his study of medieval humanism, Richard Southern includes him along with Saint Bede the Venerable and Saint Anselm as emblematic of the intellectual spirit of the Middle Ages.[ludes him along with Saint Bede the Venerable and Saint Anselm as emblematic of the intellectual spirit of the Middle Ages.[
JOWETT, John Henry
"I have had but one passion, and I have lived for it-the absorbingly arduous yet glorious work of proclaiming the grace and love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
John Henry Jowett was born into a Christian home in Halifax, England, in 1864. While his father had aspirations for him to become a law clerk, he instead followed the advice of a Sunday School teacher who encouraged him to look into the ministry; he went on to attend theological training at Edinburgh and Oxford. After several years of pastoring in England, he took a trip to America to preach with D.L. Moody at the 1909 Northfield Conference. He was asked to stay on as pastor at 5th Ave. Presbyterian, in New York; a petition of 1,400 names was sent to him from his current congregation in Birmingham; but following the leading of the Lord he chose to relocate to New York in 1911. He stayed until 1917, when he took over for G. Campbell Morgan at the Westminster Chapel, which was his final pastorate until declining health led him to leave the pulpit in 1922. "...his death in 1923 took from the world one of its most gifted and dedicated preachers."
Sandy Mayle is a present-day writer and mom of three teenage boys, who has been kind enough to post her devotional writings in the public domain. She has a website at www.sandymayle.com where you can read more of her works.
MEYER, Frederick Brotherton
Frederick Brotherton Meyer (April 8, 1847 – March 28, 1929) was a Baptist pastor and evangelist in England.
Meyer was born in London. He attended Brighton College and graduated from London University in 1869. He studied theology at Regents Park Baptist College.
Meyer began pastoring churches in 1870. His first pastorate was at Pembroke Baptist Chapel in Liverpool. In 1872 he pastored Priory Street Baptist Church in York. While he was there he met the American evangelist Dwight L. Moody, whom he introduced to other churches in England. The two preachers became lifelong friends.
In 1895 Meyer went to Christ Church in Lambeth. At the time only 100 people attended the church, but within two years over 2,000 were regularly attending. He stayed there for fifteen years, and then began a traveling to preach at conferences and evangelistic services.
His evangelistic tours included South Africa and Asia. He also visited the United States and Canada several times.
He spent the last few years of his life working as a pastor in England's churches, but still made trips to North America, including one he made at age 80.
Meyer was part of the Higher Life movement and preached often at the Keswick Convention. He was known as a crusader against immorality. He preached against drunkenness and prostitution. He is said to have brought about the closing of hundreds of saloons and brothels.
Meyer wrote over 40 books, including Christian biographies and devotional commentaries on the Bible.
Andrew Murray was a South African minister and missionary around the turn of the 20th century. I have seen him referred to as "The Apostle of Abiding Love", and that was the hallmark of his vast ministry. He was born and raised in a then-remote area near the Cape of South Africa, received his formal and theological education in Scotland and Holland, then returned to his home to become a missionary and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife, Emma, had nine children; their home was busy, and often filled with visitors. As a preacher, Murray drew large crowds and led many to Christ; in addition, he authored over 240 books. He was known as a man of prayer and deep devotion to God. Although his faith was tested by illness, his daughter wrote: "It was after the 'time of silence' [in sickness] when God came so near to father and he saw more clearly the meaning of a life of full surrender and simple faith. He began to show in all relationships that constant tenderness and unruffled lovingkindness and unselfish thought for others which increasingly characterized his life from that point. At the same time he lost nothing of his strength and determination."
He often prayed, "May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God's presence and may not a moment without the entire surrender of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love."