“But let it never be forgotten, that tenderness of spirit is absolutely inseparable from a spiritual frame. When our blessed Lord prayed, it was “with strong crying and tears?i?:” and when Jacob wrestled, “he wept, and made supplication.” This then is the state of mind which we must aspire after. Our fervour must be a humble fervour; and our confidence, a humble confidence. And whilst we look to God to accomplish all things for us, we must at the same time use all proper means for the attainment of them.”

Charles Simeon on Genesis 32:26 (1832-63)


I Share My Birthday

My Mother First Taught Me and Then My Wife

Yes, today is my birthday. But I don’t get to have it all to myself because I was a birthday gift to my mother. I was born on my mother’s birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! smile

So, from an early age, she taught me how to share my birthday. It’s sorta strange singing the birthday song to each other and I’m always stuck somewhere between wanted the day to be all for me and all for her. Nevertheless, I never remember a birthday that I felt robbed of the limelight. Every birthday has been a more special day than your average day. Perhaps all the birthday gifts have something to do with it. wink

So how did Jenn teach me to share my birthday? Well, she found a very special man in the history of Christianity who has deepened my appreciation for this day. John Piper posted this article on his Design God blog. Jenn found it and passed it on to me. Now I’ll reproduce it here.

David Livingstone

David Livingstone, written by John Piper

“Today is David Livingstone’s birthday. He was born March 19, 1813. He gave his life to serve Christ in the exploration of Africa for the sake of the access of the gospel.

“On December 4, 1857, he spoke the sentence that has made the greatest impact on me. It is one of the clearest applications I have seen of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:29-30. Jesus said,

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

“Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:

“For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.

(Cited in Samuel Zwemer, “The Glory of the Impossible” in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, Ralph Winter and Stephen Hawthorne, eds. [Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1981], p. 259. Emphasis added.)”