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Basic Life Principles

Robert Edward Lee suffered many disappointments in life. Near the end of his life, Lee wrote a letter to a close friend and former staff officer, Colonel Charles Marshall. The letter reveals how Lee’s hope was anchored in his understanding of the eternal nature of God. Lee wrote: “The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”
The Brewsters took a bold step when they left the established church to unite with a small, persecuted body of believers known as Separatists. William Brewster knew that he was risking his status, his livelihood, and perhaps his own life by uniting with these despised Christians, but he saw the justice of their cause and he loved the truth more than his own life.
The young lawyer peered through the early morning darkness. His gaze was directed toward Fort McHenry, which guarded the entrance to Baltimore Harbor. Throughout the previous night, September 13, 1814, he had strained his eyes to try to see the fort. The “bombs bursting in air” had periodically illuminated the darkness, giving a brief but reassuring evidence that “our flag was still there.” From the deck of the British warship where he was temporarily detained, the lawyer, Francis Scott Key, could only watch in helpless anxiety as the “perilous fight” was waged. All night the bombardment by the British navy had continued against the handful of American defenders who garrisoned the fort standing “between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.”
We often hear the claim that the Pilgrims stole land, resources, and crops from the Indians. Plenty of scholars promote this view who see all European settlers as robbers and all North American natives as victims. However, there are plenty of scholars who vigorously deny all wrongdoing on the part of the Pilgrims and paint all Indians as bloodthirsty savages who killed and plundered, and needed to be placed in subjugation. Before any hasty or emotional judgment on the question of relations between European settlers, known commonly as “Pilgrims,” and native inhabitants of Cape Cod, known commonly as “Indians,” it is important to view the settlement question in the light of a broader, historical view.
Long before he was the father of his country, George Washington was a son. Men who learn to command must first learn to obey, and men in positions of authority earn their trust by serving faithfully under authority. Throughout his life of service, George Washington was a man who understood and respected authority.
Even in the midst of all his military battles, he never forgot the Lord’s Day. On the evening after acquiring the nickname “Stonewall” for his brave stand at Manassas, in his tent Jackson wrote a letter to his pastor. With the letter he enclosed a check for the Sunday School class that he dearly loved. He did not mention in his missive his own heroic actions on that day.
Seven-year-old William Bradford stood over the grave of his mother in the little village of Austerfield in the hills of Yorkshire, England. Having previously lost his father when he was a baby, young William was now alone in the world. Few would have supposed that this orphaned boy would amount to anything.
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BOOM! Some of the soldiers froze, staring skyward as another shrapnel-filled cannonball shot across the battlefield and exploded midair! The noise was deafening. Metal shards flew through the air! Amidst the confusion, the alert commander simultaneously tracked the enemy’s movement while strategically positioning his own army. Suddenly, he shouted, “Forward, men!” Lifting high his silver sword gleaming in the sunlight, he sounded the battle cry! Surprised, the enemy began retreating! With renewed vigor, the attacking army advanced. The men were fully convinced that victory was theirs!  Several years after the American Civil War ended, a new hymn was written that reminded Christians of a different war still being waged. The hymn’s writer, William F. Sherwin, was born in 1826 in Massachusetts. As a young man, he had studied under the famous composer Lowell Mason. Later, Mr. Sherwin taught at the New England Conservatory of Music. He was also a voice instructor and congregational music director who had become known for his hymn-writing abilities. The rallying new hymn, “Sound the Battle Cry,” was one of his many works.  In this particular hymn, Mr. Sherwin focused on the spiritual warfare Christians face. The words urge believers to give up comfortable, passive living […]
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