Books With Good Spiritual Food

Selling books with good spiritual food between my addresses when I am at a conference is one of my favorite things to do in life and ministry. I just love seeing people walk away with an armful of books, and pray that God will greatly bless them through reading the treasures of the past and the present.

In my lifetime, thousands of people have told me how sound books (and often titles from Reformation Heritage Books!) have helped them immeasurably in their spiritual journey. A friend sent this picture that he took of me engaged in explaining a book to a couple last Saturday at a conference of 1200 people in North Carolina. For thousands of soul-edifying titles, see Reformation Heritage Books.

Weekly Sermon Quote–May 22, 2022

This quotation has been selected by staff from my sermon last Lord’s Day morning on “Adultery Forbidden!”  Find the link to the sermon here.

Two 1-Minute Stories for Children

There was a godly 19th century minister named Robert Murray M’Cheyne who said that when you go to pray, you should always pray as if Jesus was standing right next to you. Because He is. He is always right there.

There was once a dying man who was an atheist and his little grandchild came to visit him. This little girl, who could barely read, loved the Lord and feared God. The grandfather had a sign above His bed that said “God is Nowhere” and he wanted to convince the little girl that there was no God. He pointed to the sign and said, “Can you read that sign above my head?” The little girl looked up and slowly read aloud, “God is now here.” When the man heard that, the Holy Spirit used it to convert him in that moment.

If you really understood that God is now here, your whole life would change. Once you realize that God is everywhere and your life changes, God’s omnipresence becomes very precious to you because you never have to go anywhere alone.

Visit With Dr. Jacob Gopalswamy

It was a joy for me to visit with Dr. Jacob Gopalswamy, president of the Calvin Seminary in India. I last visited with him eleven years ago, shortly after this seminary was organized. Today it has 164 students and scores of alumni that include the planting of 42 churches. Pray for God’s prospering grace.

Reformed Preaching In Spanish

I am humbled and grateful that my “Reformed Preaching: Preaching God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Hearts of His People” published by Crossway just arrived from them in Spanish: “La Predicacion Reformada: Proclamando la Palabra de Dios, del corazon del predicador al corazon de su iglesia” (Faro de Gracia). Many thanks to Victor Manuel Velasco for an excellent translation.

Take a moment please to pray for God’s blessing on this book especially to Spanish-speaking pastors around the world.

Church and Family Conference and Trip Home

This past Friday and Saturday, we participated in the Church and Family Conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina (the dining hall—photo 1). The theme was “Knowing God,” and my assigned topic was “Mary’s Experiential Knowledge of God.” I described how the mother of Jesus obeyed and submitted to God’s sovereign will, and how she experienced His justice and love. Our good friend Rev. Tom Ascol spoke on “The Knowledge of God in the Life of Jonah” (photo 2). Other speakers who examined biblical characters in terms of various attributes of God included Scott Aniol, Scott Brown, Josh Buice, Jeffrey Johnson, Carlton McLeod, John Snyder, Sam Waldron, etc. I also was interviewed for an hour by Scott Brown’s team on next year’s topic, “Glorifying and Enjoying God” (May 4-6, 2023).

The 1,200 attendees of this conference were good book buyers, as usual. A family shared with Mary that they have been discussing her recent book Teach Them to Work (photo 3). She asked the children, “Are you enjoying working around the house?” They shyly smiled. She added, “At least most of the time?” They nodded yes. It is a humbling sense of reward and gratitude when we hear back that our writings have benefited souls—for everyday life, but especially for spiritual life. SDG!

We had another adventure returning home. Our first flight from Asheville to Charlotte was cancelled due to thunderstorms. So we hastily called back one of the drivers for the conference, and he transported us, Elisha Walker (a RHB worker), and Kevin and Bambi Moore the two hours to Charlotte. (Kevin is a pastor in Texas who also spoke at the conference; he and his wife have 11 children [photo 4].) After more delays and mechanical problems, we were relieved and happy to return to our home-sweet-home Saturday evening in time to prepare a bit more for preaching on the Lord’s Day morning to our own flock—it was so good to be back with our family and church family. Then I preached in the Kalamazoo Reformed Church in the evening, after which we had a great visit with one of my nieces and her family after church, and arrived home shortly after midnight this morning.

Thanks so much for praying us through our 2-week itinerary of four back-to-back conferences in No. Ireland, Scotland, Hungary, and North Carolina. Now for mounds of catch-up work, including more than half a thousand unanswered emails… but at least our lives are back to normal!

Arrival in North Carolina

I spoke one more time in Budapest Thursday morning on “Growing Through Family Worship.” Please pray that these church leaders will be encouraged, and that they will lead their flocks in the paths of Scripture, to be lights on the hill and salt on the earth. A young family wanted a picture of me holding their precious little girl. My heart suddenly longed for our grandchildren!

We said our good-byes, and they immediately took us to the airport. The first leg of our journey was delayed, which would make us miss our connection and North Carolina conference. So, they re-routed us. Instead of Budapest-Paris-Detroit-Charlotte, we flew Budapest-Amsterdam-Atlanta-Charlotte. Despite some computer glitches, we made it safely. God is so kind.

The Charlotte airport was super busy even at midnight. We missed getting a hotel shuttle by five minutes. A young man overheard us trying to get a taxi to the Wingate hotel. He said, “I just got kicked out of a taxi, so I called for a Uber. I’m going to the Wingate; you can ride with me.” “OK, great!” After we’d been on the way for too long, we suddenly asked from the back seat, “Hey, which Wingate are you going to?” It was the wrong one! It was 2:00 a.m. by time we dropped exhausted into bed.

Busy Day In Budapest

Today was packed: I preached four more times on the subject of Spiritual Growth to the Reformed Presbyterian Conference in Budapest, Hungary to about 100 people (mostly Hungarian ministers, but also some Romanians, and a few people from Moldova and Malaysia; photo 1). My subjects were Growing in Prayer, Growing in Knowing and Profiting from the Puritans, Growing in Reformed Experiential Preaching, and Growing in Coping with Criticism Profitably. I also did a QA session–the questions were excellent. My three translators were all very good.

I also spent some time signing my two new books in Hungarian–one on prayer (coauthored with my brother Jim) and one on marriage (coauthored with Mary). In photo 2, you can a minister buying a dozen copies for all the members of his session, wanting each one signed.

After the conference concluded for the day, the organizing ministers took us out for an evening meal and fellowship (photo 3) that afforded us an excellent view overlooking Budapest (photo 4).

Finally, I also squeezed in a helpful 45-minute with 6 ministers from the Bible Bond (photo 5). They represent a group of about 40 conservative Reformed ministers of the 1900 ministers in the Hungarian Reformed Church, most of whom have become liberal.

Arrival In Hungary

This morning we arose early to beat Glasgow, Scotland rush hour traffic. We were sad to say good-bye to David and Fiona Carmichael. We had a clear and beautiful view of Dutch farmland as we flew into Amsterdam (photo #1). Our plane was a bit late and we had a short layover, so the border control agent put us in the front of the line. But then another agent put someone in front of us. When we got up to the counter, the guy said, “You only have ten minutes, you shouldn’t have let those people ahead of you. You must stand up for yourselves. Go!” So we ran! It was about a half mile, but we made it! So thankful.

We arrived safely in Budapest, Hungary; however, Mary’s suitcase did not. After filling out forms, Gyula Bagoly (a PRTS ThM graduate) whisked us off to the ministers’ conference, where we arrived at 6:20 p.m. and fifteen minutes later (only five minutes late!), I delivered the first of six addresses on “Growth” to a group of eighty ministers, elders, and friends of Reformed persuasion. The first address was on “Growing in Assurance of Faith.” The leaders of this conference are Peter Szabo and Gyula (photo #2).

Please pray for us as I address the conference on four more topics of growth tomorrow, D.V. 

Leaving Scotland

Yesterday morning we took a walk around Lesmahagow, Scotland and spent some time looking at the home Rev. David and Fiona Carmichael recently purchased for their upcoming “retirement” years as well as a large abandoned building that was originally a mansion, then became a hospital for disabled people, with some dream now of renovating it into a hotel (photo 1). After an afternoon of catch-up work, we drove into Glasgow where I spoke in the evening at a quaint little Reformed Baptist Church (photo 2) to a few dozen ministers and their wives and some friends on “Thriving in Babylon,” and then enjoyed an hour or two of fellowship (photo3–taken at the end of the fellowship after most had left).

On the way back to the Carmichael home late that evening we had a flat tire on the highway, which took a while to replace so that we didn’t arrive home until close to midnight (photo 4). We were just grateful to arrive home safely, and to get up at 5:30 this morning to fly to Hungary via Amsterdam. Pray for our upcoming conference in Hungary please.