Saturday 30 June 2007

Holiday Reading Part One

The first two books I chose to read while away happened to be on the same theme, but very different styles. The Hidden Pathway compiled by G D Buss and published by Gospel Standard Trust Publications are the writings of Elsie Dawson, wife of Herbert Dawson the pastor of 'Union' Chapel, Bethersden, Kent (1915 to 1969). It is a personal and very spiritual account of life as a pastor's wife. What an amazingly tough lady she was in the face of many difficulties, and through it all it is plain to see that her strength was from the Lord every step of the way. She writes candidly about the spiritual lessons she learnt through the Lord's providential dealings with her and there is much profit to be found in reading her testimony of the Lord's goodness. She also wrote poetry, here's a sample...

Tell God thy many wants and fears;
Tell Him the cause of all thy tears;
Tell Him the burdens that oppress,
For He alone can truly bless.

Commit thy way unto the Lord,
And ask for faith to trust His Word;
For He will surely bring to pass
That which for thee he purposes.

Commit thy way, though ills you dread,
And darkness veils the path you tread;
Stay on the name of Christ thy Lord,
For He is faithful to His Word.

And He has said to such as thee -
'In all thy ways acknowledge Me';
I will direct thy paths, and thou
Shalt in a way of safety go.

Commit to him thy hearts desire, -
That secret thing which, as a fire,
Burns in thy bones, nor gives thee rest; -
Leave that with Him; He know the best.
Commit thy way, though he would seem
To hear thee not, and thou esteem
Thyself too vile, and e'en thy prayer
Too sinful for the Lord to hear.

Commit thy way, nor fear to tread
The path where he himself doth lead;
However dark and rough the way,
The Lord will be thy strength and stay.

Commit thy way to Him, and prove
Jehovah's faithfulness and love;
For till life's close He then will be
A Guide and Counsellor to thee.
(based on Psalm 37:5)

The second book was a new Banner of Truth title Her Husband's Crown by Sara Leone. A very practical book on 'A Wife's Ministry and a Minister's Wife'. A quick and easy read (less than 50 pages), this is a down-to-earth guide to how a minister's wife can be a true help-meet to her husband. It has chapter headings such as 'Provide a quiet, peaceful home for your husband' (oops, I've failed at the first hurdle!), 'Be a sympathetic and confidential listener to your husband', 'Through encouragement and prayer, be your husband's chief supporter', 'Remember that your husband is judged in part by your behaviour - be an asset, not a liability, to him'. Sara Leone is realistic about many issues that are particular to a minister's wife, but having said that, I think that the issues it raises could be applicable and useful for others too.

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