Showing posts from 2007

Counting the Cost to Follow Christ

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it...” (Luke 14:28, NKJV)

Dear Friends,

One of the greatest blessings of being a Christian is the friends one makes while serving the LORD. I have truly been blessed with knowing and working with some incredible Christians who inspire others to follow the LORD wholeheartedly without reservation.

In the next several weeks I will be sharing some of their stories with you. I pray you will be blessed and inspired to follow Jesus Christ without reservation.

In August of 2006 I first interviewed Steve Lefemine, a pro-life missionary and director of a ministry called “Columbia Christians for Life” based in Columbia, South Carolina for the newsletter “Christian Activist Pro-Life News – 100% Pro-Life: No Exceptions, No Compromise.”

Here is the full text of the interview:

Q: How did you first know that the LORD was calling you to become a pro-life missionary?

A: The Lord ha…

Give Thanks to the LORD!

By Angela Wittman

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8 – NKJV

As we prepare our homes for the gathering of family and friends this Thanksgiving season, let’s not forget to prepare our hearts in humble gratefulness to God for the blessings and grace which He has bestowed upon us as individuals and as a nation.

Here is a bit of history about Thanksgiving which you may not have been taught in school as taken from the website “A Puritan’s Mind” by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon:

“The celebration we now popularly regard as the ‘First Thanksgiving’ was the Pilgrims' three-day feast celebrated in early November of 1621 (although a day of thanks in America was observed in Virginia at Cape Henry in 1607)...

“The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. The Pilgrims had earlier left England in 1608, as the Church of England had cur…

Are You A Fearless Believer?

By Angela Wittman

I can think of nothing more stirring than hearing accounts of those martyred for their faith. While there are those who scoff at the zeal of Christians willing to lay down their lives for Jesus Christ, history proves that those who have done so were full of the grace and joy of the Holy Spirit even until the very end.
These men and women who counted their lives not as dear as the Gospel impacted the world for Christ in a way that will never be forgotten.

J. C. McFeeters, author of “Sketches of the Covenanters” writes this about those who spill their blood for the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

“God has His own way of calling out His witnesses, and assigning service to them. The Church, as a whole, has invalidated and incapacitated herself for this responsibility, by weakness, declension, and compromise. God does not commit His testimony to the Church, while in such condition; nor to the faithful in the Church, whose voice and actions are weakened or neutralized by majoritie…

The Love of God in Christ

For the last several weeks I have been sharing with you character sketches of Christian women known in Church history as Covenanters. These ladies were adventurous, courageous, bold in their faith and loyal to each other. These are character traits which we can all pray and work to have; but I think there is one essential ingredient to developing a godly character which we ought not to miss, and this is the love of God in Christ in our hearts.

Matthew Henry writes this in his “Commentary of the Whole Bible” for 1 John, chapter 4, verses 14 through 21:

“The love of God in Christ, in the hearts of Christians from the Spirit of adoption, is the great proof of conversion. This must be tried by its effects on their temper, and their conduct to their brethren. If a man professes to love God, and yet indulges anger or revenge, or shows a selfish disposition, he gives his profession the lie. But if it is plain that our natural enmity is changed into affection and gratitude, let us bless the …

Nothing but the Righteousness of Christ

“It pleased God of his great goodness, early to incline my heart to seek him, and bless him that I was born in a land where the gospel was at that time purely and powerfully preached; as also, that I was born of godly parents and well educated. But above all things, I bless him that he made me see that nothing but the righteousness of Christ could save me from the wrath of God.” – Mrs. William Veitch

Marion Fairlie was born in Scotland in 1638, and married William Veitch, a non-conforming minister in 1664. It has been reported that her friends tried to persuade her from marrying the young minister as he had been ejected from the pulpit for not being licensed by the bishop to preach, and for having “opinions hostile to prelacy”. Instead of listening to her friends’ advice, Marion chose to cast her all upon the LORD and to trust in His providential care. She then began a life of hardship, separation and persecution as the wife of an “ejected minister” in Scotland.

After only two years of …

A Humble Heart

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear… Psalm 10, verse 17 – KJVLady Anne, Duchess of Hamilton was born in 1631 in Scotland to Christian parents. Her mother died when Anne was 8 years old, and her father, James, was beheaded for treason when she was only 19 years old.

James Hamilton was one of the leading Royalists who supported King Charles I. He had tried to form an alliance between the King and the Earl of Argyll, a Scottish Covenanter and friend. They eventually had a falling out and their friendship became severed. James was arrested during the administration of Oliver Cromwell, charged with treason and then executed. (Source:

Due to the death of Lady Anne’s father and then her guardian, an uncle, she became impoverished as the family wealth was seized by the administration of Cromwell. The hardship of poverty left its imprint upon the character of Lady Anne which is described as …

A Dearest and Most Kind Friend

"I desire to bless Him that ever He was pleased to cast our lot together, that He found you out a help meet for me: you were never a temptation to me, nor an obstruction to me either in my ministerial or Christian course…" (Written by Mr. John Carstairs to his wife Janet in November of 1662.)
Janet Mure was born in February of 1625 in Scotland; she was the sister of Margaret Durham, who was married to James Durham, the well known theologian and respected minister of the Presbyterian Church.

Janet married Mr. John Carstairs, who became one of the persecuted non conformist ministers of the Gospel, at the age of 22 or 23 years. Together they had seven children: three sons and four daughters.

Most of what we know about Janet Carstairs is derived from the letters she and her husband wrote to each other during the period of time when he was forced to flee Scotland due to persecution for his adherence to the Presbyterian faith.

Their letters reveal a strong, heroic woman who loved…

'And they shall be one flesh'

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
(Genesis Ch. 2, vs. 18, 21-24 KJV)

This week’s character sketch is of Margaret Mure, who was born in Scotland in 1618. It is reported her parents brought her up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Her first marriage was to the minister Zachary Boyd of Glasgow. She was soon widowed and then went on to marry Mr. James Durham, a celebrated and popular minister who died at the young …

Unswerving faithfulness in God

"I know in whom I have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. I have preached salvation through His name, and as I have preached, so do I believe, and do commend the riches of His free grace, and faith in His name unto you all, as the only way whereby you can be saved." (Spoken by Rev. James Guthrie while on the scaffold in 1661.)

Jane Ramsey, who became Mrs. James Guthrie, has been described as a woman with "unswerving faithfulness to the cause of God." It is only by the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit that one could possibly endure the suffering Mrs. Guthrie did when she lost her husband to martyrdom.

Rev. James Guthrie was a contemporary of Samuel Rutherford and became an ordained minister in 1638. He has been described as a man who loved God, his country, and one who boldly spoke of the Lordship of Christ over both the Church and the nation. This eventually led to his being charged with treason and his e…

A Lady of Good Courage

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
(Deuteronomy 31:6 – KJV)

The heroine of this story is Lady Margaret Douglas who was born in Scotland in 1610 and then at a young age married the man who became the love of her life, the First Marquis of Argyll, Archibald, Lord Lorn.

During her first pregnancy Lady Margaret suffered from a serious illness. The doctors told her that to treat her illness the life of her child would need to be sacrificed in order to save hers. Rev. James Anderson, author of the book "Ladies of the Covenant" writes this about her:

"But from this proposal the heart of the mother recoiled, and on no consideration would she give her consent. In the good providence of God, however, the life both of the mother and of the infant was saved..."

Of Lady Margaret’s marriage to Lord Lorn, we are told that both she and her husband s…

A Heart Filled With Faith

“Christ hath too many occasional friends; but the ground of all is this, ‘I love Jesus Christ, but I have not the gift of burning quick for Christ.’ Oh, how securely should faith land us out of the gun-shot of the prevailing power of a black hour of darkness! Faith can make us able to be willing, for Christ, to go through a quarter of hell's pain.”
(Taken from Samuel Rutherford’s dedication of “Trial and Triumph of Faith” to Lady Jane Campbell, the Viscountess of Kenmure)

Lady Jane Campbell was born in Scotland in the 17th century. She was a contemporary of Lady Culross, and also shared a friendship with Samuel Rutherford who spoke of her in the highest terms. He immortalized her memory and name with dedicating his book “Trial and Triumph of Faith” to her.

Lady Kenmure not only was a benefactor to the Presbyterian ministers, but she was one of their greatest advocates. Toward the end of her life when her fortune had diminished, she continued to give to the banished and persecuted …

'Look to the Lord'

The resource used for this story of Elizabeth Melvill (Lady Culross) is the book “Ladies of the Covenant” written by Rev. James Anderson.

“Look to the Lord, thou art not left alone,
Since He is thine, what pleasure canst thou take?
He is at hand, and hears thy every groan:
End out thy fight, and suffer for His sake.”

(Excerpt from a sonnet written by Elizabeth Melvill in 1605 to John Welsh, a non-conformist minister of the Gospel, while he was imprisoned in the Castle of Blackness.)

Elizabeth Melvill was born in Scotland in1578 and died in 1640. She was an extremely intelligent and highly educated woman who was well known for her knowledge of religion. She unashamedly supported and encouraged the non-conformist ministers who stood for freedom and liberty in the Church and the Worship of God.

The story has been told that Lady Culross was a devoted hearer of the preaching of the Gospel, and would often travel to different parishes to hear the preachers and to participate in the Lord’s Suppe…

Living only for Christ

“They lose nothing who gain Christ.” ~ Samuel Rutherford

Lady Boyd was born in Scotland between 1588 and 1594; her maiden name was Christian Hamilton. She was the oldest daughter of Sir Thomas Hamilton and his wife Margaret.

Alexander Whyte, the author of “Samuel Rutherford and his Correspondents” writes that “she inherited no small part of her father’s talents and strength of character.” He then goes on to say that “All her days Lady Boyd was on the most intimate terms with the most eminent ministers of the Church of Scotland. We find such men as Robert Bruce, Robert Blair, John Livingstone and Samuel Rutherford continually referring to her in the loftiest terms.”

In the book “Ladies of the Covenant” by Rev. James Anderson, she is described as having “encouraged the preaching of the gospel, exercising a generous hospitality and liberality towards its ministers, receiving them into her house and supplying them with money.”

She was known to stay up late into the night writing in her person…

An Encourager of Faithful Ministers

This story of Lady Anne Cunningham is taken from the book “The Ladies of the Covenant” by Rev. James Anderson.

Lady Anne was born in Scotland sometime before 1588 (her exact birth date is unknown); she married Lord James, the Marquis of Hamilton in 1603. Together they had five children. Lady Anne was then widowed in 1625.

After her husband’s death, she continued to live a life of devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and of blessing others until her death in September of 1647. She lived during two periods of national covenanting that took place in Scotland in 1638 and 1643. Those known as “Covenanters” maintained that Christ was the Supreme King of the church and the nation, which conflicted with those who advocated “the divine rights of kings” over both realms.

Even though her husband did not have share her zeal for freedom of religion and he reportedly was more concerned with personal ambition, Lady Anne persevered and left an impact upon future generations of Christians. She was known …