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267 – Sept. 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Few know the sacrifices of our missionaries


1942 – The S.S. West Lashaway, a ship on which the Shaw family, missionaries to French Equatorial Africa (now Central African Republic) was sunk by a German U Boat in the early days of WW II. The shipping lanes of the Atlantic were in constant danger of German subs, and later, for a while, the Japanese Navy ruled the Pacific in those awful days. Harvey and Carol Shaw had volunteered for missionary service in Africa in 1937 and now were forced to return with their three children. As the German torpedo ripped through the ship, Mr. Shaw, his daughter Carol (7) and son Richard (13) were thrown into the sea. Mrs. Shaw and daughter Georgia (11) were trapped in their cabin and went down with the ship. The survivors still had to survive fire from the German sub. When it left they found life jackets and rafts. Mr. Shaw didn’t make it, but the rest did after drifting for twenty-one days, and seeing the Lord wondrously provide food and fresh rain water. Finally they were rescued by a British destroyer after they nearly destroyed them with sixteen volleys of cannon, thinking that they were an enemy submarine. The sailors wept when they realized what they had nearly done. Other missionaries raised the Shaw children, and Richard later entered the ministry, and his sister Carol served the Lord as well. Few know of the sacrifices of our missionaries. [Polly Strong, Burning Wicks (Cleveland, Ohio: Baptist Mid-Missions, 1984), pp. 207-8. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 523-25]. Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon




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263 – Sept. 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A courage that honored God


1944 – According to Winston Churchill, was the day that the Nijmegen Bridge  over the Waal-Rhine River in Holland, the longest bridge in Europe, fell into American hands in World War II.  Baptist Chaplain Captain Delbert Kuehl tells of the heroism of Henry, a nineteen year old Baptist paratrooper. Because of his Christian witness Henry had been given the nickname of “chaplain” of “H” company, and some less honorable names as well. The Germans were caught by surprise, but as the Americans reached the water, they opened fire. Many of our soldiers were hit by machine gun and mortar fire including Henry. However Henry, ignoring his wounds ministered to the fallen soldiers. Chaplain Kuehl insisted on Henry leaving in one of the boats which he did but then the Chaplain was surprised to see him back again, head bandaged, to assist others to get across even in the midst of heavy fire. He helped load one more man into the boat, and then collapsed, being weakened by loss of blood. At that time Henry, who was semi-conscious, was loaded into the boat and taken back to the friendly side of the river. Chaplain Kuehl said, “I shall never forget the courage of this young Christian Paratrooper—a courage that caused every fighting man to marvel and a courage that honored God.” [Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy (Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953), p 198. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 515-17]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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Certainly the deaths and those injured at the Boston Marathon is an horrific tragedy. Life is not precious to so many people today. There is a general coarsening of humanity and the inhumanity of man to man is rising to the forefront of our daily living.



We mourn and weep and pray for all those whose lives have been torn asunder. Our hearts are broken because tragedies seem to be increasing. We know that investigations are ongoing to find the perpetrators of these incidents.



What drives the heart of the man that would indiscriminately kill and maim young and old, male and female? Evil. God in Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. This evil heart of man brought on the flood. We find later that this evil heart brought about the destruction of Sodom and her sister city. Evil is not new.



What is pushing this evil heartedness. It happens when man turns away from God. Man removes the laws of God from society and then wonders why evil is bound up in the heart of man. It is fairly clear that the more we remove God from society, evil grows. The further away from God man gets the more coarse and evil man becomes.



Now those that believe in God, worship God and try to live by the teachings of Jesus are being accused of possibly being the ones behind the Boston Bombing.



How can this be? We practice love for our fellowman, charity and benevolence. We practice compassion for the unfortunate and assistance where help is need. What law is there against these practices. All others have the right to think, practice and believe as they want. We that believe in God are laughed at and ridiculed because we hold the beliefs that have been held according to God’s Word and have been honored for several thousands of years.



Now the media would like to label us as dangerous, radical terrorists that would bomb innocent people. Their notion and labeling is radical and speaks of devious and jealous heart.



There is the problem. A lack of God. “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God!


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At that time there was a general pause in the conflict with Campbellism in most of the territory, but in Nashville, the heart and center of this agitation, the First Baptist Church had been swept into “the current reformation” under the leadership of its pastor, Rev. S.P. Fall, and so the battle was kept up. The fact is that in Nashville, more than any other spot on the continent, the religious discussions were constant, bitter and personal, and with the Baptists it was a battle for existence.

In the forefront of this swirling conflict was this young man placed when he was but twenty-six years old, as editor and leader. Well might he hesitate as he did and ask himself the deep, soul-searching questions, “Is this my work” Has God called me to it?”

There are depths in many a soul, capabilities and powers of which a man in life’s quiet avocations know little or nothing. How little did Luther know the resources and capabilities of that great soul of his when tremblingly he caught the faint rays of gospel truth as there echoed through his being “Justification by faith” and “Romanism is false.” it is so with all brave spirits, not only in those whose world battles change the course of history, but in the heart of every lover and defender of the truth, who sees it with the clear eye of faith and will not give an inch in its defense, nor compromise one iota with that which is false. This was so with the soul of this truly great man. Trial, soul-conflict, faith in God, love of the truth and the determination to fight the battle to the end reveal to him forces and weapons and powers of defense and of endurance of which he little dreamed until the necessity was laid upon him. This was the experience of Dr. Graves. He explored his own inmost soul under the conscious eye of the Lord and said “I will.”

After that he never feared a foe nor shrank from his responsibility.

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Everybody, everywhere
seeds happiness, it’s true,
But finding it and keeping it
seems difficult to do.
Difficult because we think
that happiness is found
Only in the places where
wealth and fame abound –
And so we go on searching
In “palaces of pleasure”
Seeking recognition
and monetary treasure.
Unaware that happiness
is just a “state of mind”
Within the reach of everyone
who takes time to be kind
For in making others happy
we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away
returns to “shine on you.”

Helen Steiner Rice

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“A great revival resulted under his ministry”
 December 23, 1741 – John Waller was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and was a descendent of the honorable Wallers in England. No man suffered more or experienced greater success in his ministry in Virginia and S.C. than he. His uncle had made arrangements for him to be educated in the law, but upon his death, his father was unable to finance even a classical education. Allowing himself to indulge in every type of wickedness and profanity, he quickly acquired the appellation of “Swearing Jack” Waller. He was sometimes called the “devils adjutant” to muster his troops. He was on the grand jury who was presented the case against the Baptist preacher, Lewis Craig and heard his testimony when he said, “I thank you for the honor…While I was wicked you took no notice of me: but since I have altered my course of life, and endeavored to reform my neighbors, you concern yourselves much about me. I forgive my persecuting enemies, and shall take joyfully the spoiling of my goods.” When Waller heard him speak in such a humble manner, he was persuaded that Craig was possessed of something he had not seen in him before and desired to have the same experience. Waller began to attend the Baptist meetings, and he experienced very intense conviction for seven or eight months. He said, “I had long felt the greatest abhorrence of myself.” In hearing another man cry out for mercy he felt his own heart melt, “…and a sweet application of the Redeemer’s love to my poor soul.” He said that there were periods of struggle…but he took refuge in the Word of God, especially in Isa. 50:10. He was ordained to the ministry in June of 1770 and it was attended with great success. A great revival resulted under his ministry and he had a membership of 1500.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 536-37

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