Thursday, 26 December 2013

Recollections of War: The Sinking of the Scharnhorst - December 26, 1943



        Today is the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the last of Germany's hard-hitting battleships in World War II - the "Scharnhorst".  In a short but fierce conflict, the British Royal Navy located, hunted down, and sunk the 26,000 ton warship off the northern coast of Sweden over the days of 25 - 26 December, 1943.

        After several attempts, the British ship, HMS Duke of York located and shadowed the Scharnhorst on December 25.  Calling upon other British warships in the vicinity, the Duke of York battled and chased the Scharnhorst for the better part of twelve hours.  On the 26th, the combined British forces caught up to the doomed ship - and sank her from close range.

        Thus the end began of Germany's hold of the seas - all of her ships were sunk, and she knew that this was only the beginning of the Allied offensive to defeat the Third Reich.  Six months later, a combined Canadian, British, and American force would land on the shores of France - beginning the end to the Second World War.

        Over the course of this coming year, I will chronicling the major events of WWII in the year 1944 - as it is the 70th Anniversary in 2014.  See you then!



Monday, 23 December 2013

"Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus!"


"Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart."

        The above stanza from "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" is a beautiful song of longing and hope for the coming of Christ.  The hymn was, by all accounts, written by Charles Wesley for the season of Advent.  In the first verse, the singer yearns for the coming of Jesus to rescue us from the slavery of sin, and is comforted by remembering that Jesus is truly the only Comforter, and will come to bring peace and joy at the last.   This Christmas, rejoice in the fact that Jesus has come to save us from sin, and will come once more to take us home.

"Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne."

        In the second, and final, verse here, we see Christ as the One who died on the cross for our sins - the one who came in the likeness of man, condemned sin in the flesh, and is raised to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns forever.  Finally: by His Spirit, he will rule in those hearts which trust in Him, and by his work, not our own, raise us as new creations once and for all time.

        As we come to the last few days of this year, let us remember the One to whom we owe our salvation, and let us never cease to thank Him for coming to save our undeserving selves.


        "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forevermore." Isaiah 9:6-7.


Merry Christmas, Friends!

William Moore

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Theology of Christmas


        In this post, I hope to outline my own theology of why I think we as Christians should celebrate Christmas.  You are perfectly free to disagree with me.

          It's probably heard often, yet the question stands: Why do we celebrate Christmas?  For many the reason is tradition.  Their family has celebrated Christmas for generations, and so it is only natural for them to do likewise.  For others, it is a time to do good to their fellow men, a specific season in which giving is encouraged and, enjoyed.
          But what about us, who as Christians, recognize the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, on that particular day?  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  The word "Christmas" comes from two words: 'mass', meaning 'celebration', and Christ, referencing the name of our Saviour.  So the name Christmas simply means 'Celebrating Christ'.  Unfortunately Jesus has not become the focus of many people during this season.  Instead Christ has relegated to a back shelf.  So I believe that we should celebrate the birth of Jesus all year round, but especially at this time, to be reminded of his coming - for us.


See amid the winter's snow, 
Born for us on Earth below, 
See, the tender Lamb appears, 
Promised from eternal years.

He who, throne'd in height sublime, 
Sits among the cherubim. 
Lo, within a manger lies 
He who built the starry skies.



        Think about that for a moment.  The wonders of the Incarnation are astounding.  The God of the Universe, the one who holds all things in the palm of his hands, came down as a little human baby, in the grand scheme of God's plan for our salvation.  If he had not been born as a man, and then throughout his life, kept the whole law perfectly, his death on the cross would have done us no good.  He had to be sinless, and yet be one of us, in order to take my sin and give me his righteousness.  Is not that a reason to celebrate his birth?
        Just like we have a particular season during which we give thanks (Thanksgiving), I believe that we should take time to remember and think and celebrate upon the wondrous birth of Jesus.  We may or may not have trees or gifts or parties, but take time to celebrate the greatest gift of all: the Son of God given for us, Jesus Christ, my Saviour.

Is He yours?


Written and Posted by William A Moore

Friday, 29 November 2013

On the Trail of the Reformation - Number Two


   
As many of you who read this blog know, I was away in late June and early July in Europe on a Reformation History Tour, with author Douglas Bond.  That was probably one of the most wonderful, insightful, and enjoyable trips I have ever been on.  And it got me thinking about many things regarding the Reformation itself - one of which is here:

The Reformation was One of the Key Events in the Whole History of the Church

      Over the course of many hundreds of years, the then dominant religious power, the Roman Catholic Church, had slowly regressed into non-biblical teaching, sadly leading almost all who were in the Church astray.  But then came along men who looked at the Scriptures - and saw in it the life-giving Gospel.  Men like John Wycliffe, who translated the Bible into English;  Jacques Lefevre d'Etaple, who taught the Reformed faith in Paris long before 1517;  Martin Luther, who wrote the 95 Theses, starting a major part of the Reformation;  John Calvin, who wrote clear and solid theology - these were men who had been called by God to bring people in darkness back to the light of a right and full understanding of the Gospel.  These men saw that the Church needed to be brought back to the doctrines of salvation by grace and faith alone, and by God's strength, they succeeded in doing it.
      I believe that the Reformation was one of the key events in the history of the church because of this:
      If there had not been a Reformation, the Gospel could not have been preached freely and without hindrance - and could not have spread as it did.  If there had not been a Reformation, Scripture would still be shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and again, the Gospel would be hidden.  But since there was a Reformation, the living Gospel impacted the lives of an enormous number of people.  Since there was a Reformation we can look back and see the marvelous ways God has spread His kingdom over that particular period in history. Since there was a Reformation, we can see that God is continually reforming his Church - and in the end he will restore heaven and earth, and we will glory in his wonderful works of salvation in my life and yours.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

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Traveling through Switzerland on a Sunday morning.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Remembering C. S. Lewis: 50 Years Later


        C. S. Lewis was born on November 29th, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland, the son of Albert Lewis, who was a lawyer, and Flora Hamilton Lewis.  Here he grew up with his elder brother Warren where they lived in a great big house which they played in and explored together.  Here it was too, that the seeds of adventure in the Narnia Chronicles were planted.  But life soon had a sudden shock.  His mother died of cancer in the summer, and Lewis’ father sent his boys off to boarding school in England.  

        Lewis moved two years later to Malvern College where he stayed until he continued on to Oxford University two years before the First World War.  After volunteering to fight and getting wounded late in the War, he and his brother eventually moved in with the mother of one of his friends who was killed in the War.  She looked after Lewis and his brother until she died much later on.  It was during this time at the Kilns, which was the name of their home, that Lewis began to write volumes.  

        Here, in 1950, he wrote The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which is, without a doubt, his most read and most famous book.  It was here that the adventures with Warren in the great old house in their boyhood became real in The Magician’s Nephew.  It was here that Lewis wrote what I consider to be his greatest book, The Last Battle.  (I do not have the time nor space to write about it here, but if you read it for yourself, you will know what I mean.)  The effect that these books have had on the world is amazing.  Embodying Christian theology, with pure adventure, realistic fantastical worlds and creatures, with an author who has a wonderful grasp of the English language, these books must be considered C. S. Lewis’s highest achievements.  

        After writing many other books, such as Mere Christianity, and, Surprised by Joy, and having been made a Fellow of Magdalene College in Oxford, and with many other awards bestowed upon him, C. S. Lewis died on November 22nd, 1963, which is this day, fifty years ago.  He now rests with his Lord and Saviour, but his books, and the adventure, wonder, and truth embodied in them, still remain to be read by numbers of people the world over.  


Written and Posted by William A Moore

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

On the Trail of the Reformation - Number One



        Catechisms are a different subject to write upon, but they were an integral part of the Reformation.  Having had a good conversation with a friend about catechisms has helped me formulate my thoughts, which are based upon Scripture and history, into this post.

Catechisms Are a Tool Whereby We Can Clearly Understand and Articulate the Doctrines of the Faith

          The picture on the right of this post is of a part of Heidelburg Castle, Germany.  On the trip to Europe earlier this year, we stopped by this important site where the doctrines of the Reformation were beautifully thought out and put down in what we know today as the Heidelburg Catechism.  It was in 1562 that the Elector Frederick III, who was ruler of the Palatinate, commissioned two young men, whose names were Caspar Olevianus and Zacharias Ursinus to write a catechism to put an end to disputes in his kingdom.  Making use of many documents available at the time, they succeeded in completing a finished draft of it by the end of 1562.  Once approved by members of the Palatinate, it was published in 1563, and even having gone through many editions, the catechism still retains its intended ability and purpose - to explain the Reformed doctrines in a clear and simple, yet rich and full, way.

      Which brings me to the one thing which I would like to point out.  Catechisms are, I believe, one of the best ways to thoroughly and concisely be able understand and share the doctrines of the Faith - with everyone.  When I am asked about theology, one of the first things that pops into my head is a relating question from the catechism.  Knowing a catechism is one of the most useful things to have - both to defend the faith and to understand key doctrinal theology.  So learn theology through a catechism and you will have a good foundation to understanding and confidently sharing the whole Gospel.

Written and posted by William A Moore

Monday, 11 November 2013

Recollections of War: Ninety-Five Years?


      On this day it is 95 years since the ending of "The War to end all Wars".  Or is it? With each successive conflict people say that we, as humankind, are working together for universal peace.  True, many have fought and died for peace, and peace in many cases did come - but for how long? There is something which we are missing, something which has been lost.  Read below:

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.


      Did you see it?  That something is this: We should find and remember that our Hope is in God alone.  We must remember that it is not our efforts that control this world.  It is Christ who upholds the universe by the word of His power.  We must place our hope during conflicts and peace in our Lord and God, for He is mighty to save, slow to anger, abiding in steadfast love - forever faithful.  

Written and Posted by William A Moore

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Our Choice


        Yesterday I did a draft of this post and posted it here.  I then realized I had rushed it and took it down – but, thinking it through, and rewriting it has yielded fruit in the three paragraphs below. I hope they are a blessing and challenge to you.

        When you look back over something that has gone wrong, you can see that it was not just one big decision that brought things tumbling down.  It is many small choices that either build something up - or tear it down.  In our day and age we must choose whether or not we will make the choice to stand or fall.  It says in Judges, after Joshua had conquered Canaan, that “there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel…And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.” (Judges 2:10, 12)  If the people of Israel abandoned the Lord, that means that they had been taught about Him, and instructed, to some degree, to worship and serve Him.  So what made them forget God? I believe it is because they did not continually think upon his word, store it up in their hearts, and serve Him alone.

        We must choose this day who we shall serve.  Is that a hard question?  Or is the answer the thing that’s hard?  Young men and ladies, serve the Lord - make him your King, use your life for his glory, serve others and Him with cheerfulness and sincerity; for that is what we were created to do.  In the beginning, God made everything good, and since the fall, all of creation has been trying to get back to that state.  Even though things will never be perfect until the new Creation, our lives should be ones which show that we know Christ will come again, and we must share this with the world.  

        To finish: Are we going to lose sight of the mark and fall, like the generation who did not remember the instruction of their fathers and forgot God?  Or shall we strive, to the best of our ability, with the Spirit's help, to achieve the goals of the generation before us, remembering their godly instruction and set new goals for our children – doing all of this according to God's word to advance the Kingdom of our Lord.  Our choice must be to stand for Christ.

       Matthew 22:37 - And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all mind."

Written and Posted by William Moore


Thursday, 31 October 2013

News, Updates, and Welcome Back!

Dear Readers,

        Well, here it is seven months since I last posted!  A lot of things have gone on since then, one being a trip to Europe on the trail of the Reformation*; another being a new focus and plan for this blog - both of which have had a key effect on where this blog shall go next.
        I have been considering many possible uses for this blog over the summer.  During that time I came to a realization of something which we, as Christians, need to study and learn from.  That something is a right and true view of History.  Many people separate history into two major sections: secular history and religious history.  Well, that distinction should not be made.  All of history is governed by God, and He is the one who sustains this world and the universe "according to the power of His word."  He providentially orchestrates history for our good and His glory - so it upon us now to acknowledge His sovereignty, and to learn from history.
        I want to focus this blog on a providential view of history, and write about how God has, is, and will work his plan throughout history.  But also we cannot thoroughly understand history without a good knowledge of theology, so I will be posting on that subject as well.  I hope that this focus for this blog will help it to move along steadily and interestingly, and that we all will learn many things as we read and study history and theology.
        As a final note, history, and the writing of and about it, is one of the ways I feel called to advance Christ's Kingdom, and reform culture at this juncture in my life.  I hope and pray that the Lord will use this small effort for his purposes and glory.

For the Kingdom, and the Glory of our King,

William Moore

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* To be posted in the future.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Versification of Psalm 148


Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the Heavens;
Praise him in the heights,
Praise him, all his glorious angels,
You, who live in light.

Praise him all you shining stars,
Praise him, sun and moon,
Praise him, all you highest heavens,
Bring light to the gloom.

He commanded them created,
Praise the Lord’s name,
He established them forever,
‘Til he comes again.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
All you flocks and herds;
Fire and hail, and snow and mist,
Wind, fulfilling his Word.

Mountains and all high hills,
Beasts and all livestock;
All kinds of trees and all the cedars,
Birds and all the rocks.

Kings of earth and all the peoples,
Rulers of the earth;
Young men and maidens all together,
Rejoice with greatest mirth.

Let all praise the name of God,
Exalt his name alone;
Majesty in heaven and earth,
Our King upon the throne!

William Moore, 2013

            I was reading Psalm 148 the other day, and I felt that it was just calling to be versified!  It is such a rejoicing, glad hymn to our God.  If you read the ESV version, you can see how it needs very little ‘editing’J to be sung.  That is something I have found with many of the Psalms in the ESV, they are very easily versified.  One thing I made sure to do was make the meter fit the words, not the words fit the meter – which can ruin the psalm – or any other sort of poem as well.  Versifying psalms is very fun to do.  It blesses you as you write them, and hopefully blesses others when they read them!  

Versified and Posted by William A Moore

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Christian Heroes: Alfred the Great


            Alfred, King of Wessex, is not a name that is told about very often; yet Alfred was one of the most influential characters in Britain’s history.  After the wars with the Danes that ended in 880AD, Alfred instituted reforms that changed the course of history.  There were no laws at that time that men respected in England, so Alfred felt it was part of his duty as king to change that.  As he studied his Bible, he saw that the Ten Commandments should be the basis for any law code, and he began to make new laws that followed closely to what God taught in the Bible.  It is in his famous Doom-Book that he outlined the Golden Rule: “Do thou unto thy neighbour as thou wouldst have him do unto thyself.”  As these laws were now being implemented into society, men began to change their ways and it was during this time that England was the closest to being a fully Christian nation, in my opinion.  King Alfred also encouraged people to learn to read and write, and set up schools for the children of his kingdom.  In regards to the church at that point in time, Alfred was a Bible believing Christian, and it is reflected in that he presented his English clergy with a book by Pope Gregory, entitled, ‘Pastoral Care’.  This became another effort to lead the English church back to Christ.  In his spare time at home he began to translate the Psalms into the common language and succeeded admirably. In his translation work he had help from a learned Welshman named Asser, who taught him the Latin and English languages.  King Alfred was a very humble man, who loved the LORD - and that is seen in everything he did.  He was England’s only King ever called ‘Alfred, the Great’ and by the grace of God, he deserved it.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

Monday, 4 March 2013

Christian Heroes: The Watchword


        In one of the great rock-galleries of Gibraltar, two British sailors mounted guard; one at each end of the vast tunnel.  One was a believing man whose soul had found rest upon the Rock of Ages; the other was seeking rest but had not found it.  It was midnight, and these soldiers were going their rounds, the one meditating on the blood which had brought peace to his soul, the other darkly brooding over his own disquietudes and doubts.  Suddenly an officer passes, challenges the former and demands the watchword.  “The precious blood of Christ!” called out the startled veteran, forgetting for a moment the password of the night, and uttering unconsciously the thought which at that instant was filling his soul.  Next moment he corrected himself, and the officer, no doubt amazed, passed on.  The words he spoke had rung through the gallery, and entered the ears of his fellow-soldier at the other end, like a message from heaven.  It seemed as if an angel had spoken, or rather as if God himself had proclaimed the good news in that still hour.  “The precious blood of Christ!”  Yes, that was peace!  His troubled soul was now at rest.  That midnight voice had spoken the good news to him, and God had carried home the message, “The precious blood of Christ!”  Strange but blessed watchword!-never to be forgotten.  For many a day and a year, no doubt, it would be the joy and rejoicing of his heart.

This story was taken from a very old book of mine, published in the 1860's.  To read more from it, and to find out more about the book, you can go to my other blog, now finished, here: 

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Posted by William Moore

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Christian Heroes: The Two Margarets


I found this account of the martyrdom of Margaret Wilson when 
I was doing research on a paper I was writing. Here is that part of the paper.

        The Killing times in the 1600’s in Scotland were one of the fiercest persecutions by the Catholic Government against Protestant Christians in Britain of all time. Many would choose to die rather than give up their Lord. This was a time of great hardship for Scotland, but also a time of great Gospel witness to the faith the Covenanters had in their Lord and Saviour. There are many sad but glorious stories of martyrs in that history, and none probably stand out as much as the martyrdom of Margaret Wilson and Margaret MacLauchlan. Their story should be a tribute to the faith in Christ that these men and women had.

        “On 11 May 1685, Margaret Wilson and Margaret MacLauchlan were drowned in the Solway Firth at Wigtown for attending conventicles and refusing to take the oath against James Renwick’s Apologetical Declaration. Growing up, Margaret Wilson (18), and her brother and sister had often had to hide from government troops because they wouldn’t go to hear the Episcopal ministers. One day, however, Margaret and her sister Agnes (13) were finally caught. Their father managed to get his younger daughter released, but he couldn’t save Margaret. She was to be drowned with an older woman, Margaret MacLauchlan. The soldiers tied them both to wooden stakes in the water. The younger Margaret was tied nearer to the shore so [she] would see the older woman die first and be persuaded to give up her beliefs – so she wouldn’t die as well. As the older woman was drowning, the soldiers asked the younger Margaret what she thought of her now. Margaret Wilson replied “I see Christ wrestling there”. Then, just when she herself was about to drown, the soldiers lifted up her head and asked her to pray for the king. She answered “God save him if he will, for it is his salvation I desire”. However when they asked her take the oath, she said “I will not, I am one of Christ’s children, let me go”. The soldiers then pushed her head down under the water again until she died. Just before she died, Margaret had sung from Psalm 25: “My sins and faults of youth do thou, O Lord, forget: After thy mercy think on me, and for thy goodness great. God good and upright is: the way he'll sinners show. The meek in judgment he will guide, and make his path to know.”(1)  The two Margarets are just two of many, many people who paid the ultimate price because of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

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(1) Reformation History.com, “The Cost of Loving Christ: The Two Margarets”, http://reformationhistory.org/twomargarets.html

Monday, 25 February 2013

'God of Our Fathers' - Rudyard Kipling


God of Our Fathers
God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine-
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
A humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or other men without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
Valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!

Rudyard Kipling (1897)



Listen to my cover of this poem sung to music I wrote by clicking HERE.

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Posted by William A Moore

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Christian Heroes: Bernard of Clairvaux


            During the reign of Pope Innocent II, the papacy was the greatest power in Europe at that time.  Kingdoms, countries, and men were controlled by, and in awe of, the papacy.  But there were still some men who, even though they submitted to the Pope, trusted in Christ as their Saviour. One of these men was Bernard of Clairvaux.  His heart was full of God’s love and energy to spread the Gospel to all nations.  On three occasions he was appointed bishop of certain cities, but he turned down these offers because he said that the word of God teaches not to strive after great things.  He had many people who followed him, and when one of them actually became Pope, Bernard spoke to him with these words, ‘“Remember that you are a successor of Him who said, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’ Gold and silk and pearls and soldiers you have not received of Christ, but they came to you from Constantine. Never strive after these things. Would to God that before I die I might see the Church as it was in olden times when the apostles cast their nets, not to catch gold and silver but the souls of men.”’[1]  Bernard founded many monasteries and was asked for advice by influential men. He also wrote many hymns and preached sermons to different congregations.  Before his death he said that there were three things on which he based his hope for eternity: The love of God for his children; the certainty of His promises; and the power by which He will make these promises come true.  Such words show that he rested his only hope on Christ.  Like all men he erred in some ways, but he was a light of Christ to the people of his day, and we can see that he was a true man of God.

Written and Posted by William A Moore




[1] S. M. Houghton, ‘Sketches from Church History’, (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006), P. 59.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Battle for Truth


The Battle for Truth

The Battle for Truth was about to begin,
The night was over at last;
Men of the Covenant gave prayer to their King,
By grace they would stand fast.

Battle was joined: volleys poured in,
Men burned to right the wrong;
The burn ran red with Covenanter blood,
But their line stood firm and strong.

The enemy charged again, yet again,
Thundering up the height;
The men of the Covenant stood their ground,
They fought and died for Christ.

The battle was lost, but their faith was not,
Their Hope continues on;
Continue to remember the fight for Truth,
Until the Victory be won.

We now look back at those hard-lived days,
Reading in true amazement;
We now look forward – to Christ our King,
Who will come to reign with us yet.

William Moore © 2013

            I wrote this poem thinking of our continual battle of Truth against Sin – both now and in history.  As you can read, the poem both has a literal meaning and a spiritual meaning.  Men, real men, fought against real foes in real battles; I am thinking here especially of Covenanting times in the 1600’s.  In many fights the Covenanters lost to the Royalists, but their faith was not cut off, and they continued to trust their King – that he would “work all together for them that love God.”  But there is also a way in which this relates to our time here on earth.  We must, by God’s grace, continually war against the world, the flesh, and the devil.  He, our enemy, will do all he can to stop us in our walk with Christ, so we must always ask for the help of the Spirit to resist him and turn our focus to Christ, rather than ourselves, in our life.  And lastly, we should always look to Christ, “The author and finisher of our faith,” but at the same time remember the men who have gone before us, and follow in their example – which is that of our Saviour.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Ballantyne in Canada!


Ballantyne and Barnston at Tadoussac, 1846

      I found this painting of R. M. Ballantyne (on the left). It was on a cookie tin that our family received at Christmas.  The tin reads thus: "Ballantyne and Barnston at Tadoussac, 1846".  It goes on: "R. M. Ballantyne (left) and Chief Trader George Barnston (center) arrive at Tadoussac, Quebec, on the Saguenay River, February 1846, having traveled overland from Montreal."
      Ballantyne is one of my favourite authors, and to happen upon him in a painting was very exciting.  He, in his writing, used experiences from his travels in Canada and elsewhere, and in so doing fired the spirits of young men to go out and take dominion for Christ in the world.
     I love the way he always proclaims the Gospel boldly in his books, as I am sure he did in his life.  He was a real character in real history, and God providentially used him, in sharing his experiences, to encourage young men and women to populate the New World and in so doing taking the Gospel to un-reached people.

Written and Posted by William A Moore


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Christian Heroes: The Lion of the North


        This is the first of a periodical series on Christian Heroes. I wrote this article for an assignment last year, edited it a bit, and now am sharing it with you.

        Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, is not a name that is spoken of very often. One of the reasons for this anonymity is that he was a wholehearted Protestant. He loved the Word of God and even wrote a battle-hymn. For a while, Gustavus watched the struggles for religious freedom in Europe. Then, when all was but lost for the Protestant side of the struggle, he decided that it was time to step in. Gustavus landed in Germany in 1630 with 18,000 men.
        Gustavus defeated two of the Roman Catholic armies sent by the Emperor of Vienna, and caused the death of his general, Tilly. By this time virtually the whole of central Europe was free from religious restriction. But the Emperor ordered one more army into the field. On this occasion, Gustavus Adolphus was killed in battle, but this only caused the Swedes to fight even more hardily, and they routed the Emperors troops. 
        The war flagged on for eighteen more years, but at the end the Peace of Westphalia was signed. The Protestants had won the right to exist in Europe. Gustavus Adolphus fought for God’s people and by his courage, faith, and strength, the foundation for religious freedom in Europe was laid and not broken. At a time when the Protestants tides were at the ebb, Gustavus was God’s instrument for securing freedom of religion for Protestants in Europe. We would do well to remember him.


Written and Posted by William A Moore

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For further reading:
G. A. Henty: The Lion of the North

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Christian Heroes: Cyril Barton's Heroism


            On 30 March 1944, no fewer than ninety-six bombers were reported missing from the night’s raid on Germany.  It was one of the Allies’ heaviest losses in a bomber raid.  Cyril Barton was captain and pilot of a Halifax bomber detailed to attack Nuremburg.  Seventy miles short of the target, a Junkers 88 night fighter swooped on the aircraft.  The very first burst of fire from it put the entire intercom system out of action.  A Messerschmitt 210 night fighter joined in and damaged one engine.  The bombers machine guns went out of action so the gunners could not return the German fighter’s fire.
            Somehow Barton managed to keep his Halifax on course, covering those final seventy miles to Nuremburg, although fighters continued to attack him all the way to the target area.  But in the confusion caused by the failure of the intercom system at the height of the battle, a signal had been misinterpreted, and the navigator, bomb aimer, and wireless operator had all left the aircraft by parachute.
            Barton then faced a situation of dire peril.  His aircraft was damaged, his navigational team had gone, and he could not communicate with the rest of the crew.  If he continued his mission he could be at the mercy of hostile fighters, when silhouetted against the fires in the target area; and if he happened to survive that, he would have to make a four-and-a-half hour journey home on three engines across heavily defended enemy territory.  Barton determined to press on, however; he reached his target, and released the bombs himself.
            As he wrenched the Halifax round to aim for home, the propeller of the damaged engine, which had been vibrating badly, flew off.  Two of the bombers fuel tanks had also suffered damage and were leaking.  But Barton remained aloof from all these dangers and concentrated on the task of holding his course without any navigational aids and against strong headwinds.  Somehow he successfully avoided the most strongly defended areas on his return route.
            Using just his own judgement, he eventually crossed the English coast only ninety miles north of his base.  Now the worst part was about to begin.  As a result of the leaks in the petrol tanks, fuel was nearly non-existent.  The port (left) engines stopped with a sickening, intermittent cough.  Seeing a suitable landing place – for the aircraft was now too low to be abandoned successfully – Barton ordered the three remaining members of the Halifax crew to take up crash stations.  The bomber lost height rapidly.  With only one engine functioning, he struggled to land clear of a group of houses just below them.  The three members of the crew survived the crash – but Cyril Barton did not.  The three who bailed out over Germany were safe too, as Prisoners-of-War, so Barton alone died, while his friends and crew lived.
            Mrs. Barton read the letter Cyril had written in the case that this ever happened:

Dear Mum,

            I hope you never receive this, but I quite expect you will.  I’m expecting to do my first operational trip in a few days.  I know what ops over Germany mean, and I have no illusions about it.  By my own calculations the average life of a crew is 20 ops, and we have 30 to do in our first tour. 
            I’m writing this for two reasons.  One, to tell you how I would like my money spent that I have left behind me; two, to tell you how I feel about meeting my Maker.
1.         I intended, as you know, taking a university course with my savings.  Well, I would like it to be spent over the education of my brothers and sisters.
2.         All I can say about this is that I am quite prepared to die.  It holds no terror for me.
            At times I’ve wondered whether I’ve been right in believing what I do, and recently did doubt the veracity of the Bible, but in the little time I’ve had to sort out intellectual problems, I’ve been left in favour of the Bible. 
            Apart from all that, though, I have the inner conviction as I write, of a force outside myself, and my heart tells me I have not trusted in Him in vain.  All I am anxious about is that you and the rest of the family will also come to know Him.  Ken, I know, already does.  I commend my Saviour to you.
            I am writing to Doreen separately. I expect you will have guessed by now that we are quite in love with each other.
            Well, that’s covered everything now I guess, so love to Dad and all,
Your loving son,
                                    Cyril Barton

            Cyril Barton was awarded the Victoria Cross.
           
            The Victoria Cross, I might add, is the highest honour one can win in the British Commonwealth Forces.  


Written and Posted by William A Moore


            Story copied from British Aircraft of World War Two, John Frayn Turner, (Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, 1975).

Friday, 1 February 2013

Rise Up Young Men of God


Rise up, Young Men of God

'Rise up young men of God,
Have done with lesser things;
Step straight the way that leads on high,
Exalt the King of Kings.

'Rise up young men of God,
He is our King and Lord;
And whether in your work or play,
Oh, think upon his word.

'Rise up young men of God,
Defend our holy Church;
And either if you win or die,
Come in to His new earth.

'Rise up young men of God,
Push on through this hard race;
Run with the help of God's Spirit,
And always through His grace.

'Rise up young men of God,
You shall not fear nor mope;
For God is our refuge and strength,
In trouble - our hope.

'Rise up young men of God,
For yet this race seems long;
Christ's name will help and push us on,
'Till we stand straight and strong."

William Moore, © 2011


            I wrote this poem to encourage young men in the faith and in their walk with Christ.  I have six short things to say to encourage you in our Faith.  These points correspond with the stanzas in the poem.  First, I know well that sin is easy to slip into, and also how easy it can be to justify it.  We need to recognize our sin, put it off, and put our hope in our Saviour.  Second, whatever we are doing, we should be doing it to glorify God, and in so doing bless others.  This can only be done if we continually ask for the Spirit’s help.  It is easy to slip into thinking we can do it ourselves, rather than trusting Christ.  Third, we must know how to express our hope in our Saviour – the Gospel.  If we want to share Christ with unbelievers (which, if we are truly saved, we should want to do), we need not fear others responses, but respectfully and clearly share the Gospel.  This is probably the most important: We need to know the Gospel.  Everything else follows on its heels.  Fourth, things will be tough at times, but the more we lean on our God, who holds all things in the palm of his hand, the more will we be able to keep on the narrow way.  Again, we need the Spirit to help us in this area as well.  Fifth, when we feel like everything and everyone is against us, we should remember that there is always one for us.  Our God.  We are his children and he our father, if we, by his grace, are trying to do the right, he will always stick with us, for he never breaks his word.  He should always be our Hope.  Lastly, there is the Hope of final redemption.  In the end all will be made right.  Christ will come again, and he will make all things new.  If we have been faithful to his word, we then will rejoice with him in his kingdom.  Let that hope stir us to glorify him – our God!  I hope that this encourages you to become more and more like Christ.  Just going through and writing this sure has for me!

Written and Posted by William A Moore

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Glimpse into Henty Theology


Excerpt from The Young Colonists, by G. A. Henty:

    "I wonder," Dick said thoughtfully, "why the tzetze was created; most insects are useful as scavengers, or to furnish food for birds, but I cannot see the use of a fly which is so terribly destructive as this."
    "I can't tell you, my boy," Mr. Harvey said. "That everything, even the tzetze, has a good purpose, you may be sure, even though it is hidden from us."

    Henty was a Christian, and here his faith shows through subtly.  Everything God created is good, even though we maybe cannot see it at the time.  God himself is good, and everything that he creates must at some point reflect His goodness.  We may not see God's workings clearly, but be assured that He does everything for His Glory and our good!

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Written by William Moore

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Courage


            “Hatred is best combined with Fear.  Cowardice [or Fear], alone of all vices, is purely painful.  Hatred has its pleasures.  It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of Fear.  The more he fears, the more he will hate.  And Hatred is also a deep anodyne for shame.  To make a deep wound in his love, you should therefore first defeat his courage.”
            - C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
            
    Courage is something without which it is hard to live for God’s Glory.  We need courage to be humble.  We need courage to be brave.  We need courage to do what is right, for God’s Glory, even if in so doing, we incur the dislike of others.  Fear of man makes us cower and go with the flow of things which are not right.  Fear of God alone will enable and encourage us to do what is Right for our blessing and His Glory. 

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Written by William Moore

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Welcome!

    Hello there!  My name is William Moore, and my goal is to glorify my Saviour in everything I do and advance His kingdom to his glory.

    I have started this blog, to encourage, edify, and strengthen others in their faith in Christ.  I hope to post many interesting, thought-provoking and edifying stories, articles and hymns and poems over the foreseeable future.

    I hope you enjoy reading and looking here!

I Gogoniant Crist,
(For Christ's Glory - in Welsh)

William Moore