Saturday, November 1, 2003

November 1, 2003

10:29 AM “I’m on my way to see the Rebels play.” Almost as soon as Nick saw me yesterday, he said, “Are we going to watch the game tomorrow?” He meant the Ole Miss-South Carolina football game. It’s on TV but shown regionally in the South, which means he and I and one of his buds (and maybe two) are going to go to a sports bar in Chicago to watch the game. We leave in about 15 minutes. 8:30 AM Ken Sadler sent further information about William E. Blackstone and his home that was located in what is now our west parking lot. The Blackstones lived in two homes in Oak Park—the first being at the SW corner of Lake and Oak Park—approximately where “Cafe Winberie” is today. That’s where he was living when he wrote “Jesus is Coming.” He later moved to 941 Lake Street—our west parking lot. Ken adds that “there is one granddaughter and granddaughter in-law of Mr. Blackstone still living in Pasadena. Both were missionaries to China and are in their 90’s.” 7:46 AM Here is a fine, brief sermon for All Saints Day. I like this sentence in particular: “A world without saints forgets how to pray.” We don’t pray to the saints or through the saints and we don’t pray for the saints (they’re already in heaven and don’t need our prayers—we’re the ones who need both to pray and the prayers of others), but we let the memory of their faith inspire us to pray and serve the Lord today. 7:35 AM Here is a link to the words and music to one of my favorite hymns, For All the Saints. Make sure you have your speakers turned on so you can hear the soaring melody that goes with this triumphant hymn. We rarely sing this hymn—in fact, I can’t remember the last time we sang it in a service, but it has become a personal favorite. I remember going to the piano in the choir room by myself after Gary Olson died and singing it with tears running down my face. This verse especially stirs my soul:

O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; All are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia, Alleluia!

7:28 AM This is All Saints Day, one of the finest, most joyful days of the Christian year. It’s the day when we remember and give thanks for all true believers around the world, especially those who have gone before us into heaven. We evangelicals don’t normally pay little attention to the Christian year (for various reasons), but this is one holiday that should really be a “holy day” for us. For starters, make a mental list right of believers you know who are in heaven today. Do you have loved ones and friends who died in the Lord? Think of those saints of God who have passed from earth to heaven in the last 12 months. Remember them. It is biblical and right that we should not forget those who have entered the “Church Triumphant.” Give thanks to God for their life and testimony. Let the memory of their faith inspire you to serve Christ today.

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