Biographies

The story of what God did through a small girl who gave 57 cents to a church building fund many years ago in the city of Philadelphia is one of the most inspiring I have ever heard. It shows the power of a DREAM. If you are going to experience the power of a dream you must … Develop a vision for your life. Form a mental a picture of what the future could be. See what “could be”. See potential. It may come out of your personal experience, which may include pain. This little girl saw a church building where there was room for every little child so that no one would miss out on Sunday school. What’s your... Read more →


By 7 p.m. on October 20, 1968, at the Mexico City Olympics Stadium, it was beginning to darken. It had cooled down as well. The last of the Olympic marathon runners were being assisted away to first-aid stations. Over an hour earlier, Mamo Waldi of Ethiopia had charged across the finish line, winning the 26-mile, 385-yard race looking as strong and as vigorous as when he'd started. As the last few thousand spectators began preparing to leave, they heard police sirens and whistles through the gate entering the stadium. The attention turned to that gate. A sole figure, wearing the colours of Tanzania, came limping into the stadium. His name was John Steven Aquari. He was the last man to... Read more →


Feeling Too Young or Too Old?

No matter how old you are now, you are never too young or too old for doing something meaningful and significant with your life. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished some amazing things at different ages of their life: Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. Pele, a soccer superstar, was... Read more →


I love the story of a man who had dealings with two British prime ministers, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. He said of Gladstone, “Whenever I came away from a conversation with him I was left with the feeling of how brilliant he was.” He said of Disraeli, “Whenever I came away from a conversation with Disraeli I was left with the feeling of how brilliant I was.” Disraeli probably earned the right then to quip: "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” How can you bring out the best in other people today? When you enter a room, don't have as your underlying script,... Read more →


Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game, leading the Chicago Bulls to 6 NBA championships and winning 5 MVP awards. Near the end of his career, he said this: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Watch TV commercial Read more →


Elisabeth Elliot pass away a few weeks back (June 15th, 2015). She was one of the most influential Christian women of our time. For a half century, her best selling books, timeless teachings and courageous faith have influenced believers and seekers of Jesus Christ throughout the world. She used her experiences as a daughter, wife, mother, widow, and missionary to bring the message of Christ to countless women and men around the world. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca of eastern Ecuador. Elisabeth famously went back to live among the Aucas in order to share the love of Christ. I still remember hearing and being impacted by their... Read more →


The ANZACs have a great hero called John 'Jack' Simpson Kirkpatrick who enlisted and was chosen as a field ambulance stretcher-bearer in Perth on 23 August 1914. On 25 April 1915, long with the rest of the Australian and New Zealand contingent he landed at the wrong beach on a piece of wild, impossible and savage terrain now known as ANZAC Cove. Attack and counter attack began. During the morning hours of 26 April, along with his fellows, Jack was carrying casualties back to the beach over his shoulder. It was then that he saw the donkey, and having worked as a donkey-lad as a young boy, he knew exactly what to do. From then on he became part of... Read more →


From her tireless work on the streets of Melbourne to her rise as global leader of the Salvation Army, Eva Burrows has been remembered for a lifetime dedicated to the less fortunate. Retired General Burrows, known as "the People's General", died late on Friday night. She was 85 years old. Dr Billy Graham, with whom General Burrows had a warm association, said of her: ‘General Eva Burrows is unquestionably one of the most respected and influential Christian leaders of our time. She is also an individual of great warmth, selfless compassion, unusual vision, and profound spiritual commitment. She embodies the spiritual commitment and dedication that led to the founding of The Salvation Army by William and Catherine Booth over 100... Read more →


I read an amazing story this week ... In 1986, five-year-old Saroo Munshi Khan and his 14-year-old brother were searching the streets for spare change in their home city of Berhanpur, India. Saroo's older brother Guddu wandered beyond the station and Saroo fell asleep waiting for his brother's return. A few hours later, Saroo woke up 1,500 kilometers away, in Calcutta, eons away from his home and family. He survived on the streets for weeks, was taken into an orphanage, and was adopted by an Australian family and grew up in Hobart, Tasmania. Twenty-six years later, he found his way back to his hometown with the help of Google Earth. An article explained Saroo's journey back home: In 2011, using... Read more →


Are you feeling a bit discouraged or down? Do you feel like quitting or giving up? We've all been there at one time or another. Today I was searching through some old quotes and came upon this true story. Hopefully, it will encourage you today ... to never say die. Some people just don't know when to give up. Take this bloke for example, who was the son of a what people thought was a no-hoper. He was poorly educated and his mother died when he was just nine years old. Not the best start in life one might say. At age 21 he worked in a grocery store doing odd jobs. A year later he opened his own store... Read more →


In about a week's time (17th March), Irish people all around the world will celebrate St. Patrick's day, which has become both a religious and cultural holiday in Ireland. St. Patrick is also highly esteemed highly by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. Only two letters survive about Patrick's life and mission, although there is a host of other material containing various traditions about him. He was captured by a group of pirates as a 16 year old and taken to Ireland as a slave. He lived there for 6 years before escaping and returning home to Great Britain. During his captivity he had a conversion experience and became a follower of Christ. Eventually, he returned to Ireland... Read more →


Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95. He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politican and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. After studying law in university he became a lawyer. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid... Read more →


Let me tell you the story of Irena Sendler. It’s a name that I didn’t even know until a few weeks ago, but once I heard her story, I will never forget her. Irena was born in 1910 just outside of Warsaw. By 1940 she had become an administrator in Warsaw’s welfare department as Hitler occupied Poland. Well, the Nazis, if you remember right, they took half a million Jews and they shoved them in the ghetto and then they cut off all the basic health services, even food. Now Irena was responsible for controlling tuberculosis in the area so she could go wherever she wanted without any restriction and she used that freedom to convince Jewish parents to let... Read more →


By Alistair McGrath for The Telegraph With simplicity and elegance, he captured the imagination of a war-weary generation. Today it will be announced that a memorial to the poet, literary scholar and novelist C S Lewis (1898-1963) is to be placed in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey next November, 50 years after his death. He joins a select group of poets, playwrights and writers to have been buried or commemorated there, including Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. I would argue that Lewis certainly merits inclusion among these greats of English literature. Has he secured his place because he was a poet? He certainly had early aspirations in that direction. Born in Belfast, he hoped to become an “Irish voice” in poetry,... Read more →


Rev. Billy Graham turned 94 years of age this week. “I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife, Ruth, as well as many friends and loved ones,” Graham said last week. “I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be.” His daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, credits her father's long life to prayer, and said she hopes people continue to pray for her father. Graham's son, the Rev.Franklin Graham, says his father has been saying since he turned 90 that he expects to live to 95. “Daddy at 94 years of age is still a role model to us kids,” Franklin Graham said. “And... Read more →


Michelangelo was one of the greatest artists of all time. He preferred to work in sculpture but became reknown for his paintings. It took a lot to persuade him to paint the ceiling of Sistine Chapel but it eventually became his most famous masterpiece. The walls were already painted with a multitude of stories of Moses and Jesus. Michelangelo took responsibility for painting over 1,000 square metres of the ceiling area between 1508-1512. He covered it with 300 majestic biblical scenes ranging from creation to the last judgment scene. What most people don't know is that at least 12 other painters helped him with this feat … all of whose names are unknown to us today. In fact, even art... Read more →


Everyone has a story. Our story fits into God's wider story - history. It also connects with other people's stories. We can learn a lot by listening to other people's stories and how God has worked in their lives, including their successes and failures. Click here to read a few articles on the lives of a number of influential people. You also might like to check out Warren Wierebe's excellent book: 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from the Spiritual Giants of the Faith. Together, let's live and learn. Read more →


Apparently explorer Earnest Shackleton placed the following notice in a newspaper while preparing for an expedition to Antarctica: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success." Supposedly there were 5,000 men and 3 women who responded! Have we become too comfortable today? P.S. The search for a copy of the advert still continues today. Click here to read more. Read more →


In life, it is so easy to focus on what we don't have rather than what we do, on our limitations rather than our opportunities. Helen Keller is one of the most inspiring example of someone who rose above her challenges to do something commendable with her life. Helen was born in 1880 in Alabama. She was born blind. I don't know about you, but I was afraid of the dark as a child and was really happy to be able to leave a light on in the hallway. I can't imagine living your entire life ... in the dark. Not only that, she was born deaf. If anyone had a reason to curl up in a corner and give... Read more →


Wendell Smith, the founding pastor of the influential City Church in Seattle, Washington, passed away this week after a 6-year battle with cancer. Wendell was a pastor, a preacher, an author and a leader of leaders. Wendell is survived by his wife Gini, his son and daughter-in-law, Judah and Chelsea Smith, who are now the Lead Pastors of The City Church, and his daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Benny Perez, pastors of a thriving church in Las Vegas. Wendell and Gini were my youth pastors when I lived in Portland, Oregon back in the 1970s at what was then known as Bible Temple. I will forever be grateful for their positive influence on my life in my teenage and early... Read more →


Here is an inspiring story about Billy Graham that was recently passed on to me. Billy Graham is now 90 years old with Parkinson’s disease. In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ So he agreed.. After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, ‘I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of... Read more →


How do you do a SHORT blog post (instructions of him who must be obeyed) on C.S. Lewis? There are few writers who have so profoundly affected my spiritual formation as the writings of C.S. Lewis. For a detailed bio of his life visit this web site or this one. “Jack”, as he was known by his family and friends, was a prolific writer (he also used pseudonyms like Clive Hamilton, N. W. Clerk, and Nat Whilk), delighting children and adults alike with his Chronicles of Narnia series and totally undoing a stoic adult in books like, A Grief Observed or The Problem of Pain. For the Lewis beginner a good book to start would be Mere Christianity, which begins... Read more →