Last week we went on vacation to
I had a chance to do a little booking while we were in town.
During the trip I caught up on some reading as well. I've been reading through J. William Jones' "Christ in the Camp", the fascinating story of the revival which took place in the Confederate Army (specifically, the Army of Northern VA) during the Civil War. I dabble a little bit in Civil War history, but as a born and bred Yankee, I was taught that the South was pretty much evil in their cause. Certainly, slavery WAS a horrible evil in America. As an antiquarian bookseller, I've had some pretty scarce abolitonist material, including Frederick Douglass' autobiography and a book signed by the guy who bankrolled John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. A guy named "Joshua Speed" was Abraham Lincoln's best friend and I've always been an admirer of Lincoln, and not just because I share Joshua's last name.
However, it's pretty clear that men like Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee were devout Christians and not the garden variety false converts that we have in evangelical American Christianity today. They not only supported, but encouraged the revival and spiritual growth of their men. They were good friends of the chaplains, supporters of the colporters (evangelists) who came through the camps, and both had deep walks with the Lord. Jackson's walk with Christ is most impressive. Some of his men thought him crazy because of his constant attitude of prayer. One of his main concerns was the evangelization of his men.
He fought on the wrong side regarding the slavery issue, but seeing what's become of our federal government one can't help but wonder if the South had the right idea about the issue of states rights. Considering the financial prosperity of the South these days compared to the relatively depressed North (e.g. Detroit, New York State) it's easy to see how less governmental interference has brought a more stable economy here. The War may have been a judgment of God on our nation for ALL of the evils of our nation's birth (slavery, the extermination of the Native Americans, etc.); we lost more men in the Civil War than in all of our other wars COMBINED. More than 625,000. But this does not diminish the wisdom of stronger state's rights that the South fought for.
I also read a great little book on the importance of Scripture memorization by N.A. Woychuk. This is a discipline that I have neglected. I've memorized Scriptures over the past few years, but not purposefully. I have a good memory and can memorize single verses that I use without being very systematic about it. But the Lord has given me this memory for a reason and I need to develop it even further. So, I've begun memorizing chapters as well as verses on evangelism from the School of Biblical Evangelism. I'm using a software program to help which has been fun and very, very helpful. You can check it out here.
Well, those are my thoughts for today. Time to get back to work. Thanks for reading.