Of all the books in my bookcases, one has a treasured place in my heart. It is called Bible Biographies, edited by Robert Sears and published in 1848. It belonged to Rev. Abraham V Leonardson, my grandmother’s grandfather on my mother’s side. He received it as a gift of appreciation in 1880. Abram Leonardson, as he called himself, was a Methodist circuit-riding pastor between the Civil War and World War 1. I have a couple of his Bibles, a small number of scrapbooks and this volume on the lives of the people of the Bible that is illustrated with hundreds of engravings. He and I are living about 100 years apart. He was licensed to the Gospel ministry in 1867 and I was licensed in 1966.
My great-great grandfather served churches in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. He would pastor as many as four churches at a time, preaching one Sunday a month at each, taking his wagon, later his buggy, to the next church. He is remembered fondly in some of the local church histories. He was also a writer and turned many of his thoughts into newspaper articles, which he kept in his scrapbooks. Many of the scrapbooks were lost to time but of the few that I possess I can say he focused his articles on holy living, temperance, and prayer. His Bibles are filled with sermon notes and outlines, and even the occasional illustration.
In many of his sermons he cried out against worldliness. He longed for people to find holiness. To him worldliness was another word for materialism. For our day materialism has been dressed up and passed off as consumerism. Move out of the way Thanksgiving, the world of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and consumer greed is heading for Christmas. Same old sin, just way more costly than ever.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Seek holiness this holiday season. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.