VIDEO Mayflower: The Pilgrims’ Adventure

Jan 28, 2013

This 1979 feature is one of the rare attempts to dramatize a chapter of America’s formation. Set in 1620, the story concerns the religious persecution of the Puritans in England and their decision to emigrate to Plymouth Colony in America. This is a fairly sturdy and enjoyable piece of historical drama, with the most important details about who, what, where, and why informatively answered. Richard Crenna is fine as the Reverend William Brewster, one of the Pilgrim Fathers and a veteran of relocating religious minorities to more hospitable places. David Dukes is effective as Miles Standish, giving us some insight into how this military man came to be an essential part of the Plymouth community.

Originally titled The Voyage of the Mayflower, this made-for-TV historical drama was, not surprisingly, first telecast as a Thanksgiving special. In the tradition of the 1952 theatrical feature Plymouth Adventure, the film meticulously recount[s] the journey of 103 Pilgrim “separatists” from their religiously restrictive English homeland to the shores of the New World. The dramatic crux of the film [is] manifested in the conflict between mercenary, untrustworthy Mayflower captain Christopher Jones (Anthony Hopkins) and idealistic but tough Pilgrim leader William Brewster (Richard Crenna). Also incorporated in the narrative are the intertwining relationships between Miles and Rose Standish (David Dukes, Trish Van Devere), John Alden (Michael Beck), and Priscilla Mullens (Jenny Agutter). The film is recommended by the National Education Association (NEA).

I’ve recently learned that I’m descended from William Brewster (who wrote “Of Plymouth Plantation”) the second governor of the colony and a Mayflower passenger, so it’s with more than pride & gratitude that this is uploaded.

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The Gift of Welcome

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers. Hebrews 13:2

The dinner where we hosted families from five nations remains a wonderful memory. Somehow the conversation didn’t splinter into twos, but we all contributed to a discussion of life in London from the viewpoints of different parts of the world. At the end of the evening, my husband and I reflected that we had received more than we gave, including the warm feelings we experienced in fostering new friendships and learning about different cultures.

The writer of the book of Hebrews concluded his thoughts with some exhortations for community life, including that his readers should continue to welcome strangers. For in doing so, “some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (13:2). He may have been referring to Abraham and Sarah, who as we see in Genesis 18:1–12 welcomed three strangers, reaching out to them with generosity and treating them to a feast, as was the custom in biblical times. They didn’t know that they were entertaining angels who brought them a message of blessing.

May the Lord spread His love through us as we reach out with His welcome.

We don’t ask people into our homes in the hope of gaining from them, but often we receive more than we give. May the Lord spread His love through us as we reach out with His welcome.

Lord God, You are the source of all that we have. May we share what we receive, that You may be glorified.

When we practice hospitality, we share God’s goodness and gifts.

INSIGHT:In Hebrews 13 we are reminded to show “hospitality to strangers” (v. 2). This is about more than inviting friends over for Sunday lunch. In Bible times, travelers and strangers were often invited to stay in people’s homes. The hosts would provide food and a place to sleep along with safety and protection. We can serve others by opening our lives and homes to the people God places in our path. Can you remember a time when others showed hospitality to you? How did that make you feel? In what ways can you show hospitality? Adapted from Welcoming the Stranger. Go to ourdailybread.org/lookingdeeper.

 

God Is Sovereign Over Delays

Proverbs 16:9

No one likes to wait, but have you ever wondered why? Perhaps it’s because delays show us that we are not in control. Someone or something else is calling the shots. Although we may be able to identify the immediate cause—like a traffic light or the long checkout line—ultimately the One who controls all our delays is the Lord. Since He is sovereign over everything in heaven and on earth, even our time and schedules are in His hands.

This means that in every delay, we are actually waiting for God in one way or another. You might have thought that the expression “waiting upon the Lord” applies only to seeking guidance from Him or an answer to prayer. But it can mean so much more when you remember that He controls all your day-to-day inconveniences and frustrations.

In the Christian life, learning to wait is vitally important because until you do, you’ll never be able to walk in obedience to God, have an effective prayer life, or experience the peace of resting in His loving sovereignty. We must learn to trust His judgment—not just about the big events in our lives but also about trivial ones, which can cause us to become irritated, impatient, or even angry. If we are sensitive to His instruction, each delay has an important lesson.

The next time you face an unexpected or unwanted wait, remember that it comes as no surprise to God. He wants to teach you patience and increase your faith. He’s more interested in developing godly character than He is in making sure your schedule runs according to your plans.

The Unmuzzled Ox

“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” (Deuteronomy 25:4)

This Mosaic regulation would seem rather insignificant except that it is quoted twice in the New Testament. “For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?” (1 Corinthians 9:9-10). Yes, but that is not the main purpose behind this law. “Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” This application is drawn in verse 14: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” That is, supporting financially those who devote full time to God’s work is not “charitable giving” but compensation for services, with the pay to be provided by those who receive the benefit of their labors.

This is even more clear in the second reference: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:17-18), the latter part quoting words of Christ (Luke 10:7). Incidentally, note that both New Testament and Old Testament Scriptures are considered divinely inspired and authoritative on any subject with which they deal.

The subject here is just compensation for those who devote their time, training, and abilities to the work of the Word, under the call and leading of God, as recognized by the people of God. This seemingly insignificant principle, if faithfully obeyed, would greatly enlarge the effectiveness and outreach of the Christian witness in the world. HMM

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation.”

Job 2:1-13

Job 2:1

Even the devil will attend divine worship to serve his own ends. It is, therefore, a poor confidence which looks for salvation because church or chapel have been regularly attended. We ought also to watch and pray even when we are in the assemblies of the saints, for Satan enters there, and is busy with his temptations.

Job 2:2

Full of evil as Satan is, he is not idle. A lazy man commits one more sin than the devil himself.

Job 2:3

The glory of Job’s character was his sincerity and uprightness, and this like an impregnable fortress defied the attacks of hell, though the prince of darkness himself personally assailed him, with permission from God to take from him all that he possessed.

Job 2:5

Satan suggested that bodily pain would be the weapon to wound Job’s faith; yea, and turn it into rebellion. There was much malicious cunning in this, for many a man has yielded before the miseries of physical pain though he had been proof against every other trial. Yet the Lord can make his people more than conquerors even there.

In this wretched state he had no soft bed, but lay upon the hard ashes; nor does it seem that he had either surgeon or nurse. There he sat, the prince of misery; but there was worse to come.

Job 2:10

Satan tried to ruin Job through her who should have been his best comforter, but he was defeated, for he only led Job to utter another of those notable speeches which are now the treasures of the church.

Job 2:13

This showed sympathy, but even this was not permitted to continue lest it should comfort the afflicted one. Soon these three friends judged Job’s condition, and came to the conclusion that such unusual sorrow could only have been brought about by unusual sin. Under this impression, they added the last drop of gall to Job’s cup by accusing him of hypocrisy and secret sin.

 

I am a sinner—shall I dare

To murmur at the strokes I bear?

Strokes, not in wrath, but mercy sent,

A wise and needful chastisement.

 

Saviour! I breathe the prayer once thine,

“Father! thy will be done, not mine!”

One only blessing would I claim;

In me, O glorify thy name!

 

Does Jesus Find You To Be Therapeutic, Refreshing, or Disgusting?

Revelation 3:16

In Russia, it is a tradition for people to visit the sauna. People especially love to do this in the middle of the winter. This tradition is hundreds of years old, dating back to the time when people didn’t have running water in their villages or homes. People would join all their friends at the local sauna once a week not only to get clean but to spend an evening of fellowship.

Today everyone has running water in their homes in Russia; nevertheless, people still go to the sauna, for it remains a very important part of Russian culture. And because I live in Russia, I frequently go to the local sauna with brothers from the church for an evening of fellowship and prayer.

After we have all sat in sweltering hot temperatures, I watch in shock as the Russian men leap into huge tubs of bitterly cold water. Or sometimes while we’re on a ministry trip, we’ll stay at a farm and I’ll take a sauna with the brothers from the local church. These brothers will run out of the building; dive head first into the snow; roll around in it for a few minutes, screaming and shouting; and then dash back into the sauna where it’s nice and warm. They tell me that the purpose for this practice is to get their blood moving!

I enjoy going to the sauna with my fellow brothers in the Lord, but I refuse to leap into subzero cold water or dive into snow when it’s already forty degrees below zero outside! I don’t care if it is good for the circulation; I will not do it! I find it much more enjoyable to rest in a tub of lukewarm water that is relaxing. Going from sweltering “hot” to freezing “cold” is just too much for me!

When I refuse to go from one extreme temperature to the other and even ask for lukewarm water to be poured into a tub especially for me, the men sometimes joke with me, reminding me about Jesus’ words to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:16: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

The city of Laodicea was built in a region that was full of seismic activity and had experienced many earthquakes. As often happens in a seismic area, vents came up from the depths of the earth, allowing boiling hot water to reach the surface. In the nearby city of Hierapolis, these hot springs were famous. People came from great distances to bathe in those waters, believing they had medicinal powers. An experience in those waters was viewed to be therapeutic and effective in improving one’s health.

Another city named Colosse was not too far away. As Hierapolis was known for its hot springs, Colosse was known for its cold waters. Just as people journeyed to Hierapolis to bathe in the hot springs for health purposes, people would travel great distances to vacation in Colosse, where they could invigorate themselves by taking frequent dips into the famous, refreshing, cool-to-freezing waters of that city.

Laodicea may have been the biggest and richest city in the area, but it had neither hot nor cold water. Therefore, the people of Laodicea had to leave their luxurious homes and travel to Colosse if they wanted to enjoy fresh, cool water. On the other hand, those who desired to soak in the hot springs had to travel six miles to Hierapolis.

Once in an attempt to bring the hot water from Hierapolis to Laodicea, a huge construction project was commenced. The goal of those who initiated the project was to build pipes that would channel the hot water six miles from Hierapolis to the city of Laodicea. The pipes effectively delivered the water—a real feat of construction at that time. Sadly, however, the water lost its heat along the way. By the time the water reached Laodicea, it was not only lukewarm, but it had developed a sickening, nauseating taste. The taste was so revolting that no one wanted to drink it!

So when Jesus told the Laodiceans, “… Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth,” this was a message that carried a strong punch. He was telling them, “Because you have become so dead, dull, sickening and nauseating—because no spiritually refreshing waters flow from you and you have no healing properties left—I will spue thee out of My mouth!”

The word “spue” is the Greek word emeo, and it means to vomit, to spit out, to regurgitate. This picture of Jesus threatening to “spue” the Laodiceans out of His mouth doesn’t mean He was rejecting them or disinheriting them. It just reveals how utterly distasteful a spiritually lukewarm condition is to Jesus. The fact that these believers were lukewarm means they weren’t good for anything; they were neither cool and refreshing, nor were they hot and healing. They were just stuck in the middle, like something that has lost both its flavor and its heat along the way.

 

These words in Revelation 3:16 could be interpreted:

“Because you’ve lost your temperature and become lukewarm—because no refreshing waters flow out of you and you have no healing properties left—I find your taste in My mouth to be disgusting! I can’t bear it anymore, and I have no choice but to spit you out!”

That’s how God feels about a lukewarm spiritual walk. You see, with God there is no middle ground. But if you have allowed your walk with God to become lukewarm, you can reverse that abominable condition! God has tossed the ball in your court, and now it’s up to you. He is calling you to repent of your lukewarm attitude. Go after the things of God with all your heart, soul, and strength!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I never want to be lukewarm so that You find me to be an unpleasant taste in Your mouth. Instead, I ask You to help me be a fountain from which healing waters flow to the sick and a source of refreshment to anyone who needs strength and encouragement. Help me to never allow a lukewarm attitude to take hold in my life! If there is any area of my life where I’ve already slipped into a lukewarm state, please reveal it to me so I can repent and get back to where I ought to be!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a fountain of healing and a source of refreshment to everyone who comes into my life. When people come near me, they receive exactly what they need. Healing flows from me to everyone who needs a healing touch. Those who are spiritually tired become refreshed when they spend time with me. I allow no middle ground in my life—no neutrality, no lukewarm attitude—and I am therefore continually filled with everything needed to meet the needs of people who come across my path.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What are some signs of a lukewarm spiritual condition in your life?
  2. Can you recall a time when you were “hot” for the Lord? What were you doing at that time that caused you to be so on fire for Jesus?
  3. If you have slipped away from that wonderful time in your walk with the Lord, can you recall what changed the condition of your heart? What can you do to get back there again? Write down your answers so you can see them and pray about them.

 

Persona Non Grata

The day after I retired I walked down the hall of the Company and I realized I was persona non grata.‘”

 

Vice President of an international corporation.

 

The day will come when your status and influence in the business or professional community will diminish. You will suffer the loss of:

 

Position

 

Influence

 

And with that, you run the risk of also suffering the loss of:

 

Identity

 

Confidence

 

Motivation

 

Not everyone handles these changes well. Dr. Hube Mitchell made this sobering observation, “As I observe the great men of God, few end well,”

 

The aging process is inescapable: “All our days have declinedwe have finished our years like a sigh (or whisper).” (Psalm 90:9)

 

Yet, amidst this loss, it is God’s intention that we continue to live lives of significance… to be fruitful: “The righteous man will flourish like a palm treeThey will still yield fruit in old age… ” (Psalm 92:12a, 14a)

 

For this to occur, it is imperative that today we are finding our sense of identification and significance in Christ, and in Him alone:

 

As far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in God, through Christ… ” (Colossians 3:3 – Phillips Translation)

 

God forbid that I should boast about anything or anybody except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which means that the world is a dead thing to me and I am a dead thing to the world.” (Galatians 6:13, 14 – Phillips Translation)

 

Let us determine to prove Hube Mitchell wrong: By the grace of God, we will end well.

 

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