More Memories

More Memories:

It was in the early to mid-seventies. My parents, Edwin and Lillian Harvey had already written and published a few books. Their extensive files provided ample material for further compilations. In what direction to branch out next must have been in their minds and in their prayers.

We were living in England in those days and, being interdenominational, my parents’ ministry brought them in contact with Christians from various backgrounds and denominations. One day, Tim, a young squadron leader in the RAF handed my father an autobiography, then popular on the Christian market, and asked him to read it. When my Father handed it back, Tim asked: “What do you think of it?”

“It’s well written, but does not stand up to the test of the cross,” my dad replied. “Miracles, spiritual wonders, amazing power—all these are emphasized, but not once is there a mention of the cross.”

I cannot remember the details of the ensuing conversation. I do know, however, that Tim challenged my dad to point him to biographies which did indeed pass the test of the cross!  He was eager to read of men and women from various denominations and cultures who knew God intimately. My father recommended Men and Women of Deep Piety, but concluded that many of the current Christian biographies concentrated on what a man or woman had accomplished for God rather than on their spiritual journey. Not long afterwards, the They Knew Their God series began to materialize.

The characters they would choose to include in this series, my parents decided, would be varied. They would come from all over the world–England, Africa, Europe, America! They would not be confined to one denomination. It would not matter if they were Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, or Roman Catholic. If they had striven to know God with all their being—that was the main criterion. And lay people would be included, both men and women. They would represent differing points of view, vocations, and cultures. Their journeys would take them on widely varying paths, but their destination would be the same! And, hopefully, the effect upon the readers of this series would be this: “I want to know God!”

It is no longer in the seventies. We entered the twenty-first century eighteen years ago. The world is changing fast. Some of the stories in these books may be considered out-dated. The language might be classed as somewhat “antiquated.” The standards presented might seem unreasonably high, but the goal in reprinting these books is, hopefully, the same goal as that which motivated my parents in the first place—to fuel the desire which lurks in the heart of every true follower of Jesus and to echo Paul’s words: “That I might know Him!”

Everything Matters

Everything in Order!

Manuscripts everywhere–three hundred and sixty-five of them–on the table, on every chair, and even, if I remember correctly, on the floor! My mother was the personification of order, so why, I wondered had she allowed these papers to remain all over our tiny living-room for hours if not for several days? Even the best of memories fade somewhat after sixty-five years or more, so some of the details of that morning may not be absolutely correctly relayed. But I can remember, vividly, asking my parents the question: “Why aren’t you putting away these papers? They’ve stayed there for ages.”

I don’t know what answer I was expecting, certainly not the one I received. “We’ve left them there,” my parents replied, “because we’re praying over them.”

That answer puzzled me at first. Not that I wasn’t used to our family praying over everything—my problems at school with bullies, my father’s Sunday sermons, church conflicts, financial needs—everything and anything was brought to God. But manuscripts? I didn’t understand.

“These manuscripts,” they continued, “are readings for every day of the year, so there are 365 of them. They are on different subjects—prayer, the importance of the Bible, suffering, missionaries, and many more. We are asking God to help us arrange them so that, in the future, those who read them will find something special to help them on that particular day.”

That made sense and I was satisfied. Order does count. How you arrange things was important, at least to our family it was.

I must have been around eight or nine at the time and I forgot all about the incident for a long while. The manuscripts were eventually put into book form and The Christian’s Daily Challenge came into being. Then, some years later, my parents began to receive letters from around the globe, telling not just that people had been blessed through reading the book but that, when they had been facing some crisis in their lives, the reading for that particular day had seemed written just for them. When I heard this, something clicked! I saw myself as a perplexed eight-year-old, staring at the 365 manuscripts that had invaded the privacy of our home.

Something still clicks, so much so that I am going to go right now to our website and see what the reading is for today. It is entitled “The Microscope of Love. “Don’t wait for tomorrow”; advises Frances Ridley Havergal.  Take this day, the morning hours past, the evening ones to come, and apply this microscope, and see if you don’t find you are walking in the midst of miracles of love, and that all things are for your sakes.” Now that advice, I’m pretty sure, is relevant to every one of us! Check out these daily readings on our site. I think you’ll find it worth your while!

Trudy Harvey Tait