7 Quotes From David Livingstone

The Daring Heart Of David Livingstone by Jay Milbrandt is an amazing account of this man’s heroic and history-altering life. Check out my full book review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes that Milbrandt shared in his biography. 

“It is something to be a follower, however feeble, in the wake of the great Teacher and only model missionary that ever appeared among men.” —David Livingstone 

“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.” —David Livingstone 

“I shall hold myself in readiness to go anywhere, provided it be forward. … Our duty is to go forward … I have observed that people who have sat long waiting have sat long enough before they saw any indication to go.” —David Livingstone 

“As they are experts with the spear I don’t know how it missed, except that he was too sure of his aim and the good hand of God was upon me.” —David Livingstone, after surviving two spears thrown at him during an ambush 

“The Gospels reveal Jesus, the manifestation of the blessed God over all as minute in His care of all. He exercises a vigilance more constant, complete, and comprehensive, every hour and every minute, over each of His people than their utmost selflove could ever attain. His tender love is more exquisite than a mother’s heart can feel.” —David Livingstone 

“If the good Lord permits me to put a stop to the enormous evils of the inland slave-trade, I shall not grudge my hunger and toils. I shall bless His name with all my heart. The Nile sources are valuable to me only as a means of enabling me to open my mouth with power among men. It is this power I hope to apply to remedy an enormous evil [in the East African slave trade]. Men may think I covet fame, but I make it a rule never to read aught written in my praise.” —David Livingstone 

“I am a missionary, heart and soul. God had an only Son, and He was a missionary and a physician. A poor, poor imitation I am or wish to be. In this service I hope to live, in it I wish to die.” —David Livingstone 

The Daring Heart Of David Livingstone (book review)

I’ll be honest: I only knew one small story about David Livingstone prior to reading The Daring Heart Of David Livingstone by Jay Milbrandt, and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t learn more about this amazing man much earlier! 

Dr. Livingstone was a missionary, a world-renown explorer, and an avid abolitionist. Very rarely have I come across a biography that reads like a novel, but this book is just that! Milbrandt is a brilliant storyteller, and he makes the biography of Livingstone so intriguing that I could scarcely put it down. I love how many of Livingstone’s personal letters and diary entries are included in this book, as it almost makes it feel more like a memoir or autobiography. 

Dr. Livingstone first went to Africa as a missionary but then gained fame as an explorer, becoming the first man to traversing Africa on foot—from the Atlantic coast to the Indian Ocean. He wrote a book about these travels (including the people he met, the animal and plant life he observed, and the stories of the dangers he faced), which gave him celebrity status in England. So much so that when he wanted to return to Africa, both the London Missionary Society and the Royal Geographical Society wanted to be his sending agency. 

Livingstone desperately wanted to see the end of slavery on the African continent, and returned to Africa with that sole focus burning in his heart. Along the way, he met with massive struggles—some self-imposed and some unavoidable in the harsh environment of interior Africa. Yet through all of these hardships, Livingstone repulsed at the idea that anything he ever went through could be called a sacrifice, stating emphatically: “I never made a sacrifice!” 

Milbrandt writes, “Livingstone died perhaps believing he had failed in every aspect. Yet, in the few short years after his death, everything Livingstone had worked for had come to fruition.” Including the complete eradication of the foul slave trade across the African continent. 

What an amazing example for leaders to aspire to follow today! 

(Tomorrow I will share some quotes from David Livingstone that you won’t want to miss!) 

8 Statistics From “The Global War On Christians”

The Global War On ChristiansI found some of the statistics reported in The Global War On Christians by John L. Allen, Jr., to be quite eye-opening. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but these are some of the stats that caught my attention—

“Open Doors… estimates that one hundred million Christians worldwide presently face interrogation, arrest, torture, or even death because of their religious convictions.” 

“Two of the world’s leading demographers of religion, David B. Barrett and Todd Johnson, have performed an exhaustive statistical analysis of Christian martyrdom, reaching the conclusion that there have been 70 million martyrs since the time of Christ. Of that total, fully half, or 45 million, went to their deaths in the twentieth century, most of them falling victim to either Communism or National Socialism. More Christians were killed because of their faith in the twentieth century than in all previous entries combined. … Christians today are, by some order of magnitude, the most persecuted religious body on the planet, suffering not just martyrdom but all the forms of intimidation and depression mentioned above in record numbers. That’s not a hunch, or a theory, or in anecdotal impression, but an undisputed empirical fact of life.”

“In 1919, just 9 percent of Africa was Christian. As of early 2013 it was 63 percent, for a grand total of 380 million Christians on the continent. These folks are scattered across a stunning 552,000 congregations and 11,500 denominations…. Most of this growth has occurred since the last quarter of the twentieth century and is the result of indigenous African evangelizing efforts rather than Western missionaries.”

The top five most hazardous nations on earth in which to be a Christian:

  1. North Korea
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Somalia
  5. Iran

“One estimate is that there are 47 million Pentecostals in China alone, despite the best efforts of the officially atheistic government to rein in their expansion. … The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, which issues the much-consulted World Christian Database, says there are 111 million Christians in China, roughly 90 percent Protestant. That would make China the third largest Christian country on earth, following only the United States and Brazil.” 

“Open Doors… estimates the total number of Christians in North Korea to range from 200,000 to half a million, with at least a quarter of those believers currently behind bars in prison camps.”

“In the 1990s… conversions from Catholicism to Protestantism in Latin America during the twentieth century actually surpassed the Protestant Reformation in Europe in the sixteenth century.”

“A September 2012 report by the Pew Forum concluded that ‘a rising tide of restrictions on religion [has] spread around the world.’ Among other points, the study found that 37 percent of nations in the world have high or very high restrictions on religion, up from 31 percent a year ago, a six-point spike in just 12 months, and that three-quarters of the world’s population of 7 billion, meaning 5.25 billion people, live in countries with high or very high restrictions on religion. That’s up from 70 percent from the previous year.”

You can also read some quotes from this amazing book by clicking here.

Going Through The Motions

I was talking to a friend who is a missionary in Africa who had just experienced an interesting church service. Many times Africans will hear a worship song from a visiting group of Americans, and they will try to implement that worship song into their church services. Sometimes this can be quite beautiful.

And sometimes it’s quite comical.

In case you are unfamiliar with the song Friend Of God, you can listen to it here —

These precious African saints were trying their best to imitate the English words they had heard sung to them. However, their chorus sounded something like this —

I am afraid of God

I am afraid of God

I am afraid of God

He calls me Fred

Comical? Sure. But it’s also very instructional.

How many times do you and I go into a church service and just mimic words, without really thinking about the meaning behind the words? We go through the motions — we imitate the sounds we have heard before — and think we are really worshiping.

Here’s what Jesus said

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases… [and] think that you will be heard for your many words.

Are you going through the motions?

  • Do you pray the same prayer at every meal?
  • Do you sing the same songs the same way every time?
  • Do you worship God the same way every time you come into His presence?
  • Do you pray the same prayer every night before bed?

Do you really mean what you are saying? Or are you just going through the motions?

“As An Atheist…”

times-logoFascinating article by Matthew Parris of the London Times. After you read the article, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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