They Came For Freedom (book review)

I was first introduced to Jay Milbrandt through his book The Daring Heart Of David Livingston. I was so captivated by Jay’s writing style that I had to seek out more of his books. They Came For Freedom is the story of the first pilgrims that came to this land we now call the United States of America. 

Jay uses his training as an attorney to sift through the voluminous historical documentation that was available for him to use in the writing of this book. Just as an attorney is trained to evaluate the evidence to be presented in court in light of the biases of a witness, Jay does the same thing with the many people who documented the story of the pilgrims. 

What Jay really wanted to try to capture in this history was the reasons why people wanted to come to this new world. Were there religious motivations? Were there commercial considerations? Were they just adventurers or maybe malcontents? So Jay goes back further into history to set the stage and give us some of the motivations that went into the decision to make such an arduous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. 

In reading this book, undoubtedly you will hear some names of people and places that sound familiar to you. But I’ll bet you are going to see these people and places in a way that your school history books never presented. I found this book absolutely fascinating! I felt about They Came For Freedom the same way I did about Jay’s book on Dr. David Livingston: This is history that reads like a novel. 

You may think the story of the first pilgrims coming to these shores is so well known that this book isn’t going to be worth your time, but I can assure you that you are guaranteed to learn something you never knew before. Well done, Jay! 

Psalms Of Ascent

The Psalms Of AscentEvery year, Jews from around the world made four pilgrimages to Jerusalem for various feasts and sacrifices. These journeys reminded them of God’s goodness as they went to the Temple to worship, and they helped refocus on God’s ways as they returned to their regular routines.

Jerusalem is over 2500 feet above sea level, so the pilgrimage there was a physical workout as well as a spiritual workout. So these times climbing up into God’s presence were beneficial for God’s people, preparing them to minister in their cities in the following months.

The Book of Psalms contains 15 songs that these pilgrims would sing to and with each other as they traveled up to Jerusalem. These Psalms of Ascent are still instructive for Christians today.

Please join me this Sunday as we begin a look at the life-changing truths these pilgrimage songs can still teach today to all of God’s people.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

This is tough reading, but very vital: How the normalization of pornography fuels the rape culture.

“What a gracious thing for us that Jesus Christ never thinks about what we have been! He always thinks about what we are going to be.” —A.W. Tozer

“So seldom does God find a Christian whose only goal in life is to know and to do His will—as Jesus did—and who never says, ‘God, where are You?’ but instead prays, ‘God, where am I in this matter of obedience and dependence?’” —David Wilkerson

“Remember Luther, Knox, Calvin, Wycliffe, Bradford, Latimer, and many others! Under God these men owed their liberty of speech and liberty of conscience to the fact that the world thrust them out from all hope of its favor, and so loosed their bonds.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Lay not fast hold upon the things of earth. He who is but a lodger in an inn must not live as though he were at home.” —Charles Spurgeon

Desiring God has released an updated version of The Pilgrim’s Progress with some cool features. If you download the ebook version, it’s free!

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