All of us have heroes! Even though much of my time is spent with professional and amateur athletes, most of my heroes are godly men and women who have faithfully served God in some type of ministry. Missionaries, preachers, authors, hymnwriters and teachers are among the most respected and loved people who have impacted my life. Godly saints like Amy Carmichael, George Muller, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Ira Sankey, Isobel Kuhn, Elisabeth Elliot, Marion Loney, my mother and father and others. J. Hudson Taylor who left England to carry the gospel to the millions in China has had a profound influence on my life. Often I've tried to pattern my beliefs, way of life and values after Hudson Taylor's but lately I've been challenged by the words of one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Skoglund (see the link to her site on the left side of mine). She writes, "In all accuracy it should be stated that Taylor lived in an economy different than ours. Additionally one must glean from great lives principles of living rather than strict dogma. Furthermore, it is dangerous to become a carbon copy of anyone." Elizabeth has encouraged me, by this quote, to pattern myself after Jesus Himself and be a unique individual, not a "carbon copy".
Two of Taylor's quotes have given me much food for thought over the years though. They are:
"God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply."
"Move men, through God, by prayer alone."
J. Hudson Taylor 1832-1905
Hudson Taylor's favorite hymn:
"Jesus! I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy bounty fills my soul
For, by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole."