of her whose life of love and sacrifice,
and radiant, Christ-possessed personality never ceases to be a
source of blessing and inspiration to my life and the five children whose
darling grandmother she was, who now waits for us inside “the eastern gate”
is this, my first book, lovingly dedicated
WHY THIS BOOK
I have struggled against the urge to write this book for two reasons. First on account of a fear that it might be a failure, because all I have is just plain ordinary stuff, void of any sensational or “high-light” thrills; and second, because of the memory of writing a book several years ago on another subject, the manuscript of which is now a faded memory on my scrap shelf—perhaps happily so, as that book, though containing interesting reading for a few hours of pleasure, would have left very little of real value.
However, I have unbounded faith in the opinion of him who inspired my first “Sketches From Life.” I refer to the successful editor of The Evangelical Beacon, my friend Roy A. Thompson. And since giving in to his urging, I have really received a thrill in writing these chapters, even though some of them have been written in the wee hours of the morning and between customers in the store.
In turning over the manuscripts to the publishers, it is with much prayer to God that this book may accomplish its intended purpose; namely to cheer some sad Christian, strengthen the faith of some faltering believer, bring some lost soul to Christ, and be the means of a spiritual awakening to some slumbering church.
If, my friend, this book becomes a blessing to you, pass it on to someone else, or write the publishers. It will be the means to spur them on in similar efforts to the glory of God.
Some of you will read this book in the lonely hours of the night when the Holy Spirit will have a better chance to accomplish His purpose in your life. If so, may a new day dawn in your life and the sunshine of heaven come in a new way to gladden you, and through your life cheer others.
May a fresh anointing be yours, and this new meeting with God bring forth from your innermost being this heartfelt prayer:
“Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me,
Melt me, mold me,
Fill me, use me,
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me”
— C. B. Hedstrom
Writing to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul speaks of the various gifts and administrations which God had placed in the church for the perfecting of the saints. One of the dangers in both preaching and writing is to become routine and stereotyped in our methods and to forget the “various kinds” of gifts and administrations.
The writer of the following messages and sketches has been prepared and trained by God for the special type of ministry he has been called to render. He comes from the ranks of the people and has the touch of God upon him. We have been elbow-comrades for more than twenty years. As pastor I have proclaimed the Word of truth; as song leader and church chairman he has stood by and helped sharpen the quivers. And what a comrade he has been! His vision has been clear, his heart strong and his zeal undaunted. Not only from our own church platform have we thrown out the “life line,” but also during a period of about fifteen years we were together on the evangelistic platform seeking and winning lost souls to the Savior. What scenes and sights come forth as memory unfolds its delicate film! Out in the front line of action we have bombarded the hosts of evil. At the close of every battle the blood-stained banner has waved victoriously at the masthead.
My comrade’s heart has been touched by a zeal for lost souls and for the hurt of Jacob. For this ministry he has been given these messages and sketches. They have come from a glowing heart and a burning spirit. They have left a trail of awakened souls and happy hearts. In printed form they will now have a wider range of service, and may the special blessing of God be upon them!
Mr. Hedstrom is a prominent and successful business man. He enjoys the highest and finest type of prestige. His eyes have been opened to values other than material. For this reason he has heard the call of his Master and is now using a large part of his time in the service of his Lord. God has honored him for his unselfish service, and as he has cared for the affairs of God, God has cared for his affairs.
His mother, to whom this book is dedicated, surrounded him with a spiritual influence which has directed and shaped the course of his life. He has now been led out on the deep waters of Christian usefulness. On the one hand, he is a self-made man; on the other hand, it would be best to say he is a God-made man. His early struggles in his native land, as well as during the first years in his adopted country, brought forth that rugged character and strong faith that have characterized his movements among his fellows. He has a tender heart for the less fortunate and a helping hand for the needy. He understands by experience the difficulty of their position. Heavy and important responsibilities have been placed on his shoulders, but in every instance he has been “the man of the hour.”
As we have been trumpeters together on various fields of battle, I now take pleasure in introducing this fearless Gospel herald. In his trumpet there is no uncertain sound. May its shrill blasts awaken the slumbering, and call the hosts of God’s people into united action. This book will do mightily for our God and enlarge the company of Christ’s followers. Give ear to its clear notes!