You guys, it's getting serious over here. I am on track to meet my 20-book goal this year. 16 down, 4 to go. And I'm actually already about halfway through The Pilgrim's Progress so it's actually more like 16 down, 3 and 1/2 to go. I'm giving my book list the business.
I read Secrets of the Blessed Man in 3 days starting on October 27th and finishing on October 29th. It's a simple, straightforward book, and I was not only encouraged reading it, I was also challenged.
If you'll remember: last year I read a biography about my Grampa (written by my Dad), this year I read a book by my Grampa, Paul Norman Tassell. Secrets of the Blessed Man is an exposition of Psalm 1. There are six chapters in this book: one for each verse in Psalm 1. At the beginning of each chapter is an outline of what is covered in that chapter. I'm not sure if these were actually just a collection of sermons that he preached through, but they certainly could have been.
My Grampa's writing actually reminds me a lot of Elisabeth Elliot's writing (and you should know by now how much I appreciate her). They both present the truth from God's Word in a no-nonsense style, and because they write the truth, their writing is always relevant even years later. Secrets of the Blessed Man was written in 1966, but as I was reading, I once again came to the conclusion that there is nothing new under the sun. We're still struggling with the same things in 2016 that people were struggling with 50 years ago in 1966. We still hear the same old arguments against the Bible in the name of science. We still see people putting their hope in politicians (can I get an "Amen"?). We still feel the scorn of ungodly people when we say our faith is in God and His Word. It was encouraging to read this book and be reminded that I am Separate from this world, Stable where God's planted me in this world, and Secure in my salvation. I was also challenged reading this book and being reminded how important the Study of God's Word is for the believer, how the ungodly are like Stubble, and how the unrighteous will be brought to Shame. I'll admit that evangelizing the lost is something I struggle with, but it is the call of every believer and my Grampa was passionate about it. Along with the clear message of the Gospel, the challenge to share it with the whole world was prominent in this book.
If you didn't catch it in that last paragraph, my Grampa was the KING of alliteration. Definitely a beneficial skill for a pastor to employ because it undeniably aids in memory. This book was rich with not only alliteration, but Scripture as well. I don't think there was a single page in this book that didn't quote God's Word. My Grampa did not rely on his own wisdom or knowledge to explain Psalm 1 or to drive his point home, he went back to the Bible which needs no defense or help from us.
I would absolutely encourage you to read this book whether you're a Christian or not, and if you are a Christian, I'd encourage you to share it with an unsaved friend or family member you've been praying for. Like I mentioned before, the Gospel and the Way to salvation is clearly presented in this book, and if reading this book doesn't prompt them to make a decision about eternity, it might at least be a good springboard for you to discuss that with them further.
If you've been saved by God's grace, what is the most encouraging thing (outside of the Bible) that you've read? Or who is an author that challenges you in your faith? If you haven't been saved, please find someone to talk to about all of this. It's the most important thing you can do. If you don't have someone in your life that knows God personally, please feel free to e-mail me at hannah(dot)hancock87(at)gmail(dot)com. I would love to send you a Bible and start a conversation with you about Jesus and how he is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.