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I am sure long after I’m gone, no one will read or remember Redneck Latte Ravings.

But as a would be writer, just as all do, I’d hope that I had some influence for good that would last.

Not so of Oswald Chambers.

He was a Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher at the beginning of the 20th Century.  He was born on this day in 1874.

A devoutly religious man, he once said, “The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.”

Around the age of 21, he left for Dunoon College and was influenced by Richard Reader Harris, a lawyer and the founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer.  Through Harris and other evangelists, Chambers became burdened for World Evangelism and sailed for Japan.  Back in the US by 1907, he spent some time in Cincinnati teaching at a Bible School.

After a short trip back to Japan and a return to the US via England, he met and married Gertrude Hobbs, their only child, Kathleen was born in 1913.

As Chambers preached, his wife, Gertrude, who could take shorthand at a speed of 250 words per minute, would translate his sermons and lessons to the written page.

At the outbreak of the Great War, Chambers accepted a post of the YMCA in Cairo, Egypt.  He ministered to the soldiers, his sermons were attended by hundreds of soldiers.  His approach was unusual, his manner of speaking enthralling, and his concern for the soldiers genuine.  When confronted by a soldier who said, “I can’t stand religious people,” Chambers replied, “Neither can I.”

In 1917, while in Cairo, Chambers had an attack of appendicitis on October 17, but refused to go to the hospital stating the soldiers from an upcoming battle would need the beds.  Twelve days later, an emergency appendectomy was performed.  Sadly, it was not soon enough, and he died on November 15, and was buried in Cairo with full military honors.

Gertrude transcribed his sermons, and most importantly his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest.

Published 18 years after his death, the daily devotional is a compilation of Christian preaching to students and soldiers.  First published in 1935, it has been printed, re-printed, updated, and re-circulated repeatedly over the years.

The title comes from one of his sermons.  He said, “Shut out every consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only – my utmost for His Highest. “  One of the most popular religious books ever written, it has inspired men and women worldwide.

Translated into 39 languages over time, My Utmost for His Highest has never been out of print.

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