Monday, January 28, 2013

The Newton that's not a Fig!

"Resoluteness" is a character quality that is very often built into a life through not quitting. Webster defines Resoluteness as : a fixed purpose; firm determination; unshaken firmness. In the world of nature, the English Bulldog is a prime example of Resoluteness. It's tenacity & resolve make it nearly impossible to deter, once it has made up its mind to do something!

Even though I'm cute, Stubborn is my middle name!
English Bulldogs have very sweet dispositions, yet they are not easy to train or raise. They require a firm, consistent hand, & lots of food rewards, to offset their extreme stubbornness! Generally passive by nature, some males may act aggressively toward other male dogs & do not socialize with cats. Their Resoluteness is also seen when they are feeding. Never feed an English Bulldog with other animals present!

Do not Mess with my Food! I'll Huff, & Puff, & Blow ewer house down!

The individual that illustrates the character trait of Resoluteness, is the former slave trader John Newton. Born in London in 1725, John had a rough childhood. Although his mother was kind, she died before his seventh birthday. His father was a sea captain who was away during his childhood, providing little guidance for John. After being sent to boarding school at age 11, John later was drafted into the British Royal Navy. John was extremely stubborn,  refusing to obey orders on many occasions. He tried to run away but was captured & profusely whipped. His Resoluteness led him off the ship & he began working for a slave trader.

I was a real dysfunctional child, yet God continued to love me!

John continued to decline, treating slaves badly until he himself was enslaved for 5 years. He was finally rescued by a slave trading friend of his father. On his return journey, John was caught in a violent storm & the ship was sinking. He cried out for help to the God of his mother, & the cargo miraculously came out & plugged up the hole , causing the ship to drift to safety. This was the beginning of his conversion to Christianity. He read a Bible & Christian literature on the return trip & considers March10,1748, as the date he stopped drinking, gambling, & using profanity.
John was never the same after his dramatic conversion!
After his conversion, John continued work in the slave trade , serving as a first mate & captain. John treated slaves differently, & years later, denounced slavery, working resolutely with William Wilberforce to pass the Slave Trade Act of 1807.This Act abolished slave trade before he died on Dec. 21,1807. During his lifetime, he also had to Resolutely pursue the ministry, waiting 7 years before he was trusted with a church. As a minister, John met the poet William Cowper at his church , & both men wrote Olney Hymns in 1779.This included Newton's classic, "Amazing Grace".

 Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me...
 I once was lost but now am found
 Was blind, but now, I see
A recent movie telling the true story of Newton & Wilberforce.

Sheep have a Shepherd who Resolutely protects & cares for them. Although he faces many hardships, He exhibits unflinching devotion to the flock's well-being!

A Shepherd's work requires long days & long nights.

 The Good Shepherd was Resolute in His mission on this planet. His love for His sheep, both Ewe & me, was all the motivation he needed! What a great thought to go into Ewer day with! 

 "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd
 gives His life for the sheep." John 10:11

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