The best thing about being retired is that one can now pursue one's passion.
For me, it is researching the life and works of Andrew Murray (1828-1917), the South African preacher and author of over 200 devotional books.
In doing so, I am hoping to introduce him to a new generation of readers via biographical novels that are factual, yet easy to read. I also aim to publish some non-fiction works.
Andrew Murray of South Africa
Author, preacher, and missionary statesman
Andrew Murray at twenty
Taken in 1848
At twenty-one he became pastor of over 12 000 Boers in the orange Free State and a further 8000 in the Transvaal. I have told the story of his first year in ministry in my novel:
Andrew Murray Destined to Serve (See below.)
Andrew Murray at twenty-eight
Taken around 1856
I have told his story between 1850 and 1856 in the second novel of my trilogy: Andrew Murray Destined to Win. (See below.)
Andrew Murray at Sixty
Taken in 1888
I am currently researching his life between the years 1856 and 1882. These were momentous years during which a great awakening occurred throughout the Cape, and when he experienced a divine healing of a serious throat problem that stopped him from preaching.
Andrew Murray preaching in his eighties
Taken in 1915
This was at the unveiling of a statue to his brother, John and Nicolaas Hofmeyr in front of the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary
Novels in my trilogy on the life of
Andrew Murray Destined to Serve: A Biographical Novel
For lovers of historical fiction about Christian heroes of the faith
A boyish and fun-loving Andrew Murray arrives back in South Africa after being ordained at the Hague on his twentieth birthday in 1848. He soon discovers that his preaching lacks the power displayed by his heroes of the faith. He therefore decides to embark on a quest to become a powerful preacher filled with the Holy Spirit.
But not long after his appointment as pastor to the Dutch emigrants beyond the borders of the Cape, he finds that he is being shunted off course by a frenetic round of preaching tours that sap his energy and leave him little time to spend with God.
Feeling overwhelmed by the task, and knowing that he was pressed into taking it, he starts to doubt his calling. It does not take him long to realize that he has to either man-up or bow out.
Historically accurate, and based upon Andrew Murray's letters and early biographies, this is a compelling story that makes well-known historical characters come to life.
WALK with Andrew Murray as he negotiates his first year of ministry to the Voortrekkers in the Orange River Sovereignty and the Transvaal between the years 1849 and 1850.
PLACE yourself with him in the wilds of Africa teaming with game, lions and African wolves.
THROW into this mix the British, who at the Battle of Boomplaats in 1848 have just taken over the land between the Orange and Vaal Rivers.
IMMERSE yourself in a world where the Boer is forever ready to rebel against their British overlords, and where Paramount Chief Moshesh of the Basuto is constantly threatening war against the British and neighboring tribes.
OBSERVE how Andrew Murray at twenty-one is able to straddle the divide between Boer and Brit and grow into his role as lone pastor, eager to serve his far-flung congregation of over 20 000 souls.
Available on Amazon at:
Andrew Murray Destined to Win: Book Two in 'Destined Series'
Coming in January 2016
Twenty-two year old Andrew Murray has just completed his first year of ministry to over 20,000 Boers beyond the border of the Cape. With new-found confidence, he soon finds himself acting in a statesman-like capacity on behalf of both Boer and Brit.
But with every victory gained, he finds himself not only showered with accolades and blessings, but also having to battle outbreaks of self and pride that he is unable to conquer.
After a heartbreaking betrayal, he realizes that he is in need of a wife—someone who is able to partner with him in the ministry. But where to find such a girl? And when found, will his bloated ego and self-focus get in the way of winning her hand?
Although told in fictional form, this is a factual account of Andrew Murray’s life during the turbulent years of 1850 to 1856.
LEARN of the battles fought and lost against the Basuto chief, Moshesh.
OBSERVE the brinkmanship at the Sand River Convention, where independence was granted to the Transvaal.
FOLLOW Andrew Murray to England, where he preaches at Surrey Chapel.
SAIL down the Rhine with him on his way to meet Professor Beck, who introduces him to the works of the early Christian Fathers.
ACCOMPANY him to the Rutherfoord home on the Herschel Estate where he meets the girl of his dreams.
FEEL FOR him as is heart is broken and he realizes how miserably he has failed to progress in his spiritual walk.
REJOICE with him when his dreams come true and he learns to win through a closer walk with God.
Learn more about Andrew Murray and other key figures in the Cape Revival of 1860
This story tells of the frigid church conditions prior to revival, when there was a dire shortage of pastors and teachers, and semi-literate Afrikaners clung to their home-spun religion based on the Old Covenant.
It describes how God prepared the ground by setting the precursors in place and raising up key leaders to help promote and direct the revival. They were Andrew Murray (Worcester & Wellington), Nicolaas Hofmeyr (Calvinia & Stellenbosch) and Gottlieb van der Lingen (Paarl).
While the tide of the Holy Spirit swelled gently in some towns, in others – like Worcester – it broke without warning. It swept through vast areas of farmland throughout the Cape and beyond, convicting Afrikaners, Coloureds and Africans. Overnight, awakened Christians became prayer warriors and mission enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, over zealousness led to disagreements regarding the boycott of Sunday trains, while a backlash from liberal pastors led to Andrew Murray having to defend the Dutch Reformed Church in legal battles in the Cape High Court and Privy Council in London.
Our story, concludes in 1875 with the victory of the Church over liberal influences, the establishment of educational centres in Stellenbosch and Wellington, and the vision for a Bible translation in Afrikaans emanating from Paarl.
Available on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/10bFGR4
Andrew Murray at Keswick: Three Unrevised Talks Given in 1895
Talks that enable you to 'hear' Andrew Murray preach
If you count Andrew Murray as one of your heroes of the faith, or have read some of his published works, then these three talks are sure to find a special place in your heart. They were delivered on consecutive evenings at the Keswick Convention of 1895 in the Lake District, England.
But unlike the other sermons Andrew Murray delivered while on tour that year, he did not revise these for publication, nor incorporate them as separate chapters in one of his books. They are therefore unique to Keswick, and differ in content from other sermons published under the same titles. They are also basically word for word as he delivered them.
You will also find that unlike other ministers of his day, who were inclined to read their sermons, he favoured using short headings that allowed him to preach in an extempore manner. His aim was for his hearers to receive the Word “as a HAMMER that breaks and opens up; as a FIRE that melts and refines; and as a SWORD that slays the flesh.”
So if you have ever desired to hear Andrew Murray preach, these Keswick talks will enable you, with the help of the Holy Spirit and a little imagination, to do just that.
Included in this book is also his testimony that he gave at a special afternoon session at the same Convention.
Available on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/11wq4Ho
Andrew Murray at Exeter Hall
To be published on 27 October 2015
These are the three talks he gave on that occasion:
The first deals with Jesus' desire for us to be one. And the only way this can happen, says Murray, is for the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts. We will then have the power to effectively pray for the Saints and the coming of God's Kingdom.
The second talk focuses on the secret of effectual prayer. It stresses the need to submit to the Spirit's teaching, and to give ourselves to Him—as the Spirit of Intercession—to pray in us.
The third talk, 'With Wings as Eagles' teaches us how to wait upon God. It is as we wait that He will reveal himself to us and keep our spirits continually renewed. Murray also points to God's promises in Isaiah 64:4 that tells us that as we wait, we can expect to receive something utterly beyond our comprehension.
These insightful talks are just as applicable to us today as to those Christians at Exeter Hall in 1895.
You can't explore new oceans unless you leave the shore.