Some Personal Photographs From Northeastern Ohio

The following are some personal photographs from my travels around northeastern Ohio. My friends on Facebook have been able to view these for months, but I’m sharing these for the world at large.

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This is the grave marker of Charles Grandison Finney at Oberlin, Ohio. His grave is surrounded by the graves of his wife and children. It is visible from the road through the cemetery, though the inscription is not. The inscription reads, with a definite reference to Joshua 1:9, “The Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; let Him not leave us, nor forsake us.”

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This is the grave marker of Elliott Ness and his family at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. Though he has been gone for half a century, it is noteworthy how many continue to leave decorations and commemorations at his graveside.

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This is the grave marker of John D. Rockefeller and his family in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. How much did he leave behind? All of it.

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This is the incomparable stained glass window, The Flight of Souls, by Louis Comfort Tiffany, in Wade Chapel, Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. The whole chapel is designed to place the focus on the risen Christ at the center of the window and his empty tomb, and the path to him as the resurrection and the life.

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Finney on Being Filled with the Spirit

Another classic chapter in Charles G. Finney’s Lectures on Revivals of Religion is ON BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. It bears reading in its entirety, after reading his previous chapter on HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL. It’s worthwhile to see the reasons that he gives for believers not being filled with the Spirit:

  • Pride.
  • Hypocrisy.
  • Worldly mindedness.
  • Shallow confession of sins.
  • Neglecting known obedience.
  • Resistance of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
  • Not wanting to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Not praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

If we wonder why there seems to be so much conformity and superficiality among many in the modern evangelical church, we can say that many are not filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit daily. It bears re-reading Finney again. His chapter is convicting, of course, but more than worth the time to read and consider what he had to say.

Revival Starts with Yourself

Charles Finney, in his classic Lectures on Revivals of Religion, had a chapter on HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL. It was not about public relations, or promoting your church with the ‘awesome power of ADVERTISING’! (Yes, there was once a circular to pastors that did promise that). Rather, he pointed out the need for believers to get themselves right with God, and into a path of consistent obedience and abiding in Christ.

Many believers today wonder why their personal growth is stunted and why their church is continually being fractured and losing people to other churches. Too many focus on the outward conformity of churchianity, of attendance and participation in church activities, and even seem to think that they are earning some kind of ‘extra credit’ with God if they hold an office or participate in some upfront ministry. They usually reply, when confronted with the need for cleansing of their lives to experience the fullness of God’s presence in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that they are doing all that they know. Perhaps they should look further at what Finney had to say. Here is his list of what keeps a believer from experiencing personal revival.

SINS OF OMISSION

  • Ingratitude.
  • Want of love to God.
  • Neglect of the Bible.
  • Unbelief.
  • Neglect of prayer.
  • Neglect of the means of grace.
  • The manner in which you have performed those duties.
  • Your want of love for the souls of your fellow-men.
  • Your want of care for the heathen.
  • Your neglect of family duties.
  • Neglect of social duties.
  • Neglect of watchfulness over your own life.
  • Neglect to watch over your brethren.
  • Neglect of self-denial.

SINS OF COMMISSION

  • Worldly mindedness.
  • Pride.
  • Envy.
  • Censoriousness.
  • Slander.
  • Levity.
  • Lying.
  • Cheating.
  • Hypocrisy.
  • Robbing God.
  • Bad temper.
  • Hindering others from being useful.

It would be best for anyone who wants to know more to read what Finney actually had to say: HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL. He himself often came back to his list regularly, every time he started to feel his heart grow cold. It’s an idea worth consideration.

Three Classic Letters from Charles Finney

The series of open letters that Charles Finney sent concerning revival in 1845 are not nearly as well known as his Lectures on Revivals of Religion. Here are three that are well worth reading:

Though there are things in his theology that I disagree with, I’ve often found much to appreciate in the writings of Finney. A simple reading or re-reading of the Lectures on Revivals of Religion, would, I’m sure, correct and educate many in the church and in the pastoral ministry today.