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David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter On My Heavenly Journey

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In 1742 Yale College expelled David Brainerd. A spiritual awakening had been sparked on the campus in months prior. As it began to grow and draw in more zealous students, tensions arose among the skeptical faculty such that the college trustees passed a code prohibiting students from even insinuate that any of the faculty were "hypocrites, carnal or unconverted men." Before In 1742 Yale College expelled David Brainerd. A spiritual awakening had been sparked on the campus in months prior. As it began to grow and draw in more zealous students, tensions arose among the skeptical faculty such that the college trustees passed a code prohibiting students from even insinuate that any of the faculty were "hypocrites, carnal or unconverted men." Before long it was reported that Brainerd had made some uncharitable comments of this kind and, though he was at the top of his class academically, they booted him. Add to this that in order to be an established minister in Connecticut you had to be a graduate of Yale, Harvard, or a European university. Brainerd's dreams (and obedience!) to become a pastor came crashing down. It was very difficult, as John Piper explains, "Brained felt cut off from his life calling." This is a hard fact to swallow. Tragic, it might seem, considering that David Brainerd died at the young age of 29. But here we are looking at his life, admitting there's a good story to be told, and retold. One that's not about the expulsion, but about what God did through him in that handful of years between the expulsion and his death. Originally delivered as a message at the 1990 Conference for Pastors, John Piper tells Brainerd's story in this short ebook, "David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter on My Heavenly Journey!"


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In 1742 Yale College expelled David Brainerd. A spiritual awakening had been sparked on the campus in months prior. As it began to grow and draw in more zealous students, tensions arose among the skeptical faculty such that the college trustees passed a code prohibiting students from even insinuate that any of the faculty were "hypocrites, carnal or unconverted men." Before In 1742 Yale College expelled David Brainerd. A spiritual awakening had been sparked on the campus in months prior. As it began to grow and draw in more zealous students, tensions arose among the skeptical faculty such that the college trustees passed a code prohibiting students from even insinuate that any of the faculty were "hypocrites, carnal or unconverted men." Before long it was reported that Brainerd had made some uncharitable comments of this kind and, though he was at the top of his class academically, they booted him. Add to this that in order to be an established minister in Connecticut you had to be a graduate of Yale, Harvard, or a European university. Brainerd's dreams (and obedience!) to become a pastor came crashing down. It was very difficult, as John Piper explains, "Brained felt cut off from his life calling." This is a hard fact to swallow. Tragic, it might seem, considering that David Brainerd died at the young age of 29. But here we are looking at his life, admitting there's a good story to be told, and retold. One that's not about the expulsion, but about what God did through him in that handful of years between the expulsion and his death. Originally delivered as a message at the 1990 Conference for Pastors, John Piper tells Brainerd's story in this short ebook, "David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter on My Heavenly Journey!"

30 review for David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter On My Heavenly Journey

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zubin Naushad

    Pastor John Piper is the best who is in the field of hagiography and church history in present times, and he is very knowledgeable. This is a very short rendering of the life of David Brenerd.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    This was a nice quick read. Far from an extensive biography, the aim of this book was to give you a very concise introduction to the life of David Brainerd and explain why his life has had such an impact on us. Prior to reading this book, I had barely even heard of the name David Brainerd. I saw his name referenced in a comment about people with noteworthy prayer lives and so I picked this up as an introduction. A few things stand out about this man's life. First was the reminder that God doesn't This was a nice quick read. Far from an extensive biography, the aim of this book was to give you a very concise introduction to the life of David Brainerd and explain why his life has had such an impact on us. Prior to reading this book, I had barely even heard of the name David Brainerd. I saw his name referenced in a comment about people with noteworthy prayer lives and so I picked this up as an introduction. A few things stand out about this man's life. First was the reminder that God doesn't pick the strong to work through. David Brainerd was a weak man (physically) from a weak family. He died at the age of 29 from tuberculosis when he had (IIRC) for about a decade prior. Most everyone else in his family also died very young. Despite his near constant physical pain and sickness, he never stopped striving to do his work for God. The second thing that stands out his how God worked through the perceived failures in his life. He wanted to be a pastor but got kicked out of university. A university degree was required in his state to become a pastor. Instead, God had other plans and opened doors to missionary work that he otherwise wouldn't have pursued. In addition, his expulsion from Yale University is directly credited as a driving force behind the founding of more than one major university - including Princeton. The book just walks you through the highlights of his life. You read about a man struggling constantly with pain, sickness, and depression - but always looking to God and serving him. This is a man who stored up treasures in heaven. I'm always inspired when I read about men whom God has used. This man definitely qualifies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grace Kinyua

    God can and does use weak, sick, discouraged, beat-down, lonely, struggling saints who cry to Him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for His Glory. Brainerd was such a saint and God used him to cause a great awakening among other saints in his days. Better still, even in the 21st century his life is still a great encouragement to us. His was a short life of 29 years but a full one. He died of Tuberculosis. During His days there were no antibiotics, Imagine that! Then, a bacterial infecti God can and does use weak, sick, discouraged, beat-down, lonely, struggling saints who cry to Him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for His Glory. Brainerd was such a saint and God used him to cause a great awakening among other saints in his days. Better still, even in the 21st century his life is still a great encouragement to us. His was a short life of 29 years but a full one. He died of Tuberculosis. During His days there were no antibiotics, Imagine that! Then, a bacterial infection was a terminal disease. Yet, even in his struggling health David Brainerd served the Lord as a missionary among the Indians in North America. " What can separate us from the love of the Lord? John piper in this book, gives us a good summary of the story of David Brainerd drawing references from Jonathan Edwards book: The Life of The Rev. David Brainerd. A very Interesting and inspiring read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    This is more a sermon or lecture ABOUT David Brainerd than a true biography, but, nevertheless, John Piper has a great sense of what to highlight. Using quotes from him and from other sources, the reader feels like he knows this subject better than the star of a much longer biography. As would be expected from a preacher, Piper is good at keeping attention by drawing direct applications. Plus, Goodreads fans, you can't beat a work that will give you meaningful content AND be a quick count to kee This is more a sermon or lecture ABOUT David Brainerd than a true biography, but, nevertheless, John Piper has a great sense of what to highlight. Using quotes from him and from other sources, the reader feels like he knows this subject better than the star of a much longer biography. As would be expected from a preacher, Piper is good at keeping attention by drawing direct applications. Plus, Goodreads fans, you can't beat a work that will give you meaningful content AND be a quick count to keep you on pace for your reading goal. This and other works in Piper's series are available for free through the Olive Tree app.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Izzo

    This short introductory biography to the life of David Brainerd is a great and awe-inspiring resource to encourage a personal cultivation of prayer and endurance unto God through hardships. This gives a taste of how God mightily used a weak, bodily fragile and sick man to do great things for the Kingdom!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    I see a lot in common between my story and Brainerd’s, this was very inspiring and soul stirring! That I would love souls, prayer, fasting & holiness as he did! Great short read on his life and influence on others!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Enser

    This short biography will increase your understanding of Christian suffering and missions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    A good quick read and an introduction to the life of David Brainerd and why he has had such an extensive impact.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    An interesting short biography on a very sick man who continued to work for God until he couldn’t any longer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    Very short but powerful biography of David Brainerd's life (it only takes 15 or 20 minutes to read). It was very encouraging to see how God has used Brainerd (during his lifetime and afterwards) to bless and inspire his people. Brainerd had so many struggles both physically and mentally, but God used him to do amazing things. Very short but powerful biography of David Brainerd's life (it only takes 15 or 20 minutes to read). It was very encouraging to see how God has used Brainerd (during his lifetime and afterwards) to bless and inspire his people. Brainerd had so many struggles both physically and mentally, but God used him to do amazing things.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Great, quick read. Brainerd's short life had great impact! His perseverance through great physical illness and dark depression and life's hardships is an example that empowers me. This lecture style short book is a free PDF from Desiring God Great, quick read. Brainerd's short life had great impact! His perseverance through great physical illness and dark depression and life's hardships is an example that empowers me. This lecture style short book is a free PDF from Desiring God

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pavlo

    I can't stop thinking about life of David Brainard after reading the book. It is of huge encouragement for me to see the grace of God he was experiencing in his circumstances, his complete devotion to the Allmighty no matter what is happening inside or outside and God's providence in everything. I can't stop thinking about life of David Brainard after reading the book. It is of huge encouragement for me to see the grace of God he was experiencing in his circumstances, his complete devotion to the Allmighty no matter what is happening inside or outside and God's providence in everything.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    This is a wonderful introduction to David Brainerd. Surely not a life of candy coated Christianity, but of holiness and God-ward thinking. The book and journal entries made we want to read Jonathan Edwards on Brainerd to learn more.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey DeLoatche

    The talk is better

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lee Button

    Enjoyed Piper's commentary on this faithful saint. Enjoyed Piper's commentary on this faithful saint.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Amazing story and life of how God uses the weak, sick and discouraged to accomplish his work.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Giju Abraham

    Very inspiring devotion on the life of David Brainerd. Amazing the impact he has had on generations. Highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marguerite Harrell

    I will have to read more book about this David Brainerd and to learn more about him.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bambi Moore

    My only criticism of this book is that it was too short. Has definitely inspired me to read Life of Brainerd.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Needed more depth into Brainerd's life and how it affected him. It seemed like an essay instead of a book. It does make me want to learn more about Brainerd's life though. Needed more depth into Brainerd's life and how it affected him. It seemed like an essay instead of a book. It does make me want to learn more about Brainerd's life though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Ruggieri

    An excellent - very short - intro to David Brainerd and why he matters. Highly recommended. Comes with a list of resources to consult.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Elliott

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick Ballenger

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Toma

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy McDaniel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Jephcott

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh

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