Tag Archives: civil

An Unusual Noise | Bible Gleanings – August 13-14, 2022

During the American Civil War, an officer reportedly complained to his general that some of the troops in their camp were making too much racket as they prepared for combat. “What are they doing?” asked the general. “They are praying now, but they have been singing,” the officer said. “And is that a crime?” he asked. “Well,” said the complainer, “the articles of war order punishment for such an unusual noise.” And the general famously replied, “God forbid that praying should be an unusual noise in the camp!”

Prayer should never be an unusual noise, especially among those in the camp of the Lord’s army. Most of the time, our prayers resemble a quick voicemail, an occasional drive-thru order, or a brief pleasantry exchanged with an acquaintance. However, prayer ought to be a saint’s steady song. Believers are called to “pray without ceasing,” and to fill heaven’s golden censer with the “incense” of our prayers to the point of overflowing (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Revelation 8:3-4). And, we are commanded to “pray at all times” as we march to war against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:18).

The Lord welcomes and blesses such praying. As James assured, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). The “I’m-not-giving-up-no-matter-what” kind of praying is what God rewards. Unfortunately, we frequently miss out on the rain of God’s blessing because we haven’t rattled heaven’s windows open with the reverberation of constant prayer. God stands ready to answer our prayers, but we must stand ready to offer them. 

Soldiers of the Lord, we must fill our camps with the constant anthem of desperate and bold prayer, or we shall have no chance of victory in our warfare against the flesh, the world, and the devil. We must say with the psalmist, “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:2). And may infrequent and irregular prayer be what is truly unusual to us!

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Hold the Fort | Bible Gleanings – March 5-6, 2022

The frightening thunder of artillery fire rattled slumbering Union soldiers at daybreak on October 5, 1864. The march of Confederate soldiers shook the ground as they rallied to seize the Union supply depot at Allatoona Pass. General Samuel G. French ordered his men to pound the Union fort with a hailstorm of shells and a merciless spray of gunfire while he moved north to enclose the garrison. Convinced he had the upper hand, French sent a note to John M. Corse, the Union general commanding the sought-after fort: “To avoid a needless effusion of blood, I call on you to surrender your forces at once and unconditionally. Five minutes will be allowed you to decide.” And before the clock ran out, Corse gave his answer: “Bring it on.”

French moved in to tighten the noose and unleash hell. Bullets smacked the dirt and Union soldiers knelt for cover. The crack of rifles grew louder as Confederate soldiers drew nearer.  And as pressure to surrender mounted, Union General William T. Sherman sent a message to Corse that read, “Hold the fort; for I am coming!” French withdrew by four o’clock, unable to break the stouthearted resolve of the Union soldiers and the fortitude of Sherman’s reinforcements.[1] This left the Union in possession of the rations and ammunition the Confederates desperately needed to tip the scales of the Civil War in their favor.

The Commander of heaven’s armies, the Lord Jesus Christ, sends the same message to all of His beleaguered and faithful saints: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). The devil’s bombardments may cause us to flee for cover (Eph. 6:16). The increasing number of those abandoning the Lord’s faithful army may cause us to feel outnumbered (1 Tim. 4:1). Trials and tribulations may hedge us in, causing us to despair for victory and relief (Psalm 13:1-2). But Jesus calls us to “hold the fort,” because He is coming soon to bring reinforcements.

Stay on the battlefield, for Jesus is coming to vanquish Satan and the kingdom of darkness (Rev. 20:10). Wield the sword of Scripture against false teaching, for the Truth is coming to send the “father of lies” scurrying in hopeless retreat (John 8:44; 14:6; Rev. 19:11). Stand firm in this hostile world, for the King is coming to subdue His enemies by the mere appearance of His glorious presence (2 Thess. 2:8). Fight for faith in your trials, for Christ is coming to trample pain, tears, and death once and for all (Rev. 21:4).

It is no wonder that Phillip P. Bliss wrote in 1870:

“Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!

Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.

“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;

Wave the answer back to heaven, “By thy grace we will.”[2]



[1] Historians disagree on the timing of General Sherman’s reinforcements, but agree that Union victory at Allatoona would likely have been impossible without them—no matter when they arrived.

[2] Hymn-writer Phillip P. Bliss composed this chorus in the hymn Hold the Fort, which was inspired by the events that transpired at the Battle of Allatoona Pass during the Civil War.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

A Safehouse for Sinners | Bible Gleanings – July 10-11, 2021

They were sanctuaries for slaves—homes that made history. Lionhearted abolitionists all across the North volunteered their homes as safehouses for slaves seeking freedom prior to and during the Civil War. Homeowners from Indiana to New York partnered with antislavery activists like Harriet Tubman in a secret network known today as the Underground Railroad. They worked together to provide pathways to freedom for exhausted slaves. And over time, many of these homes were awarded landmark status because history happened within their walls.

When visiting places like the Johnson House in Philadelphia or the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City, one is filled with awe and humility because lives were transformed there. The hardwood floors are not divine. The brick walls are not holy. There is no mystical aura surrounding these historical sites. They are sacred sanctuaries because of what happened there: weary captives were liberated from slavery. 

The same can be said of any biblical church that faithfully preaches the gospel of Christ. A church that proclaims “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) is a holy sanctuary, not because the carpet and stained-glass windows are sanctified, but because enslaved sinners are set free within their walls. It makes no difference if your church is massive or miniscule; what matters is whether miracles happen within its walls. God wants our churches to be “safehouses” for sinners—places where they can be emancipated from spiritual slavery. He wants our churches to be places where hopeless sinners can experience the reality of Romans 6:

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (vv. 17-18).

Jesus came to release men, women, and children from spiritual bondage to sin, the devil, and the world. He said it Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). Such exhilarating freedom comes to weary sinners when they hear and believe the truth about Jesus: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). And it is the duty of every disciple to declare the gospel truth so people can believe it by faith. As God said in Isaiah, “[Say] to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’” (Isaiah 49:9b).

Does your church have “landmark status?” Is it a place where history is made, where sinners are redeemed from spiritual slavery? Is it a safehouse for sinners?


Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English shepherd), and Dot (beagle).