Comforting support much appreciated


Sir: I was happy to see my friend Doreen Stonehouse sitting in Tim Hortons with Donna Schmeltz from the Tilbury IODE getting customers to sign Christmas cards to send to Canadian soldiers overseas (“Card signing supports troops over the holidays,” in The Chatham Voice, Nov. 12).

I would like to commend Doreen and her husband Jim for their letter about Christians being killed in battle – or anywhere else for that matter.

I often tell the true story of how on Jan. 27, 1547, courtier Sir Anthony Denny informed the 55-year-old King Henry VIII that “in man’s judgment you are not like to live.” The king replied he believed “the mercy of Christ is able to pardon me all my sins, yes, though they were greater than they be.”

When asked if he wanted to speak to any “learned man,” King Henry asked for Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer “but I will first take a little sleep. And then, as I feel myself, I will advise on the matter.”

Cranmer was sent for but it took hours for the archbishop to make his way on frozen roads. Shortly after midnight, Henry VIII was barely conscious, unable to speak. The faithful Cranmer always insisted that when he asked for a sign that his monarch trusted in the mercy of Christ, Henry Tudor squeezed his hand.

That true story always brings tears to my eyes and I am reminded of the well-known hymn sung by Billy Graham’s friend, George Beverly Shea : “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold I’d rather be His than have riches untold I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hands”

Stephen Beecroft



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