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"Tom Petty and Rev. John Wesley" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, was something else. He was a priest in the Anglican Church, who lived in England in the 1700's. He was amazing. He woke up at 4:00 every morning to pray. He seemed to never waste a minute.

Wesley was a prolific reader. In fact, he read hundreds of books while traveling on horseback. He once said, “Reading Christians are growing Christians. When Christians cease to read, they cease to grow.”

He was also an incredible writer. He published 233 original works and edited and translated many others. He could read Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and was able to preach in Italian, French and German.

When Wesley was 83 years old he was troubled that he could not write more than fifteen hours a day without his eyes hurting. When he was 86 years old, he was ashamed to admit that he could only preach twice a day. That same year he preached in almost every area of England and Wales. Many days he rode thirty to fifty miles on horseback.

In 1989, Tom Petty released a good song that I have really liked over the years: “I Won’t Back Down.” I don’t know if John Wesley would have liked the song, but he would have agreed with the message of never giving up. It lines up with the affirmation of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, “I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:14)

Whatever we are facing today, may that be our attitude: To press on, to press forward with the help of God.

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