My name is Jeremy Walker. By God’s grace, I am a Christian, and a preacher of the gospel, and a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, West Sussex, UK. I am married to Alissa, and we have two sons, Caleb and William. My interests and concerns will, I hope, become apparent in the development of this blog. I hope that my efforts will have something of the character of Charles Spurgeon’s The Sword and the Trowel, being a record of combat with sin and labour for the Lord.
The title of this blog and its tagline are derived from two primary sources.
One main source is The Wanderer (or here), an Old English poem that I genuinely enjoy and on which I wrote an essay while studying at university, which explains something of its relevance. This wanderer is called an eardstapa (‘earthstepper,’ if you like), and this is why my blog address is http://www.eardstapa.wordpress.com/.
Another source is the writings of John Bunyan. The current tagline is the opening line of The Pilgrim’s Progress – “As I walked through the wilderness of this world . . .”, but Bunyan’s other great allegory, The Holy War, begins with a similar notion: “In my travels, as I walked through many regions and countries, it was my chance to happen into that famous continent of Universe.” These two books had a profound effect on me in my early years, and capture something of the idea of an interested pilgrimage.
In addition, the notion of being an outcast and a stranger (echoing that Old English poem again) is a Biblical one. Speaking of the faithful, the writer to the Hebrews describes those who “had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Heb 11.37-40). Again, there is that seminal text in Psalm 119: “I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide your commandments from me” (v19). This is good company to be in.
My only concern is that the name can sound vague and indefinite. Wanderers are not necessarily going anywhere, but Christians are pilgrims – travellers with a definite destination. However, I wander through various media, seeking to observe things of use and interest, scavenging as I go, and so it does not seem too out of order.
Being a Walker myself, these various themes seemed to chime nicely, and so I went for it.
This blog, then, is a record of my travels, combats and labours as I walk through many regions and countries in the wilderness of this world as a pilgrim and stranger. I hope it will prove a help and encouragement to fellow travellers on our way to the heavenly Jerusalem.
If you are interested in walking along with the Wanderer, please consider subscribing.
To get in touch, email <contact[at]mabach[dot]org>.