2. I want to get you thinking about who your heroes might be. I want you to be willing to think a bit differently. My hero is not a likely one in some ways. Born 500 years ago, he didn't live in London. He was a rather thin, weak man who was often ill. He wasn't a Baptist. But he's still one of my heroes. May be your heroes won't be obvious ones.
3. Calvin's motto was coram deo which means “in the presence of God” and I want you to think about God and about the idea of living every moment aware of him.
Calvin was born in Noyon in France a little way north of Paris (it was the same year as Henry VIII became King of England). Calvin's father's name was Gerard and his mother name was Jeanne. When Calvin was only 4 his mother died and his father remarried so he and his two brothers grew up with only a memory of their real mother.
From the beginning Calvin was a bright boy and at first his father wanted him to do something in the church but then decided he wanted him to be a lawyer. Calvin went away to study in Paris when he was 14 then went on when he was a bit older to study elsewhere. He began to train as a lawyer as his father wanted but when he was about 22 his father died and he was free to do what he wanted. First he published a book and seemed to be heading for a career as a university professor but then something happened to change all that.
At this time a great movement was taking place called the Reformation. This movement was concerned with getting back to the Bible and rediscovering what it really said. They didn't just want to follow what the Pope and other religious leaders said but what the Bible said. These people were called Protestants (protesters against the old ways). Calvin was one of the people caught up in this movement.