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No Reservation, No Retreat, No Regrets

By Dennis Love

McDowell CountyDennis Love McDowell County


I would think that all of us are familiar with Borden Dairy Products, and the famous Elsie the Cow on the front of their milk cartons.  What we are not familiar with is the son of the man who founded Borden Dairy Products.  Borden Dairy was founded by Gail Borden in the mid-1800s.  He had a son named William (Bill) Borden.  In 1904, Bill Borden graduated from a Chicago High School.  For his High School graduation present, his parents gave their young 16-year-old son a trip around the world.  As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world’s hurting people.  While in China, he met a missionary who led him to Christ, and that missionary gave young Bill a Bible.   Bill wrote the words “No Reservation” in his Bible.  No reservation simply means “Completely or Without Limitation.”

Think about it—–As a young 16-year-old Christian, Bill the millionaire had given himself, completely, and without limitations to the Lordship of Jesus in his life.  As a young man, Bill realized that he must always be about his Father’s business.  Not his earthly father’s business, but his heavenly Father’s business!

When Bill returned to America from his travels around the world, he entered college and graduated from Yale University.  Upon his graduation, he was offered the position of vice president of his father’s growing dairy company.  He turned down the offer.  He also turned down other high-paying job offers to be a missionary to China instead.  It was at this time in his life that he wrote these words in his Bible, “No Retreat.”  Young Bill held fast to Romans 8 which says,” If God be for us, who can be against us,” thus no retreat.  Bill was hoping to work with Chinese Muslims once he arrived in China, so his first stop on his way to China was Egypt to study Arabic so he could communicate with the Chinese Muslims.  While in Egypt, young Bill contracted spinal meningitis.  Within a month, young William (Bill) Borden was dead.

When the news of Bill’s death was cabled back to the United States, the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper.  William (Bill) Borden’s death was not wasted from God’s perspective.  Young Bill Borden not only gave away his wealth, but he also gave away himself, and that is what our Lord has called each of us to do.  Jesus said in Luke 9:23, that a real follower of His must be willing to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Him.  The Greek word deny means “to utterly disown and abstain.”  Young William (Bill) Borden understood what it meant to take up his cross.  As a matter of fact, he understood it so well that when his body was returned to America from Egypt, inside the coffin, Bill was holding his Bible.  When his father opened it, he saw his son’s final entry in his Bible.  Before his death, William (Bill) Borden wrote, “No Regrets.” 

Young William (Bill) Borden served Jesus with no reservation, no retreat, and no regrets.  Does this not look like a math equation to you?



Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County.  Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years.  He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years.  They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  He can be reached via email at:

Read more of his Christian news articles here