“I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world…I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11, TLB)
I HAVE LIVED
I have lived through the Great Depression, decades of uncertain employment, and the current economic depression – when times were good and times were bad.
I have lived when the telephone was a party line accessed by adults with a crank on the wall phone where it hung to the present land lines and a cell phone in every pocket. I have lived when it was too costly to call long distance even to family.
I have lived when the family automobile was a Model T Ford. My first car was a crank, clutch, and shift Model A Ford. I have lived through the development of power brakes and steering to air bags, with many different makes and models throughout the years. Today we enjoy our automatic, air conditioned Honda Civic.
I have lived when our first radio was a crystal model and our favorite programs, if we could get them, were Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly, and The Lone Ranger. Now, the electric model with AM and FM stations is in every bedroom, kitchen, automobile and living room.
I have lived when we had a crank phonograph player, with steel needles and with two or three records. The two I remember were Whispering Hope and The Church in the Wildwood. Now I preserve the records through the computer to CD’s and MP3’s.
I have lived before black and white TV, to color TV, to the present choices of many model large screen HDTVs .
I have lived through the phonograph record, cassette tape, VHS tape to the CD, DVD and Mp3, analog to digital times, and the explosion of technology.
I have lived through the farm chamber pot and outhouse era; throug septic tank times , to a flush toilet and sanitary sewer era.
I have lived when our whole water supply was from a spring that we had to clean out periodically. We had to carry what we needed to the house in buckets for about the length of a football field. I have lived where we were dependent upon the cistern and rain barrel. Now we have hot and cold city water, bottled water etc.
I have lived when we had to milk the cow, drink the raw milk, and make our own butter. Now everything is pasteurized, packaged, and dozens of choices handy at the supermarket.
I have lived through one world war, several lesser ones, and the fall of communism. I am living now during the war on terror, capitalism against socialism, and Islam against Christianity.
I have lived before electricity was available in our area. Aladdin lamps, kerosene lanterns, and a wood cooking stove were our mainstay. Now living in Florida we have air conditioning, electric hot water heaters, stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer and other electrical conveniences. Quite a change from the days when we had an ice box we had to keep full to preserve food!
I have lived when pen, pencil and pad were all we had for communicating – to typewriters and carbon paper for copies; to computers, copiers, scanners, and printers. I have lived where encyclopedias and libraries were primary for information to the internet with an unknown amount of information available on every subject.
I have lived when walking, bicycle, and auto travel were the norm, (just after the horse and buggy days) to railroad, airplane and space travel.
I have lived by the grace of God through all the hazards of farm life, life threatening health problems, and the years of Christian service to retirement.
I have lived over 70 years with Jesus Christ as my Saviour, friend, and master of my life.
I have lived through the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversies, years of “earnestly contending for the faith,” and the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.
I have lived 67 years with my one and only wife through “thick and thin”, “ups and downs,” agreements and disagreements, and our love for one another is just as great and precious now as it ever was.
I AM TIRED
I am tired of contemporary Christian music and praise ditties. Give me the old hymns and gospel songs with their great messages that have stood the test of time and scrutiny. They had familiar words and tunes. Give me back our song books and take away the power point screen for music! I have lived through most of the secular music crazes – Beatles, Elvis Presley, rock and roll, hip hop, rap. and there is nothing as satisfying as good, time tested Christian music.
I am tired of TV sitcoms and shallow radio and TV preaching. I miss good doctrinal preaching and teaching.
I am tired of uninformed criticisms of the doctrines of grace (Calvinism) as though it were some dangerous ism or modern heresy. I am glad to be in the great company of men like the Apostle Paul; the English theologians and preachers – Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller; the great biblical commentators – John Gill and Matthew Henry; great American theologians –Jonathan Edwards (preacher,theologian, missionary to native Americans), George Whitefield (Methodist evangelist), Augustus H. Strong (Baptist theologian), B.B.Warfield (Reformed theologian), Charles Hodges (Professor at Princeton, Presbyterian), James P. Boyce, (First President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), John L. Dagg, (Baptist Theologian), John A. Broadus, (Preacher and Homiletics Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary); contemporary Christian leaders – James Kennedy, (Evangelism Explosion), Albert Moehler, (current President Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) Charles Colson, (prison ministries), John Piper (Desiring God, pastor), John MacArthur (Christian radio Bible teacher), J.I. Packer (Anglican Theologian), R.C. Sproul (Reformed theologian and Professor), and many others.
I am tired of of liberal media bias and our struggle to retain our constitutional freedoms. I am tired of those liberal elites who maintain they are smarter and the only ones fit to govern or instruct others. I am also tired of the liberal religious elites.
I am tired of environmental religion forcing their erroneous views on us through the political process. They are harmful to the populace and ignorant of God’s ways and power to maintain His planet. Yes, I am talking about man-made global warning or climate change, which at its best is an unproven theory and at its worst is a colossal destructive hoax.
I am tired of constant trips to the doctors, dentist, pharmacy, and the hospital. I am tired of poor memory, of my squeaky old age voice, and hearing difficulty even with hearing aids. I am tired of dealing with all the infirmities of old age but I am not tired of living.
I am tired of being retired. I only wish I could do more to help others with my limited physical abilities and financial resources. I would rather be preaching and pastoring. I miss the joys and challenges of the shepherding role.
I AM READY
I am ready. I have done the best I know how with my limited means to provide for my family. I have indicated to family my preferences for the memorial service. I have pinned all of my hopes and assurance of eternal life on what Jesus did for me on the cross and His promise “How earnestly I tell you this – anyone who believes in me already has eternal life. (John 6:47 TLB)
I am ready to meet my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven, “for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (II Timothy 1:12) It is an awesome thought that though I am already a son of God through faith in Him, that the day is coming when I shall be like Him. (I John 3:2) It is also an awesome thought that defies our imagination that my heavenly home involves the fulfillment of the promise: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I Cor. 2:9 )
I am ready to CHOOSE LIFE at every turn in my journey home. I CHOOSE LIFE now, advocating that course for both the unborn and the in-firmed senior. I have no tolerance for euthanasia or doctor assisted suicides. I do not know when or how my Saviour will call me home. When I wrote in 2009 of “My Earthly Journey” for my website, I thought that time must be near. If I had my way, when He calls me home, I wish it would be quietly in my sleep rather than after a prolonged illness and an inevitable death. But my God is sovereign and He will choose the time and the way. Until then I CHOOSE LIFE.
I am ready to join my family and Christian friends already in our heavenly home. If I do not cease reflecting, I will never finish this article. Whoever you are who reads this, my prayer is that you will make sure of your salvation – that you will be one of the redeemed, who have accepted Jesus by grace through faith, and who will be gathered together by God for His eternal kingdom – all in God’s time, of course. I want to meet you there.
Roger Williams Maslin