A holiday respite was indeed welcomed, leading to a conclusion that a deeper breath is necessary. For more than ten years I have written for various newspapers with full appreciation for the opportunity to place politics in the light of genuine Truth (John 17:17). Every attempt has been made to investigate current events under the microscope of Biblical principles and illustrations. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a doctrine in a political category that has not been explored. Clearly, the Word of God is inexhaustible, but after 500 plus columns, my pea-sized brain encounters growing frustration searching for subjects that would avoid repetition.
Political commentary has never occupied the central part of my ministry, but has always been an avocation of interest because the bible is a political science textbook. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Great Commission must remain foremost in my activities. With the advancement of age and a slow reduction of energy, it sometimes requires a re-examination of priorities. Our church helps to support twenty-nine missionary families around the globe. I feel it necessary to remain in close contact with them, enabling us to be adequate prayer partners for their preservation and ministerial prosperity. Some of God’s army rangers live in dangerous places surrounded by people who hate America and Christians. It is incumbent upon us to be their support troops.
Not only do the usual requirements of the pastorate require time, but our church supplies a satellite ministry in Raton, New Mexico. Other possibilities are also being considered. These are responsibilities we gladly accept with the anticipation of more folks receiving Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
On the personal and admitted carnal side of the equation, to the best of my recollection, I wet a line twice last summer. A friend in New Zealand sent flies that still await testing. A church member made some that have only gathered dust in my fly box. Hungry trout are making demands and horses are anxious to explore more mountains and canyons.
Regardless of a person’s role or position in life, every Christian sits under the admonition of “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Paul reminded the church at Colosse of the same counsel (I Colossians 4:5). When a thing is redeemed, it is bought back, usually from an undesirable circumstance. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). Every lost sinner finds himself hopelessly deposited in the devil’s pawn shop. There is only One Who has the necessary price to offer redemption: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18,19). The obvious conclusion is that any lost soul can be bought and paid for with the right price ---the “precious blood of Christ.”
But how can time be bought back? Haven’t we always been told that once time is gone, it cannot be reclaimed? Isaiah 38 records the story of good king Hezekiah who was instructed by the prophet Isaiah to prepare to die. The king approached the Lord with prayers and tears - gaining a fifteen year extension. God gave an amazing sign to confirm the deal: “Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. The writings of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovering of his sickness.” The next question is what did he write and where is it? Psalms 120-134 are called the “Songs of degrees” –fifteen in all, one for each year of prolonged life. Four of the “Songs” were written by David, one by Solomon, leaving the other ten anonymous. But wait, ten degrees on the sun dial could point to the author…coupled with “The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.” (Isaiah 38:20) There is little doubt about Hezekiah’s love for the Scriptures and his contribution to them. The king even organized a guild of copyists for the preservation of the Word: “These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out” (Proverbs 25:1).
At the present time my avocation must take a back seat to my calling and vocation because time is short and must be redeemed. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the kind folks at the Sentinel for allowing me space to present thoughts and Scripture. I shall continue to pray for their success in this bold adventure. A low aim never hit a high mark – The Sentinel’s bullets are always striking the bullseye.