On Turning Seventy

birthdayphotoMy wife, Kathleen, knows that birthdays haven’t always been a time of joy to me. When I turned thirty and my father proudly announced it from the pulpit, he didn’t realize what a horrible thing I thought he’d done. That happened back during the days when the younger folks thought people became ancient at thirty. That’s what I’d believed until it happened to me!

Forty was less of a problem, though. I had finally ended up in a career I really liked and was good at. And at least I’d gotten used to being “over the hill.”

Fifty was horrible, though. For some crazy reason, I had it in my head I wasn’t going to live till my fiftieth birthday. In fact, I wrote a novel (not yet published) about a man who believed the same thing about himself. Thanks to friends in Australia, Keith and Maggie Long, who helped me celebrate that birthday a few months early with a homemade cake and a humongous CD package containing all of the songs the Seekers had ever recorded.

As you’ve probably gathered, I survived turning fifty. And sixty.

Seventy is a funny age, though. I don’t feel as if I’m really old. Yet I’m so aware of the various ways my body is wearing down or out and of a condition or two I’m really not certain what to do something about. But at least I’ve made it through two cataract surgeries and have decent sight now–because of astigmatism, I still have to wear glasses–and have new hearing aids and have quit having to asking everyone to repeat everything.

Much to be thankful for. Thank You, Lord. Bunches and bunches.

Kathleen wanted this to be a really special birthday. She got me a new Yamaha MX-49 keyboard for my home recording studio and suggested and arranged a long weekend visit to Kentucky to visit the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. I’ll give you a report on those two visits in upcoming posts.

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We’re staying at the First Farm Inn, a bed and breakfast that is just a couple of miles from the Creation Museum. It’s a horse farm, and we expect the rest of our visit to be just as pleasant as the first part.

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I have to be honest. I’m writing this the evening of the 22nd; my birthday’s not actually until the 23rd. But I wanted to go ahead and write this while I was thinking about it.

Have any of your birthdays been extra special–either good or bad? How about sharing in a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Twin Birthdays

The Fourth of July is a special day for most Americans. It’s a doubly special day for the members of Winn’s Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia. It’s the church’s birthday.

And Monday wasn’t just any birthday. Like America, Winn just turned 240.

Yes, Winn’s was actually founded the same day the Declaration of Independence was signed. The timing was not intentional, however. Without any of the modes of instantaneous communication available to us today, Winn’s founders had no way of knowing something as significant as the signing was taking place that day in a different state.

Uh, in a different colony.

The founding of Winn’s in 1776 created a problem, however. Since Virginia was an English colony, the Anglican church was not just Virginia’s official church, but the only legal church. Other denominations were not tolerated.

Several of Winn’s first ministers were beaten and/or imprisoned for ignoring “man’s law” and obeying God’s law by preaching the Gospel in a non-Anglican church. One of those men–Winn’s first pastor–was American statesman Henry Clay’s father, John. Like many events from the distant past, that kind of religious persecution is difficult for us to imagine.

Patrick Henry, whose home in Scotchtown is less than twenty-five miles from Winn’s, provided defense for the persecuted ministers.

Many people—too many—fail to see that religious persecution is not just a problem from 240 years ago. And even today it isn’t limited to the Middle East.

American Christians are not yet imprisoned or beaten for their faith, but they are often ridiculed and accused of being hate mongers. Some stores have quit selling the Bible because they believe it is hate literature. Christians are being fined and sometimes driven out of business for applying biblical principles to the way they do business. Christian students are being forced to shut up and not share their faith.

What’s next? It’s hard to say. But churches that don’t turn against biblical teachings and go along with the current liberal trend are almost certain to become the targets of intolerant leftists who accuse Christians of being the intolerant ones.

I thank God daily for lawyers like the members of Liberty Council, a group that has already defended hundreds of persecuted American Christians—and they’ve done it pro bono.

Winn’s Baptist Church has stood the test of time. It has survived its share of challenges. What’s ultimately important, though, is how it will face the future.

How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger