Wednesday, November 09, 2011
In Times Like These -- Gibson
“Nana, am I five now?” my third grandbean, aged a mighty three, asked the other day. “Cuz when I get to five, I can SPEED!”
Slow down, child. Just a minute ago, I was five too. Back then (a half-century ago, in 1961) the average hourly wage was $1.15, and the average annual full-time salary, about six and a half thousand dollars. But $18,800 would buy a new house, and $2,275 a brand new car. Gas cost 31 cents a gallon, and you could mail a local first class letter for 4 cents.
A half-century ago, the world contained just 4 billion people. Canada’s population sat at 18,238,247. In the U.S., John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President, and the same year marked the birth of future president Barak Obama—just in time to have his bottom pampered by the first disposable diapers in the world.
To the south, President Fidel Castro declared Cuba a Communist State. In Germany, Berlin constructed a wall.
But in 1961, entire Western families still sat together on tweed couches, watching Billy Graham’s Hour of Decision (or Dick Van Dyke) on 12” black and white televisions (perhaps munching toast that came from a 21 cent loaf, drinking milk poured from a $1.05 gallon jug.)
Those same families likely shared a church pew on Sundays, and bowed their heads to pray before they ate.
Times have changed some. Do I want my grandbean to speed, to five or fifty-five? On the contrary. I shudder to think what the next half-century holds for the simple faith already growing inside her.
Here’s why: A great and spreading ache has overtaken us. The Biblical message that God loves the world, and sent his Son as the answer for our deepest needs is under attack as never before.
In many countries worldwide, determined efforts to undermine the Christian faith—even eliminate it—have escalated. Inside many Western Christian churches, doctrine is dancing to the piper of social acceptability.
In other parts of the world, speaking up for those things that are trademark to Christianity: respect for life, right living, love for one’s neighbour, kindness to the weakest members of society, forgiveness of one’s enemies, intolerance for injustice and inequality, and defence of the Word of God, is tantamount to a death sentence.
There’s more: according to the organization, Voice of the Martyrs, in the countries of North Korea, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and over sixty other countries, one Christian is martyred every five minutes. It is routine in those countries for Christians to suffer torture, harassment, rape, imprisonment, slavery, kidnapping and death.
That organization has designated this Sunday, November 13, as this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. They would like to remind Christians in the West to pray. If one suffers, we all suffer, they say.
Pray this Sunday, for Christ's Body West and Christ's Body East. And for the sake of my grandbeans, and yours, and all the children of God--don't stop.
Find more information at www.dayofprayer.org
author, columnist, broadcaster
The term reframing can be defined as putting a picture in a new frame. What if that picture is an event or circumstance in our...
Who doesn’t love it when they call someone on the phone and that person answers? Or call for help and have someone come to aid in person? A...
I love that my writing and publishing business is busy. I love to learn. I love that I have a home office and can take courses at home or...
Last week I had coffee with a friend, and when we stood to leave she apologized for the pants she was wearing. “I wear these ...
In his time, William Shakespeare, poet and playright, knew a thing or two about the stage, but his work covered many areas of life. Biog...
My first post of the current year in January was a modified edition of my newspaper column article of the same week, titled "The Milli...
I just wanted an ordinary, simple life. May 2/17. Trees bare from winter. My gaze falls on the grove of trees that fringes the nort...
“The Oscar for best Original Score goes to..” “The best Original Song goes to....” “The best Cinematography goes to... “ “The...
I looked at the long line up of people. The room held the fragrance of an assortment of freshly cut flowers. Most of them were arranged in v...
“I’m going to build a raft, and then I can float it across the lake.” My ten-year-old grandson Austin’s face brimmed with excitement ...