By Connie W. Adams
Changes Of A Half-Century
During a recent meeting in Houston, Mississippi, we talked with a couple who attended their fiftieth high school graduation reunion held over the weekend our meeting began. The following item was handed out to those present. Young people of today have grown up in a world far different. Maybe this will help them to understand older people a little better. For those of us who are older, it will not only generate some nostalgia but also serve as an indicator of how far we have come from such times and what the implications of that really are.
We Are Survivors
Consider the Changes We Have Witnessed
We were born before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, before frozen food, Xerox, plastic, contact lens, freebies, and the pill. We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ball point pens. Before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioning, drip-dry clothes, and before man walked on the moon.
We got married first and then lived together. How quaint can you be? Bunnies were small rabbits, and rabbits were not Volkswagens. Designer jeans were scheming girls named Jean, and having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.
We thought outer space was the back of the picture show. We were before house husbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, and computer marriages. We were before day-care centers, group therapy and nursing homes. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electronic typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt and guys wearing earrings. For us, time-sharing meant togetherness, not computers or condominiums. A chip was a piece of wood. Hardware meant hardware, and software wasn’t even a word.
Back then, “Made in Japan” meant junk and the term “making out” referred to how you did on your exam. Pizzas, McDonalds, and instant coffee were unheard of. We hit the scene where there were 5 and 10 cent Stores where you bought things for 5 or 10 cents. Houston Drug or Tabb Brothers Drug Store sold ice cream cones for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you could make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You could buy a new Chevy coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Pity, too, because gas cost 11 cents a gallon!
In our day grass was mowed, coke was a cold drink, and pot was something you cooked in. Rock music was a grandmother’s lullaby and AIDS were helpers in the principal’s office. We were certainly not before the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we were surely before the sex change. We made do with what we had. And, we were the last generation that was so dumb as to think you needed a husband to have a baby.
No wonder we are so confused and there is such a generation gap today. But, we survived! What better reason to celebrate?
Report from India
John Humphries reports on his recent trip to India along with Bill Beasley. We rejoice that 21 were baptized in the meetings where John and Bill preached and Indian preachers who conducted meetings during the same time frame reported the same number baptized. As before, the emphasis of their work was to strengthen the hands of native preachers through intensive studies of the Bible to better equip them for their work. John reports that through the generosity of American brethren, they were able to provide 800 Telugu Bibles, 200 Hindu Bibles, 1,000 Telugu song books, 325,000 Telugu and Hindu gospel tracts, 1 mimeo-graph machine (and supplies) and 4 typewriters for Indian brethren. John also was able to visit Kilari, at the center of the devastating earthquake which struck India last fall. 33,000 people died in the city and the city is now reduced to rubble. Some brethren lost their lives and homes. Widows and children are now being cared for by other Christians with the financial help of other Christians.
Preaching: More or Less?
Why are brethren having shorter and shorter meetings? Why have some concluded that the day of gospel meetings is over? Why is there such a problem, in some places, getting people to come to a Sunday evening meeting where the gospel is preached? Is it because too much preaching is mediocre, or fails to make contact with the real spiritual needs of those who hear? By the way, what, exactly, are those needs? Or is it that our lives have become so crowded and cluttered that occasions for hearing the gospel are simply inconvenient? With all our modem gadgets and labor saving devices, why is it that this generation of Americans, including many Christians, has so over-committed their time that sports, social activities, careers, extra jobs, houses, yards, and trips have crowded the gospel and interest in it off into a very small corner of our lives?
Is this not what Jesus meant when he spoke of the seed of the kingdom falling into “thorny ground”? Is it not still true that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”? Is not the gospel still “the power of God unto salvation”? (1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16) Is the gospel less powerful? Or, are we just less inclined to hear it?
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 15, p. 3-4
August 4, 1994