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Sep13WedRetrospective #8 September 13, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
Look at what I found! (See bottom of page) A keyboard! Although, up till now I haven’t been able to locate the monitor! This thing must weigh at least fifty pounds! It is not a portable piece of hardware and as far as I can tell there is only one font. There’s no place to load a disc or thumb drive and no matter what I push it never seems to turn on!
The paper you see is actually from my laptop/desktop printer and was meant to deceive - my bad. I wanted you to think that I had actually typed today’s entry on this behemoth! And you did too, didn’t you? You saw the picture and you thought “Look my dear; the Major typed this on that old machine!” (Fess up! You took the bait!)
While I did actually use my laptop to create this I might well have used my iPad or my iPhone. Many a poem and sermon I’ve written while engaging life sometimes in the strangest of places! Not to mention sending emails, texts, checking maybe fourteen English translations of scripture while at the same time referencing online commentaries or books in my own electronic collections and all while riding on the subway! (Cookin’ on gas or what ol’ man?)
I sometimes wonder what the Booth, Railton and other pioneer-types would have done with today’s communication tools - especially when you consider what they did with the tools available to them in their day.
In 1868 William Booth penned these words in the December issue of the EAST LONDON EVANGELIST, referring to one of those devices used by the Salvation Army early on and in some places still today:
“Of this facility to obtain an audience we tried to take advantage to the uttermost, and thus reached with the glad tidings of mercy multitudes who could not in any other way be brought under the word. At the same time, our experience taught us that every (insert name of implement used) should, if possible, be connected with an indoor meeting, where, free from those dissipating influences which more or less always accompany (the use of this means), the gospel could with greater clearness be set forth, further appeals could be made in favour of an immediate closing with Christ, earnest prayer could be offered, and an opportunity secured for personal conversation with the people. Acting on this opinion, thousands have accompanied us from the (response to the mechanism) to our halls, rooms and chapels, and there many have been led at once to the Saviour.”
Some of you no doubt have already guessed what the General is speaking of but nevertheless could these words also be used to measure the validity of any means of spreading the Gospel?
I find it of particular interest that the gadget is deemed successful only when it leads to a face to face meeting with person or persons belonging to the body of Christ the church and then ultimately to Jesus.
People use such gadgets and whatchamacallits every day. Why, even our kids are masters of nearly all of them (Who am I kidding? Got a technical issue? Ask an eight year old for help!). It’s September and fall approaches, a time of thanksgiving and harvest, a time to restart our Corps programming and make good use of the tools God has blessed us with. How might we personally and purposefully use the ones we handle every day to bring in the harvest?