Friday, August 6, 2010

I Have Seen Over 7 Decades of Change -- A Lot of It Very Bad!

Clayton D. Harriger was born to Russell and Helen (Sedgwick) Harriger in a farmhouse in Monroe Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, USA on August 5, 1933

My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! --- Psalm 139:15-17

I celebrated my birthday on August 5 and was blessed with a great outpouring of well wishes on Facebook as well as receiving phone calls and greeting cards.

I was a Depression-era baby -- that is, I was born during the time the Great Depression had a tight grip on the United States. My parents were living on a rented farm. Life was a constant struggle for them. Eventually they were able to buy the farm at the end of WW II.

My early education took place in a one room country school in which one teacher took care of grades 1 through 8. After completing 8th grade we were bused to Clarion Jr and Senior High Schools in Clarion PA.

In school during those years we started our day with reading from the Scriptures, praying the Lord's Prayer, and pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands. In the one room school we sang the first stanza of "America the Beautiful" before eating lunch each day.

The big social occasion of the week was Saturday night in Clarion. Families not only went to do some shopping -- they also went to visit with one another. Getting a parking spot on Main Street was a top priority. You ate fresh roasted peanuts from Maul's Dairy Store and sat in your car, observing the traffic as well as visiting with people who passed by.

Sunday was a quiet day with most families in the area going to church in the morning. After the noon meal there may be a trip to visit a neighbor or relative in the afternoon. Businesses in Clarion were completely shut down. The town was very, very quiet on Sunday afternoon in sharp contrast as to how it was the night before!

As I got older changes began to take place. Pressure mounted to permit Clarion's two movie theaters to show movies on Sunday and so in time it was done. Then came the pressure to allow retail businesses to be open on Sundays and so in time it happened. So at this point in time Sunday is no different than any other day of the week with focus being mainly on the expectation of fair weather so we can party and have lots of fun throughout the country!

Then came earth-shaking court decisions that made an impact on our republic that no person is capable of comprehending -- that is, the full consequences of such decisions have yet to be realized. The U. S. Supreme Court saw fit to rule that it is unlawful to have Bible reading and prayer in the public schools. This was considered a good thing and the country would be a much better nation because of it in years to come. "Religion" is a private matter, you know! And so, the question can be raised - is the nation healthier now ethically and morally, than it was at the time the practice of reading Bible and praying the Lord's prayer was in place?

And there was one of the most diabolical decisions ever made by a court anywhere in the history of the human race when certain black robed individuals got their pointy little heads together and decided that it is a "constitutional right" for a female to have her unborn child mutilated, murdered, and removed from her body! As I have stated in commentary on this elsewhere, we have yet to witness God's full response to this massive destruction of 52 million innocent victims since January of 1973!

Entertainment industries moved from what were considered G-rated programming for the entire family to increased display of vulgarity, violence, and immorality in very graphic fashion! And there is the very awkward question as to why our young often act very selfishly, immorally, violently and speak gutter language constantly. Monkey see, monkey do, you know!

Churches increasingly began to compromise the Biblical standards of ethics and morality, due in part by adopting positions that the Bible does not really mean what it says and that it is simply a human produced volume of material filled with contradictions and errors!

Government began to grow at the rate of a malignant tumor out of control. But not only was there unhealthy growth in government, but all the while it was growing it was also becoming more corrupt as time passed! At present time scandals involving government officials are common place and no longer are we shocked -- it is now the "norm" and we tend to accept such things as being normal!

These are but some of the changes I have witnessed in my lifetime. By God's grace in 1957 I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. A few months later He placed me in the ministry which began in June of 1959. Perhaps because of that I have been extremely sensitive to the changes that have been taking place over the last few decades -- changes that guarantee the nation in which I hold my citizenship is headed for disaster and cannot expect anything in the future but the outpouring of the wrath of a holy God in judgment!

But I look beyond that horrible prospect of devastation to the promised return of my personal Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the living Son of God. He is going to return to this sin drenched world and set it right side up, ruling it with true justice. That is why from time to time I say to people that there is good news for the future -- part of it consists of the fact that all government leaders and their associates will be thrown out of office because the King of kings and Lord of lords is now in charge. It will be a great day -- make sure you don't miss out on it!

And there will be changes taking place when Jesus takes control that we cannot begin to even imagine. One of the greatest will be no more conflicts of any kind with the implements of war being destroyed and material being used in the making of implements of peaceful activity. Even animals will no longer be in conflict, but will live in peace -- e.g. the lion will eat straw like the ox!

So there is a bright future to anticipate, if you look far enough ahead!

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" --- Revelation 11:15

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