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It has been a quiet week in the parsonage. The old year faded as the New Year silently slipped into the parsonage parlor. I don't know about anybody else, but I can't believe another year is under way - again.

What I want to know is where are all those prophets of doom that only a few years ago warned us the end was near?

Whatever happened to the Y2K Bug? Everything prophesied that would happen hasn't. For some reason, nobody holds these ?prophets? accountable for what they forecast.

Perhaps the reason is that people, for the most part, forget quite easily and eagerly look for the next juicy bit of propaganda.

It has been a quiet week in the parsonage. The old year faded as the New Year silently slipped into the parsonage parlor. I don't know about anybody else, but I can't believe another year is under way - again.

What I want to know is where are all those prophets of doom that only a few years ago warned us the end was near?

Whatever happened to the Y2K Bug? Everything prophesied that would happen hasn't. For some reason, nobody holds these ?prophets? accountable for what they forecast.

Perhaps the reason is that people, for the most part, forget quite easily and eagerly look for the next juicy bit of propaganda.

It reminds me of what the Bible says on this subject: ?When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him? (Deuteronomy 18:22 KJV).

Obviously, too many people do not know this verse. The people who, just a few short years ago, predicted that everything was coming to an end turned out to be alarmists.

The reason there are so many alarmists is that there are so many alarmees who are willing to part with large chunks of their money. Alarmists could not flourish apart from the deep pockets of these devout alarmees.

If we paid more attention to what the Bible really says, we would pay less attention to these religious alarmists. There was a time in my life when these alarmists swayed me.

However, my good friend and spiritual mentor, the Reverend Frank Simmons set me straight on this important issue.

When I knew him, nothing caused him to get overly excited.

No event got him out of sorts. He took each day as a precious gift from ?. . . the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning? (James 1:17 KJV).

For as long as I knew good ole Brother Simmons, I never knew him to lose his cool about anything or anyone. He was the most collected man I had ever known. He lived each day in the quiet confidence of being in God's will. I was recalling just this week, the last months of Frank's life.

I had moved to another church and kept in touch with him as much as possible. I did miss those weekly lunch meetings and I missed the wonderful fellowship we had together. I did, however, call him on the telephone at least once a month, usually more. Several times a year we would meet for lunch, and those were precious times for me, you can be sure.

I can still remember the day when his wife, Dorothy, called to tell me Frank was sick and did not have long to live. It stung me straight to my heart. I arranged to visit Frank as soon as I could. When I arrived, I found Frank in his study working as diligently as ever. I knocked softly and Frank turned and saw me.

?Junior,? he shouted, ?what a nice surprise. I didn't know you were in the area.? I noticed Frank did not look as robust as I had remembered. He lost some weight, and his face was thin and ashen. However, there was that magnificent smile that made up for all the other facial deficiencies.

We exchanged the usual pleasantries, and caught up on each other's families. ?What are you so busily working on, Frank?? I asked not really wanting to broach the subject that brought me to his home. He leaned back in his chair and began to tell me he was planning his preaching schedule for the next year. Frank always did this and encouraged me to do the same.

?I am planning to spend the entire year preaching through my favorite book of the Bible.? I didn't have to ask what book.

Anyone who knew Frank knew the Gospel of John was his favorite book. He was ecstatic about the wonderful preaching prospects that lay before him in this book of the Bible.

When there was a slight lull in the conversation I braced myself to confront Frank with what I had heard. ?Frank,? I finally said, ?I've heard rumors that you're pretty sick.

Are they true?? For a moment, Frank looked at me, and then he leaned back in his chair, slapped his knee and laughed such an infectious laugh I caught myself laughing along with him. Frank had that effect on most people.

?Yes, yes,? he confessed, ?it's true. The doctors say it's cancer and I've only three months to live.? He said it in such a matter-of-fact way that I was just a bit irritated.

I guess he read it in my face. ?Well, Junior, I just may die tomorrow and prove those doctors all wrong.?

Then he laughed some more. ?Or,? Frank continued, ?I may live for a full year and make them eat their words.?

I finally was able to bring the conversation around to a more serious matter. ?Frank,? I said, ?what has changed since you found out you only had a few months to live.?

This was a chance for me to get some profound thoughts from a man I respected. After all, when a person is face to face with his own mortality, he begins to think differently about everything.

?Change!? Frank almost snorted. ?What do you mean by change?? Then I got Frank's philosophy of life. ?Years ago when I was a young minister, I settled all this.

?I determined I would so arrange my life and ministry that I would live each day as though it was my last one on earth.

?Every time I got behind the pulpit to preach a sermon, I preached as though it was my last sermon. I never, in all my years of ministry, presumed on tomorrow. I plan like I will live forever, but I live and preach as though this is my last day.?

I have often thought of that through the years. The philosophy of Brother Frank can be summed up in a verse of scripture: 'this is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it? (Psalms 118:24 KJV).

If you live each day as though it were your last, one day you will be right.

Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
Used With Permission
For reprint permission, contact the auther through his site at:
http://www.realezsites.com/bus/godspenman

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