From the Editor’s Notebook: The Annual Meeting, 1976

From the Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

The Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of Food for the Flock, Inc. for 1975 was held on November 1st in Toronto. Many matters were discussed, not the least of them the rising costs involved in continuing to publish Ministry in Focus magazine. In spite of this, and other problems, it is our unanimous and united decision to “press on” (no pun is meant), and this, in continued dependence upon our Lord for His wisdom and guidance. Contemplating 1976, we look to Him to enable us to maintain a high standard of doctrinal, expository, devotional and practical articles bearing on the contemporary needs of His people, to improve the magazine’s format wherever possible, and to increase its circulation.

No changes were made within the structure of the Board, the responsibility of publication being voluntarily shared by the following officers:

President: Russell Took

First Vice-president: Sydney H. Green

Second Vice-president: Dr. James T. Naismith

Secretary: Miss Lillian Telfer. Treasurer: Harry Masters

Editor: W. Ross Rainey

Associate Editor: James Gunn

The following statement of purpose was adopted:


All matters of an editorial nature should be sent to the Editor, 9257 Caprice Drive, Plymouth, Michigan 48170, U.S.A. All business correspondence should be directed to the Treasurer, Box 353, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M9C 4V3.

A Word of Apology

We regret that the past several issues of MINISTRY IN FOCUS have been received so late by our reader family. We sincerely apologize for this and at the same time assure you that we are doing all we can to try and correct the problem. Also, like myriads of others, we have been inconvenienced by the Canadian mail strike which was finally settled last December 1st. In view of these and other problems which we face, we kindly ask your prayers and patience as we seek to cope with these matters, all with a view to ultimately achieving our goal of getting the magazine into your hands on time.

The Autumn Time of Life

Believe it or not, about sixty per cent of the earth’s four billion inhabitants are twenty-five years of age or under. Consequently, ours is a day and age wherein a lopsided emphasis has been placed on youth. In other words, young people are in the driver’s seat whether you like it or not. Often old people, or senior citizens (if you prefer), are either neglected or shoved aside. To try and keep a proper balance it’s only right that we occasionally provide in Focus ministry expressly directed to those who find themselves in the autumn time of life. This is what we have done in this issue, and we heartily commend Dr. Fredk. A. Tatford’s article, “Growing Old,” to this segment of our readers. In fact, all who read it, younger and older alike, will be blessed by its positive and refreshing message. We appreciate Dr. Tatford’s kind permission to publish it in Focus. It first appeared in the Prophetic Witness magazine, edited by Dr. Tatford, and copies of it in booklet form may be obtained at a nominal cost from the Prophetic Witness Publishing House, Upperton House, The Avenue, Eastbourne, Sussex, England BN21 3YB

While thinking about this subject I would like to share with you some thoughts from Walter Scott, author of the classic work, Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Over sixty years ago he wrote a brief article entitled, “The Lord’s Beloved Aged People.” Here it is.

“We have a growing reverence for the aged (or so it was in Mr. Scott’s day, ed.). It ever was and is a characteristic of Jewish religious life to honour the aged. It is a touching and beautiful sight to view one in the sunset of life waiting at the brink of the river for the parting of the waves. The heart yet brave; the love of early days as passionate if more matured; the purpose of the soul unchanged, and the calm unshaken confidence—the growth of many years—reflected on the patient, if withered and suffering countenance. How chastened! How mellowed! How useful the ripe experience!

“One danger to which the Lord’s aged people are peculiarly subject, is to rest on their oars, and seek to pass the evening of their days in a ‘Home of Rest,’ assuming that their work is done. That was not the spirit of brave old Caleb, who when 85 years old said, ‘As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me’—forty years previously—‘as my strength was then even so is my strength now for war, both to go out, and to come in’ (Josh. 14:11). Caleb was not tired of the conflict. He drew his spiritual strength from God: the source of his courage was in God Himself!

“The physical vigour of youth may give way, but there is a power outside the domain of nature, ‘They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint’ (Isa. 40:31). O beloved aged pilgrims, our rest is on the other side of the river; our home is on high. Throw off the indolence which with age and infirmity creeps over the soul, and nerve yourselves to battle on, to serve till He come. A few more struggles and then eternal rest! Your active ministry in pulpit or platform is over, perhaps. But has your service ceased? There yet remains the more spiritual work of intercession with God for the Church and World. Work on your knees—work which brings you face to face with God Himself. The sanctuary is your sphere of service and that is better than the public work of younger days. Then, too, there is the exquisite beauty of Christ reproduced in your aged days—His love, His grace, His tenderness, His voice, His touch, His gentleness, His holiness. O God, bless Thine aged pilgrim people! Say not, ‘My long life’s work is done.’

“One of the most eloquent of Scottish divines whose burning words once fell on our ears, the late Dr. Guthrie, thus wrote: ‘They say I am growing old because my hair is silvered, and there are crows’-feet on my forehead, and my step is not as firm and elastic as before. But they are mistaken. That is not me. The knees are weak; but the knees are not me. The brow is wrinkled; but the brow is not me. This is the house I live in. But I am young—younger than I ever was before.’

“For ourselves, and for all beloved aged pilgrims, we long and pray for spiritual vigour. Where, of course, there is a collapse of the physical powers, one can only wait in patience the joyful summons ‘Come Home!’ Press on with increasing desire. The manna is needed equally for your closing hours as for the springtide of earlier days. Feed on Christ, ye fathers and mothers in Israel!