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The End of the Road

by Tim O'Hearn

Route 66 has been called “America’s Main Street.” Before the interstate highway system, it was the main artery from Chicago to Los Angeles County (specifically Santa Monica). What Steinbeck called “the Mother Road” inspired a popular song and a television show. Here in Albuquerque, the main non-interstate east-west road, Central Avenue, is considered part of “historic Route 66.” Interestingly, even though traffic ran both ways, it is commonly considered to run westward to the Pacific. Thus, even though some would think it would end at Lake Michigan, it is considered to end at the Pacific Ocean, at Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica, then, is proof that all good things must come to an end.

After some consideration, I have decided that the monthly publication of Minutes With Messiah will also come to an end with this issue. After 23 years, there will be no more monthly issues.

Twenty-three years is 276 issues. With almost three articles per issue, that means I have written almost 800 articles. I have had eight articles by guest authors, and have published 32 songs.

Articles on Jewish holidays make up 113 of the total, including one in this issue. Another 32 articles are retellings of Bible stories, 26 of them from the gospels. Eight articles specifically address issues related to selecting elders for a congregation. Fifteen articles give lessons from sports, mainly track and baseball. I also did a series of articles about traditions in the church, and another series on Calvinist doctrines.

All in all, it has been a good 23 years. There were times that deadlines were barely met, or not met at all. There were times that people objected to the content of certain articles, which is to be expected. Because sometimes those people went directly to the elders of my local congregation rather than talking to me about the articles like they should have, and because some in the local congregation might feel that it was a publication of that congregation rather than just my own, I have agreed over the past few years to have the elders or deacons pre-screen each issue. This has actually allowed for good feedback about some errors or timing issues.

A couple of years into publication of Minutes With Messiah, I learned how to code a web site. All of the articles, including those written before the web site started, are available online. Many are available in audio format. They will continue to be available, as will the over 800 questions I have answered that were submitted through the web site.

Although I will no longer be publishing monthly issues, I will occasionally publish articles to the web site as something strikes my fancy. As I continue writing hymns I will publish them on the web site as well.

The Levitical priests were required to retire at age 50. Obviously if I followed that requirement I would have quit after two years. Instead, I hit 71 this month. While I still feel, Lord willing, that I have a few more years left, I think that since this issue completes another full year of publication it is time to reach my Santa Monica Pier. The end of the road for the monthly publication.

Some of you have been loyal and vocal supporters of this publication. I appreciate the compliments. As a result of the accompanying web site, I have made friends across the country. I truly appreciate you. All of you who have supported this publication. Thank you.