Blog: Max Dawson
December 3, 2015
It is likely that most of our readers did not know him. He was a good man, kind, hospitable and generous.

Harry E. Payne, Sr. died last Friday. He was 102 years old. I first met him in 1977. I was preaching at the Courtland Avenue Church of Christ in Kokomo, Indiana. Harry and his wife, Virginia, came to work with us for a week in a gospel meeting. It was a delight to have the two of them stay with us in our home.

It was a special week for us in light of the fact that our son, Chuck, obeyed the gospel that week. He spent a lot of time with brother Payne. The young man was counseled by the older preacher on what it means to be a Christian. At that time. brother Payne would have been age 64. God blessed him with 38 more years of life and service to King Jesus!

While Harry and Virginia Payne spent a week with us in the fall of that year, Lee and I were blessed to spend a week in their Florida home in February of the next year. We attended the Florida College lectures in 1978 and stayed at the Payne house for that week. Harry taught me to be a “cereal mixer.” That is, instead of just having a bowl of Cheerios or Frosted Flakes, you mix a little of each together. Harry would actually put three or four cereals on the table. “Mix them however you want,” he would say. I have been a mixer ever since that week. I am now a serial mixer.

More importantly than learning to mix cereal, as a young preacher, I learned a lot of life lessons from brother Payne. He was a good man, a good Bible teacher, and a good husband and father.

Harry E. Payne, Sr. is the father of our good friend, H.E. “Buddy” Payne, Jr. The younger Payne has been with us numerous times at Dowlen Road. He taught at our event on creation at Lamar University in February, 2011. He also did a very special edition of By The Book on our website not long ago. You can watch that video (and several others) here:

The senior Payne was a teacher at Florida College for a number of years. He may have impacted more lives for good than any man I have ever known.

Last Friday marked the end of a wonderful life on this earth. For Christians like Harry E. Payne, Sr. such an event marks the beginning of an even more wonderful eternity.


Brother Payne lived 102 years. How long will you live? Probably not that long. According to current projections, life expectancy for Americans is about 78 years.

What if you compared 78 years to a 24 hour day? That would make each hour equal to about 3 years and 3 months of life.
What time is it in your life?

If you are 10 years old, it’s just past 3:00 AM.
If you are 20 years old, it’s about 6:15 AM.
If you are 30 years old, it’s almost 9:30 AM
If you are 40 years old, it’s already past noon–more than half way home!
If you are 50 years old, it’s almost 3:30 PM.
If you are 60 years old, it’s 6:45 PM.
If you are my age, it’s just past 10:00 PM.
What time is it in your life? Do the math! (Your age divided by 3.25)

These numbers are good for a baby born today. You were likely born before today. Thus, your life expectancy might possibly be a little shorter.

This illustration makes real the exhortation of Moses in Psalm 90:12.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Life is short. Don’t waste it.
Midnight is coming.
We are fading fast. Be ready.