/A Case of Good Intentions/

A Case of Good Intentions

by Faith Hoyt

A while back, I did something that created both a fair amount of embarrassment for me and a great many laughs for my colleagues.

Our department had planned an informal dinner at a nearby restaurant right after work. I offered two of my coworkers a ride to the restaurant, but after waiting in the parking lot for a while, I left with only one of them. I later learned that had I waited two more minutes to hear from him, my other coworker wouldn’t have missed out on the gathering.

Well, we’re a close-knit bunch, and our missing coworker was…missed. (He ended up deciding not to come.) I felt bad about my impatience, so later I asked our boss if he knew of something this coworker particularly liked—something that could help make amends for a failed rendezvous. The suggestion, which came with a grin now that I think back on it, was Malta, a soft drink made mostly in coastal Caribbean areas such as Haiti, Panama, or Puerto Rico.

I had tasted Malta several summers before, and although I remembered disliking the molasses flavor, I was eager to find this favorite beverage that would restore good will. (My coworkers are a great bunch, so actually losing their good will is hard to do.) Since we were in Los Angeles County, I figured the odds were good that I could find Malta at the local grocery store.

Fast forward to a scene on aisle 26 of said local grocery store, where a sales associate helped end a 10-minute search and tracked down one of the last cases of Malta in stock. I was thrilled. “Popular drink!” I mused as I headed to the checkout. Later, I triumphantly sought out the coworker whom I’d abandoned and held out the case of Malta as a peace offering. This was when my enthusiasm shifted to another state—we will call it “self-conscious distress.”

Here’s how the handoff of the Malta went down: I held out the container with a big grin and said nothing as I waited for the significance of the drink to register on my friend’s face. That look never came. Instead, he remarked, “OK, Malta!” and looked back at me with a confused expression. I felt myself mirror his look.

“But you like Malta!” I insisted.

“I do?” was his reply.

We stood there for a brief second. Then my coworker laughed, accepted my offering, and said a gracious thank you before returning to what he was doing—all with that expression of someone who is laughing inwardly.

Later, I learned that the name of this coworker’s favorite drink is Materva (something I haven’t tried—apparently a carbonated drink made from a popular tea in South America). For our office, however, the word Malta is engrained in our memories as the keyword for a running joke about good intentions.

I’m grateful each time this story comes up. Instead of resurrecting feelings of embarrassment, it makes me feel a strong sense of camaraderie with my coworkers. My community.

I’ve found that whether it’s the wrong drink, the wrong name in a bulletin, or even fabric swatches you’ve chosen for reupholstering pews that everyone else finds ugly, moments like these are an opportunity to stop taking life so seriously, laugh at ourselves, and—perhaps most importantly—laugh together.

 

Faith Hoyt is a communication specialist for the Pacific Union Conference. She lives in Riverside, California, and is earning an advanced degree from La Sierra University.

 

2019-10-09T14:36:17-07:00October 14th, 2019|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” October 11, 2019 Episode 341

All God’s People Episode #341

In this episode –
Church Hosts Kids Cooking Class; Spanish Churches Launch Radio Program; Adventist Health’s TakeTEN™ Lifestyle Program; Clergy Appreciation Sabbath

Chino Valley Chinese Church Hosts Kids Cooking Class
Recently, the Chino Valley Chinese Church hosted Christine Fujitani, a cooking instructor who taught morning cooking classes for children interested in making delicious food. Christine, a professor turned entrepreneur, is the owner of La Tulipe Cooking Studio. She’s passionate about helping children learn to cook a variety of quality vegetarian meals that’ll encourage them to find healthy foods they’ll love to eat. You can learn more about Christine’s unique program via the link below:
https://www.healthyinstructor.com/christine-fujitani

Spanish Churches Launch Weekly Radio Broadcast
The Hayward Spanish church and the Central California Conference’s San Jose Spanish church have combined efforts to create a weekly radio broadcast in Spanish. The one-hour program can be heard around the Bay Area—and even as far away as Visalia. In mid-September, the churches held a concert at the Hayward Spanish church to raise money for the program, and 600 people from around California attended! Listen to the radio program on KXZM, 93.7 FM: Sunday from 8-9 a.m., Monday to Friday from 4-5 a.m., and Sabbath from 5-6 a.m.
Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/mediahoraconjesuslivestream/

Adventist Health TakeTEN™ Lifestyle Program Helps Participants Live Healthier Lives
TakeTEN is a physician-led, evidence-based program that uniquely combines expert medical care with nutrition, fitness, and spirituality into your personal lifestyle prescription. The program can help with smoking cessation, weight loss, diabetes care, cardiovasular care, and more. Learn more about this 10-day program via the link below.
https://www.adventisthealthtaketen.org

Clergy Appreciation & Spirit of Prophecy Sabbath
Tomorrow, Sabbath, October 12, is Clergy Appreciation Sabbath. Why not let your pastor know how much he or she is appreciated? October 12 is also Spirit of Prophecy Sabbath—a time to focus on our special heritage and the writings of Ellen G. White. Her books include The Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, and The Ministry of Healing. Read her writings online via the link below.
https://whiteestate.org

~ ~ ~

“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise.” -Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 251

New from the Living God’s Love Blog: Entertaining Unawares, by Edward Motschiedler
Read the blog at: https://adventistfaith.com/category/blog/living-gods-love/

2019-10-10T17:11:05-07:00October 10th, 2019|All Gods People|

Entertaining Unawares

by Edward Motschiedler

The first Sabbath in one of my new churches turned out to be memorable for two reasons. The first reason was that the head elder, a retired physician, said while introducing me, “Well, our new young pastor just came from the seminary, and I’m sure he has some new ideas he wants to try out. But we know how to run things here and don’t need to do anything different. He can spend more time at his other churches.” I thought that this man was going to give me a lot of trouble and immediately wished someone else was the elder of the church. 
 
The second memorable thing I noticed was that two elderly men were sitting in the very last row of the church while everyone else was sitting on the opposite side in the very front. When I met them after the service, I noticed that their clothes and shoes were dirty, and I was almost overwhelmed by their strong body odor. When I visited their home later, I saw empty food cans scattered around the floors and piles of dirty clothes laying on the furniture. I couldn’t understand how people could live like that. 
 
At the time I had no idea how those two observations would affect my understanding of Christian hospitality and the role of church leadership. 
 
After I had been at the church for several weeks, the elder and his wife invited my wife and me to their home for Sabbath dinner. When we arrived, I was quite surprised to see the two elderly brothers there. While the wife got dinner ready, I tried to coax the brothers into talking, with little success.
 
After the meal, the head elder left the dining room with one of the brothers. His wife then told me about the brothers and their ministry to them over the years. She said that the men were now in their eighties. The oldest brother had come back from World War I suffering from what was then called shell shock and is now called post traumatic stress disorder. Because the older brother was not able to take care of himself, his younger brother never married and devoted his life to being his caregiver. Sadly, the younger brother was now suffering from dementia, and they were barely able to take care of themselves. She said that she and her husband had been trying to help them for years.
 
“Every Sabbath morning, we pick them up at their house, and after church we bring them to our home. After the meal is finished, my husband takes one of them into the bathroom, helps him undress and get into the bathtub, washes him from head to foot, and shampoos his hair. Afterward he has a robe for him to slip into. He then sits the brother in a chair in the bathroom, kneels in front of him, and trims and cleans his fingernails and toenails. Then it’s the other brother’s turn. While the men are getting their baths, I gather up their dirty clothes and place them in a laundry basket for future washing. I then replace them with the clothes I washed from their last visit.”
 
Every Sabbath the brothers had their only hot meal of the week, their only bath of the week, and their only set of clean clothes to wear during the week, thanks to the hospitality of this wonderful couple. They did this week after week for years without anyone knowing.
 
While she was telling me the story, I was thinking that this is exactly what Jesus would have done if He had met the brothers. I could picture Jesus helping them into the bathtub, gently washing them, and then kneeling before them to clean and clip their nails. 
 
Afterwards I regretted that I had so wrongly judged the elder, and I wished I had an elder like him in every church. Afterwards I prayed that my wife and I would be able to offer that kind of loving hospitality and encourage others to do the same.
 
Oh, and by the way, the elder was right. They did know how to run the church well, and I was able to give more time to the other churches. I also learned the valuable lesson of trusting church members to use their gifts in leading the church.
 
 
Edward Motschiedler spent 19 years as a pastor, 12 as Ohio Conference President, and 8 years as Executive Secretary of the Columbia Union Conference. He and his wife, Valeetah, a retired nursing professor, live in Riverside, California, and are leaders in the senior member ministry of the Azure Hills Church.
 
2019-10-06T16:17:48-07:00October 7th, 2019|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” October 4, 2019 Episode 340

Highlights from the 2019 Student Leadership Conference

Student leaders from 34 junior and senior academies spent the last weekend of September at Leoni Meadows camp in Grizzly Flats, California. Their aim? To learn how to better love, serve, and lead their campuses. This year’s theme for the conference was “Leadership lessons from Nehemiah.”

Over the course of the weekend, group facilitators helped students discuss how they want to lead, what they want to accomplish, and ways to help their classmates get involved and grow together. Leadership groups from the different academies spent time working on teambuilding through different outdoor and indoor challenges, games, and activities.

In addition to fun activities, attendees also gathered at the Leoni Lodge to sing and worship together.

This week, Gisselle Asij, senior at Newbury Park Adventist Academy and the ASB president for the 2019-2020 school year, joined us as our guest host of All God’s People! Watch this week’s episode to learn more about the great things students learned at this annual conference, and click the link below to learn more about Adventist Education in the Pacific Southwest.

Sign up for the All God’s People weekly news roundup: https://adventistfaith.com/subscribe/

~ ~ ~

So I answered them, and said to them, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.” -Nehemiah 2:20 (NKJV)

2019-10-14T12:01:39-07:00October 2nd, 2019|All Gods People|

Church Support Services Expands Ministry Resources

Faith Hoyt

As Church Support Services Director Rich DuBose will tell you, his department is eager to help fulfill the mission of sharing the gospel. Formed to serve the needs of churches, his department has provided a host of resources to help churches share the gospel in the Pacific Union Conference territory.

DuBose joined the Pacific Union Conference as an associate director in the Church Ministries department in 1994. “Back then, we launched a new ministry help-desk called PlusLine,” he said. “We had an 800 number that local church leaders could call to help them find ministry-related tools and resources, and we handled event registrations. Toward the end, our staff answered as many as 100 calls a day.”

Soon, other unions were included in the service. Today, PlusLine, now known as AdventSource, is owned by the North American Division (NAD) and operates in Lincoln, Nebraska.

With the acquisition of PlusLine by the NAD in 2005, the nature of DuBose’s work transitioned to developing resources that could be used in local church ministry.

“Our mission is to develop and share curated content that inspires pastors, church leaders, and members to use their best gifts to connect people with Jesus,” DuBose said. “Our goal is to find and share knowledge and stimulate engagement that can help turn theology into biography.”

Over the years, Church Support Services has conducted seminars for ministry training; developed online study guides; created sharing cards and flyers on healthful living and other topics; and produced web ads and various theme-based websites for preaching, Bible study, and more.

Several recent projects include the creation of a smartphone app called SpiritRenew and an initiative called inSpire that celebrates and promotes using the arts in ministry. In addition, they’ve produced over 75 videos ranging from six to eight minutes in length that focus on specific ministries and individuals that God is using throughout the Pacific Union territory—a project called Stories of Faith.

“By far our most comprehensive website is Answers For Me,” DuBose said. “It provides content for people who may or may not be Christian-oriented. It has resources for users who wish to grow spiritually, but it is intentionally low-key in its approach.”

DuBose helps local churches use RSS technology to feature his department’s content, such as stories and recipes, on their church websites without diverting traffic away from their sites.

“It takes a village of ideas and efforts to help create a culture for change and experimentation,” DuBose said. “We focus on sharing traditional and innovative ideas that churches can experiment with to fulfill our shared mission.”

To learn more about the resources produced by Church Support Services, visit http://www.churchsupportservices.org.

 

Photo: “The inSpire TV show features Adventist creatives within the Pacific Union Conference who desire to bring good to life and to use their gifts to share God’s story,” says Rich DuBose, director of Church Support Services. “Art, film, graphics, music, and more are being used as a vehicle for sharing God’s message of healing and hope.” Left to right: Greg Evans, singer/songwriter; inSpire co-host, Jesús Noland, app and game developer; Cecia Garcia Lopez, music therapist; and Rich DuBose, inSpire host.

Photo by Summer Medina

 

2019-10-01T09:49:22-07:00October 1st, 2019|News|

Hispanic Heritage Month in the Pacific Union: Highlights from our Churches and Remembering the Work of Marcial Serna

By Faith Hoyt and Connie Jeffery

Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) began last month across the United States. In the Pacific Southwest, the contributions of Latino and Hispanic church members were honored with special church programs and events.

Currently, the Hispanic population in the United States stands at more than 56 million, making it the largest racial or ethnic group in the United States.1 Members of the Pacific Union Conference administrative team took time in mid-September to share some of the many ways that Hispanic and Latino churches are making a difference. In a recent episode of All God’s People, the production team spoke with Alberto Ingleton, the director of Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries for the Pacific Union, about the significant contributions that Hispanic churches are making to ministry in the West.

“The majority of our Hispanic members come from Inter-America and South America,” Ingleton shared. “They come with a unique passion. We have a couple of churches—the San Bernardino Spanish church and the La Sierra Spanish church, for example—who are doing a wonderful work with the homeless.” Ingleton described how these churches feed the homeless, give them an opportunity to shower, and provide them with clothing. “We have the Blythe Spanish church, which has been very effective at helping immigrants transition to a new life in the United States,” he continued. “Helping those that have been processed, providing shelter for them, and helping them get in touch with friends and relatives who can accommodate them.”

Ingleton described how other churches are also providing different services, such as offering cooking and English classes, hosting soccer tournaments, and presenting seminars on various topics for the immigrant community. “They find different ways to be relevant and to be present,” he said. “They are always looking for ways to do what they can in their own communities.”

For the Seventh-day Adventist church in the West, Hispanic roots are deep and strong. The first Hispanic Adventist church was founded in Sanchez, Arizona, in 1899. The founding of the church came about after Abel and Adiel Sanchez, while studying their Bibles, discovered that the day of worship was the seventh day, sabado. They learned that Marcial Serna, the pastor of the Tucson Mexican Methodist-Episcopal Church, had become an Adventist through the work of Adventist colporteurs, and they contacted him.

Eventually so many of the Methodists in Sanchez became Adventists that the Methodists gave them their church on the condition that the Adventists help them build a new one—and the church in Sanchez became the first Hispanic Adventist church in the U. S. Pastor Serna continued to share his newfound beliefs with those he knew in Tucson, and many of them became Adventists, forming the second congregation of Hispanic believers. The following year the Methodists deeded their church in Tucson to the Adventist group. Marcial Serna was granted a ministerial license by the General Conference and so became the first Hispanic ordained Adventist minister.

Learn more about Marcial Serna and other Adventist pioneers in the west in episode #337 of All God’s People! Visit Adventistfaith.com.

Ingleton described how other churches are also providing different services, such as offering cooking and English classes, hosting soccer tournaments, and presenting seminars on various topics for the immigrant community. “They find different ways to be relevant and to be present,” he said. “They are always looking for ways to do what they can in their own communities.”

For the Seventh-day Adventist church in the West, Hispanic roots are deep and strong. The first Hispanic Adventist church was founded in Sanchez, Arizona, in 1899. The founding of the church came about after Abel and Adiel Sanchez, while studying their Bibles, discovered that the day of worship was the seventh day, sabado. They learned that Marcial Serna, the pastor of the Tucson Mexican Methodist-Episcopal Church, had become an Adventist through the work of Adventist colporteurs, and they contacted him.

Eventually so many of the Methodists in Sanchez became Adventists that the Methodists gave them their church on the condition that the Adventists help them build a new one—and the church in Sanchez became the first Hispanic Adventist church in the U. S. Pastor Serna continued to share his newfound beliefs with those he knew in Tucson, and many of them became Adventists, forming the second congregation of Hispanic believers. The following year the Methodists deeded their church in Tucson to the Adventist group. Marcial Serna was granted a ministerial license by the General Conference and so became the first Hispanic ordained Adventist minister.

Learn more about Marcial Serna and other Adventist pioneers in the west in episode #337 of All God’s People! Visit Adventistfaith.com.

1 Pew Research, Hispanic Trends Project Statistics & U. S. Census Bureau.

Photo: Alberto Ingleton has been director of Hispanic Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference since 2018. Watch his interview about the ministry and outreach of our Hispanic churches in episode #337 of All God’s People.

 

2019-09-12T13:51:10-07:00September 30th, 2019|News|

A Longing Within

by Megan M. Elmendorf Hopson

I wonder when it is that we begin to feel a certain longing within us. When do we recognize there is a part of us missing and that we are not whole? Elementary school, middle school, high school, college, beyond? Artists of brush, pen, and clay have long sought to capture the essence of this longing. Societies across the globe have unconsciously discovered this profound longing and have tried to quench it with superficial things: looks, wealth, fame, etc. Few seem to understand that this hunger is a part of why we were born on this earth, why we wake up every day and continue living, even through troubled times.

I firmly believe this yearning is the wish that our soul has for complete acceptance, complete love, and absolute grace. Our soul desires fullness! We seek this in the oddest places: work, family, mass media/entertainment, self-promotion/recognition, friends, illicit relationships, money, food. We long desperately for someone or something to wholly love us, to embrace us as we are, and to extend grace for all our shortcomings, embracing us as individuals. We yearn for something that seems just out of our reach, and yet we regularly reach for it, even if subconsciously.

Sometimes we do things that do not make sense at the time but later make perfect sense. You wonder why you took so long getting ready for vespers, even though you are not dating, or why you even bothered to drag yourself out of bed to go teach class when your students are disengaged. I believe it is because subconsciously you are seeking affirmation, acceptance, grace, and love.

This drive for completeness can lead us astray, taking us places we never should have gone. We can end up in manipulative or broken relationships, imbalanced work/home lives, eating disorders, addictions, or spiritual estrangement. Our hearts are shredded over and over again, and we often willfully remain ignorant as to why. No matter what we do, we feel so empty. We strive for things that seem unattainable.

No matter what I do, I cannot find complete happiness on this earth. Yes, I can enjoy life to its fullest with every blessed moment I have been given. I adore my family and appreciate my work. I thrive as I learn and grow, but I always feel that something is missing. In my spiritual journey I have waxed and waned in my proximity to that which fills my soul-cup. In fact, recently my father reminded me of it, and I have once more orbited closer. I cherish it anew with all my heart, soul, and mind.

I have been raised a Christian; all my life I have known of God, Jesus, and all the founding principles of my religion. Most of the time, I felt happy and on fire for what I believed in, continually wanting to spread the happiness that I felt, and yet…I knew something was not quite right. I understood and accepted all the things that I had been taught: that God created this earth, that Adam and Eve sinned, that Jesus died and was raised for our sins, and that in the end all those saved will go to heaven and live eternally with Christ in joyous adoration with no more pain and death. However, there is more to it than just that. There is the fact that Christ offers unfailing love, divine grace, and eternal acceptance: a complete relationship. I knew of this, but so often we know things in our minds that we once knew with our hearts.

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me” (Proverbs 8:17, NIV). When was the last time I eagerly looked forward to time spent with God? Do I talk about Him and what He’s done for me, where He’s taken me, what He’s taught me, as eagerly as I talk about the movies, books, or people I populate my life with? Do I “arm” myself for loving and living with my family by first ensuring that my relationship with God is vibrant, real, and regular?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). Only the Creator of my inmost part, the Maker of my soul, knows my needs, my desires, my dreams in a fashion and way that is wholly good. When I put my relationship with Him first, when I regularly center my comings and goings on Him, with Him, then I taste heaven on Earth. That corner of my soul that felt bereft even when in the arms of loved ones is now filled.

My mother once told me that there is a God-sized hole in every person’s heart and people will do strange and sometimes dangerous things to fill that hole if they have decided against a relationship with God. Yet that is like the garden refusing the water (Isaiah 58:11) that the gardener brings. The psalmist declares of God in Psalm 107:9, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (NKJV).

Are you weary in your soul? Do you feel that your relationships are thin, lacking, unfulfilling? Have you begun to drift in your spirit from one source of entertainment to the next, nearly afraid to be in silence with your own thoughts? Return to your relationship with your Father; make it your priority. “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jeremiah 31:25, RSV). Taking time to “hang out” with a Being who says that seems like a good use of time and energy to me. Only He can replenish you and satisfy the longing within.

 

Megan M. Elemendorf Hopson is vice principal of education at Taiwan Adventist International School.

2019-09-29T18:23:10-07:00September 30th, 2019|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” September 27, 2019 Episode 339

All God’s People episode #339 – for the week of Sept. 27, 2019

In this episode –

Paradise Church Shares Well Water

The Paradise Adventist church has been sharing clean water straight from its well to those in need for forty years, and now they’re aiming to serve Camp Fire survivors. Since the fire, it’s been particularly meaningful to be able to share this resource with friends across the community. The water station at the Paradise church is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Thank you, Paradise church, for reaching out to those in need!
https://www.actionnewsnow.com/content/video/559995692.html

Adventist Health Doctor Weighs in on Vaping Dangers

Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, is creating an epidemic in our country. In the Aloha state, 26% of high school students currently smoke e-cigarettes, which is twice the national average. The state of Hawaii is now investigating its first possible case of serious lung injury related to e-cigarette use. What are the dangers? What symptoms should you be aware of? Takkin Lo, MD, of Adventist Health Castle’s Pulmonary Medicine Department, appeared on KHON2 with details

SCC Hosts Constituency Session

On Sunday, September 22, delegates and constituents of the Southern California Conference gathered at the White Memorial Church in East Los Angeles for the 65th Constituency Session of the conference. The 4 officers of the conference were re-elected for a 4-year term:

President – Elder Velino A. Salazar
Executive Secretary – Elder John H. Cress
Treasurer – Orville Ortiz
Vice President – Elder James G. Lee

SCC’s mission statement is “Exalting Christ by Serving Others.” Let’s remember the officers and entire staff of the Southern California Conference as they continue to do just that in their large, diverse territory.
Learn more about the SCC:

Jorge Soria Shares the Ismael Sanchez Story

As we mentioned two weeks ago, September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. In this week’s episode of All God’s People, Jorge Soria, vice president of the Pacific Union Conference, joins us with a heartwarming story from the early 1900s. The Ismael Sanchez story will also be included in the October edition of the Pacific Union Recorder! Stay tuned.

Sign up for our All God’s People Friday email: https://adventistfaith.com/subscribe/

~ ~ ~

“But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” -Jeremiah 10:12

2019-09-24T18:59:14-07:00September 24th, 2019|All Gods People|

Building the New

by Darla Lauterbach-Reeves

Are we focused on fixing the past? Or building the new?

Jesus has the power to make all things new—and one glorious day He literally and physically will. But, while we are still here, He helps us too.

He doesn’t erase the past, but He provides wisdom from it. He doesn’t change what hurt us, but He equips forgiveness for it and provides a testimony from it. He doesn’t remove the people; He teaches us new ways of relating to them.

In heaven, all our troubles will vanish. Until then, looking to Jesus in our hurts can lead to better decisions, courage, and change.

He doesn’t call us to live like our parents did. He doesn’t call us to live like our friends do. He doesn’t call us to cower to human beings. He calls us to follow Him. The King of the universe calls us to make Him the King of our hearts. And when we do, we should expect change. Changes in ourselves and in our circumstances.

The prophet Isaiah uses these words: “Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there” (Isaiah 43:19, GNT).

He goes to work on us and for us. Change is scary, but when we make Him the King of our hearts, we can also expect His help in these changes. He asks us to. Consider the words of the Psalmist: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8, NIV).

Sometimes the new things He is doing don’t seem good at first. They may even appear to be the very opposite of good. I’ve had this experience many times. What I thought was a disaster was really Him making His way. So I’ve learned to trust. I say, “Lord, I know You are working. This is how You create change. In all things.” We need to know God is still good and always good, even—and especially—when things are not.

Last week, I apologized to my daughter for mistakes I’d made. Almost immediately, Jesus lifted a burden from my heart. Today, no matter her opinion of me, I’ve done what He called me to do. And I thank God for that fresh start. May we all trust His love enough to be human. To admit where we’ve messed up. To humble ourselves, receive His mercy, and show our kids how to do that as well. I believe God put this burden on my heart to better my future relationship with my daughter. And I thank Him for that.

Building the new is exciting. With Jesus in our hearts, we can expect help when the waves crash. He may not stop the storm, but He will show us how to maneuver through whatever it may bring and how to receive His peace and strength in the midst of it.

We can’t change our past, but we can learn from it. We can’t change people’s minds, but we can love them anyway—and from a distance when necessary. We can’t force our way through circumstances, but we can ask God to lead the way and follow Him step by gracious step.

What are you doing today to better yourself? Your relationships? Your health? Your finances? Your future? Your something new? Let’s build something beautiful with God.

 

Darla Lauterbach-Reeves was raised in the church, but it wasn’t until her marriage fell apart that she came to truly know her Greatest Love—Jesus—in whom she found the relationship she had always craved. She is the author of the book He Loves Me THAT Much? available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

2019-09-22T10:10:26-07:00September 23rd, 2019|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” September 20, 2019 Episode 338

All God’s People episode 338, for the week of Sept. 20, 2019

In this week’s episode: News from Pacific Union College and La Sierra University, and a word about Public Campus Ministries! Learn which school made the list of 6 most beautiful campuses, and which was voted the most diverse university in the western United States the past five years!

Learn more about
Adventist Christian Fellowship:
http://acflink.org

Pacific Union College:
https://www.puc.edu

La Sierra University:
https://lasierra.edu

~ ~ ~

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” -Proverbs 2:6

2019-09-18T17:18:50-07:00September 18th, 2019|All Gods People|