Forgetting My Carry On

travel bag

Three years later, we’re off to Europe again, thanks to some price mistake by American Airlines. Now, my wife didn’t want any possibility of a repeat experience of three years ago, so this time there would be no checked bag, only a carry on. All would be well right? Well. As we boarded our Detroit to New York flight, we had to have it pinked ticketed because the plane was a small one and wouldn’t hold in the cabin that size of a carry on. As we get of the plane and await our bag in the jet bridge, I see our green bag. I immediately go after it and then we move to our new gate. About 7-10 minutes later, my wife gets a phone called from a unrecognized number. She answers and the person on the other line asks if we have their bag. We did. While it was the same model and color bag, it wasn’t ours. Thankfully we were able to make the switch. My wife was not to pleased with my carelessness. But tragedy was avoided.

Later on after our bus trip into Amsterdam from Brussels, we head into the bus station to use the restroom. From there we walk to the underground metro station. As we are trying to figure out where we need to go in a language that none of us knew, a young lady comes and asks us in Spanish if we had happened to leave a green bag at the bus station. Oh boy! My wife didn’t have to say a thing, her eyes to the whole story. Immediately, I start running to the station, hoping it’s still there. It was.
Distracted, clumsy, Inattentive, so many words could be used to describe my lack of care over that bag. But, I’m glad that there is a God that can bring good out of our clumsiness.DSC_0169

Romans 8:28 says: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

So what good came as a result. We got to know that young girl, along with another young couple, and we decided to discover and visit the city together, and divide the rental of place to stay that night. During that afternoon, as we were getting to know each other, the conversation shifts to our employment. When it was my turn to answer, I said that I was a Seventh-day Adventist minister. They had never heard of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. So for a good time, I was able to share with them who we were and our AMAZING message.

God took my faultiness and turned into the opportunity for a seed of the gospel and of His church to be planted in the lives of others.  Reminds me of another Bible text 2 Corinthians 12:9a “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”.

A Good Pastor is Hard to Find


One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister. A member of an official board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He’d watched the pastoral relations committee reject applicant after applicant for some fault, alleged or otherwise. It was time for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee. So he stood up and read a letter purporting to be from another applicant.

“Dear Gentlemen:

Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position.

I have many qualifications.

I’ve been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer. Some say I’m a good organizer. I’ve been a leader most places I’ve been. I’m over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing.

My health is not too good, though I still get a great deal done. The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I’ve not gotten along well with religious leaders in towns where I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptized. “However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you.”

The board member looked over at the committee. “Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?”

The good church folk were aghast. Call an unhealthy, trouble-making, absentminded, ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the application? Who has such colossal nerve? The church member eyed them all keenly before he replied, “It’s signed, ‘the Apostle Paul.'”

Idol Worship


Note: Neither I nor the video is saying that football is evil or that being a fan is evil. The issue is about how we humans treat things (in this case, football). Too often, we treat other things in life as the most important thing and we go crazy over it.

The Boss May Come Today


In one of his expeditions to the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton left some of his men on Elephant Island with the intention of returning for them and take them back to England. He tried three times to get to them but could not because ice. Finally on the fourth try, he was could pass, he found a narrow channel to the island.

During one of his expedition to the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton needed to leave some of his men on Elephant Island. He was going to return for them and bring them back to England, but he was unavoidably delayed. Three times he tried to get to them, but sadly, he couldn’t because the sea had frozen over. Finally on the fourth effort, he found a narrow channel through the ice toward the island.

To his surprise, he found his men waiting, packed and ready to board. As they were on their way home to England, he asked them, how they know to be ready? The crew told them that they didn’t know when he’d be back, but that every morning the leader of the men would roll up his sleeping back and say “Get your things ready, boys, the boss may come today.”

The return of the Lord Jesus to this earth is much more certain than Sir Shackleton’s return to Elephant Island. Christ’s promise to return to claim His redeemed is established upon His Word and His character. It is still “the blessed hope” of all who love Him—a hope that will not fail.

Luke 12:35-40 says, 35 Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks…38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready… 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

The second coming is our great hope. It is a hope that is sure and certain. No ice, storm or global condition will delay that event (Heb. 10:37). There will be no attempts for this event, it will be a reality the first time. My prayer is that each one of us, like those men on Elephant Island, get up every morning, ready to live in faith, on faith and by faith. May each day of equal to those men the Elephant Island, we get up every morning ready to live in faith, on faith, and faith. May the Savior find in us daily, hearts ready to receive him and also ready for that glorious day.

Thankful for Tires


Last Sabbath (11/24/12), I preached at the Grand Blanc church about the spirit and attitude of thanksgiving (A few days after Thanksgiving Day). But more so from that stand point of giving thanks when there seems to be little to no reason for it.

A few days later, God hit me over the head with the same message. I needed new tires, so I ordered some online. Ended up being more than I expect and more than I wanted to pay. I couldn’t extend it more because snow could come anytime soon and one of my tires was completely worn out, the others three were about 3 months away from the same state.

After I have the new tires installed, I leave quietly bickering to myself about the cost of the new tires. When… that’s right, God hit me over the head, reminding me of the message that I had just preached a few days earlier. Be thankful and rejoice.

I asked God for forgiveness about my attitude and thanked God that I did have the money to have new tires installed. Simple shift in thinking, but a big difference in having peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

Oprah learns Sabbath is on Saturday from Adventist moviemaker


Many have probably heard or seen about this Oprah interview already. For those who have it might be a good refresher for encouragement. If you have not watched it, it’ll be of great motivation.

One of the lines that stood out the most was “If your faith won’t fit in the door that opens,…DO NOT WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR! The door that God has opened for you will fit your faith!”

It is of critical important to remember that God does not open doors that lead us away from Him, His Word or His commandments. We must not get into the the habit of redefining what God’s blessings are.

Drug Worship


Just finished reading something and decided to post. Normally don’t like to criticize publicly and nor do I intend to do so, though the wording of the post title may indicate otherwise.

The famous quote by Karl Marx regarding religion is that it is the opium of the masses. Unfortunately the wording of a new study swings in that direction. The University of Washington entitled the results of a study “God is like a drug”.

Yet the study focuses it’s title based on what happens at mega-churches not the average church. With so much state of the art technology, these church have succeeded in creating an non-intimidating ethos and aesthetic atmosphere. The researchers say when all the factors of mega-churches are combined the effect on the brain is like that of a high from illegal drugs (oxytocin – which strongly influences thoughts, decisions, etc of prefrontal cortex). When combined with hormones and other neurotransmitters it creates the feeling of trust and a reduction of stress.

The study found that the worshipers of mega-church described the effects from the worship service like those of drug users. and that the thinking is like that of a stadium full of fans.

This is one the inherit dangers as individuals move away from a Bible based belief system and more towards a post-denominational system that caters to the this is what works for me. In amoral situations that may work fine, but in religion it’s not about us but God.

That’s why it pains me to see those who have experiences the beautiful and biblical truths taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church go away to other churches. So many churches can teach the gospel (at least partially it) but only one church is preaching the everlasting gospel. Naturally one can declare that all churches can claim that, but under the context on which the everlasting gospel is mentioned in the Bible is the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14. And there is only one church that is doing that. The Seventh-day Adventist Church.

This does not dismiss the mistakes and wrong doing that have been done that hurt people, but if God is faithful to us, we can continue to be faithful to His church. Being faithful to his church goes hand in hand with being faithful to Him.