We’ve been caught up in the work of rebuilding and restoring the damage done by Hurricane Michael. The latest report I’ve received is that the church in Panama City had received minimal damage and was being used by several groups to gather and plan their days of recovering and rebuilding. Marianna is recovering. Through the Southern Union we brought in several students from Southern University under the leadership of Brother Ingersoll. Their marching orders were to help our members first. After our members are helped then we will help their neighbors and friends.
Being out of town at this time has been very difficult for me. I have prayed for our members and all families in the path of Michael every day since it had been projected to hit our conference hard. We will continue to pray and next week I intend to visit Panama City with Brian.
I’ve attended the meetings in Battle Creek Michigan fall Annual Council. President Ted Wilson chaired the difficult meeting regarding governance. I prayed for our General Conference President many times during the meeting. I do realize the difficulty of the position he finds our church in. I think you know but I’ll repeat myself here, I’m a real church guy. I love the Adventist Church with all my heart. I owe so much of who I am today to the little local church we joined many years ago in Escanaba Michigan. I would do anything to not see our church torn apart. As I sat and listened to many people in support of the document, and many people against the document, my stomach was nervous. I have great respect for people on both sides. Very, very difficult time for all of us. I have no vote at the General Conference Annual Council, but I do have a voice. I do recognize the differences between our divisions throughout the world. My prayer would be to allow divisions to do whatever is necessary to win souls, infiltrate our godless communities, and claim their territory for Jesus. I believe that unity is not uniformity. We can be different because the cultures we find ourselves in are very different. When we find a conference or a union out of compliance I would hope and pray that through discussion, listening to one another and the power of the Holy Spirit that we could come to a agreement on how to move our church forward. That being said, I would never encourage us to go against the world church vote in any fashion. It doesn't matter if I like it or not. These types of meetings cause me to pray, to pray for our church and our mission to the world. Please join me. You can read online the document that illustrates what was discussed by googling “Seventh-day Adventist governance.” The title of the document is “Summary of A Study of Church Governance and Unity.”
A long time ago Mrs. White gave good counsel for times like this:
“When Christ’s prayer is fully believed, when its instruction is brought into the daily life of God’s people, unity of action will be seen in our ranks. Brother will be bound to brother by the golden bonds of the love of Christ. The Spirit of God alone can bring about this oneness. He who sanctified Himself can sanctify His disciples. United with Him, they will be united with one another in the most holy faith. When we strive for this unity as God desires us to strive for it, it will come to us.”
I attended a wonderful Sabbath at Camp Alamisco as we celebrated 50 years of our youth camp. I heard many stories of the history of our camp that thrilled my heart. The passion to make a place where our youth could find Jesus was so evident in our past and certainly in our present. I’m thankful for all that attended and the great program that was put together by our Youth Director Todd and his Administrative Assistant December Casey.
I am visiting my Mom in Upper Michigan like I do every year. She is 92 and lives by herself and so far, has done quite well. On a very personal note that might help some of our elderly, she has forgotten to pay her Humana Prescription insurance plan for two months. She received a letter while I was home terminating her insurance due to being overdue for two months. She takes some prescriptions like most of our elderly do, and this Humana program she is enrolled in is a good program, there are no co-pays for anything she receives. I called Humana and talked to them but there was nothing I could say or do to get her back in the program. I told them we will pay the overdue money, but that would not get her reinstated for 2018. My point in sharing this with you is that make sure you are paying your premiums on time. The punishment for being late is severe. I got her reinstated for 2019, but from now until 1/1/19 she has no prescription insurance. I feel bad living so far from her, she has been and remains a great Mom to me and my two brothers. I would appreciate you thinking of her and offering up a prayer for her. From the bottom of my heart, thanks.
Until next time,