I greet all of you with a blessing from our Lord during the beginning of this brand-New Year. Each New Year is a new start for all of us and we should all make the best of it for Jesus. Grow, stretch and become who He sees you becoming. I know God has a plan for each of our lives and to discover that plan and to walk in it is an incredible journey.
Most TV commercials in the beginning of the year are all about diets. America is fatter than it’s ever been and we tend to look for a quick fix. Testimonies are presented on the TV from those who have lost 40, 50 even 100 lbs. and movie stars are encouraging us to use their diets. Let me encourage all of us that it’s not about a diet. Most people (including me) at one time lost weight, only to put it back on and even more after the goal was met. Those of us who know how important being in good physical shape is know it’s a lifestyle, not just a diet that will bring us success. A lifestyle of eating good food, regular exercise, and relationships with Christ and others. We all need the Sabbath to balance our lives, that’s one reason for good Sabbath keeping. I will once again encourage you to get help from those who know about health and don’t be afraid to return to vegetarianism or a plant based diet. I know you’ll feel better than you have in years. I highly recommend Dr. Sandoval and his team at Uchee Pines. They have helped me beyond my wildest dreams.
This past week I attended the Ministerium in Orlando FL. Every five years the Ministerial Department from the Southern Union put on this event of plenary speakers and several seminars for four days. It was very challenging to hear some of the speakers talk about younger generations who have been raised with smart phones, internet, texting and so many with only one parent. I remember seeing color TV for the first time and had a grandma who saw the first automobile and then saw a man walk on the moon. We are from different worlds. This really challenged me that the only way we will hold on to those who are our children, or to meet the public from these generations, is through relationships and doing something from our churches that call them to impact their communities. My friend who pastors in Portland Oregon and who had been my Associate Pastor for six years, has planted a church out there. They go out and serve the homeless each week. They provide food, clothing, haircuts, toenail trims, massage, and anything else that will touch them like Jesus would. A local TV news station found out what they were doing and asked if they could come with them and film and document their love for the unfortunate. It now has become a weekly TV show. There is so much we can do out of our local churches.
I left Orlando early due to the death of Buddy McElroy. I had formed a very nice relationship with him and loved to be around him. He had a spirit of Christ that showed through every conversation we had. He leaves behind his wife Joy and three sons. Roger Burke was a dear friend of Buddy’s and he shared his story in a powerful way. Carlis Clinton returned to share the Gospel message. It was so thought provoking and challenging to all of us. Mr. McElroy’s impact in the Meridian SDA Church will be felt until Jesus comes back. What a legacy for those of us to live up to.
Remembering Buddy McElroy
I spent the last Sabbath with Cody Road SDA Church in Mobile dedicating Fernando Leite as their new Pastor. Pastor Leite spoke and I was so encouraged in my walk with God. A woman sang “Amazing Grace” and it was the best rendition of that old powerful hymn that I have ever heard. What a blessing!
One last point, please pray for our teachers and schools as they begin again, as well as for our pastors and churches. We have implemented our new strategy with the pastors and I’ll keep you up to date on how we are improving as a Ministerial team in the Gulf States Conference.
Until Next Month,
Sabbath School Training
Friday, Feb. 2nd, 4pm to Sunday, Feb. 4th, 12pm
Camp Alamisco Road
An instructor from the Children's Ministry Department of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists will be presenting to children's Sabbath school instructors.
The cost for this event is $50.00 and includes meals and lodging at Camp Alamisco. You will need to bring your own linens and personal care items. Rooms will be assigned on a first come first serve basis in the lodge.