From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 13, 2019
Subject: It's February 13; Good Morning Union

“If anyone would come after Me, he must…”            Mark 8:34-37 

Leaving Claudia and Zambia today to return to Kenya and a two day Safari with my granddaughter (we’re going to sleep in a tent out with the lions)!! The few days down here have been a great reminder of sacrifice and surrender. I can’t be a fair-weather Christian when it’s convenient. This life-decision has to be exactly that—a LIFE- decision.

We visited a very remote village yesterday- no electricity; no running water. It was about a 3Km walk from Mwami Hospital where Claudia is serving as an SM. My grand daughter Katie got to learn how to wear a wrap around Zambian skirt and carry a bucket of water on her head! (see my Facebook page!) We ate on the ground outside the home of a family who has a child severely handicapped by cerebral palsy. The lady carries the 11 year old on her back the 3Km to the hospital every week for physical therapy. We ate with our fingers from the communal pot of Nshima and greens and then shelled peanuts and ate them for our dessert. Happy family with more “challenges” in life than I could ever imagine, yet happy and so willing to share with us. Katie’s comment was, “I was embarrassed to eat their food they have so little.” I assured her that they felt it an honor to share; a lesson I, and probably most, could grow in. They had a choice; they chose to share and be happy, and it came through caring for others, accepting and growing through the challenges and following Jesus (did I mention that they were faithful Adventist Christians as well!?)

Jesus explained this whole concept in my verse today that I learned long ago and which came back to my mind yesterday as we experienced the Zambian village. Not sure why yet but I’m writing about it and then waiting to see how God will use it as He wished in my life-application this day.

He asks three things of me:

  1. Deny myself
  2. Take up HIS cross
  3. Follow Him

It’s  not about me and what I want, it’s about accepting His calling in my life and then following HIM and no one else on my journey.

He closes with two rhetorical questions:

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Or, what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

I turned them into practical insights for my life-decisions:

What have I really gained if I get everything I want in this world at the expense of eternal life? Or, is there anything in this life that is worth so much that I would take it in exchange for being with God forever?

Food for thought I pray!

Have a great day deciding if Jesus’ three-fold request is worth it,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day: "Your wounds will either become walls of offense or windows of revelation depending on how you respond."


PS        Union College Basketball Tournament participants start arriving today. Welcome them and help them see why they should become part of our Union family. YOU all are our best recruiters!! Thanks in advance.

PPS      Service Challenge Day 13: Exercise your friendships

Do something good for yourself while connecting with a friend. Get out there and exercise!

Submit a picture with your workout partner for your points:


PP..S    "Hey Union! Come be part of a homeless ministry project on February 16th at Peoples City Mission! Students will serve lunch to the homeless from 11:00AM - 1:30PM. If you're interested, go ahead and fill out the form below--more details are included there. P.S. A praise team is needed. If you have a voice or a musical talent, please sign up!"