From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 1, 2021
Subject: It's April 1; Good Morning Union (no foolin'!)



One more month of Good Morning Union and my 24 year model of God’s faithfulness to me as I faithfully give Him time each morning, will come to an end. 24 years, no repeats or “cut-and-pastes,” just giving God time each day and seeing what happens. And for 24 years He has never failed me. I’ve never gotten up in the morning, said my normal prayer (“Good morning Lord, what do You have for me that I can share with my school family?”) and then opened His word and come up dry. It’s been an amazing journey of His faithfulness to me SO THAT I can be faithful to you.

In this last month I want to share with you something I shared many years ago. I’m going to look again and see what new insights might come from the list of texts I found on my dad’s desk after he died. He was my greatest earthly model of what it meant to live God’s word faithfully. I’ve considered these texts sort of his last spiritual will and testament to his family, and they have become a mantra of sorts for my life. I categorized them into 6 different themes of “absolutes.” So here’s my new look at my dad’s favorites as we bring this school year to a close:

 

The first “absolute” I found in his texts is the “Absolute Love of God,” with several verses that he used to anchor me in this reality.

 

“See what love the Father has given us, that we can be called the children of God—AND SO WE ARE!”    1 John 3:1

 

I can look back at what I’ve done and maybe wished could be different, OR I can accept this reality and look forward and try to imagine all that lies before me as a child of God. It’s not a matter of, I wonder if or I hope I’m a child of God. It’s an absolute fact. I AM a child of God. That praise song just entered my mind and my heart as I’m typing. I AM a child of God, and so are you!

The choice is mine. My past is still there and I can’t deny that. But I DON’T have to live there! Forgiveness and absolute acceptance by God provides for me the opportunity to remember but not dwell on my past. I look back, I learn, I grow, and I move forward. A child looks forward to all the possibilities of what can be with child-like trust that it can happen. I look back at a LOT of good things in my life and feel SO blessed. I’m also human and in looking back I also see the dark places, the tough times, and the poor choices for which I have reaped the consequences (or been shown mercy in spite of my poor choices!). The lie of the devil is that that is what defines me and he attempts to keep me reflecting on those negative things. The tension that exists for me is that the past DOES exist, but I don’t have to live there! I can look forward to all that my life can still have for me AS A CHILD OF GOD. I’ve been His child and He has led me. I’ve forgotten sometimes and I’ve suffered. It’s all reality, I just have to decide where I’m going to focus. I “see what love the Father has for me, that He has called me His child.” And it’s THAT what I chose to hang on to, and focus on, and live forward with!

 

Have a great day with the “absolute” assurance that you too are a child of God,

Pastor Rich

 

Quote for the day:      “Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of anxiety.” The Cost of Discipleship

 

 

PS        uGather- 10:30am in the church. Join us each week as we come together as a Union College family to build community and fellowship with God and His word. This week Pastor Michael Paradise from CVC will be sharing his journey with Jesus.

PPS      Alive Again- CVC- 7pm Pastor Kessia Reine will be sharing the upper room communion experience of that last week of Jesus’ life on earth.