From: Rich Carlson
Date: October 19, 2020
Subject: It's October 19; Good Morning Union

“See what love the Father has given us…”     1 John 3:1


OK, I know I wrote about this a few years ago but this weekend, especially after Pastor Harold’s reminder Sabbath that we ARE children of God, I was reminded of a list of texts my dad left on his desk that we found just after he died. It became the most spiritually anchoring thing in my life since then and I want to resurrect it for you right now as we face the challenges our world is throwing at us with such force.


Here’s the background. My dad was a common, hard working, blue collar type person who was orphaned at age 7 and raised in foster homes. He joined the Army, was injured at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, became an Adventist when I was 2 and faithfully serve his God and loved his family all his life. The last thing he told me and my three brothers was, “Love the Lord and take care of mom.” And the last thing he ever said to me personally was in response to my question just days before he died, “Dad, is everything ok with you and God?” His answer will ALWAYS stay with me. He said, “Of course.” THAT is spiritual stability. That is his legacy to me that has become my anchor.


I looked at that list of texts that, knowing my dad and his love for lists and Scripture, was probably his last list of verses that meant the most to him as he knew he was dying. I categorized them into 6 themes and I’d like to share those themes and his 19 texts over the next few weeks. I have memorized them all so they are always with me. I would challenge you, over the next 19 days, to consider fixing each simple verse in your mind and discover the stability they might provide for you too.


COVID, elections, injustices, and a host of other challenges can so easily distract me from that which is most important. I find my dad’s “Absolutes” such an encouragement to keep me focused and not distracted. I pray they will do the same for you.


The first “absolute” that I found in his texts could be summarized as the absolute love of God. “See what love the Father has for us that we should be called the children of God.” And John’s next verse says, “And so we are!!” God loves me so much that I am not only “called” a child of God, I “AM” a child of God! Through all the confusion that is bombarding me in this world I can’t get distracted. I AM a child of God and my Father knows how to take care of me. As I anchor my life on that focal point the rest finds its secondary place in my life as I still will choose to live responsibly but I will not be overcome or overwhelmed by the current distractors. I am a child of God and so are you. I choose to believe that about myself, and I choose to treat you like you are also a child of God. That relationship with God has become my spiritual stability through life and I highly recommend it to anyone who will listen. We ARE children of God.


Have a great day resting in and living with that absolute assurance of your standing with God,

Pastor Rich



Quote for the day:      "Hate has never given any good advice."         Ursula von der Leyen


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