From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 30, 2021
Subject: It's April 30; Good Morning Union

“I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him.”   2 Timothy 1:12


Well, this is it! The end of my dad’s absolutes, the last day of classes before finals, and my final verse for Good Morning Union. I’ve been getting up every school morning for the past 24 years and simply saying, “God, what do you have for me this morning that I can share with my school family?” Then I open His Word and read until something stops me, and that becomes GMU for the day. And the best part of the whole journey-- He has NEVER failed me yet! I’ve never cut and pasted old ones (not that I haven’t written on the same texts more than once!) And I’ve never come up dry! And that’s the greatest gift I can leave you with—God’s faithfulness to me in response to my faithfulness to Him!! And I believe I have no corner on His faithfulness. He’ll be just as faithful to you!!


I end with my dad’s last text from his list, and one of my all-time favorite texts in all the Bible. Spoken by Paul at the very end of his life, to young Timothy, his mentee, and symbolically to the next generation—YOU-- coming up, as he passed the torch. It was also the final words that Ellen White spoke before she died. NO, I’m NOT planning on dying today, but I am coming to the end of my 47 years of chaplaining, 38 of those at Union College, and I am at peace with passing the torch to the next generation, confident that what God has begun through me, He will continue through David Kabanje and you. I will forever be thankful for the chance that I’ve had to get paid to do what I love! And I will forever be blessed as I remember all the ways you have blessed me by allowing me to be a part of your journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


So here’s my final GMU- and you have to know by now that it’s going to be a list of some sort, because lists in the Bible always stop me; sort of like it’s so important to God that he organized it special! And it’s going to be “important to God because it’s clear in His word!!” So, four lessons I have learned from my text for today:

  1. I know”- 1 Timothy 6:20 - knowledge is important and Union is a great place to get it with high quality professors. Paul was also trained by the learned and respected rabbis of his day in the school of the Sanhedrin. He was a well-educated man, but..
  2. “I know ‘Whom’ I have believed”- John 17:3; Philippians 3:8- it’s more important WHO I know than what I know. I may not like that in the corporate world, especially if I’m looking for a job and so is a friend of the boss! But in Christianity it’s the greatest assurance I can have. I know the Boss, and He knows me; in fact, I’m one of His children!
  3. “He is able”- when I know WHOM I believe, I also can discover what He’s able to do. Here are a few examples of what the Bible says “He is able” to do:
    1. Daniel 6:20 He’s able to “shut the lion’s mouth.” 1 Peter says the devil is like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” So is your God “able” to shut that lion’s mouth in your life so he doesn’t consume you?
    2. Matthew 3:9- He’s able to “raise up children from stones” if necessary. He called us to be His witnesses, maybe of the power of God to defeat evil and “shut the lion’s mouth.” He’s also capable of using stones to do that if I won’t!
    3. 2 Corinthians 9:8- He’s able to “provide you with every blessing in abundance”- Never use superlatives, never!! Unless you’re talking about God!! Listen to the whole verse, “And God is able to make ALL thinks abound for you, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.” How do you like that for Godly superlatives?!
    4. Ephesians 3:20- He’s able to do “far more abundantly than we could ever ask or imagine”- and if the superlatives of Corinthians isn’t enough, how about Ephesians? He is able to do FAR MORE than you can even imagine in your wildest spiritual dreams!
    5. Hebrews 7:25- He’s able to “save ALL who come to Him”- no exceptions, ALL who come to Him means ALL, and ANYONE who comes to Him, He is able to save, because He died to make that His prerogative.
    6. Jude 24- He’s able to “keep me from falling and to present me faultless before His throne- WITH EXCEEDING JOY!!”- that verse says it all, especially those last three words. He is ABLE, and He’ll do it “with EXCEEDING JOY!”
  4. “What I commit to Him”- this is the qualifier. As much as God wants to do for me (and probably does way more than I know simply out of His great love and mercy) He is only hindered by my willingness to allow Him to work. My willingness is displayed by my conscious decision every day to “commit my life, and everything in it, to Him.”


I KNOW, WHOM I have believed, and am persuaded that HE IS ABLE, to keep that which I have COMMITTED to Him.”

If it’s important to God, it’s clear in His word!


Have a great rest of your life knowing, loving and trusting God,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Some people wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for retirement and what eludes them is happiness… be happy today and enjoy the journey.” I did!


PS        Union for Christ finale-4:00  at 49ers ball field with Union for Christ and our attempt to have a “Harvey’s Harvest” on-campus experience this year in spite of COVID!! A picnic supper will be served at 5 and we’ll break in time to go hear David Asscherick.

PPS      Family Worship- 7:30 Join us in the church for our final (and I think our only Power Pac this school year- thank you COVID!) as we continue with David Asscherick

PPPS   Afterglo- CABL will be hosting this final afterglo of the school year. It will happen right after Family Worship and will take place under the Clocktower with snacks, music and a chance to help cover our campus sidewalks with chalk drawings and words of encouragement as we enter finals week.