From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 26, 2021
Subject: It's February 26; Good Morning Union

“So now is your time of grief, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy.”     John 16:22


This week I have been pondering a funeral message I will deliver on Sunday for the death of a 14 year-old boy. As you can only imagine, the parents are grief-stricken, which no words can, or should try and remove. “Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we love. Where there is deep grief, there was deep love.”

The journey this week has reminded me of the frailty of life, the uncertainty of life, and the importance of valuing each day and each person who enters my live. I don’t live in panic or anxiety like “what if this is my last day on earth?” But I do live with the understanding that nothing is guaranteed. When I succeed, I rejoice, but don’t quit; when I fail, I repair it as best I can, as soon as I can, and continue on. I can’t afford to over-react at someone else’s expense, nor hang on to bitterness or anger, because they may eventually cause me to emotionally or physically self-destruct.

We’re all in this life together, and right now COVID is taking it tole on many. Forgiving, going the extra mile, giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and being patient as others are trying to figure out the same thing I am in life—right now, just trying to survive—have been some of the focuses for my journey. I highly recommend them.

Whether we recover in this life or not, whether my struggle seems endless and overwhelming, the promise that I WILL see Jesus and He DOES have the solution, like He promised His disciples, is still my anchor point. I can’t get distracted. “I will rejoice again and no one will take away that joy.” I pray that’s the message I can live, and breath every day with whomever it is that enters my day. I have two options, to destroy or to build, to focus on the problem or focus on the solution, in my life or the lives of others; each choice adds to one of those options. Life is potentially too short, I want to choose wisely.


Have a great day focusing on His promises,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “God gave you a fingerprint that no one else has, so you can leave an imprint that no one else can.”


PS        Family Worship- 7:30pm in the church. Irishira Gidioni will be sharing Jesus.

PPS      Afterglo- Atrium right after Family Worship

PPPS    Darrell Conway, the literature evangelism coordinator from Minnesota conference, is in the Ortner Lobby to share about Youth Rush, an amazing summer ministry opportunity. Learn more and see if this might be where God is leading you this summer.

PP…S    As is Matt from the Rocky Mountain Conference. Check out these options for summer employment that is also ministry!