From: Rich Carlson
Date: November 8, 2019
Subject: It's November 8; Good Morning Union

“I have lent him to the Lord for as long as he lives.”             1 Samuel 1:28

Sorry, a little diversion from the Psalms for today. I feel compelled to share a story that one of our staff members shared with me last week but it’s still on my mind! Last week I wrote a couple of GMUs about Samuel and this person said I was reminding him of one of his favorite Bible stories. Samuel was a judge and a prophet for God, the beginning of his life was not without uniquenesses.

As I read the story again I summarize it like this: His father had two wives (not God’s plan but another example of the ways God’s people had adopted to the ways of their society rather than be faithful to God); one was very “fertile” and one was barren. Short version of the story; the barren woman struggled with severe depression which led her to the church and to prayer. Her prayer did not seem to be the traditional “sanitized” prayers so often heard in church; it was deep and emotional; silent, with her lips moving but no sound.

The “astute” pastor saw her, unfairly judged and condemned her, THEN confronted her. (NOT the right order to do things as I see the role of a pastor!) “Woman are you drunk?!” was his ice-breaking opening comment to her! “NO sir! I’ve never drunk a drop in my life!” The pastor apparently repented of his condemning ways and the woman continued with her request of God. “Please give me a son; and if You do I’ll give him back to You for his whole life.” God answered her prayers, gave her a son, and she did, in fact, gave him back to the Lord as promised. After he was weened she gave him to the pastor to raise and only got to see him once a year at the festival time where she brought him a new coat each visit!

That would be hard enough to do as a parent, until I remember the negative character qualities of the pastor and the failure he was as an overindulgent parent with his own kids! Samuel grew up in the church with a judgmental and permissive pastor and two rebellious “step brothers.” And here was my ah-ha as I listen to our staff member remember his favorite story—She still sent him to church, even with all the flaws of the church and the failures in leadership. And he STAYED there and hung in there with the church, as bad as it was, with poor leadership and even poorer examples.

“And with that story,” said our staff member here at Union College, “I decided that no matter what, I’m staying with the church. With all its warts and scars; with all its problems and challenges, it’s still where God said He would be present.”

And God blessed Samuel, in spite of the leadership of the church, to still bless the church and the people of God. I learn a good lesson from Samuel. I think He’s still doing the same today. I’m staying!!

Have a great day in faithfulness to God and His house (no matter who else is there!),

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “We come to church, not to hide our problems but to heal them.”

PS        Family Worship – Matt and his Union for Christ team will be providing our worship tonight. Come be blessed by this experience. See you in the church at 7:30

PPS      Afterglo- Right after Family Worship, hosted by Lauren and her Math/Science friends, and Claudia and her CABL (Collegiate Adventists for Better Living) peeps.

PPPS    Operation Christmas Child boxes are almost gone. Get yours today or just use a shoe box from your closet!! Deadline for filling and dropping them back by Campus Ministries is next week Friday.