We Are Blessed!
We Are Blessed!
Every now and then I pause to consider what is happening around me and what am I experiencing. In doing so, I remark to myself that “We Seventh-day Adventists are blessed.” Quite naturally, the “Why?” question arises time and time again. “How are we blessed?” After all, like all others, we have our share of ups and downs, frustrations and disappointments. Like everybody else, we face the daily grind of survival coupled with a need to make things better. Nevertheless, we are blessed. However, we could be doubly blessed if we practice what we know.
What a Church to Belong to!
Admittedly, there are thousands of churches all around to fit each person’s likes and dislikes. But examining closely our church, I am awed by an apparent blessing that attends it. We are organized even if there is to some degree an absence or lack in your local church. We possess a network that connects one with another worldwide when it becomes known that you are Seventh-day Adventist. I have experienced this personally both as a recipient and a provider or initiator whether in Haiti, the United States, Guyana, Russia or Mexico. Then there is the academic emphasis. While I do not have the data to prove it-- it would seem as an Adventist that it is expected that one will pursue college or university studies more so than in another church denomination. This emphasis has provided the opportunity for many of us to achieve that which we would not ordinarily have accomplished. That, to me, is not a stroke of luck but a divine design, for did not God promise that He would bless Israel of old if they followed His ways and statues? (Refer to Duet. 28:3-6.)
Is There More?
Resoundingly “Yes!” When I consider the health focus of the church, even though some members scorn it, the benefits are real and far reaching. For me, I consider the simplicity of nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables. That is not to say that I am full vegetarian, as I eat fish. But I extol the virtue of these foods created by our Maker for human consumption. In fact, a parent remarked that it is costly to be a vegetarian. Without much pause, I responded that it is not. Having to purchase vegetarian substitutes can be costly, but learning to make meatless loaves and patties, etc. can be more affordable than purchasing meats- in some instances. And we are so blessed, for the Seventh-day Adventist Church provides free lectures and training, but to my surprise, the attendance at these could be better. Could the poor attendance result from a lack of promotion or a lack of interest? Or do we become serious when our health is threatened? As a side note, in a recent meeting I had with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, while speaking about the proposed National Health Plan, I encouraged him to consider lowering tariff on fruits and vegetables thus making these affordable for everyone, as they would augment the national health plan insurance. Additionally, I offered the services of the church to do inner city training employing the “I Want To Live Healthy” model at no cost, except for materials.
Additionally, there is the prophetic message that the church has received. Whereas it may lack appeal to some of us internally, visitors are excited and awestruck by the way how we explain it. The relevance of Daniel 2, 7, 8 & 9 as well as the book of Revelation allows us to see from a perspective that gives assurance and hope, and prevents panic or reacting to every move of the pope, or who is elected president of the United States of America.
We Are Accountable
Unfortunately, with all of the blessings referenced and unmentioned, comes the element of accountability. That is to say – “Am I sharing these truths?” “Am I leading folks to embrace basic and practical principles?” “Am I embracing what I know?” The current Sabbath school lessons challenge me to do more especially in my immediate neighborhood. (Even the lessons that we study weekly can make us educated and wise beyond others. It is like going to a university for life). We, as a church, are blessed. That in itself tells me that this church is ordained of God. Need I say more? Need I do more? Need I be more?