Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists
"I don’t think your son’s going to make it,” said the chaplain at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to my parents. “It’s not looking good.”
How do we process life in a sinful world while following God’s instructions to give thanks? It is sometimes hard, but the act of giving thanks can help us refocus and start to become part of the solution.
We live in a world that seems to spin much faster than we want it to, with each day accelerating a little more. We feel overwhelmed, tired and often discouraged because we want to produce and accomplish more goals than we did the day before. Months and years go by, leaving us feeling defeated.
Psalm 121 is a quiet voice, gently and kindly telling us, that we might be wrong in the way we are going about the Christian life and then very simply, showing us the right way. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come?”
Effecting change is challenging. The outlook can be discouraging sometimes, especially when it comes to our government programs and laws. However, as Christians, we can make our voices heard and use our in uence to be a voice for change.
While Sabbath potluck remains high on the list of member favorites (Who would want to miss haystacks?), for many, the fellowship ends as soon as the last piece of dessert has been claimed.
For many, social justice is a volatile subject. Some feel the time for open and honest, even painful, discussion has not yet arrived. As followers of Christ, our privilege is to create an environment where we can discuss and live out a biblical perspective of justice. As theologian Russell D. Moore says, “The gospel drives us to an understanding that the ultimate accounting of justice doesn’t rest with the state, or with ourselves, but with the Judgment Seat of the kingdom of God.”
Mortified. That’s how my mom, Vicki (Curtiss) Bernard, recalls feeling as she sat in Chemistry class at Mount Vernon Academy where her dad, Leon Curtiss, was the teacher. “If we got what we deserve, we’d all be grease spots,” he’d say, trying to lighten the mood while navigating tough subjects like science and math. A fixture at Ohio Conference’s longtime school (now closed), my grandfather was known for his corny jokes and one-liners.
Wander into the world of social media and you will find it colored with grief. We are reeling and pained by the actions of terror in our world. To try to fathom the loss of one life, and then to multiply that in order to understand the loss here is staggering.
We live in a fast-paced digital age. News is distilled into soundbites. Thirty-second commercials leave us feeling that a two-minute video is long. We expect our internet service to be max speed. We grow impatient even as our microwave ovens quickly warm up our food. Electronic devices are all around us—we use them for work, play, learning, relaxation, communication, relationships and even worship. What is the impact of all of this on our church-going experience?