I sat down with pastor Harold Brewer and he shared with me ways we can have racial reconciliation.
The incredible story about how Oklahoma football star J.C. Watt’s uncle Pastor Wade Watts’ unconditional and relentless love led a white supremacist to leave to KKK and become a Christian. To read the story click here.
Avianca Flight 52 left Bogotá Columbia January 25, 1990 headed for JFK airport in New York. That particular day there were several storms on the eastern coast of the United States forcing flight 52 to go into holding patterns over a few cities to avoid the storms. Because of this once they got to New York they were literally running out of fuel. In only minutes they would be on empty. The cockpit radioed to the control tower that they were “running low on fuel.” The control tower did not take this as a signal of distress. They figured every flight from South America is low on fuel by the time they get to New York. But flight 52 was not just running low on fuel. They were literally running out of fuel! It was an emergency situation, but the cockpit was much too polite to be more assertive and tell the tower it was an emergency situation. To the air traffic controllers low on fuel did not mean on the verge of empty or emergency situation. So the tower put flight 52 into another holding pattern as other planes landed. While waiting Flight 52 tragically ran out of fuel and crashed on Long Island killing almost half of the 158 people on board.
During the investigation listening to the conversations on the black box it was discovered that the word “emergency” was never used by the cockpit. If the cockpit had been more assertive and used that word instead of just hinting at running low on fuel the tower would have put them first in the queue.
During these days of isolation or anytime really, you may be lonely or depressed and because of social distancing others may not pick up on it just like the control tower was not picking up on the hints given by the cockpit that there was an emergency. If you are depressed or lonely and need someone to talk to please do not leave subtle hints. Make it clear to those around you that you need help!
In my early 20’s I enjoyed going out to eat with friends on Sunday nights as a way to have a little fun before the weekend ended. One Sunday night I called a friend to see if he and his wife wanted to go to Mazzios. He told me they were tired and wanted to just stay in. I told them fine and I would talk to them later. As I began to hang up, my friend said, “Wait a minute William. Do you need someone to talk to? If so we can go.” I told my friend that I was just fine and just thought it would be fun to go out. That’s all. My friend replied, “Okay then we will just stay home and go out another time.” I thanked him and called another family that I met at Mazzios.
I have never forgotten that phone call. While the control tower failed to realize the emergency situation of flight 52, and the cockpit failed to make it clear that there was an emergency which led to a miscommunication and scores of deaths, my friend wanted to make sure there wasn’t an emergency situation he was not picking up on. He asked me to make it clear if I needed someone to talk to that night. He would not allow any miscommunication or leave anything to chance.
Please let’s all be like my friend that night. During these days of isolation and anytime really, let’s listen carefully and even ask our friends clearly and openly if they need someone to talk to. Ask plainly if someone may be lonely or depressed. Let’s not let anyone fall off our radar.
If you need help don’t leave hints. Spell it out clearly to your friends, family, pastors and teachers. Also listen carefully to those who may be crying for help. Don’t rely on hints. Be like my friend and ask plainly and clearly, “Do you need someone to talk to?”
Seventh-day Adventists are familiar with something Jesus said in the sermon on the mount.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18 NKJV
We understand that Jesus was endorsing the law. Some though have tried to say that once Jesus fulfilled everything that He then did away with the law. They claim Jesus said “till” all is fulfilled. So did Jesus mean the law would only last till He fulfilled everything on the cross? Well let’s look at how the world “till” is used in Scripture. Paul tells Timothy,
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13 NKJV
Did Paul mean for Timothy to stop reading and exhorting with doctrine once he got there? After all he said, “Till I come.” Of course not. Just like today, if you child is struggling with her homework and you tell her, “I will be home to help you in a few minutes. Hang in there till I get there,” you don’t mean for her to give up once you get there. Just as by saying “till I get there” you did not mean for her to stop once you got there, so Jesus did not mean for us to stop keeping the law once He “fulfilled” it. By fulfilling the law Jesus showed us how to keep the law fully. To fill means to make full, and Jesus showed us how to keep the fullness of the law by fulfilling the law .Some have the idea that Jesus emptied the law by filling it. Yet logic shows us to fulfill is to make full and not to make empty.
We see this truth as it is in Jesus in Matthew 3:15 Jesus tells John to baptize him to fulfill all righteousness. Once Jesus fulfilled the rite of baptism did he then abolish it? No. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus told his disciples to go baptize. By fulfilling baptism Jesus gave us all an example to continue following instead of discarding. Likewise by fulfilling the law Jesus gave us an example to continue in the law instead of discarding the law. We see that truth as it is in Jesus, that while no one was ever saved or will ever be saved by the law in either the Old or New Testament, the law is still our guide. Jesus shows us how to fulfill the law by being our example. He tells us, If you love me, Keep my commandments.” John 14;15.
I think its awesome how we all think we had the best mother in the world. That shows God gave each of us the perfect mother for us. I also sincerely am thankful for other mentors in my life besides my mother. I remember in 10th grade when my friend was moving out of state, when I told his family goodbye his mother gave me a piece of advice that I remember to to this day. She told me to always aim for the highest goals because you will never get more than what you aim for so just aim for the highest.
I am writing tonight somewhere in the universe. It doesn’t really matter where.
You may listen to the podcast version of this article here.
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 NLT
A while back I saw a book that had a picture of the sun as the center of the universe. after that the book had a series of pictures each one backing farther and farther out of the universe until finally the sun was just another one of the 250 billion stars in the Milky Way.
Often times we are insecure and tempted to think that we need to be the center of the universe. We are afraid to see ourselves as just another one of the 250 billion or more stars in the Milky Way. We are afraid if there’s nothing special about us then we won’t get that promotion or our needs will be overlooked and we will be forgotten and not cared for.
That is when the same Jesus who tells us to put everybody else first, also assures us that our Heavenly Father watches over the smallest sparrow. We needn’t feel insecure while being just one of 250 billion stars in the Milky Way. God cares for the smallest sparrow. He won’t overlook us. He will surely care for us too. We don’t have to be the center of the universe in order for God to watch over and love and care for us. Its okay if the 250 billion other stars get the promotion. Its okay if the other 250 billion stars get loved and cared for. Go ahead and put everyone else’s needs first. God will still love and take care of you. God cares for the sparrows and He cares for you. You won’t be forgotten.