When I worked for a large corporation in Anchorage, Alaska, the job required frequent travel. I usually flew on Alaska Airlines. When Alaska Airlines serves their meals to their customers, they always place a little card on each tray with the following Bible verse: "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to shew forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night." Psalms 92:1, 2. That thought has never left me.
It is good for us and we are even required to give thanks unto the Lord, for we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Most of the time we forget to thank the Lord. We dwell on the dark side of life, and on the failings of others, because of this we become discouraged and unhappy. I am glad that the owners of that airline had the idea and the courage to place these verses on my tray. I am only one life they touched with these messages from God’s Word. This is what I would like to do with my life—to touch the lives of other people so they have a desire to follow Jesus more closely, not to follow a man or a system, but the Lord of the Church. The 144,000 are doing that according to Revelation 14:4 — "they follow the Lamb." Even if we can touch only one individual in our life and that one person is saved, it was all well worth it. It would be better to help one soul to be truly converted and saved, than to baptize fifty people that are not converted and will be lost anyway.
I read a statement in Testimonies, vol. 2, 246: "One soul saved, to live throughout the ages of eternity, to praise God and the Lamb, is of more value than millions in money."
My being here on earth is no accident. God is in control. He always has been and always will be and that’s good news.
Just looking back in my own life, I remember when God saved me from drowning as a little child; when He led us out of Berlin four weeks before a bomb destroyed the apartment complex my parents lived in; when He helped us to escape from the Russian army in East Germany while they were only one mile away from the place we stayed; when He brought us safely to a little village in Bavaria (West Germany), hundreds of miles southwest; when He protected us from various severe bombing attacks in Bavaria; when He brought my father safely home from a three and a half year prison term in Siberia, and when we learned the beautiful Three Angels’ Messages through the Seventh-day Adventist movement. I can only marvel and be grateful for His leading.
As a young man I immigrated to the United States, and served for two years in the U.S.A. Army. During my overseas stay, I met my first wife with whom I was privileged to spend twenty-eight blessed years raising three nice children. During my first years in the U.S.A. I became acquainted with several sincere, upright, honest, and spiritual Seventh-day Adventist Christians. Today I would consider them Historic Seventh-day Adventists. God used them to impress upon my mind and heart the importance of the messages given by Him to Ellen White, in the Spirit of Prophecy—one of the main signs of the true Church. In Testimonies, vol. 4, 148, I read this statement: "In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue." But will they profit by His teachings? Will they receive His reproofs and heed His warnings?"
There is a very important statement found in Selected Messages, vol. 1, 48, which says: "The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God . . . There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic . . . Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded." When I read this I was convicted and determined to remain true and faithful to God by heeding His counsels and encourage others to do so.
When false teachers, theories, and the modern theology crept into the church, when finally celebration and NLP and the tearing down of standards came into the church, I already had a good foundation by being grounded in the Spirit of Prophecy. We read in Selected Messages, vol. 3, 84: "All who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days."
It was several months after my wife died of cancer in 1993 that I was invited by the Printed Page to go to Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany to speak to various independent groups and conference churches encouraging them to stay faithful to the historic message given to this movement over a hundred years ago, and not to follow any man or system or to believe any new teachings without testing them by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. The early believers checked out Paul’s teachings as we read in Acts 17:11: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the work with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." If they had to check out Paul by the written Word, then we surely must check out every one that comes along today, and if he preaches the truth, he has nothing to worry about because the truth will stand.
During one of my speaking appointments in Germany I met a lovely Christian woman, who I married this month. We plan to use our time and talents to glorify Jesus and to be an encouragement to others.
For the past three years I have been priviliged to speak as a layworker to various groups and churches in Europe and the States, for various independent ministries, and in some conference churches. I am not interested in erecting walls of separation but in encouraging people to follow Jesus alone and the truth He has given to this movement. My main goal is to encourage each one, myself included, to become like Jesus in character. "It is character that decides destiny." Christ Object Lessons, 74. "It is. . . the possession of a Christlike character that will open to us the gates of Paradise." Christian Service, 247.
It is my goal and desire to continue to be a blessing and a support to my local church and wherever the Lord wants me to share that information in order to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord.
We are told in the book Desire of Ages, 253, that "Jesus had nothing to do with subjects of dissension among the Jews. It was His work to present the truth." "He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him or to interfere with His work." Desire of Ages, 211. "Jesus taught the Scriptures as of unquestionable authority." Ibid., 253. "As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God." Ibid., 114.
Jesus is my example, He is my leader, and I want to follow Him in my personal life and in the presentation of my messages as we find in Testimonies, vol. 5, 147: "Choose poverty, reproach, separation from friends, or any suffering rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the transgression of God’s law should be the motto of every Christian." May the Lord help us in this endeavor.