Monthly Archives: July 2015

My love, Sarah Macomber

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Have you folks met my wife Sarah? She’s the sweetest, most awesome, caring, loving, compassionate person I know. She’s funny, smart, passionate about doing what’s right, follows God wholeheartedly, and is simply the best. Anyone who has ever enjoyed any of her cooking can affirm her skill. She has an amazing ability to take something and make it beautiful. Many of you can attest to that, as you have seen her work putting together presentations, pregnancy announcements, and many other things. If it has come from us and it’s nice, I guarantee it was she who made it. Not to mention she’s the mother of our beautiful baby Joel.  Truly, God has given me the most wonderful of all wives!

Seriously, who would have thought that carrots could be so artistic?

Seriously, who else could have made carrots look so good?

Sarah was my own personal gift from God, did you know that? She’d probably say I was her own personal gift from God, but if I am, that’s up to her to say. Anyways, I wanted to share my own personal story, which I don’t know if anybody knows besides her: the true story of how we met.

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When I was growing up, I always wanted to have somebody to love. Desperately. I did some pretty stupid things, which most kids don’t do, to try to find it (which, if you know me from those days, you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t, sorry, I’m still too embarrassed to publish it). Needless to say, I worked myself up into believing something very untrue – that nobody liked me – so much so that it kinda became true. I pushed people away because I refused to believe that people liked me. Many tried to convince me otherwise, but in my stubbornness I absolutely refused.

My heart yearned for someone. I remember one night I saw my crush with her boyfriend for the first time, and it broke me. I wept and wept. My dad, who is the epitome of quiet strength, came down and sat by me as I let out all my hurt and frustration. He didn’t need to say a word, but he was with me. I know that he must have been praying over me that entire time. It took a full day to recover, even my teachers at school noticed that something was wrong and asked me if I were ok. Stan Michael, my English and History teacher, particularly caught me. I’m sure that he prayed for me right then, and later that evening at home.

A different night, a different situation, I was crying on my bed, still lonely, and I cried out to God, “When will you fill me? When will I know what it is to be loved?” A very strong impression, like a trumpet blast of a whisper, came to my mind with a specific date: month, day, and year. It was an unreasonable date, way too far in the future for what I would accept.

Nope, no, I must have heard wrong. You meant that date of this year, right?

“No,” the voice told me. And it repeated the date, time and year.

I insisted, so it insisted back.

Finally, I just gave up arguing, and went back to my life, confident that something would happen that year, within a couple months.

The time of the date rolled around, and I was sure this would be my moment. I wrote a long, sweet message to the girl I liked, hoping beyond reason that every previous rebuff had been her way of playing hard to catch. I sent the email, and waited. And waited. I must have checked my email 10 times that day (pre-wifi days), no response. My heart sank a little lower every time I checked it. The day ended with no reply.

“Well, I can be hopeful,” I thought, “I’m in Europe right now, and she’s in America. It’s still a day behind, she can still reply on time.”

To save you the drama, she didn’t, to which I was very upset. I put that poor girl through more than anyone could possibly deserve…Thankfully when I apologized several years later she seemed to accept my apology. I don’t know if she’s forgiven me yet for it all, but that’s beside the point. Hopes dashed and Sommerkurs ended, I returned home.

Playin' in the Plane

Playin’ in the Plane

Several summers later, I was working on my instrument rating at Andrews. I had tried dating often, but nothing seemed to be working out. One Sabbath I had time, and I decided I would fast and pray for 24 hours to seek God’s will out. By the end of the night, I had hope again. God had told me that sometime next year, something would happen in regards to my relationship status. I was excited! That year I was going to be living abroad in France, maybe I’d meet a foreign girl.

When I got there, I looked and looked for God’s promise to be fulfilled, but was disappointed several times as it became clear that nobody there was interested in me, or I wasn’t interested in them. But something did start: I began to seek a real relationship with Him. Instead of Him being somebody to help me get married, He became a Friend, Companion, and Teacher. On the rocks of the Salève, I re-met my Savior. I committed my life to Him. And my life has never been the same.

With our friends in Collonges

With our friends in Collonges

Yet, there has always been peace from God when I know that His word was accomplished in my life, and while I had peace in the transformation in my attitude that He had affected, I felt that somehow it wasn’t the ultimate fulfillment of that promise either. Back at Andrews, I was ready to jump back into life, but I wasn’t really wanting to go back to where I had worked Freshman year, at the pool. I almost didn’t go to the interviews that year, but He convinced me it was important.

It was there at those interviews that I met Sarah for the first time. My heart leapt for joy! As I thought about that much later, I realized that God’s purpose and promise had indeed come true: the year after my fast, something truly happened that started to fill my heart. I just was thinking school year instead of calendar year. Funny how that happens…

To save a long story from getting any worse, I’ll sum up the rest of the story: Sarah and I became friends working the same shift, but she was dating a guy from Union College. I took her to visit him several times (I was visiting my own friends too), including after she broke up with him and wanted to get back together. It was the easiest, most difficult decision I’ve ever made, to make that drive with her. Once they realized for good it wasn’t working out, she and I eventually started dating. The day after Thanksgiving, I asked her dad if I could propose (less than 2 months into our relationship), and FINALLY! Christmas Eve he told me yes. I wanted to surprise her with a proposal, so I was going to wait until Valentine’s Day, but when she told me she suspected that, I had to catch her off guard. I proposed February 2, not realizing two things: 1) it was Groundhogs Day…, and 2) it was 40 days after her dad had given me permission.

What else do you do with a squash so big...?

What else do you do with a squash so big…?

Sarah has made my life happier than it ever has been before. She loved me when I thought nobody else did. She’s seen my best days and my worst days. She’s seen me at my absolute ugliest, and somehow, for some unknown, divine reason, has stuck with me. She’s my biggest support, my best friend, and the love of my life.

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July 15, 2012, three years ago today, she and I took the plunge into married life. Things have not been easy, but they have been good. Our love is no longer based on the presence of acute extreme emotion, but has transformed into the same love we both have for our Lord: a deep, abiding peace that no matter what is going on in life, we are in it together. I thank God for that, and for the beautiful symbol of what kind of relationship He wants to have with each one of us as well.

photoSarah, my love, I love you more than words can express. I couldn’t keep it in, I just had to share a little bit of our story with everyone. Happy Anniversary!

P.S.
How do I know that Sarah was God’s gift to me? Because of that promise He gave me years ago while I was crying on my bed. I forgot about it for years, and only realized it after we had been married for quite some time. God gave me a date, remember? And that date was July 15, 2012.

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Not much to see…yet.

Note: This was meant to be published late Tuesday night, July 7.

I typically try to avoid writing on controversial issues, but I have been wanting to share a little bit about our experience at the General Conference session in San Antonio, where tomorrow the world church will make a decision regarding Women’s Ordination: whether to allow each of the denomination’s 13 divisions make their own decisions concerning the topic, or if we will remain with one understanding for the church throughout all the world.  Sarah and I have been in San Antonio since 2 days before the session began, where I’ve been working as a volunteer selling meal tickets, and managing scanners who are letting people in to eat.

My volunteering has put me in contact with many of the support staff that regularly work in the GC headquarters. As we’ve been talking, I’ve been getting the sense from almost every single one of them, “You know, God is the Head of this church, so we’re confident that no matter what decision is made, it will have been from God.” That’s a far difference from the perspective many (myself included) once took in thinking this issue was enough to tear our church in two. I recant from my previous statements, I believe this issue will only prove to be a means by which God will unify the church.

We’ve been wandering around the multitude of booths, where exhibitors from around the world are showcasing the work they are doing, products they are producing, meetings they are organizing, etc. Often times, the discussion turns to today’s (it’s after midnight now) business meeting, when the delegates will vote on the matter. There will most likely be several thousands of people sitting in on the open business session where this is to be considered, and because of the fierce debates that have been had over the past several months and years, it has become the showcase of this current session. Articles have been written even in secular newspapers concerning this upcoming decision, including the Washington Post.

Throughout the morning and evening worships, and even within the business meetings, the General Conference leadership, particularly Elder Ted Wilson (who has just been elected to a second term as GC President), has been very deliberate to keep the actual discussion of women’s ordination untouched until today, instead stressing humility, prayer, unity, and one-mindedness on the work of the Church as a prophetic movement, ordained and organized by God for spreading His final message of salvation in the end of time.

Talking with somebody from the ASI booth, we both concluded: ‘Enough of this ordination debate! We’re all supposed to work for God and live according to His purpose. If we do that, His will will become clear, both in that and all other areas of our lives.’ Everybody in the church, regardless of race, gender, nationality, or anything else, EVERYBODY should be involved in actively pursuing the mission of God with the skills and talents He has given them. If every member starts doing that, then this ordination issue will become an obsolete memory. Despite the differences of opinions that many have, the consensus here in San Antonio has seemed to be clear: “We don’t care. Whatever God speaks, that we will do. The spirits of many on both sides have not been very loving nor Christ-like in character, and all we want is for God to come in and take control.” There has been a major emphasis on prayer, unity, and humility, and God has been working through that penitent spirit.

Despite the feeling among us lay-people, the delegates seem to still have their agendas. In discussing simple wording updates to the Fundamental Beliefs, the discussion reportedly became sidetracked time and again by comments concerning Women’s Ordination, so much so that a general Vice President said, “Do not worry about tomorrow; I mean, Wednesday. Wednesday will worry about itself.” Our specific prayers as a couple have been that God brings that attitude of humility, of listening for God’s divine voice and not fighting His goads like Saul, for all the delegates tomorrow.

Tonight for evening worship, a powerful appeal was brought before the 3,000 person live audience (and countless others on internet and Hope Channel) by a software developer from the GC who read the scripture reading, 1 Corinthians 8:1. He said, “Allow me my minor modification: ‘Now concerning women’s ordination: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” Praise the Lord for that verse that is so relevant for these days! How often I have seen knowledge of the Bible being used as a hammer to smash people into submission. But that is not what our Lord has ever desired. Now is the time to confess our sins to one another, and pray for one other, so that we, as a people, can be healed (James 5:16).

Nothing dramatic nor earth-shattering will happen to the SDA church tomorrow. Decisions will be made that some, who have not found the freedom of total submission to God and His divine working in our lives, will most likely leave the church (in the short-term). But as they see the pouring out of God’s Spirit on His people to give them power to accomplish His final work, Lord-willing, they will return. God will bring back the lost if they are walking in Him. If they leave and refuse to come back, we can be certain that they were lost already, because the condition of their heart will not allow them to see God’s divine hand in the years to come. It is the same attitude the Pharisees had as they demanded Jesus’s death on the cross.

Jesus will come. The church will be unified. God’s Spirit will be poured out. And this movement will accomplish it’s reason for existence: to warn the world of the true, literal coming of Jesus in the clouds very soon to take home those who have called on the name of Jesus Christ, and who have been washed and cleansed by His blood. May all power and glory go to His name!

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