Pastor Letter (February 21, 2020)
Is the Grass Really Greener
On the Other Side of the Fence ?
Most people do not have a focused plan for what they want to do with their lives and often flit like a butterfly from one job or one career to another. But how about us? Do we persevere when we need to? Are we committed to what is important and not stray from one distraction to the next?
A classic illustration of the value of perseverance occurred in South Africa after mineral-rich diamond fields were being discovered. As news of diamond discoveries spread like wildfire, a local farmer decided to liquidate all of his possessions and sell his home in order to seek fortune himself. So he sold all that he had and used up his money traversing the country only to find nothing. Being dejected, he killed himself by drowning in a river near his home.
One day the new farm owner saw a cluster of small minerals caked together with mud in his dirt driveway. He picked it up, took it in the house, placed it on his fire place mantel and forgot about it. Weeks later his neighbor visited him and cleaned off the cluster and immediately exclaimed that the shiny portion was a diamond. In subsequent months, the new farm owner discovered many more such diamonds. In time the farm property became one of the richest sources for diamonds in the world.
The original owner missed out because he did not persevere. He was like a sheep straying out of pasture and he wasted his life seeking greener pastures when his best and least expensive option was to stay where he was. Sometimes the greatest treasures are seemingly right under our feet.
In his autobiography, Mr. Armstrong wrote about his very early life where he effectively filled newspaper pages with attractive want ads. He did well enough at it with one newspaper that the competing paper wanted to hire him away from the first. There was a valuable lesson waiting to be learned here. He explained to his uncle Frank that he could get a $2.00 raise if he would switch. However Frank Armstrong advised him to stay right where he was.
Frank added, “Now listen Herbert, a little encouragement once in a while is very helpful. It shows that you are making good. You can get some inspiration out of it to keep driving yourself on. But I have noticed that there has been a tendency in some branches of our family to keep shifting around from one thing to another – never staying with one thing long enough to make a success of it.. one of the great success lessons that you need to learn is persistence – to stay with a thing” He was advising him not to chase other pastures when they are not any more green than the pastures you have right under your nose.
Later after taking a career detour, Mr. Armstrong wrote of again consulting with his uncle Frank to now plan a serious life-long career.
As he wrote on pp. 52-53 of his Autobiography, [In Chicago] “… I went up to the Mahan Advertising agency and succeeded in getting a job, Naturally I went almost immediately to my uncle Frank’s office” when I got back to Des Moines
“Well Herbert,” he said approvingly. I’m glad you got that bookkeeping fling out of your system, and are ready to get back in the advertising field where you belong”.
I told him about the job with the Mahan Agency in Chicago.
“No Herbert,” he said, seriously, “you are not ready for agency experience yet. Mahan is one of the major agencies, and it would be years before you would work your way up to be noticed by any of the top men, who are the only ones over there that could teach you anything. They wouldn’t know you existed.
“Besides,” he continued, “although far away pastures may look greener, often the best opportunity is right where you are. Now it so happens that on a national magazine, right here in Des Moines, are two men that I regard as the two best merchandising and advertising men in the country. These fellows really know advertising psychology. They know people and how to deal with them. They know merchandising and business principles. They specialize in finding which business methods, selling methods and principles are successful, and which are not.
“They are the two men over at the Merchant’s Trade Journal. It is a trade journal read in the retail field – read by owners and managers of retail stores – but they circulate among every line of merchandising and it is the biggest trade journal in the country, with a very large national circulation.
“One of these men is R.H. Miles who is advertising manager, and the other is Arthur I. Boreman, manager of their service department.
“Why” I interrupted, “I know Mr. Miles. He is a neighbor of ours.
“Well,” continued my uncle, go hire yourself a job. Don’t let them turn you down”!
LOCAL NEWS – the PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
In Tallahassee, it was gratifying to have a person who initially came to our first seminar return for his third time this past Sabbath. So far we are half way through the 12 public presentations and have had a response of 11 different people.
Last Sabbath in Ocala we had an excellent round of questions and comments from the floor.
Our next seminar will be on “Jerusalem in Bible Prophecy” and will be held in Vero Beach. It is important that nearly 1,000 subscribers have now been mailed to twice. When hard times hit, they will remember that the BT program and the church were a friendly voice of optimism along with realism. That understanding will help inspire many of these people to maintain hope and look to follow and trust their Lord and Savior.
The third presentation will be entitled “After MAGA, Will there Be a World without America? –What Will Happen Next?
In Tallahassee, after many years of difficulties, Bobby Edwards has died. Among other ailments Bobby has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and had not been to church in a long time. He asked his wife Tammy to promise him long ago that she would not let him go to a nursing home. While we understand that a home may be the only option that some people have, Tammy was incredibly sacrificial and a blessing to Bobby and took care of him at home for years. Please pray that God will relieve some of the heaviness of heart that she currently has. There is no funeral planned.
In Fort Myers, the snowbirds have enhanced our services with their additional enthusiasm. Also it was noteworthy that Jan Surratt came to services this past Sabbath for the first time since she had her most recent stroke. While she was unable to stay, her arrival showed a real commitment to be involved with the church and with brethren.
Vero Beach will have had two Bible Studies this past week. Attendance for them has been wonderful. Being in the Book of Acts and book of II Peter, we should soon be able to steer our studies to spring Holy Day themes.
Ocala had a great round of camaraderie with our second public presentation and pot luck meal. In addition to remembering Sharri and Sherrie, we need to pray for Millie as well who is recovering from shoulder surgery. The Eisenburgs have been a tremendous help to her this past week. In addition to providing moral support, they rolled up with their travel van and spent multiple days caring for the yard and house alike.
This letter is getting long. I will save discussion about the prison ministry for a future Pastor’s letter as well as where we go with radio programming with a potential new door in West Central Florida.
This Sabbath John White will speak in Ft. Myers, Bob Orosz will be in Ocala and I will be in Vero Beach. Best wishes for a valuable day tomorrow,