September 4, 2018
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2, NIV). Since our organization as a church in May 1863, Seventh-day Adventists have been blessed with additional information regarding health, nutrition and lifestyle, through the messages of Ellen G. White. After her major vision on health, she provided verbal and written counsel for our well-being.
As we face the reality of our health today, we realize that we need to be more conscientious about our lifestyle, beginning with me. There is so much unexpected sickness, disease and pain in our families and communities. It would be well worth it to review Ellen White’s counsel and seek to improve our health.
Yes, I know that that a healthy lifestyle is not easy to practice because we have all formed habits in our eating, our exercising, our sleeping, etc. However, Paul reminds us that our “bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV). Knowing this, I personally need to be more intentional in taking care of my body. Please help me, dear God.
In the context of wellness, for this 2018 summer, our Human Resources leaders launched the “THRIVE Wellness Series” initiative for all our conference employees, and I signed up to participate. The six sessions themed “Healthy Eats and Heart Beats” were held on Mondays after our SCC office hours. Heidi Carpenter led the food prep demo, and Ann Marie Riccio led the exercise classes. We tasted good “vegan fast food,” and we also burned many calories with the intense workout. Classes ended two weeks ago. Kudos to these two young ladies, and the committee, for the great job they did! We were re-energized.
On Sabbath, August 25, Esther and I had the opportunity to attend the joint worship service of the Armenian and the English congregations of Glendale City church. This bilingual service was inspirational with its music, message on the assurance of the Second Coming of Jesus, and by the baptism of four people from the Armenian congregation. That morning, the entire church recognized the 106th birthday of Mrs. Neeva Mason, a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist. (Look for her story in a future issue of the Pacific Union Recorder.)
The Armenian group hosted the entire church for a Sabbath meal of delicious Armenian food. (Wow! Those pastries!) My wife and I enjoyed meeting with members from both congregations, and we made many new friends. In the afternoon, I met with the Armenian congregation to listen to their plans for growth in the Los Angeles/Glendale area (second largest Armenian community outside of Armenia. Moscow is the largest). It was a very insightful conversation and such a blessing for me personally.
The long Labor Day weekend is over, which signals the end of summer. Our academies and elementary schools are back in session. Join me in praying for our young people as they take up their studies and renew their personal relationships with Jesus.
Blessings to you, until next time.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference