Freedom of Religion

Our President, last year on this day, made this statement: “Our forefathers, seeking refuge from religious persecution, believed in the eternal truth that freedom is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from the Almighty God. On the coattails of the American Revolution, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.” Every year on this day, the sitting President makes a proclamation. I have not been able to read today’s as yet but in last year’s statement, the President said: “Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.” One need not go too far from our church and we can find a Sikh Gurudwaras, Muslim mosques, Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. My reading reveals that the Byron Union School District in California has instituted a mandatory three-week course on Islam as part of the seventh-grade history class. Students in the class not only receive handouts on Islam and the life of Mohammed, they must also:
1. Chant praise to “Allah, Lord of Creation.” 2. Pray “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” 3. Stage their own Jihad! 4. Dress up as Muslims and choose new Muslim names. If one of us goes into a public school to talk about the Beatitudes and pray in the name of Jesus, we will be taken to task. We struck down religious instruction in our schools in 1948. We said the recitation of prayer in public schools is unconstitutional in 1962, took down the Ten Commandments from public schools in 1980 and in 1992, a pastor was forbidden to offer a Christian prayer in a public school graduation. So, while I am deeply grateful for the religious freedom I enjoy, I am also deeply confused to note that we are not even allowed a Christian prayer in public in a nation that was built on the Holy Bible.
Shalom, Shalom!
Franklin G. David
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.”


UR: Youth Vespers

UR:Youth Vespers will meet this friday in the Fellowship Hall at 7:30pm
Ebenesar and Selena Thomas will be talking to us about Heaven
 


Sticky Business

PASTOR’S BLOG
 
When I mentioned at home that my trip would be through Singapore, my son-in-law immediately said:  “Ma-ma (uncle), you are not supposed to chew gum in Singapore, and if found you will be fined heavily.”  I chew gum, especially when I get off the plane and have to face the immigration officer to answer questions.  But this time, the officer just had to put up with my airplane breath.  And to my surprise, I never saw a single person chew gum in Singapore nor did I chew any till I stepped back onto this soil.  But it got me to think as to what a great policy that would be if enforced in our House of Worship.  When you get to church this Sabbath and every Sabbath, just put your hand under the pew and try if you can to pull out the chewing gum that your lovely Christian brothers and sisters have deposited.  How could we stop such a dirty practice of our dear loved ones in the House of God?  It reminds me of a story.  The janitor of a girls’ high school bathroom was having great difficulty removing the lipstick marks on the mirror.  Girls would put on their lipstick and kiss the mirror.  Just to take out the extra or just for the feeling of kissing, I am not sure for I don’t use lipstick.  The school Principal constantly kept announcing and requesting the girls not to do so but it only fell on deaf ears.  One day, he took the girls to the rest room along with the janitor and asked the janitor to show these girls not only how difficult it was to clean the mirrors but as to how the janitor did this job.  The janitor put his brush into the toilet to wet it and then scrubbed the mirror and kept repeating the process.  The girls felt like throwing up and thus ended the lipstick kisses on the mirror.  How shall we show respect and reverence in the House of God?  One way could be by stopping this habit of sticking chewing gum under the pews.  Why not, when you come to church, put the chewed gum under your car seat and come into the House of God?  Just a thought, not a sermon!  
 
Shalom, Shalom!
 
Franklin David
 


SAYC2017 Program

Schedule

September 1, Friday
5:00 pm Registration
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Keynote I
John Daniel, Associate Pastor, Southern Asian Church
 7:00pm Presentation I
Terry Ford, President, Adventist HealthCare
*The hall will be open till 10:00pm for anyone who wishes to stay back and socialise
 
September 2, Saturday
9:00 am Devotion
Bill Miller, President, Potomac Conference of Seventh-day ADventists
10:00 am Bible Study
11:00 am Keynote II
Bill Miller, President, Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
1:00 pm Lunch
3:00 pm  Presentation II
Weymouth Spence, President Washington Adventist University
5:00 pm Musical Meditations
6:30 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Devotion
 
8:30 pm Social Night
*The hall will be open till 10:00pm for anyone who wishes to stay back and socialise
 
September 3, Sunday
8:00 am Devotion
8:30 am 5k Fun Run / Health Awareness
9:00 am Habitat for Humanity I
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Habitat for Humanity II
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Devotion
 
September 4, Monday
 
 
8:45 am SmarTrip® cards and sack lunch can be picked up from the Church.
9:00 am Shuttle to Silver Spring Metro Station
 

Self Guided Tour of Washington DC


Street Children’s Day

Today happens to be International Street Children’s Day(and some countries and organizations celebrate this on January 31) just to make some of us aware that there are millions of children around the globe that live and survive on the streets. The country of our origin, India has over half a million children living on the streets. That is according to the statistics, but I am of the opinion that there may be much more.  In my recent visit to Mumbai, a mother testified in a house church as to how her speech-impaired child was kidnapped from her home and put on the streets of Mumbai to beg for food.  Fortunately, one of the friends of the mother spotted him in a different part of Mumbai and reported it to the mother and she along with friends and members of their house church went and brought him back and the boy was present as the member testified to God’s goodness in saving her child.  In my travels around India and Nepal, from Kerala to Kathmandu, Mizoram to Mumbai and all over, I see thousands of them on the streets.  They are also God’s lovely creation and deserve our love. Why doesn’t someone who is reading this blog start a campaign or a non-profit:  “Street to School.”  Or at least make a difference in one child.  I know organizations like my daughter’s, Christalis, continues to pick up children from the streets of Uganda and send them to school.  Well, I don’t want to just promote my daughter’s organization. You can pick anyone of the many that are around and make a difference in one or many as God has blessed you.  I have my own trust to educate children in memory of my only grandson, James Nair, who did not make it to this beautiful world.  One of my members told me that when he was visiting India, he along with his relative were in a restaurant when he noticed a lot of young people walking towards him.  He became very nervous and wondered if they would attack him and told his relatives that he was scared about the bunch of young people coming towards him.  His relative who manages his funds in India told him “These young people are the ones you have educated in India and they are all coming to just say thank you.”  This church member told me that this was one of the best moments of his life as he had never seen the hundreds he had already helped gain an education.  There is a similar story from another member of our church who always liberally gives towards education in Adventist schools.   Last week, Pastor John Daniel came to me with a list of ten names that need sponsorship in one of our schools.  I am praying and asking.   As you are aware, Pastor John does not like to ask.  I am beginning to make him like me, so that he will be shameless in asking.  May God move in our hearts to make a difference in one or in many or to even start a foundation: “Streets to School.”  
 
Shalom, Shalom! 
Pastor Franklin David
 
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.” 


More Blessed to Give

Many years ago, when our church was in its infancy stage, we raised funds to build churches in India even though we did not have a church building of our own.  One day when I went to give the money that our church members had contributed to Dr. D. R. Watts who was then the president of Southern Asia Division, he told me “Franklin, why don’t you bring some of your members for a mission project in the Southern Asia Division.”  I told him that I don’t believe in doing so because there were good preachers there who could preach in their own language and be much more effective than any one of us coming. I only believe in raising funds here and sending it there to the Southern Asia Division.” He looked me straight in the eyes and made this statement that I have never forgotten.  He said, “Franklin, you people who live in America need us more than we need you.  Bring your members for one mission trip and you will find how rewarding it is for all those who come.”  That thought has stayed in my mind and now I have gone on several such mission trips to India and been blessed.  This last time, my wife came along with me and she says that she was truly blessed and wants to come along the next time.  I invite all those who are interested to come next year and experience the transformation that can take place in your spiritual life. 
 
And on the domestic front, our youth and collegiates have been going on mission trips almost every summer.  After they return, they share how richly blessed they were from the experience. This evening between 5-8 p.m., our youth are raising funds for their mission trip at Chick-Fil-A, 12289 Tech Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Chick-Fil-A will be donating 20% of all those orders between 5-8 p.m. today, April 5, 2017.  Please mention “SASDAC Youth Mission Trip Fundraiser” when you order.  Thank you for supporting our young people.
 
Shalom, Shalom! 
Pastor Franklin David
 
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.”


First Christian College for Women

Thanks to the ones who cared to respond with encouraging words asking me to continue my blog as they do even forward it to some of their colleagues and friends.  That is not just being kind to me but that is what we call as loving-kindness. I am reminded of a Sabbath School teacher who asked her children if anyone could tell the meaning of loving-kindness. A little fellow immediately jumped up and said, “Well, if I am hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread that would be kindness. But if they put a little jam on it, that would be loving-kindness.” Won’t it be nice if we all can add a little jam to all who God brings on our pathway and be lovingly kind to them, first
to our spouse, then our children and then the rest.  About our God, the Psalmist says: “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”  Since we are crowned with lovingkindness, Why not spread it around a little bit daily?

Now coming to my quiz from last week. Some of you came very close to the answer but not the correct one I was looking for.  Most of you named the first school that was started in India. That evidently happened to be in Tamil Nadu.  But I had asked for the first school for girls.  As per my records, it was started in response to the letter written with eagle feathers by the missionary to his sister. The sister’s name was Isabella Thoburn.  She started the school with six children in a bazaar area in Lucknow.  Later on it became a boarding high school.  It was the first Christian college for women in Asia, known as the Lucknow Women’s College.  When she died of cholera in 1900 it became the Isabella Thoburn College. I wonder if anyone reading my blog has seen this college.  I would love to hear from them.  Sacrifices of such great missionaries should never be forgotten.

Shalom, Shalom!
Pastor Franklin David

“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and

think the unthinkable.”


John Wesley

Yesterday at our staff devotion, we stumbled upon the life style of a great preacher, which I don’t think was an accident but rather that God has a mysterious way of talking to us at the right moment.  John Wesley, on an average, preached three sermons a day for fifty four years.  He did it by traveling on horseback for more than 5000 miles a year.  He also found time to write and edit.  His published works include a four-volume commentary of the entire Bible, a five-volume work on natural philosophy, a four-volume work on church history and an English dictionary.  He also wrote histories of England and Rome,
grammars on Hebrew, Latin, Greek, French and English.  He completed three works on medicine, six volumes of church music, seven volumes of sermons and edited fifty volumes of “The Christian Library.”  Wow! Those are just a few of his great accomplishments.  He woke up at 4 a.m. and went to bed at 10 p.m. and would often say, “I have more hours of private retirement than any man in England.”   How do we plan to manage our days?  Something to think about as we face the
beginning of a New Year. We have all been given identical suitcases, all the same size, but some people pack more into them than others. Apostle Paul admonishes us “to make the most use of our time.”  May God help us heed His counsel and make 2017 a productive year for His glory.  
 
Shalom, Shalom!


Adventist Hill

After a flying visit to Ottapalam where we were given an awesome welcome, we rushed over to Aizawl via Kolkata. While in transit, I could fulfill a long time bucket list desire.  I had the privilege of
visiting the humble abode of a great personality I have admired over the years, Mother Theresa.

Mizoram is beautiful by day and awesome by night.  It’s amazing how houses are built on stilts both in the valleys and mountain slopes utilizing every inch of space.  The function we attended in Aizawl,
the capital city, was graced by her highness, Mrs. Riliani, the first lady of Mizoram, wife of the Chief Minister.  At the ribbon cutting of the neonatal ICU at the SDA Hospital, we were told that if babies
die, it’s because there is not one hospital in all of Mizoram that has a neonatal ventilator.  What a blessing it would be if babies can be saved if they had a neonatal ventilator.  I was able to present
the amount raised in our church for this purpose and the Columbia Union President announced that he will double our contribution and make sure they have one soon.  Incidentally, the Columbia Union also
presented an ambulance to this small little hospital on Adventist Hill.  It is called Adventist Hill because most of the people who live there are Adventists.  They have an 800-member church on this hill with no pastor but taken care by 11 elders.  Wow!  I wish we could model them in the USA.

Shalom, Shalom!
Pastor Franklin David

“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and
think the unthinkable.”

TO KNOW HIM AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN


Confucious Say

PASTOR’S BLOG
Today is the birthday of Kong Qiu’s, more famously known as Confucius.  Born in a difficult period of Chinese history, he rose to
the occasion and gave to the world some sayings that have become very famous.  Here are just a few:

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

“There is beauty in everything but not everybody sees it.”

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.”

I can go on but one that made me laugh and think many years ago went like this:  “A man will have to wait a long time with his mouth open for a roasted duck to drop in.”  Basically, he was trying to teach that one has to work hard and seize the opportunities that come our way.  There is a common saying that goes like this:  “When opportunity knocks, open the door.”  It may not always happen,
sometimes we may have to make them happen and if they come our way, we must do as Apostle Paul says:  “We have to make the most of every opportunity.”  Why? It’s because not only are the days difficult but the time is short.  And each one of us are called to make the best of what we have in life.  This reminds me of the man who came to a fortune teller deeply concerned about his future and asked the question, “How will my life end?”  The fortune teller looked in the crystal ball and accurately predicted: “Your life will end with death.”  The man nodded and said, “I know that, but I want to know if I will be happy?” And the fortune teller replied, “That has nothing to do with your future but with what you do in the present.”  May God help us to do the very best in the present and leave the rest in His hands for “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Shalom, Shalom!
Pastor Franklin David

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TO KNOW HIM AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN