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          Pastor Tim and Bonnie Mayne
Welcome to the Tillamook Adventist Church!

Did you know that it is only 8 hours and 45 minutes (one fuel stop, one rest stop, one Taco Bell stop) to Paradise? We just drove from there recently after taking our daughter to college, and visiting our son and his wife in Paradise, CA.

Why is it so fascinating to say that you have been to Paradise? And to worship on Sabbath in Paradise?  Isn't that what we all look forward to?  Isn't that one of the reasons we are "Seventh-day" Adventists?  Of Course!  But most of us are not looking toward California to find our Heavenly homeland...so how far away is Paradise for you?

October is an interesting month for Adventists.  For it was in this month, 1844, October 22, that we began this final movement in our return to paradise.  From that date, we have grown in both membership and in understanding of God's plan of salvation.  From shut doors to flung open doors, from a local message to a worldwide one.  We have pushed and pulled our way to a knowledge of God and His kingdom.  But for so many of us, the kingdom seems so far away. Paradise is further down the road than we have fuel to drive.  Nine hours has turned into eternity and for some of us, courage is waning.  We have stopped asking, "Are we there yet?"  And just searched for another video game to entertain ourselves with.

One of my favorite texts to repeat daily is found in Luke 12:32 (NLT) "So don't be afraid, little flock.  For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom!"  The Greek word used here is "eudokeesen" and it means "well pleased".  When you see that translation, what does it make you think of?  For me it was the baptism of Jesus.  When He came up out of the water there in the Jordan River, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove and a voice from heaven said, "You are my dearly loved Son and bring Me great joy!"  Or "great happiness".  Or "in whom I am well pleased".  The same happiness that God had for His Son there in that day on the banks of the river, is the same happiness that He has when we realize that His kingdom is a willing gift from Him.  Not something far away that we can't reach.  But something that is given freely, something that is given with joy, something that is right at hand.

So how do we get there?  How do we live in such a way that the kingdom of heaven is real for us?  "Outside" magazine has an interesting cover story entitled "Live Your Best Life...127 strategies for living bravely".  127 strategies?  How about one?  Surrender.  Surrender to the God who loves you.  Surrender to the God who doesn't condemn you. Surrender to the God who wants you in His kingdom.  C.S. Lewis writes in "The Problem of Pain" page 153 "...All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness.  The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it..."  Why not today?

Paul says in Hebrews 4:7, "So God set another time for the entering His rest, and that time is TODAY!" Today...when you hear His voice...don't harden your hearts!  Today, accept the fact that the kingdom of God is yours!  A gift.  A free gift with no strings attached.  And it was given to you by God's only Son in whom He is well pleased.

Paradise is closer than you think.  So be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning...then you will be ready to receive both the kingdom and the King.

In His Matchless Love,
Pastor Tim Mayne

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
Matthew 4:19, NIV

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