Message Magazine logo
Are we there yet? typography and little girl sitting on overturned suitcase
Plus: The Test of your discipleship
How you wait while you wait
Jul/Aug 2023
Message Logo
QR Code icon
 Get More
Snap this code and check
out our video content
Are we there yet? We hold a sacred duty to become stewards of our time.

Delbert Baker/On or off track? How your present trajectory can be altered.

by William Taliaferro/We hold a sacred duty to become stewards of our time.

Rosualdo Pence/How to combat spiritual free radicals that compromise your vitality.

by Omar Miranda/Learn the art of responding rather than reacting.

by Omar Miranda/He was fostered by a white, atheistic family, but had a brush with Jesus.

by Robert Peters/Discipleship

Cover Photo : Adobe Stock
Paper cutout figures on wood table casting shadows
Close up of hand on chest and open book
Shadow of disciples on a ridge



by Carmela Monk Crawford/The Dead Sea and Me


by Carl McRoy/Garland H. White, Chaplain of Black Internationalism

by Donna Green Goodman/The Plant Powered Benefits of Asian Cuisine

by John and April Nixon/Unequally Yoked in the Bedroom


by Debleaire Snell/The Death of Truth

Cover Photo : Adobe Stock
Message Logo

Carmela Monk Crawford
[email protected]

Graphic Design
Erica Keith

Seventh-Day Adventist Church logo
Subscriber Services
Pacific Press Publishing Assoc.,
Virginia Ramsey 1-800-456-3991

Samuel Archer
[email protected]

Consulting Editors
Roger Bernard
Marvin Brown
Carlton Byrd
Virgil Childs
Byron Dulan
Garth Gabriel
Alva James-Johnson
Benjamin Jones
Abraham Jules
Kenneth Manders
Michael Owusu
Calvin Preston
Marcellus Robinson
Calvin Watkins

Call 1-800-456-3991 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time for subscription information or address changes. MESSAGE (ISSN 0026-0231) is published bimonthly Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec.

© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 89 No 4. July/August. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

Recycle Icon

Vintage Vault

Cost of Discipleship

The Message Magazine cover from 1963
“’Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.’ Philippians 3:8.

“One of the early Christian martyrs of the church, Ignatius, said before his death, ‘Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of the bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!’

“Just before he was thrown to the wild beasts to be devoured, he said, ‘I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be found with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.’ We can be disciples of Christ only as we are willing, like Ignatius, to count all things ‘but dung’ that we may win Christ.’”

—“This Morning with God” A Golden Verse for Each Day,
by Eva B. Dykes, March April, 1963

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.

I love the concept of reading or listening to a good song that can build character and bless the mind at the same time. Enjoy this journey of Elevation!
Maurette Brown Clark 'I see good" album
Maurette Brown-Clark
I See Good

Maurette Brown Clark is back with inspiring music that will grab your attention. She has released her new single titled “I See Good.” She has more music to release and I’m excited to see her journey. From songs like: “I Just Want to Praise You,” “One God,” and “It Ain’t Over (Until God Says It’s Over),” we have been blessed by her music ministry. She has shown great excitement over this new project and I share this exuberance. I recommend all to go and be a witness to her musical ministry. Her music can be downloaded from any digital platform.


My message
THE Dead Sea and Me

aving waded into the Dead Sea on a recent tour of Israel, I was amused to topple on the water and float there like an inflatable raft. You see, the way my body is set up, I have no problem floating anyway. I was so enthralled, however, when my feet touched the seabed because of the large formations of salt I could feel with my toes. I plunged my hand in to retrieve them only to come up shouting in shock at the stinging splash in my eyes, nose and mouth.

The Dead Sea, at more than 400 meters below sea level, is the absolute lowest point on earth. Runoff from towns and villages along the famed Jordan River all the way through the desert and through the mountain leads into the Dead, A.K.A. Salt Sea. This shiny, briny lake, nine times saltier than the ocean, has no outlet, and is constantly mined for its minerals that make cosmetic creams and oils. I plunged my hand into my purse to buy these, and my credit card is still stinging.

eye on the times
woman next to giant clock
Affirmative Action: The Dilemma Continues typographic title
Photo by Adobe Stock
By Edward Woods, III
n Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Students for Fair Admissions in both cases. Students for Fair Admission claimed that both universities violated the 14th Amendment, specifically the Equal Protection Clause, by discriminating against White and Asian American students in favor of other races.

“Many universities have for too long… concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority opinion. “Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

By ending race-based admissions, the Court favored backing a colorblind Constitution and ignoring the history and impact of race, genderism, and classism in America. According to the National Constitution Center website, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights “were drafted by people of similar background, generally educated white men of property.” In essence, it could be argued that challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned applied only to the homogeneous context of “generally white men of property.” Although this opinion focused on race, it opens discussion on the systemic advantages and disadvantages of genderism and classism in America.

Black from the Past
Garland H. White: Chaplain of Black Internationalism
Garland H. White signature
By Carl McRoy
dotted line going up - cream
“We want no negro equality, no negro citizenship. . . as one man would meet you upon the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other,” said Robert Toombs, of Georgia, in his 1861 farewell to the U.S. Senate (Goodheart, “The South Rises Again – and Again, and Again.” New York Times, January 27, 2011).

Garland H. White had other ideas. He was stolen from his mother Nancy at about age 10, and sold into Toombs’ possession. When Toombs became a U.S. House Representative in 1844, White accompanied him to Washington, D.C. White attempted to escape in 1850, but was soon caught and returned to Toombs. Toombs had the nerve to return with White to D.C. when elected to the Senate in 1852.

Optimal Health
Plant-based Lifestyle
The Plant-Powered Benefits of ASIAN CUISINE
Photo by Adobe Stock
The Plant-Powered Benefits of ASIAN CUISINE

By Donna Green Goodman

In the new documentary “From Food to Freedom,” nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., unleashes powerful and persuasive information regarding a plant-based diet. Especially if you want to be well.

The doc traces the experience of six people thrown into a plant-based diet, but draws from Campbell’s nutritional study one of the most comprehensive nutritional studies ever undertaken known as the China Project. The 1980s study, in partnership with researchers at Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, took advantage of a unique opportunity.

“The Chinese population tended to live in the same area all their lives and to consume the same diets unique to each region. Their diets (low in fat and high in dietary fiber and plant material) also were in stark contrast to the rich diets of the Western countries. The truly plant-based nature of the rural Chinese diet gave researchers a chance to compare plant-based diets with animal-based diets.” (

Total Wellness
Photo by Adobe Stock

exual satisfaction is a big consideration in any healthy Christian marriage. We believe it is a key ingredient of the total intimacy that couples should strive for, and it should be this way based on Scripture.

Paul says it plainly, “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs” (1 Corinthians 7:3, NLT). But there are various obstacles to getting this right every time in the marriage bed, and that’s understandable.

No one is perfect and can’t be expected to perfectly satisfy his or her partner 100% of the time. But some couples fall short of this goal consistently, and these are the ones we want to focus on. Is it possible that some couples are misaligned in some way? Is there such thing as being unequally yoked in the bedroom?

Photo by Adobe Stock
By Dr. Delbert Baker
Uppercase letter R dropcap in brown
alph Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

This is what destiny and purpose is all about. Explore the following for your self-improvement.

Are We There Yet? typography on a green regulatory sign
By W. Nick Taliaferro

he summer will launch a million journeys, from sea to shining sea; but from the immature minds of millions of kids, ultimately one question will fall from juvenile lips…

“Are we there yet?”

It is the province of the young to focus on the destination rather than the journey. The glory of a scarlet sunset, the wonder of shooting stars across a velvet sky, the grand vistas of land, sea and sky — all of these things can become eclipsed by an “are we there yet” focus from immature inquirers. The beauty of the journey itself — and all of its lessons and wonders — can be lost when young minds become so concerned with the end of the journey that they neglect to pay attention to the rest of it.

a young girl with long pigtails sits on a suit case resting her head in one hand and looking up with an unamused expression on her face
Photo by Adobe Stock
Are We There Yet? typography on a green regulatory sign and a young girl with long pigtails sitting on a suit case resting her head in one hand and looking up with an unamused expression on her face
Photo by Adobe Stock
By W. Nick Taliaferro

he summer will launch a million journeys, from sea to shining sea; but from the immature minds of millions of kids, ultimately one question will fall from juvenile lips…

“Are we there yet?”

It is the province of the young to focus on the destination rather than the journey. The glory of a scarlet sunset, the wonder of shooting stars across a velvet sky, the grand vistas of land, sea and sky — all of these things can become eclipsed by an “are we there yet” focus from immature inquirers. The beauty of the journey itself — and all of its lessons and wonders — can be lost when young minds become so concerned with the end of the journey that they neglect to pay attention to the rest of it.

four keys to a Healthy Spiritual Life
Four Ways to Build a Strong, Healthy Spirtual Life
By Rosauldo Ponce
ickness is a great threat to our health and well-being because of the hazard it brings. Pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, and free radicals such as toxins and pollutants can damage cells when they gain a foothold in the body. The harmful effects of these invasive agents will cause infections and disorders that leave its prey in a weak, sick, and dying condition. The dangers brought by sickness fuel people to eat a nutritious diet, take supplements, and engage in exercises to keep their immune systems strong in order to repulse the pathogens and the free radicals from entering their bodies. A healthy lifestyle is the only way to combat these causative agents of diseases.

Spiritually, there are also pathogens and free radicals like temptations, persecutions, worries, fear, hardships, and all forms of trials that want to enter our spiritual lives to bring spiritual illness. Building a strong and healthy spiritual lifestyle is the best and most vital weapon to fight these agents of sickness. Here are four simple, yet powerful ways to provide the nutrition and power you need for a strong, healthy spiritual well-being.

UNsaid typography

Photo by Adobe Stock

Seven Secrets to Avoid Ruining Your Relationships

By Omar Miranda
ost people feel the strong urge to express themselves all the time because they have a poor self worth. I was one of them. However, after learning to practice silence, stillness, solitude, and steeping, the realization sinks in: “I am priceless — not because of anything that I’ve done, experienced, or attained, but simply because Jesus died for me.”

Jesus Himself said: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). Once I realized that, I was secure! And once I realized that I was secure and eternally loved, I realized that I didn’t need to prove anything to anybody.

Proverbs about Speech
illustration of two people, one speaking and one listening with a scrambled tangled tether
Photo by Adobe Stock
The Bible’s Book of Proverbs brims with wisdom about speech and its impact; here is a mere sampling:
  • The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (Prov. 15:2, NKJV)
  • The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. (Prov. 16:23, NKJV)
  • The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. (Prov. 18:6-7, NIV)
Fully Persuaded
Photo by Good Salt
Fully Persuaded
BY Matthew Fischer
letter T dropcap
he word faith is closely related to the word believing. Perhaps our faith was shaky at times because we didn’t have enough information to actually believe it.

Here is the difference. Believing is an “is”— much like arithmetic or true science. We don’t struggle with the possibility that there is some other explanation for 2 + 2 = 4, for example. Or that when we plant tomatoes, we get tomatoes.

It doesn’t keep us, or the neighbors, awake. We all believe in those universal truths. When you think of it, we carry out the act of believing a thousand times a day. We don’t check the legs of chairs before we sit down. We don’t check under the hood every time we start our car.

Faith = Pistis in the Greek Believing = Pisteuo in the Greek.

Testimony: Connecting the Dots
Photo by Adobe Stock
Testimony: Connecting the Dots
T dropcap
he late Steve Jobs, in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, stated:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Derek Morrison in his book, “Luck, Coincidence or Providence?,” challenges Job’s statement by asserting that we should trust in God’s providence.

Morrison, who is of Afro-Caribbean descent, was fostered in 1964 at nine months old, into a loving white, atheist family, who lived in outer London. His memoir looks back and joins up the dots of his life through racism, riots, and reggae to faith.

The Death of Truth
By Debleaire Snell
ne of the unique challenges facing church, culture, and even politics is the slow death of truth. We live in a world where opinion has supplanted the authority of truth. ESPN no longer highlights actual sports but opinion shows about sports. Most news outlets feature debate shows or political round tables more than they feature the actual reporting of news.

Recently, commentators Don Lemon of CNN and Carlson Tucker of Fox News were relieved of their anchor duties because their colorful commentary finally crossed lines that their networks deemed inappropriate. Social media lights up on a nightly basis with misinformed or poorly informed opinions that are spewed with the dogmatic force of a literary sledgehammer.

You’re family here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His Word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
"The Hope of the Race Discipleship"
Photo by Light Stock
Your Obedience, Spiritual Growth and God’s Kingdom Expansion
By Robert Peters
Purple A dropcap
ll Christians must understand the importance of obedience. Through obedience people become Christians. Through obedience Christians grow spiritually. Through obedience Christians make and nurture new disciples. However, stubbornness and selfishness in the life of Christians are the very things that prevent spiritual growth. They cause Christians to stagnate and flail instead of producing and nurturing new disciples for Christ.

Discipleship is not a ministry; it’s a way of life. Spiritual growth is a way of life and discipleship is intertwined with spiritual growth. They run hand in hand.

What did Jesus teach? “Go ye into all the world and make members of all the nations?” No, He said, “Go ye into all the world and make disciples.”

Bless and Be Blessed
Map of all Churches in the U.S.
Find resources near you by going to this link
Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
Uppercase letter Q in blue 404-799-7288
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Ashton, MD
Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church
18800 New Hampshire Ave
P.O. Box 519
Ashton, MD 20861-0519
Uppercase letter Q in blue 301-774-0400
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Baltimore, MD
Berea Temple SDA Church
1901 Madison Ave
Baltimore, MD 21217-3803
Uppercase letter Q in blue 410-669-6350
Lowercase letter w in red
Lowercase letter m in orange [email protected]
Message Magazine logo
Thanks for reading our July/August 2023 issue!