Morning Worship with Charles Sarr

Morning Worship with Charles Sarr

good morning heritage it’s good to see you this morning and i’m going to ask as we get started with our chapel this morning that you would choose to pray with me good morning father every morning with you is a good morning whatever the circumstances about us might be but especially today we’re thankful that mr bobby miss maddie are back on u.s soil and are headed here it’s been a long time since we’ve been together as a family father this morning we want to understand more about the plan you have and how you’ve unfolded that plan in this place and so we’re asking that you’ll speak to us not that it’s the unprofitable servant but it is the profitable message that needs to be heard so thank you for meeting our need we ask confidently and we ask in the name of jesus amen we’ve been talking about ed sutherland ed sutherland’s experience significantly unfolds to us an understanding of the principles behind and a school similar to ours and how adventist education at large has come to be what it is today you might recall that ed wanted to be a doctor he even sold his pony mouse to be able to go to college to be a doctor and then he got there and and found out the program had been canceled but he didn’t waste the time he worked with professor goodloe bell to learn about english and rhetoric because he’d realize he was pretty lacking in those things when he was trying to teach that one year well he learned a lot more than english and rhetoric from professor bell he learned some key things about true education and then a couple of years later he met a friend that was going to be a lifelong friend his name was percy mcgann and he also spent a significant amount of time with mother white the year was 1888 righteousness by faith was being emphasized and this confluence of events was no accident and though younger there’s quite a bit that percy was able to teach ed a steady unsakeable unshakable religious experience that was based on righteousness by faith in jesus through that winter the boys carefully observed mother white they marked her self-sacrificing life in her simple home and the joy that just kind of exuded from her to everybody that was around her they came to understand her standards for living and her selfless concern for the growing work and they learned to value the marvelous gift that god had given to this gentle woman for the church that was growing and they were became convinced that these revelations were directly from god and that those revelations needed to shape everything that they did so they pledged to each other i just want to suggest to you accountability partners are important they pledged to each other that they would live their lives in harmony with god’s revealed will through his word and through the special messages that were coming to mother white well percy began working in the bakery it wasn’t long before he was the head baker and in his spare time he went over to the machine shop and he learned how to use the machinery ed on the other hand in his spare time played football and baseball and one day ed took hold of percy’s arm and he said we need another man on the baseball team somebody’s got this kind of muscle not interested but why let’s just say i can’t regard any activity is a recreation suitable for me unless it confers benefit on someone else well surely vigorous exercise is healthful and necessary for the body yes exercise is good and necessary but to my way of thinking such exercise can be gotten in profitable ways true recreation brings blessing to others ed pondered what his friend had said coming eventually to believe the same the next year percy was gone on an around-the-world trip with sn haskell scouting out locations for mission trips mother white had suggested him for the trip and in percy’s absence ed took notice of a certain young lady her name was sally berliar she also lived in iowa she was talented educated she was an artist fluent in languages sterling character they both wanted to teach they had a couple of classes together and although the rules of the college yes college restricted association between the men and the women ed found a way to let sally know he was interested and sally found a way to let ed know that she reciprocated before graduation the faculty did give their permission for them to get to know each other after graduation ed went to minnesota again that’s where he had been canvassing with mrs gotzean this time he went to serve as the tent master for an evangelistic effort there and sally went home to prepare for the wedding they married in august and ed now 25 took his bride 19 back to minnesota where he had accepted the position of principal of the minneapolis academy in the 1890-1891 school year the couple melded into a powerful team one spring morning ed came home early to announce to sally union college wanted them to come as teachers ed’s father had become the business manager of the new college and he’d asked ed if he wouldn’t come and help out with the program sally would head up the art department ed would teach history they prayed about the invitation and decided it was the right thing to do meanwhile back in battle creek percy now 21 has been asked to interrupt his studies to fill an urgent need for a history teacher he studied well beyond the requirements of history he studied into mother white’s council on education by the time he finished teaching this first year he was committed to several basic principles of educational reform that he would champion for the rest of his life well ed and sally packed up at the end of the school year they headed for union college and they barely got there got their things off the wagon when they turned around and headed for michigan because in harbor springs michigan that summer there was a special retreat for educators some 100 adventist teachers were getting together for several weeks of study into the councils that mother white had been giving to the church on education and mother white was there also she spoke a total of six times this was the summer that ed met his crisis of belief in righteousness by faith during these harbor springs meetings percy was sharing some of what mother white had written with edward and edward later recalled and this is a quote there came to me the acid test do you believe in righteousness by faith are your sins forgiven because christ’s offer has been accepted or do you strive to attain righteousness by your own works well ed yielded completely to the grace and the merit of jesus christ this is also the summer when ed met another challenge in his life many adventists at this time considered the testimonies to simply be personal messages not general counsel good for everybody according to ed church members would read them put them back on the shelf and say sure glad she didn’t write that to me ed finally accepted that mother white’s messages had general application application to him it was a conviction that held a great import for the rest of his life the conviction that the revelations came directly from god struck really deep into percy and edward’s hearts and minds and it shaped all their future actions if i had to identify a single pivotal point in ed sutherlan’s life this would probably be it to settle on the fact that when god convicts he would respond whatever that conviction and however he may have thought prior to it we’re going to see that unfolding in his life well during the meetings those that were gathered there had a actually a pretty relaxed schedule there were three hours of presentations each morning and the rest of the day well the rest of the day was for individual study and for meditation and for prayer and ed thought it would be really easy to meditate while he was fishing he suggested that percy come join him fishing has lost its lure me replied percy with a twinkle in his eye at the play on words he explained that he’d become a vegetarian and he didn’t care to catch fish or any other animal for food percy instead convinced ed about mother white’s instruction in the bible and the testimonies on the subject of diet and ed was convinced that god’s original plan was for humans to eat no meat and that summer he became a vegetarian the harbor springs meetings were studying the principles that were being put forth by mother white for educational reform she’d been giving these principles for some time but they were finally getting a thorough airing and not surprisingly ed found himself right along with percy in full agreement with the council from mother white it was during these meetings that ed confided in percy that he wanted to go south like mother white had been encouraging people to start a new work in the southern united states and percy with his typical wisdom beyond his years responded if we’re willing i think god will open the way for us to work where he needs us most well it didn’t take very long to find out where he needs us most in fact before the meetings were over ed announced to sally that the general conference had asked them to go to battle crete to teach and so they went back to union put their things back on the wagons made their way to battle creek and just before time to start school ed was informed that he wouldn’t be teaching history he was going to be teaching old testament well ed thought genesis would be a good place to start in the old testament after all if it’s the book of beginnings it’s a good place to start and it’s not too far into genesis that you discover man’s original diet soon the students were requesting the cafeteria to have a vegetarian option you see at that time the food was first served family style they would just put a big bowl of food on the tip table and everyone would help themselves to avoid embarrassment the cafeteria established two of the tables as vegetarian tables but it proved not to be enough very quickly ed was called into the president’s office and the school matron she’s kind of like a camas mom she was there too and they were encouraging ed not to stir up controversy in the students well he didn’t argue with that but he also didn’t back down on teaching what the bible said and the students stood with him on the principles of diet within three years the president was a vegetarian and meat had disappeared from the campus entirely the incident also brought ed again to the attention of the general conference ed he’s 27 now percy’s 23 they spoke often of the council that mother white had given which the church’s educators were so slow to follow they prayed often for their beloved battle creek but their time together was going to be cut short at the end of the school year ed was being relocated again so let’s take a look at some things that ed’s learned righteousness by faith and a vibrant growing trusting relationship with jesus like percy he learns about true education excuse me true recreation again like percy and he’s learned about vegetarian diet like percy and he’s learned how to move often not like percy first of all to the minneapolis academy in minnesota after graduation and then after one year to union college in nebraska and then not even starting at union college before moving to battle creek and now after only a year at battle creek to be continued in my original presentation but not today no see from college he went to be the principal of the minneapolis academy and then he moved to union college and from union college he went back to battle creek but that only lasted a year and now he’s off to the west coast to washington state to a brand new college being built called walla walla you see edward had been made the principal of the new college the president however lived in michigan and so for practical purposes it was ed’s responsibility to get the school ready for operation that first year the sutherlands moved in july and school needed to start by december and in between ed had to attend camp meeting he had to create a curriculum for the college he had to produce a catalog he had to find and hire teachers he had to recruit some students and in his spare time he had to oversee the construction of the building on opening day december 7 there were 91 students and 10 teachers by the end of the school year enrollment was 160 and just for con for comparison okay the university of washington there in washington state it had been an operation for 30 years and their total enrollment was 42 students but things were a bit rough the building wasn’t finished when they started school construction only progressed as funds were available because ed was strenuously opposed to debt the only heat in the entire building was from two stoves one was a little pot belly stove in the chapel nice to know that there’s a little heat in the chapel the other one was a borrowed range in the kitchen and it turned out when they tried to use it the first day it didn’t work there was only one bathroom and one bathtub in each dorm how many students were there at the end of the year 160 that’s about 80 in each dorm one bathroom one bathtub well the staff wrote to the general conference describing the challenge and asking for some help the general conference wrote back with detailed instructions on how to take a bath and a basin of water and so the school promptly purchased basins for all of the dorm rooms ed was very intentional about educating his staff in the councils that mother white was sending from australia he held staff retreats where they would study the testimonies on christian education coming from mother white the testimonies were a constant topic of conversation all over the campus the fundamental question with each new letter was what is this going to look like here how are we going to implement this principle one of the principles was to have plenty of land when walla walla was purchased there was more than 120 acres but by the time ed got there more than two-thirds of that had been sold off to ed it looked like battle creek all over again he and sally kept the land situation as an ongoing matter of prayer and economic times were challenging so much so that some of the farmers that had bought the land from the school couldn’t keep up on their loans and so ed took the opportunity to buy back over 80 acres now they could run a farm along with the school and at the end of that first school year ed was ordained as a gospel minister the next fall he was given the title of president which function he had been exercising since his arrival and that second year there was also a new staff member her name was bessie degraw she interrupted her studies at battle creek similar to what percy had done a few years earlier to travel to walla walla and help out she came on the condition that she would not be asked to be the preceptors now that’s not a term we hear a whole lot it’s it’s something akin to a dorm dean well upon arrival ed promptly asked her to be the preceptorist and she acquiesced bethe proved to be a dynamo that would wind up working with ed to further true education for the rest of her life mother white was in australia one of her purposes was to build a school implementing the principles of true education that she had been given and in 1895 and 1896 there was a wealth of information coming from avondale the new school and ed with his teachers were determined to pattern wall of wall after what mother white was doing in australia ed had been at walla wall for about five years and he had an opportunity to present a report that was happen of what was happening at the school to the general conference in session in february of eighteen ninety seven conference also heard reports from battle creek which was struggling at the time with a debt of over ninety thousand dollars uh in today’s dollars that’s over two and a half million clearly god had been able to bless young ed’s leadership at walla walla and the church voted to move that leadership to its flagship institution battle creek ed and sally and bessie ii would be joining percy back at battle creek the next school year so change is always challenging and it’s much easier to do it right from the beginning than it is to change it after it’s been going the wrong way ed’s about to discover just how challenging it can be to pull teachers and students together into embracing and implementing change but let’s see what he’s learned so far he’s learned to follow the council from mother white council that says you need plenty of land for a school that you should be having a vegetarian diet that agriculture is an important part of education that we should avoid debt that works along with study is part of an all-around education that we should have short programs for mature students and that you should entire engage your entire staff in the study of these councils and as a result you should move forward together in implementing the plan that comes we’ll pick up more on ed’s experience as he comes back to battle creek in tomorrow’s presentation will you pray with me father in heaven if there’s no other lesson we learn let us learn the lesson of responding to the promptings of your holy spirit we’ll never have the opportunity of being the president of a college if we can’t get beyond the little things that you try to teach us about whatever it might be we need to surrender to you whether it be our dress or our recreation or our diet help us to learn to be faithful to you this day in responding to whatever promptings your spirit brings us and then help us to be faithful workers for you that you can use in any way that you wish and i thank you for already working to make that a reality i thank you in jesus name amen you
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Morning Worship with Charles Sarr

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