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  • Writer's pictureClarissa Rosario

Early Morning with the Carolina Pastors

This morning, as the rain was coming down, those of us in Stuart Auditorium for the 8:00am meeting were reminded to hold on to Jesus through life’s challenges and feel His presence.


George Wennerberg, pastor of the Wilmington, NC, church, opened with a thought-provoking question: “What do most people think about and who?” He quickly answered, “Most think about ‘I, myself, and me.’” This focus on self often leads to avoiding our own brokenness. Wennerberg finds a profound message in Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This verse highlights a spiritual journey beginning with recognizing our brokenness.


The Beatitudes outline a path starting with acknowledging our spiritual poverty, leading through mourning, humility, authenticity, and empowerment. To be truly broken, we must admit our need for a Savior, finding a deeper, more authentic relationship with God. Wennerberg illustrated this journey with the story of Louis Zamperini, who ran in the 1936 Olympics at age 19. His life changed dramatically during World War II as a bombardier. After crashing into the ocean, he survived 47 days on a life raft before being captured by the Japanese. Enduring two years of brutal treatment, Zamperini returned to the U.S. and fell into alcoholism. During this dark period, he encountered Jesus Christ, marking the beginning of his new life as a Christian evangelist.


Admitting brokenness opposes our inclination to portray selfesteem and strength. However, although Simon the Pharisee thought he was perfect, he was flawed as we all are. Recognizing our vulnerability allows us to appreciate our need for divine intervention, and thankfully, our God specializes in mending wounded souls. Wennerberg emphasized this message for Seventh-day Adventists, urging believers to live recognizing their constant need for a Savior. It is through brokenness that we find true healing and restoration.


—CLARISSA ROSARIO

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