Good News In A Floating Bottle

“As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25

On February 25, 2010 my friend Sammy Albury dropped a bottle into the sea near his home in Man-O-War Cay, the Bahamas. It contained a note, bearing this inscription: “God has given us this day, so let’s enjoy it.” Accompanying that message was a small page from the Psalms.

Later that year, brother Sammy went to be with the Lord, not knowing that his message would travel approximately 3,700 miles to Frouxeira Beach, near Valdoviño in Galicia on Spain’s northwest coast*. This amazing incident brought the verse at the top of this post to mind. The story also reminded me of the way that little things we perform faithfully can return to us in time to come.

True Philanthropy

Spreading God’s truth is aided and made more memorable by acts of kindness and Christian love. Distractions abound in this fast-paced world, and it is easy to miss opportunities to testify to the lost regarding God’s grace, not to mention to remind the saved of His love for them. It can be something ever so small: giving someone a gospel tract, a word of encouragement, or a simple prayer offered for someone in need. Sending letters and cards to cheer the sick or the lonely is a time-honored tactic for doing good to one’s fellowman (of course, e-mail is also an option, but many prefer the “human touch” of physical mail.)

Brother Sammy left behind more than just an innovative floating tract; he also bequeathed a good reputation and a godly testimony to his family, friends, and acquaintances on the island where he lived. It is true that he sent “good news from a far country.” Additionally, he left a legacy of sharing his faith over many years to those that he encountered.

Leaving Behind Something Worthwhile

Almost twenty years ago a brother in the Lord shared some meaningful advice with me: “Always preach Christ,” he said. So often I have thought of those simple words – often as I step into the pulpit to share God’s Word – and they have helped to moor me to the solid rock of Christ-centered preaching. I am not sure that the man who imparted that advice even remembers that incident. Yet the Lord has often used his counsel to help me stayed focused upon Himself in Bible teaching.

All of which leads me to ask: What am I leaving behind? What “good news” am I sending forth through my words and works? For that matter, what are you doing to impact others for eternity and glorify God? Pondering these questions from time to time is certainly a valuable exercise.

*Carla Elias, “De las Bahamas a Valdoviño en una botella” (“From the Bahamas to Valdoviño in a bottle”), Spanish newspaper article in La Voz de Galicia, accessed here on 10/10/11:


  1. Thanks for the reminder Keith. Eugene Bertin said “It is when we forget ourselves that we do things that are remembered.” So often we fail to simply do good and give the Lord the credit and glory. The Lord was the greatest of all at showing kindness and compassion. I pray we follow His example today.

  2. Samantha Sands

    Reading your article was touching to say the least seeing this person you are talking about was my father. He is now living in Heaven with Jesus the person whom he wrote about in the bottle. What a great comfort to know this. He defiantly left a legecy of sharing God’s Word. I pray many more of his bottles will be found and it will lead souls to Jesus.

  3. Ah, Keith – It was wonderful to see you, Naomi, and the girls today, although our time was brief. We landed in Marsh Harbour for our stay here, and I just got online for the first time in a few days. This was the first e-mail I read. In our home, I have a magnificent wooden footstool. My name is on it, but underneath it is the signature “Samuel Albury”, with the date. Every time I use that footstool, I smile at the memories of Sammy, a very good man. I had not heard about his floating bottles, but it’s no surprise. What a man….

    • A-men, brother Alan. What a collection of saints the Lord is assembling in heaven – all there by His grace & marvelously made like the glorious Christ (the consummation of that transformation awaits the return of the Lord to transform our bodies, but oh what He does by His Spirit even in this life. “As JND’s hymn has it: “All like Thee, for Thy glory like Thee Lord.”)
      It was good to see Dawna & you, & we pray that the Lord will bless your messages this week.


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