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What A.A. Taught Me About Church

September 14, 2018 | Anneliese Wahlman

Note: some names and minor details in this post have been changed to protect privacy.

Lots of people complain about millennials: we’re shallow, entitled, lazy, we don’t know how to do anything useful. We’re pretty much the equivalent of a generational menstrual cramp for the human race, from which recovery is doubtful. (Cue “The problem with young people these days” speech.) Within the church, people are especially freaking out about the fact that these young people seem to be leaving faster than we can bribe them with a latte.

I’m a millennial and, yeah, I’m lazy. And there are definitely lots of practical things I don’t know how to do. (Sometimes I wonder if this whole adulting thing is gonna work out longterm.) But when it comes to church, I feel like a bit of an outlier. I’ve attended church all my life. I grew up knowing that I should have a relationship with Jesus and bring people into the church. I heard Scripture-based sermons and marked prooftext studies in …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

3,500 Light Years Away

August 3, 2018 | Light Bearers

On June 15 of this year, Cambridge University scientist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) was buried between Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. A physicist and cosmologist of the highest rank, Hawking is believed to be the greatest scientist of his generation.

As his ashes were lowered into the ground, a recording of his voice was beamed 3,500 light years away toward the nearest black hole in the universe. It symbolically commemorated Hawking’s life-long desire to reach outer space and penetrate the unknown.

In some sense we all long to be heard.

Hawking was heard all over the world, yet he needed the universe to know his voice. Though an atheist, he wanted to reach beyond the stars, whether or not something—or Someone—was listening.

Yet there is Someone listening. Maybe we can’t beam our voices into a black hole, yet the lowliest among us has the privilege of knowing our faintest whisper can reach beyond the known universe and into the very presence of God. It’s a baffling reality.

…he wanted to reach …
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Light Bearers

a publishing, training and evangelism ministry.

Honest Gabe

July 19, 2018 | Anneliese Wahlman

The best policy

I’m not a parent, but from watching my sister Catie and her kids, it seems to me that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a mother trying to maintain a semblance of control is in want of a child who will keep her honest.

Enter my nephew Gabriel.

Gabe is six years old and growing up quickly. He proudly showed me his teeth—or lack of them—the other day over FaceTime. It’s hard for me not to feel happy around him, especially when he tells me that my mouth looks like the Amazon logo when I laugh.

The world is shiny and new, simple and golden for Gabe. Maybe that’s why he’s so fun to talk to. Or maybe it’s because, like most kids, he’s rich in the currency of total transparency. He just says stuff how it is, and there’s no reason to pretend you are something you aren’t. There is something renewing to the human spirit when you hang out with someone so very authentic, …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

A Channel of Light

April 6, 2018 | James Rafferty

As I moved through our publishing house today, checking the inventory, I felt a sense of urgency to get literature out the door. Things are changing. The world is changing. The ability to send gospel-filled containers around the world is changing.

Great changes often happen quickly and without notice. In Christ’s time, John was preaching in the wilderness, pointing people to Jesus. The next thing we know, he’s being persecuted by civil authority for opposing immoral lifestyles. Does that sound familiar?

Today, we in America still have a good amount of freedom compared to some other nations where gospel literature is forbidden. We can still be like John, who bore “witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:7-8).

That’s what we’ve always believed about Light Bearers. We are a channel of light. Or, as John says, we …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

From Here, We Can Go Anywhere

February 21, 2018 | Anneliese Wahlman

We all have a moral compass that guides us. It keeps us from punching the people who upset us and lets us know we need to apologize for telling our sister she’s fat. But we also experience a sort of silly guilt for things that aren’t really moral issues but make us feel bad for one reason or another.

My older sister Catie will make herself eat the end piece of a loaf of bread simply because she doesn’t want it to be neglected (or wasted, either). I also have a friend who, when she and her husband are driving, makes him pull over if she sees any small creatures crossing the road. Then, like a guardian angel, she gets out and gently picks up whatever the creature is and moves it across the road to safety.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel bad for not helping bugs cross the street. However, I do feel slight twinges of silly guilt when I look at my reading list and see all the books …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

When the Wedding Is Over

February 13, 2018 | Anneliese Wahlman

To some of us, they were Aunty Carol and Uncle Dave. She was small like a bird and sweet as honey. He was tall, practical, and kept a hundred stories tucked away in his pockets to share with the students assigned to him during the work period. They lived up the road from the girls dorm, and on some Saturday afternoons my friends and I would go to the big white house on the hill to visit Mr. and Mrs. Meservia.

Though he was of retirement age, Uncle Dave still worked as head of the maintenance department when I was in high school. He eased away some of our work time by giving us advice or telling us of his adventures while serving in the Canadian Navy, like the time he got to dine with the Queen of England’s mother.

Aunty’s health was bad, so she mostly stayed home. But she didn’t complain. She was always surrounded by a steady peace, like there was an anchor somewhere deep inside her, …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Looking Back to the Future

January 1, 2018 | Ty Gibson

“Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4, NKJV).

There’s a reason why so many treadmills end up at the thrift store.

New Year’s Resolutions are a popular thing to do, but not necessarily a productive thing to do. Sure, there are some people for whom making promises for the future works well, but for most of us New Year’s Resolutions never pan out. In fact, for many people, the overall effect is negative, because when you make a promise and don’t follow through to keep it, the bottom line outcome is a sense of discouragement, impotence, and even guilt. Gradually, making promises and not keeping them causes a person to lose confidence in themselves.

So I’d like to suggest beginning the new year with a backward assessment rather than merely launching forward with grandiose resolutions. Recently I heard someone call this approach a “Past Year Review” (PYR), drawn from a common business practice referred to …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Sill Me, I Thought I Was Good by Anneliese Wahlman

Silly Me, I Thought I Was Good

November 9, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

Besides things like rolling my brother down a hill in a cardboard barrel and convincing my sister to ride our pet goat like a horse, a lot of my childhood memories are framed around stories. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad reading to me My Bible Friends and Green Eggs and Ham. When I got to be a bit older, I started getting into mystery stories. There was something delicious about putting clues together, solving the problem, and saving the day all from the safety of my grandma’s recliner.

I discovered though that real-life mysteries weren’t as fun. Some real-life mysteries for me were things like algebra, boys, and salvation. All three made me cry at some point, but I want to focus on that last one for a bit (sorry, not gonna talk about boys here).

I was raised in a Christian home and I knew the key to salvation was recognizing my need for a Savior. Jeremiah 17:9 said that my “heart is deceitful above …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Why Is Adventism so Weird?

Why Is Adventism So Weird?

October 27, 2017 | Marcos Torres

Adventism is Protestant.

And yet there is something about us that makes us weird.

Hardly anything Adventism believes is uniquely Adventist. So it’s not our “doctrines” that make us weird. Even the ones that we have developed and call our own are built upon foundations that are entirely non-Adventist. We did not just drop out of the sky. We did not re-invent or develop a faith in isolation from all other faith traditions. Rather, we evolved and blossomed from the stories that came before us. When we peel back all the layers of arrogant pride, sectarian ideology and holier-than-thou attitudes we arrive at a faith that is remarkably indebted to historic Christian thought. And yet, there’s something eccentric about us. We are Protestants yes. But we are also weird.

In order to explain what I mean I need to step out of Adventism a bit and take a brief view at the Protestant movement. The first inclination of Protestantism is what some refer to as the proto-Protestants (Waldensians, Lollards, and …
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Marcos Torres

Pastor
Western Australia Conference

A Brutal Wakeup Call—The Charlottesville Incident by Ty Gibson

A Brutal Wakeup Call

August 17, 2017 | Ty Gibson

It’s 2017.

Not 1526.1

Not 1863.2

Not 1968.3

It’s 2017, people, and we have just witnessed a grotesque manifestation of racism coming out of the shadows to flex its emaciated muscles in the mirror of its deluded sense of superiority.

The Charlottesville incident is revelatory. It shows us that there is a fomenting racism, boiling just beneath the surface with violent impulses, trying to climb out of its slimy hole to repeat past horrors that many of us imagine are impossible in our “enlightened” modern times.

As a member of the body of Christ, and of the larger human community, I cannot help but express myself on the matter. Quite frankly, I am outraged and saddened and sick to my stomach by the escalating pattern of open racial hatred we are seeing across American. Hardly a week passes that we are not confronted by some heart-rending display of racism, and now Charlottesville has confronted us with what we’ve tried not to believe—that this monster, so far from being composed of …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers