May 2011 - Archives

The Broken Nose

May 31, 2011 | Matt Parra

Matt: “Hey Sherise, paddle out. Paddle. Paddle out!

Sherise: Puzzled, frightened, and confused. Doing her best impersonation of a deer in the headlights.

Unidentified Surfer: Rides by just missing Sherise.

Matt: “Sherise, when we’re surfing, you do exactly what I say, when I say it! You do not try to make sense out of what I say, just do it!

Matt: Catches a wave. Rips, slashes, tears it up. Throws buckets of spray with every turn he does on his trusty surfboard.

Sherise: Sitting a little too close to shore with a set wave racing toward her.

Matt: Paddles toward Sherise yelling: “Paddle further out! Paddle out!

Sherise: Not listening. Decides to paddle in. That is to say, toward the shore. Thinks to herself, “if I cannot see the wave, then perhaps I’m safe.”

Matt: Waving and flailing his arms wildly trying to get her to stop paddling into the danger zone.

Sherise: Gets picked up by the cresting wave and tossed over the falls. Disappears underwater.

Matt: Exasperated. Thinking about …
read more »

Matt Parra

Light Bearers

My Search for Truth and God’s Search for Me

May 30, 2011 | Kevin Dice


What a fantastic and wonderful word! The free, unmerited favor of God.

When my carnal heart first came to the realization of what was offered to me though Christ, I was a heathen. No, worse than a heathen; I was a Christian who knew all about God. I had grown up in a Christian home, but I never made the religion of my fathers my own.

Upon entering college, I surrounded myself with bright students who worked hard but partied harder. Marijuana was our drug of choice, but through God’s illimitable wisdom my thoughts were turned from the vanity of materialism back to a belief in God.

I was a heathen. No, worse than a heathen; I was a Christian who knew all about God.

I didn’t know who He was or even what that meant, but I was determined to find Him. I naturally gravitated to Eastern thought and spiritual awakening through drugs. I became enthralled with meditation and would practice the clearing of my mind. Dwelling on …
read more »

Kevin Dice

Bible Worker
ASi Youth for Jesus

Modern-Day Explorers

May 27, 2011 | Samuel Riemersma

It is amazing to look at history and see how it often repeats itself.

Amber and I live in beautiful New Zealand. We have been fascinated by the history of this region – particularly its discovery by the Europeans.

New Zealand was first discovered by Abel Tasman (1603 – 1659), a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant. His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania), New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

Tasman was sent on a mission by the Dutch East India Company to look for gold, a promising area for trade, and useful new shipping routes. Sailing south of Australia he found Tasmania where he planted the Dutch flag. After some exploration he set course East.

The winds were favorable and after about ten days he sighted land on the Northwest coast of South Island, New Zealand. Proceeding North and then East, he stopped to gather water. Here, one of his boats was attacked by the Māori, the original inhabitants …
read more »

Samuel Riemersma

Bible Worker
Ilam SDA Church

ARISE is… Both

May 20, 2011 | David Asscherick

ARISE is thoroughly Gospel-centered.

ARISE is authentically Adventist.

Let’s be unmistakably clear: there exists no tension whatsoever between these affirmations. Both can be affirmed concurrently, absolutely, enthusiastically and unapologetically. Neither is threatened or crowded by the other. We don’t have to play one against the other, or emphasize one at the expense of the other.

So it’s not one.

Or the other.

But both.


Authentic Adventism is not “conservative” and neither is gospel-centeredness “liberal.” Both (there’s our word again) are biblical. And, in a sense, even identical. We’ll return to this last point.

Earlier this year I received an e-mail inquiring about my availability for a certain speaking appointment which included a query as to whether or not I could be less “conservative” for this particular appointment. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. And I’m still not quite sure how to respond.

I, for one, am wearying of the bipartite portrait of Seventh-day Adventism as “liberal” versus “conservative.” It’s time to move on. Past time, actually. These are …
read more »

David Asscherick

Light Bearers

New Zealand Re-Revisited

May 19, 2011 | David Asscherick

Every time I go to New Zealand something good happens. There are at least two reasons for this, and neither is because of me. Those reasons? God is good and New Zealand is the best place on earth.

God’s goodness is a certainty, as the Gospel makes clear.

New Zealand’s position as “the best place on earth” is, I’d like to think, perfectly objective. After all, it’s like California, but with a tenth as many people and four coasts (north, south, east, and west). Add to that mountains, meadows, forests, rivers, and some of the friendliest people on earth and you’re just getting started. Have your doubts? I’d advise a visit. The longer the better. You’ll see.

But bad things happen there too.

This is, after all, earth we’re talking about.

My most recent trip exhibited the following pattern: first a good thing, then a bad thing, and then a good thing again.

The first good thing was our What Does the Future Hold? Bible Prophecy Seminar held in the …
read more »

David Asscherick

Light Bearers

A French Counter-Revolution

May 17, 2011 | Matt Parra

The image is a depiction of Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, who approved the extermination of the Protestants, coming out to see the carnage of St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (August 24, 1572). Painted by Édouard Debat-Ponsan in 1880.

There’s a book I’ve been reading that’s changed my life! I think it’s what the world needs and am going to do my best to implement its teachings…

…it’s called Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.

“Matt, here in France this is what people hear when you ask them to study the Bible with you.” A friend shared this with me while I was there earlier this year. It makes sense.

France is the birthplace of modern atheism. It is the womb of the modern revolution against God. The Great Controversy, ahistorical narrative by Ellen White, puts it this way:

“The atheistical power that ruled in France during the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, did wage such a war against God and His holy word as the …
read more »

Matt Parra

Light Bearers

Twice the Light: ARISE & Light Bearers Join Forces!

May 14, 2011 | ARISE

Yesterday, May 12th, something amazing happened. Something providential and miraculous. Two ministries became one. This did not happen overnight, as you might imagine. We do, after all, live in a Newtonian world, and when two things come together there is friction. And yet, this merger, and the events leading up to it, has happened so providentially, so precisely, and so definitively, that we felt—no, we knew—that God was moving.

Newton, it seemed, took a break.

And God stepped in.

ARISE has been training, teaching, and preaching for a decade. Light Bearers for more than two decades. Both ministries have been stable, effective, and successful in their respective specialties. Ty Gibson and James Rafferty have been Co-Directors of Light Bearers from day one. Too, David Asscherick has been the Director of ARISE since day one. So these are two well established and moored ministries. This, then, was not a “fly by the seat of the pants” decision.

It began as a friendship. Moved to a conversation. Grew to an exploration. Matured to a real possibility. …
read more »