April 2017 - Archives

5 Types of Adventist Extremists and How to Avoid Being One by Nelson Fernandez, Jr.

5 Types of Adventist Extremists and How to Avoid Being One

April 27, 2017 | Nelson Fernandez

I’ve been an Adventist all my life. While others adopted into it, I was born in it and molded by its culture (cue Batman-Bane meme reference). Because of this, I’ve seen all kinds of people literally come and go in our church.

One of the hardest parts about being a lifelong Adventist has certainly been the people. A little jingle said it like this:

“To dwell above with the saints we love will be truly grace and glory; but to live below with the saints we know, well, that’s a different story.”

People are difficult to get along with because we tend to be prone to extremism. Generally speaking, extremism is defined in (sigh) the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary , as “a belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable.” 1

With this broad definition, many of us could be accused of having extremist views at some point or another (actually, Adventism itself could be considered extreme when compared to the general population). In …
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The Power of Vulnerability

April 20, 2017 | Jenny Gruzensky

That Thing We All Struggle With

In her song If We’re Honest, singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli clearly articulates one of the biggest struggles of our culture:

Truth is harder than a lie, The dark seems safer than the light, And everyone has a heart that loves to hide, I’m a mess and so are you, We’ve built walls nobody can get through, Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do,

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine, ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides, And mercy’s waiting on the other side, If we’re honest.

In our culture today, vulnerability and authenticity are regarded as important attributes. I think they are thought of as such because they are rarely found. I recently had a conversation with a friend and she shared her perspective on why these traits are so hard to come by: “Being vulnerable is both freeing and terrifying. Freeing in that you no longer carry the emotions of whatever is going on by …
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Jenny Gruzensky


God, Weed, and Greg: An ARISE Story by Anneliese Wahlman

God, Weed, and Greg: An ARISE Story

April 12, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

It’s the middle of August, 2015. Greg Fisher steps onto a Greyhound bus, takes a big whiff of recycled oxygen, and quickly scopes out his seating options. The plastic armrests feel like they’ve been painted with popsicle juice and the air is thick, but there’s a part of him that still feels cold inside. Cold and lonely, even in this dead heat. That’s the ironic thing about the city. You’re always surrounded by people, but never with anyone. But it doesn’t matter now. He has a one-way ticket to take him across the country, far away from Philadelphia.

He walks down the bus aisle, looking for the best place to sit.

He knows everyone gets a dose of suffering in life, but it feels like he hit the jackpot. Growing up in the suburbs of Philly, he spent most of his time playing outside so he wouldn’t be forced to watch his parents fight, which they were known for around the neighborhood. His dad smoked and drank heavily and abused …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

When Jesus Put Shame to Shame

April 10, 2017 | Ty Gibson

If you know me at all, then you know that I am decidedly anti-coercion. And yet, if I could make every person on the planet listen to this audio message by my friend, Elise Harboldt, I would. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating for effect, but I’m hoping you get the effect. This is what I texted to Elise today after hearing her message:

“Elise, I just listened to your message, When Jesus Put Shame to Shame. I am overcome by the love of God, moved to my core. Thank you, thank you, for speaking such beautiful good news. I’m in a public place and now I need to figure out how to stop crying.”

Wherever you are reading this, I’m asking you to get alone somewhere and listen to this message. Throw on some headphones and go for a walk, or go for a drive and listen to it in your car, or lay down on your bed and let it play from your phone. Do whatever you need to do, …
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Ty Gibson

Light Bearers

Fear Not by Fred Bischoff

Fear Not

April 7, 2017 | Fred Bischoff

Fear is a tricky thing. In the biblical worldview it originated—of all places—in a garden named pleasure. It is the child of insecurity, the product of removing one’s heart focus from the all-powerful, benevolent, pleasure-giving Creator God, and trying to lean on a broken branch. Not safe! Such a position seemed right at first to Eve, and then to Adam, but the results are obvious, around us and in us.

Have you ever noticed that the prime setting for fear is an encounter with the supernatural? From Adam and Eve’s first meeting with God after their fall to story after story of people encountering angels, fear is usually the first reaction. You can read the non-verbal emotion, “Oh, my! What is going to happen to me?”

God and His team understand our insecurities. That’s why their first words were often, “Fear not.” It’s why we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” not the end of it. What I hear God saying is, “Put your heart’s …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Migrating Motor Complex by Risë Rafferty

The Migrating Motor Complex

April 5, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

The term migration, in the animal kingdom, refers to a phenomenon that portrays rhythmic cadence, routine, and structure. Whether of butterfly, bird, or fish, the intent of migration is typically to ansure healthy survival in response to changing climates, shifting environments, or threats. For much of the animal kingdom, migration is instinctive and seasonal. Disruption of animals’ normal migratory patterns results in tragedy to the species. While throughout history man has voluntarily migrated in response to changing weather, environment, or threat, there is a natural instinctive migratory rhythm within the human body. This inner migratory pattern is found in the digestive tract and is called tingthe migrating motor complex (MMC).

The migrating motor complex is a cyclic pattern of movement that occurs in the stomach and small intestine, stimulated by electro-chemical cues. Four phases have been identified in the MMC. Phase I appears to be a quiet, restful stage without muscular contraction in the stomach and small intestine. Random contractions begin in phase II. Then these contractions increase to “bursts …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Literature Reports from the World Field by Meiring Pretorius

Literature Reports from the World Field

April 3, 2017 | Meiring Pretorius

The Seventh-day Adventist Church membership in Zambia has doubled in the past 10 years, growing from 500,000 members to more than a million. With a population of 15 million people, Zambia has the highest Adventist Church growth rate in Africa, and thousands are added to the church every year. What is the secret to the church’s success?

During a brief visit I made to Zambia on behalf of Light Bearers Ministry, one of the directors for the South Zambia Union Conference organized an advisory committee meeting which included directors from seven conferences and fields. We met in the small mining town of Mufulira, Copperbelt. Each director gave a short report on how the material from Light Bearers was used in 2016. One of the directors read the following statement:

“I was shown men and women studying with intense interest papers and few pages of tracts upon present truth. They would read the evidences so wonderful and new to them, and would open their Bibles with a deep and new interest, …
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Meiring Pretorius

Light Bearers Field Representative