3,500 Light Years Away

by Light Bearers  |  August 3, 2018

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 beyond the stars, whether or not something—or Someone—was listening.

The …
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Light Bearers a publishing, training and evangelism ministry.

The Purifier, Part 1

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  August 1, 2018

The dictionary definition to purify is: 1. to make pure; free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates. 2. to free from foreign, extraneous, or objectionable elements. Detoxification is a modern word that represents this physiological process. Why would someone living today need to or seek to purify or detox themselves? The short answer is because we live in an era of unprecedented exposure to chemical agents. Various people groups come in contact with compounds humanity has never interacted with before. Scientists estimate that today our bodies carry at least 700 contaminants, most of which have not been well studied.

Since the Second World War, tens of thousands of synthetic compounds have been introduced into the environment to facilitate many industrial, domestic, and personal practices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published the findings of the “Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,” and found that most Americans, irrespective of age, have bio-accumulated numerous toxins. Bio-accumulation is the storage of toxins in our own tissues.

So, what are toxins? A toxin is any external or internal agent …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

Every Piece a Bullet

by Meiring Pretorius  |  July 30, 2018

Rwanda is still busy healing from its deep and sensitive scar. The horror of the satanic killings that began on the morning of April 7, 1994 is still fresh in the minds of the survivors. More than one million victims, the survivors’ family and friends, lost their lives in the most inhumane and brutal genocide.

A program called Gacaca was started to establish reconciliation. As I was reading some of the stories of forgiveness in the Genocide Memorial Museum, I realized that only God’s grace can bring true healing and reconciliation. It is times like these which create fertile soil for God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and grace.

I believe that the containers of Bible lessons have come at the right time. Rwanda is open for the everlasting gospel. The evidence was seen during Ted Wilson’s evangelistic campaigns of 2016, where 105,000 people responded to the gospel and were baptized. This mass baptism shook Rwanda. Everyone was astonished at the results.

However, even though there was success during the evangelistic campaigns, people still needed to be grounded in their relationship with their …
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Meiring Pretorius Light Bearers Field Representative

Honest Gabe

by Anneliese Wahlman  |  July 19, 2018

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, like their words are growing this beautiful but forgotten thing …
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Anneliese Wahlman Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Three Keys to a Great Marriage

by Ty Gibson  |  July 5, 2018

Someone has said, “Marriage is like flies on a windowsill. Those on the outside want in, and those on the inside want out.”

Well, I’ve got better news. It’s possible to be on the inside of marriage and want to be there. I’ve been on the inside my entire adult life. As soon as I saw Sue, I thought, “She’s the one for me.” As soon as she saw me, she thought, “He’s really weird,” (in an adorable way, I assume). We were hitched at 18.

Nobody is the oracle of wisdom on marriage, but Sue and I still like each other immensely, so something has gone right. But it’s not because we’re unique. It’s because of the consistent application of principles anybody can apply. Here are three that have kept Sue and me deeply in love.

No force. We allow one another a lot of space to be ourselves. Freedom is the operating system of reality. Freedom is risky, but it’s the only relational dynamic in which love can thrive. Early in our marriage, I tried to control Sue, …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers

AGE-less

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  July 4, 2018

As I turn 50 this month, I have to admit, the concept of being ageless is rather appealing. I would love to know how to age less. One way of minimizing the impact of aging is by decreasing AGEs. Rather than referring to the lapse of time, AGEs are molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). They are also referred to as glycotoxins. Typically, our bodies make them in limited amounts. We also ingest a considerable amount.

Our standard American diet typically contains high levels of AGEs. AGEs are considered toxins that have been linked to cardiovascular, liver, kidney, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as diabetes. AGEs are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein, such as red meat and cheese. Dry cooking—broiling, grilling, frying, searing, and roasting—these foods results in the formation of additional AGEs, raising the levels from 10-100 times over that of uncooked food.

The body can take care of the AGEs that are part of normal metabolism. However, if excessively high levels of AGEs are reached, they can cause diseases. …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

ARISE and the Youth Revival of Our Church

by David Asscherick  |  July 2, 2018

There is a genuine revival taking place among the youth and young adults of my local church. Read that first sentence again, please. And again.

This is not a hyperbole or exaggeration; it’s the wonderful, God-glorifying truth. Let me tell you the story.

ARISE held its first Australian program at the Kingscliff Church in early 2013, five years ago. Since that inaugural program, there has been an Australian ARISE program every year. These ARISE programs, based on our The Story curriculum, last about 14 weeks. The first year we had 26 students, including several of our local church’s young adults. Every year since 2013 the number of students has increased, until the last two years we’ve reached our maximum capacity which is about 45 students.

This year we had 44 and 23 of them were teenagers.

Teenagers!

This is coming at a time when the church is increasingly and desperately wrestling with the fact that we are losing many of our young people. Estimates vary, but the numbers are sobering and it sure looks like a large percentage of Adventist …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers

News Flash: Burkina Faso

by Meiring Pretorius  |  June 1, 2018

“At least 35 people have died and 90 more were injured after a series of attacks in Burkina Faso, believed to have been conducted by Islamic extremists. Seven soldiers were killed in the country’s capital Ouagadougou after gunmen open fired on the French Embassy and army headquarters. Eight of the militants were killed during the attacks in the former French colony and several other people were wounded among the security forces.”

As I am reading and reflecting on this news flash, memories and feelings flash back into my mind. I can still hear the blast of the car bomb. I can still feel the shake of the church building. I can still see the panic on the faces in front of me. I can still hear the gunshots fired in the street around the corner of the Adventist Mission in Burkina Faso. “What is happening?” my mind screamed. I had never been in a situation like this before!

It was Friday morning, March 3. My plane landed in Burkina Faso the previous afternoon. Light Bearers Ministry sent me to the …
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Meiring Pretorius Light Bearers Field Representative

Sour Wine

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  May 30, 2018

In the year following her CHIP attendance, Angie lost over 100 pounds. Recently, Angie shared her story with the current CHIP class. Gasps were heard around the room as she told of her weight loss journey. She was flooded with questions like, “What do you eat?” Do you ever eat…?” Was she able to include greatly beloved foods in her weight loss journey? Inherent in their questions was the hope that perhaps there is a way to achieve health goals while still enjoying food.

Food is more than nutrition, more than building blocks that support bodily functions, more than a source of fuel with which we produce energy. It is information that the digestive system processes and relays to the nervous system and brain. Food can make us feel good or bad, and it accomplishes this in various ways.

The foods we typically have great difficulty relinquishing are more than likely the foods we use to feel calm, give ourselves a lift, or provide a sense of reward and heightened pleasure. We know that food is capable of lighting up …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

Climbing and Hiding

by David Asscherick  |  May 28, 2018

Lately, I’ve been taking my teenage sons, Landon and Jabel, to the climbing gym. I was introduced to rock climbing by two close friends, a young couple named Tim and Tanya, when I was a teenager. On my first day, I had to be essentially rescued by Tanya from the top of an 80-foot granite spire. It was an inauspicious start to what would become a lifelong passion.

What many cannot grasp, though, is that climbing isn’t actually very dangerous. So long as one is skilled in the techniques of rope management, anchor building, and risk management, rock climbing becomes almost pedestrian in terms of danger, as any experienced climber will attest. In fact, in many cities, being a pedestrian would be more hazardous than climbing with proper equipment and technique.

Is there danger? A little, but it can be minimized by responsible behavior and a basic awareness of one’s situation and surroundings.

This is why I’m teaching my sons and have been for years. I want them to know how to face not just a steep cliff but life’s …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers