What A.A. Taught Me About Church

by Anneliese Wahlman  |  September 14, 2018

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 my Bible that clearly showed the dead weren’t in heaven …
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Anneliese Wahlman Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Three More Keys to a Great Marriage

by Ty Gibson  |  August 31, 2018

Just yesterday a friend in his 30s said, “I went to a wedding last week and was blown away to find out that nearly all of my friends from college are already married and divorced.”

Divorce has become so common, we basically expect it to happen. In my last article, I shared three keys to having a great marriage . I just happen to have three more.

Choose Pleasantness Over Correctness. Being right is overrated. It’s just not necessary to always be right. There is, in fact, a way of being right that is wrong and a way of being wrong that is right. Someone said, “If you’re wrong and you shut up, you’re wise. If you’re right and you shut up, you’re married.” I’d add that shutting up when you’re right is an even higher manifestation of wisdom. “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19, NASB). Being right in your attitude is more important, by far, than winning an argument.

…love doesn’t cop an attitude of superiority…

Give Space. It’s a law of human nature …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers

The Purifier, Part 2

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  August 29, 2018

Air and water purifiers operate off the concept that invisible contaminants are lurking in the atmosphere around us, in our aquifers and watersheds. Transforming and removing these contaminants is how we purify indoor air and drinking water. Last month we identified several contaminants and realized we live in a country that allows thousands of toxins into the environment. Despite our efforts, the chances of living in pure surroundings is bleak. Even in the pristine lakes of Alaska there are PCPs floating in the water. We may sail across the Pacific Ocean, away from manufacturing plumes, only to realize that we are inhaling polluted currents from China.

Last month we alluded to the reality that toxins can be found even within our bodies. We used the word detoxification in reference to the effort to remove harmful compounds from our persons. The reality is that the average American is a storage depot for potentially hundreds of toxins. Consider the fact that over 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

Majoring in the Minors

by James Rafferty  |  August 27, 2018

They are called the Minor Prophets because of their size, not their spiritual depth. Hidden in these little books of the Old Testament are found sublime pictures of God’s unrelenting love. That’s why this year we plumbed their depths to mine rich nuggets of God’s golden love that promises to keep our love alive in every crisis.

Some 800 people and 150 young people joined us this year for Light Bearers Ministry’s 34th annual convocation. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit was there to fulfill God’s promises to build hope, faith, and love.

By the first week in July, everything was set to jump into a deeply rewarding five-day study of the Minor Prophets. Twelve books, twelve prophets, stretching over a 400-year period from the pre-exilic period of the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel to the post-exilic period (from about 800 BC to 400 BC). With the exception of Jonah, Nahum, and Obadiah, these minor prophets spoke to the tribes of Israel. The messages were of judgment, hope, and salvation.

These minor prophets not only spoke for God, they spoke …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers

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