December 2013 - Archives

Harnessing the Brain: Nutritional Neuroscience (Part 1)

Harnessing the Brain: Nutritional Neuroscience (Part 1)

December 30, 2013 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

One of the most exciting fields in nutrition is nutritional neuroscience. It is the study of how components of the diet impact the central nervous system, specifically cognitive function and mental health. The idea that food impacts brain function was considered ridiculous not too long ago. Today, however, it is a proven fact.

Richard Wurtman, M.D., is a professor of neuroscience in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, and of Neuropharmacology in the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Speaking of the dynamic relationship between food and brain function Wurtman says, “The ability of a meal’s composition to affect production of brain chemicals distinguishes the brain from all other organs. The crucial compounds that regulate other organs are largely independent of whatever was in the last meal we ate, but not the brain.”1 The brain uses consumed carbohydrates for fuel. Amino acids are an essential ingredient in the production of the chemicals integral to the brain’s internal communication. Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals protect the …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Just Like Acts

Just Like Acts

December 28, 2013 | David Asscherick

A really cool thing happened recently, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Here goes . . .

It started at the Light Bearers Convocation earlier this year. The theme was Jesus Only , and was a chapter-by-chapter study through Acts. In preparation for those sermons, I, along with Ty, James, and Jeffrey, read and studied through this book. The convocation went awesome, and everyone, ourselves included, were richly blessed through the study of Luke’s second book.

In my studies one of the things that struck me most was the tremendous sense of community throughout the book. Luke paints a picture of genuine connection and love. His descriptions are simple and yet profoundly suggestive of a deep commitment in the early church to each other and to the larger community. For example, he writes:

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. . …
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David Asscherick

Speaker
Light Bearers

Desperate Prayer

Desperate Prayer

December 26, 2013 | James Rafferty

We are living in desperate times—desperate, meaning a feeling showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with, like national debt, life destroying typhoons, earthquakes, tsunami’s, war, terrorism, crime, economic and civil upheaval, and . . . unreliable political promises of peace and safety.

Earth’s history is filled with desperate times and desperate people confronted with hopelessness. Judas and Peter were both desperate at times. As were David (at Ziklag) and Saul (at Endor). And Elijah, who, desperate for rain prayed, and desperate for his life at Jezreel ran. The difference in each desperate crisis mentioned here was prayer . . . desperate prayer.

Jesus spoke to this need for desperate prayer in Luke 18:

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” “give up,” “despair” (TCNT, NKJV, NIV).

These words encourage us—when you are very sad or upset having little or no hope; when your situation is worse than bad; …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Four Incredible Lyrics from Advent Songs

Four Incredible Lyrics from Advent Songs

December 23, 2013 | Ty Gibson

I’m one of those weirdos who could listen to Christmas music year-round. But I don’t, because I love the special sense of awareness of the incarnation that dawns upon my heart every year in December as advent songs begin to play. Some of these songs, especially the old ones, seem to me to breathe upon this hard, cold world the very atmosphere of heaven.

And I love that.

I love the fact that each year—rising above all oppression, enslavement, injustice, and poverty—these melodies of God incarnate, God in love, God in the throes of a voluntary agony in solidarity with us, rebuke the darkness and articulate hope.

The poetry of song has a way of concentrating massive amounts of meaning in a minimum of words while piercing deep into the emotions. Advent songs seem to possess an unusual share of this poetic clarity. Here are five of my favorite lines from Advent songs and the ideas they stimulate within me.

Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem O little town of Bethlehem,
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Luanda Para Christo

Luanda Para Cristo

December 6, 2013 | James Rafferty

The Numbers

4 containers; 8 million pieces of literature; 23,127+ baptisms.

In 2012 Light Bearers received a request from the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID). They were planning a city-wide evangelistic outreach in Luanda, Angola beginning in March 2013. Could we print and ship three containers of literature to assist this outreach? The literature would empower laypeople and preachers to reach thousands of people throughout this capital city. The theme was Luanda for Christ/Hope for Angola—the result was 23,127 baptisms between March and September of 2013. Those amazing, and unexpected, numbers left everyone acknowledging God’s mighty Spirit was at work in Angola.

The Process

Print; ship; door-to-door work; public meetings; decisions.

The process began in 2004 when church leaders began planning and visiting Luanda. It culminated in March 2013 when three containers from Light Bearers landed in Luanda, home to 5 million people and the capital of Angola. Church members began door-to-door work and outreach in every part of the city in preparation for hundreds of individual …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

True Cinnamon

December 4, 2013 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Cinnamon is one of those flavors and smells that can’t be substituted, especially around the holidays. I have cooked with coriander and cardamom and they can be quite good—but they are not cinnamon. I find it very interesting though (because I am such a foodie), that what Americans typically purchase and use as cinnamon is in reality, by some estimates, a poor replica of the real thing.

In ages past, ships would travel half way across the world to the shores of Ceylon, also known as Sri Lanka, to trade for the highly prized spice. In fact, one of the main reasons the Portuguese ended up exploring the world was in pursuit of an alternative route to obtain cinnamon.  Sri Lanka was the only place “true cinnamon” could be found. Today, Sri Lanka is still the main exporter, producing about 80 percent of the world’s cinnamon supply.

It is the regular consumption of cassia cinnamon that has been found to be potentially problematic.

Ceylon (or true) cinnamon is obtained from …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Stop Tinkering!

December 3, 2013 | Ty Gibson

Is there somebody in your family or in your church who is doing something you think they ought not to be doing?

Of course there is!

Are there people around you with defects of character that you can’t help but notice?

Yep!

Do you find it natural to try and correct the defects you see in others?

If not, you need to read no further.

Okay, I see you’re still reading, so the following quotation is for you:

“Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is by seeking to take God’s work out of His hands into their own finite hands. They think that they must be constantly inventing something to make men do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated, for the great chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of His …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers