February 2017 - Archives

Going Counterculture by James Rafferty

Going Counterculture

February 27, 2017 | James Rafferty

My 19-year-old daughter recently shared for our family worship some insights from a book she is reading for her university Bible class. When she finished, my mind went to the following scripture:

“As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time” (Daniel 7:12).

This verse describes both the military dominion and cultural influence of four great kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:17, 23). The prophecy indicates that while each kingdom’s dominion and military control was lost to each succeeding power, the lives of these conquered nations were prolonged.

Defeated but living?

The life of a nation is found in its culture—the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. These four cultures, though they differ in expression, are characterized by exonerating man and displaying his achievements. This is the culture of “I”, expressed today in things like the iPhone and social media, which enable our self-centered way of living.

Jesus turned the culture of “I” upside down. “Not I …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

The Lost Art of Evangelism by Anneliese Wahlman

The Lost Art of Evangelism

February 23, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

What I Take from the Compost Bucket

I’m one of those people who can eat whatever is on my plate even if it looks like it was scraped from the bottom of the compost bucket, and I’ll still enjoy it—as long as it tastes good. I figure it’s only going to look worse in my stomach. Though odd, this trait is a perfect example of one of the greatest truisms of life: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. This is a basic principle we all intuitively know to be true. What’s a box of chocolate without any chocolate inside? Who wants a Valentine’s card that has no mushy sweet-nothings written in it? What’s a Christmas package if it doesn’t contain an ugly sweater that makes you look like a weirdo? Computers matter because of what’s on the hard drive. Houses are important because of those who gather in them. You marry a person not just because of the way he or she looks, but because of the heart and …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

How I Can Love the Gospel and the Investigative Judgment at the Same Time by Marcos Torres

How I Can Love the Gospel and the Investigative Judgment at the Same Time

February 16, 2017 | Marcos Torres

I have two theological confessions to make. The first is that I am madly in love with the gospel. Seriously, I am. As an Adventist, a father and a pastor, the gospel is my everything. Jesus-only is my motto, my passion and my standard. After battling with legalism and perfectionism for many years, the good news of salvation is something that I don’t mess around with. Anything—and I mean anything—that even remotely reeks of human merit makes me recoil with disgust. This “what Jesus did + what I do” stuff gives me the shakes. For me, it’s either Jesus-only or it simply isn’t gospel.

The second confession I have is this: I love the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment (IJ). There. I said it.

The question now is, how? How can I be so passionate about the gospel and also love a doctrine that many consider anti-gospel? Allow me to respond with three simple points.

I love the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment.

My first point is this. The IJ most …
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Marcos Torres

Pastor
Western Australia Conference

A Reality Check for Valentine's Day by Anneliese Wahlman

A Reality Check for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

His eyes were blue, like an October sky. His hair was the color of sand off the beach, the kind you put in a bottle and take home for memories. I won’t mention his name, but it rhymes with schmichael. When he and I talked, I literally felt something I’d never felt with any other guy before in my life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t reciprocated. I found out he was in love with one of my close girlfriends. Schmichael and I stayed friends for a little while, but eventually we parted ways and I never told him how I felt.

If you’re alive and breathing, you know that love brings with it pain. Especially if you’re twelve and in a Pathfinder Club.

And as laughable as that first “love” can be, it doesn’t get much easier with age. You ask a girl out and she says no. The guy you like doesn’t even know you exist. Sometimes spouses are unfaithful. Marriages grow cold and hollow. Even in faithful relationships, life is …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Changed and Inspired by Literature by Meiring Pretorius

Changed and Inspired by Literature

February 3, 2017 | Meiring Pretorius

As I drove into the country of Lesotho, I typed into my GPS the address of the Lesotho Conference headquarters and followed the directions into the central part of Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho. With the GPS it should not be too difficult to locate the building, I thought to myself. Then I heard the voice of my GPS saying, “Arriving at destination.” Looking around, I could not see any conference building. This is strange, I thought. Eventually, after driving around looking for the desired building, I decided to ask for directions. To my surprise, people did not know where the Seventh-day Adventist Church headquarters were (although I later found out the conference building was not far from where I’d been). I prayed, got into my vehicle, and decided to continue looking for the building in that area. I saw a sign for an Adventist secondary school, turned off, and asked for directions to the conference office. Fortunately, it was on the same premises.

However, even within the secondary …
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Meiring Pretorius

Light Bearers Field Representative

The Improbabilities of Probiotics by Risë Rafferty

The Improbabilities of Probiotics

February 1, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

If we readily saw the microscopic organisms swimming in lake water the way Antonie van Leeuwenhoek did, we would probably never venture in again. If we could see what lives on our teeth as Leeuwenhoek observed, we might not be able to stomach a kiss in the light. Referred to as “the Improbable Father of Microbiology,” Leeuwenhoek was a Dutchman who owned a textile business in the seventeenth century. Though he traded cloth, his were among the first eyes to see bacteria. At the time, traders in textiles used small glass spheres to examine the detail and quality of material. Leeuwenhoek took his small glass spheres to the next level and created extremely high quality magnifying lenses. In 1674 he reported seeing single cell organisms through his lens. The scientists of the day refused to accept his findings until three years later. In 1676 he discovered bacteria. In pond water and in the tartar he scraped from off his own teeth, he observed thousands of “tiny animals” in motion.1

Since …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers