Anneliese Wahlman - Archives

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

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

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

God in the Hood by Anneliese Wahlman

God in the Hood

December 21, 2016 | Anneliese Wahlman

Have you ever had one of those Christmases where your entire pajama-clad family is gathered together, the tree is wrapped in lights that shine à la star of Bethlehem, and mugs are filled with hot chocolate and freckled with marshmallows? You know the kind of thing I’m talking about, where the snow is falling silently and you light candles with names like “Burning Christmas Tree Deluxe” to give the illusion that you live in a cabin in the woods instead of a cookie-cutter condo in suburbia? All the brown paper packages are tied up with string and lovingly laid under the tree, and your whole clan is singing carols together around the piano while you unitedly promote a wholesome sense of Pinterest-inspired Christmas joy?

Yeah, me neither.

I’m part of a generation that likes to create false realities on social media; we like to make our lives appear just as glamorous and magical as what we see on TV. And during the holidays, this lust for a movie-scripted life and …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

God in His Underwear by Anneliese Wahlman

God in His Underwear

November 13, 2016 | Anneliese Wahlman

When I tell people how many siblings I have, their eyes usually grow to unflattering proportions and they say something like, “Wow. That’s a lot of kids.”

You don’t say.

None of us is adopted and no, we’re not catholic. My mom just always dreamed of a having a big, beautiful (and slightly chaotic) mess of kids for her own. And seven children did that job perfectly.

One of the luxuries of having so many children is that there’s never a short of comic relief. Who needs Cheaper by the Dozen or The Brady Bunch when you have your own tribe to entertain you? For example, when one of my brothers was old enough to learn to dress himself but still young enough to need coaching, my mom began reminding him every day to put on a clean pair of underwear. She thought this plan was working well and her young man was sprouting wings of independence, till she noticed that his backside was growing and beginning to resemble a …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Surprised by Gentleness by Anneliese Wahlman

Surprised by Gentleness

October 28, 2016 | Anneliese Wahlman

I find it quite paradoxical how, on a given day, I can clean my kitchen so well you’d think I was Cinderella, but then the next day it looks like the shared apartment of a couple phlegmatic bachelors. Something tells me this shouldn’t happen, but thanks to the law of entropy, it does. There are many paradoxes in life, things that seem apparently contradictory, but are actually quite true and do happen.

Children are another good example. One Christmas, my sister, brother-in-law, and their two kids came to visit. Throughout the time they were there, I was amazed that my little niece—who wasn’t much bigger than a bread basket—could cry so loud and for so long. You’d think noises like that could only come from fire engines or air raid sirens, but au contraire, mon frère. The lungs of a one-year-old are well-able to rival those of any Scottish bagpipe player.

One of the things I love about the Bible is how it, too, is chock-full of paradoxes. Its pages …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Share the Wealth: A Mission Update from Madagascar by Anneliese Wahlman

Share the Wealth: A Mission Update from Madagascar

October 7, 2016 | Anneliese Wahlman

The United Nations Development Programme’s most recent data ranked Madagascar 154 out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index.1 That’s basically a sterile way of saying that, as a country, Madagascar doesn’t seem to have much going for it. Rich in biodiversity and culture, but seemingly poor in just about every other area, Madagascar is a land of extremes—extreme natural beauty juxtaposed with extreme poverty.2 In a population of nearly 23 million people, a staggering 75% live below the international poverty line.3 Children with haunting eyes and distended bellies wander the streets. Young girls hang around the local night clubs looking for a way to make some money in exchange for their innocence.4 It all seems rather bleak.

But through the horrifying misery the Malagasy people endure, they are open to the gospel. While the Western world has been anesthetized through materialism and excess, Madagascar is open to its true need—Jesus Christ.

After visiting the country, Light Bearers Publishing Correspondent Meiring Pretorius described this time of religious receptivity as …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers