Sometimes I Forget

by James Rafferty  |  November 7, 2014

Sometimes I forget the words of Christ in Matthew 25:40. I judge, I disdain, and I criticize my brethren in my heart (and with my actions). When I do this to the least of these my brethren I do it unto Him.

During such times of stark spiritual failure I am especially thankful that God has more faith in us than we have in ourselves. God exercises more faith toward us than we could ever exercise in our entire lives. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1).

In his own spiritual trial, Job struggled to understand why God seemed to be punishing him (Job 9). Yet, God had faith that Job would endure the test. Through it all God purposed to reveal the triumph of love over the power of evil (Job 9). And He did.

God has more faith in us than we have in ourselves.

When Elijah’s faith shrank, he not only ran from duty, he excused his lack of faithfulness to God, not once, but twice, by pointing to the apostasy of others …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers

All in your Head? Impossible! Pt. 1

by Risë Rafferty  |  November 5, 2014

When symptoms of disease and sickness are said to be all in one’s head, there is an implication made that questions the legitimacy of physical ailment. When we hear this description we understand that something is thought of as reality, but is only imaginary. In the absence of underlying pathology, symptoms can be attributed to psychosomatic influences. This can at first glance seem invalidating to the sufferer. However, this relationship between the mind and body is the foundation for my belief that it is virtually impossible for anything to be all in your head.

Common symptoms of physical sickness include: diminished appetite, mental and physical fatigue, behavioral and psychological languishing, disinterest in pleasurable activities, fever, etc. These responses are not directly elicited from the sight of infection. It is the brain that triggers the symptoms of sickness. Steven Maier, PhD, and his colleagues posed a seemingly simple question that led to some interesting research. How does the brain know there is an infection in the first place?

The first armory on the scene of any infection is macrophages, white blood …
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Risë Rafferty Health Educator
Light Bearers

Truth, Love, and Lance

by David Asscherick  |  November 3, 2014

“What Lance couldn’t handle was the truth.” So said Betsy Andreu at the close of Alex Holmes’s difficult-to-watch documentary on the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong, Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story.

Lance is not alone.

Most of us can’t handle the truth.

Just today, I returned from a two-week trip to Jasper, Oregon to teach for the 2014 ARISE program. Nowadays, many airplanes have movies and television programs available on demand. I surveyed the offerings and found 90% of them entirely uninteresting or just plain ungodly. But Stop at Nothing caught my eye. Lance is the ultimate study in deception and perhaps self-deception. Seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance was the most decorated and successful cyclist of all time. More than this, he is a cancer survivor and founder of The Livestrong Foundation, a cancer research and support organization which has raised more than half a billion dollars since 1997.

Lance was a very big fish indeed, until he admitted in early 2013, after years of deflection and denial, that he had employed PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) to …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers

My Thoughts on the Present Conversation Regarding the Ordination of Women

by David Asscherick  |  October 24, 2014

I am admittedly surprised to hear over and over again that the current conversation and study the Seventh-day Adventist Church is having regarding the theology of ordination, generally, and of the ordination of women to pastoral ministry, specifically, is a “distraction” or even a “deception” of the enemy.

Prayerful Bible study in the context of a respectful, if vigorous, dialogue is a good thing. A very good thing. It should be affirmed in the strongest possible language.

I am disappointed to see that many of those with the strongest and most strident opinions about this subject are often not in possession of the basic facts surrounding the current study and dialogue.

Though this may sound hard to believe, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has never really had a properly articulated and systematized theology of ordination. Though formed all the way back in 1863, it wasn’t until 2013/14, with the convening of TOSC (Theology of Ordination Study Committee) , that the church formally and officially addressed the subject of the theology of ordination (I encourage you to go there, read up, and poke around a bit. Familiarize yourself with the process and some of the …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
Mission Critical

Mission Critical

by Fred Bischoff  |  October 3, 2014

It struck me like never before. It was the first two talks at Light Bearers Convocation this past July. The first by Ty, was titled, “ One Subject Will Prevail ,” adapted from this quote from 1890: “One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other—Christ our righteousness” (Review and Herald, December 23, 1890). What a glorious and positive prediction! But Ty’s presentation focused on another part of the article that was anything but positive. He even apologized for it because the article started with the words, “The Lord has seen our backslidings, and He has a controversy with His people.” Ouch! With that, Ty painfully laid out our history.

But this is Mission Update . Does Light Bearers’ mission include shining a light on the failures of the past? That brings us to the second talk, by David, titled, “ The Righteousness of God .” I will summarize it in three sentences: God made a covenant with the human race. He was faithful to that covenant (thus His righteousness), and humans were unfaithful, especially the descendants of Abraham. When Daniel came on the scene and encountered a …
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Fred Bischoff Adventist Pioneer Library
The Bowels, Pt 2

The Bowels, Part 2

by Risë Rafferty  |  October 1, 2014

Linguistically, the term bowel has been used to express the inner workings, the depths of man emotionally as well as physically. It is where input is broken down, digested, absorbed, sorted, reacted to, and transformed into us.

Interestingly enough, while seeking to better understand the connection between the bowels of our gut and the bowels of our mind I found an indisputable link that has been termed the

Microbiota Gut Brain Axis (MGB axis). Let’s break that term down.

Inhabiting our gut are billions of microorganisms. In fact, there are more of them than there are of us, cellularly speaking. The sheer quantity of microorganisms inhabiting the human body is enormous. Within a single sample can be found more than 1000 different species. This population is the microbiota, our microbiome.

An axis is typically thought of as a line on which significance hinges. It can be a line of direction, motion, growth, a point or continuum on which something centers. As we will see, this line of direction is a two-way street running from the brain to the gut and …
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Risë Rafferty Health Educator
Light Bearers
Cosmic Atonement by Ty Gibson

Cosmic Atonement

by Ty Gibson  |  September 29, 2014

God is up to something bigger than our eternal salvation. Certainly, from our individual standpoint it is hard to imagine anything bigger. To be saved from sin and given the assurance of eternal life is a truly marvelous thing. But notice the progression of Paul’s message in Ephesians 1.

In the first seven verses he paints an inviting picture of God’s saving grace toward each of us. God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Astounding, right?

But then Paul says this:

“. . . having made known to us the mystery of His …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers