May 23, 2013
Major Changes for
Adventist Media Center
Above All Else
Good for Nothing
An ancient prophecy
and the heart of mission
“Behold, I come quickly . . .”
Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ by presenting stories of His
matchless love, news of His present workings, help for knowing
Him better, and hope in His soon return.
18 14 11 6
18 Ziggurats, Mountains,
and the Stone
Gerald A. Klingbeil
A prophetic snapshot
that reveals a lot
14 Above All Else
A glimpse of what it
means to be devoted
22 A Call to Service
Ellen G. White
We have responsibilities,
but we also have gifts.
7 Page 7
8 World News &
13 Give & Take
17 Transformation Tips
6 Mark A. Kellner
7 Gina Wahlen
Beyond the Basics
ON THE COVER
The image of Daniel 2 still
captivates and still offers
a message of hope.
Illustration by Steve Creitz
24 A Day to Remember
Some things are just
impossible to forget.
26 Good for Nothing
Josette P. Stevens-Lassen
It’s amazing what some
people consider valuable.
28 Ask the Doctors
29 Dateline Moscow
Next Week in
Unity in Diversity
What happens when young
adults from around the
world live in New York City
to serve God for one year?
Publisher General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® , Executive Publisher Bill Knott, Associate Publisher Claude Richli, Publishing Board: Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun,
vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik
Doukmetzian, legal adviser. Editor Bill Knott, Associate Editors Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Coordinating Editor Stephen Chavez, Online Editor Carlos Medley, Features Editor Sandra
Blackmer, Young Adult Editor Kimberly Luste Maran, KidsView Editor Wilona Karimabadi, News Editor Mark A. Kellner, Operations Manager Merle Poirier, Financial Manager Rachel
Child, Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste, Assistant to the Editor Gina Wahlen, Quality Assurance/Social Media Coordinator Jean Boonstra, Marketing Director Claude Richli,
Editor-at-Large Mark A. Finley, Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke, Art Director Bryan Gray, Design Daniel Añez, Desktop Technician Fred Wuerstlin, Ad Sales Glen Gohlke, Subscriber Services
Steve Hanson. To Writers: Writer’s guidelines are available at the Adventist Review Web site: www.adventistreview.org and click “About the Review.” For a printed copy, send a self-addressed envelope
to: Writer’s Guidelines, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600. E-mail: email@example.com. Web site: www.adventistreview.org. Postmaster:
Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740-7301. Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are © Thinkstock 2013. The Adventist Review (ISSN 0161-
1119), published since 1849, is the general paper of the Seventh-day Adventist ® Church. It is published by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® and is printed
36 times a year on the second, third, and fourth Thursdays of each month by the Review and Herald ® Publishing Association, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD
21740. Periodical postage paid at Hagerstown, MD 21740. Copyright © 2013, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® . PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 190, No. 15
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www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (451) 3
Letters From Our Readers
April 25, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 12
Adventist Youth March
Human Su fering
More Than You Asked For
I thoroughly enjoyed
Wilona Karimabadi’s cover
article about Helen Moore
(“In the Kitchen With Helen,”
Apr. 25, 2013), and will look
for her products next time
I’m shopping at Sprouts.
Since Moore is no longer
producing and selling her
tofu steaks, it would be very
much appreciated if she
would share the recipe. They
What a nice surprise to see
Helen Moore’s picture on the
cover of the Review!
Remembering her and
Tony from days of yore (sans
children) in So. Lancaster,
Massachusetts, and to see
their faithfulness through
the years—and their contributions
to the faith—is
May many find their way
to good health through her
witness via food!
It Makes No Sense
If evil is nonsensical, as
Clifford Goldstein suggests
in “It Makes No Sense” (Apr.
18, 2013), then it follows that
April 25, 2013
the originator of evil, Satan,
and his cohort of demons are
irrational beings. Nonsensical
behavior is a hallmark of
demented individuals, and
insanity is a legally valid
defense in human justice.
Satan’s rebellion began
with his challenge of God’s
fairness, when he was not
accorded identical privileges
to Jesus. While his behavior,
casting aspersion on the
Lord and bringing suffering
and death to countless
humans, is unspeakably evil,
it is completely consistent
with his character. It’s a
rational means to undermine
God’s kingdom. The
great controversy between
Christ and Satan is a battle of
ideas as demonstrated by the
dialogue between the antagonists
during Christ’s temptation
in the wilderness.
The suffering and death of
innocent children is one of
the many indicators of how
far we find ourselves from
the Edenic ideal our Creator
intended for us.
New Leipzig, North Dakota
The message I received
from Delbert Baker’s “Dealing
(Mar. 28, 2013) is this: pull
yourself up by your own
By some miracle God led me
to the Adventist Church at the
age of 21. If God had not taken
me in, I would have been
destroyed many years ago.
But somewhere, somehow,
the kind and loving God
became a fire-breathing
monster to me, and I practiced
my religion on autopilot
for a very long time.
Baker’s use of Paul’s victorious
life as taken from Holy
Scripture is commendable,
but however correct and
appropriate those verses are,
they don’t have any “skin” on
them. The skin I refer to is
12-step programs. I began
attending regularly in 1994.
At that time the only thing
left of that 21-year-old young
woman was a shell, a very
At first the members
would say to me: “We’re
going to love you until you
can love yourself.” Quite
frankly, I didn’t believe a
word of it. They kept saying
it to me knowing that if I
kept “coming back,” I would
learn how to love myself.
These 12-step meetings
are usually held in church
[The Adventist Church has
organized a 12-step program
called Regeneration. I have
attended a few of these meetings
in Takoma Park, Maryland.]
In the “outside”
12-step fellowship I’ve come
to know God through Jesus.
He is kind, compassionate,
and lovable. This Jesus is the
very same Jesus who cared
enough for me to spare my
life by bringing me into the
We have a saying in our
fellowship: Religion is for
people who are afraid they
are going to hell. Spirituality
is for people who have
already been there.
South Bend, Indiana
We love receiving the
Review and have subscribed
to it for many years, but I
have some concern about the
message conveyed by the
cover of the March 21, 2013,
edition. The caption under
the picture says, “People
leave the Adventist church”
“because they’ve changed
their beliefs.” I thought
about the many hands just
my particular issue goes
through until it reaches my
mailbox, to say nothing of
the thousands of other mailboxes
that received this same
issue. I thought of the many
pieces of “literature” we all
have distributed door to
door, telling the world about
a loving Savior and the true
biblical message for these
last days as it is found in the
Adventist Church. In one
sweeping moment a message
is sent to the employees of
the USPS as they deliver our
mail that “more and more”
of us no longer believe what
we have been preaching. Perhaps
we all need to be more
conscious of how easy it is
for words to convey the
wrong message, even on a
I was particularly interested
in the article by Andy
Nash entitled “Beyond
Belief” (Mar. 21). From my
observations, I believe that if
we can find the way to keep
people happy in the Ad-
4 (452) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
March 21, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 8
March 21, 2013
A Faith of Don’ts?
Church to Receive $45
Mi lion in Reparations
The Perfect 10
PeoPle leave the adventist ChurCh only beCause they’ve had a bad
exPerienCe, right? NoT ANyMoRe. A New sTuDy iNDiCATes ThAT MoRe AND
MoRe ChuRCh MeMbeRs ARe leAviNg beCAuse They’ve ChANgeD TheiR belieFs.
“Jesus emphasized His teaching. An understanding of
Bible truth will always lead us to Him.
—hubert f. sturges, Grand Junction, Colorado”
ventist Church, we will also
find the way to win more
souls into the church.
When I was about 35, an
older church member told
me that the local church was
unfriendly. (He never actually
left the church.) My wife
and I conducted a little
experiment: that next Sabbath
we each just stood in
the foyer of the church and
did not approach anyone. We
counted 14 persons or couples
who came to us with
friendly greetings and conversation.
As we grew older,
this did not happen as often,
but we also recognized that
it was our duty to approach
those we didn’t know and
Earlier this decade I posted
regularly on an “Adventist”
Internet forum, which might
better be characterized as an
Almost to the letter, these ex-
Adventists presented doctrinal
differences for the
reasons they left the church.
Yet as I got better acquainted
with them I found that most
had bad personal experiences,
or couldn’t accept
what seemed to be faulty
administration of the church.
Doctrine is very important.
But we must understand
doctrine in the light of
the cross. I have always used
the Bible as a reference book.
Three years ago I started taking
about an hour a day
reading four to six chapters
every day. It opened my eyes
to things I hadn’t really
Jesus emphasized His
teaching. An understanding
of Bible truth will always
lead us to Him. We need to
look at what is preached
from the pulpit. We need to
support Sabbath school
teachers who will lead Biblebased
discussion. And most
of all, we need to get back
into the habit of just reading
the Bible through every year.
Hubert F. Sturges
Grand Junction, Colorado
100 Years OF
February 28, 2013
February 28, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 6
emergency Care in honduras
Care and Healing
the ministry of
I was happy to read CMBell
Company’s cover article
“One Hundred Years of Care
and Healing,” on White
Memorial Medical Center
(WMMC) in the February 28,
2013, Review. I’m 89 years old,
and the picture of the First
Street Dispensary brought
back memories. I remember
that old building, which was
across the street from the
My father, Elwin Knecht,
went to Loma Linda in 1922
to take the dietitian course
when it was first offered. In
1927 WMMC asked my
father to come and be their
chef. He worked there for 10
years. Then he and our family
went back to Michigan.
What modern facilities
they now have! Praise the
Lord, WMMC is listed as one
of the best hospitals in the
Every article in the February
21, 2013, Review was
The call from God and the
passionate power given to
Carlton Byrd (see Celeste
Ryan Blyden’s cover story
“Carlton Byrd Takes New
York by Storm”) took my
breath away! I pray that God
will keep Byrd humble and
dependent on Him.
“At the Well,” with Galina
Stele, was inspiring. My
heart was stirred with compassion
over Lilian Han Im’s “The
Eternal Chapter.” Han Im’s
own renewed hope gave this
The article that prompted
this letter, however, was Vincent
MacIsaac gave the best advice
himself: “Let’s use current
technology to transform the
world, and at the same time,
let’s not be transformed by it.”
Thomas Edison was concerned
that inventions made
to cause good could be
turned around to cause evil.
Satan would want to use
every invention meant to
convert the world to cause
sin instead. Let us pray that
we will be good examples;
also pray for those who can
influence our children and
youth to gain victories over
addictions—pray too for our
pastors, teachers, and anyone
who will be guided by
God to be winning, tactful,
and firm in their counseling
We welcome your letters, noting,
as always, that inclusion of a letter
in this section does not imply that
the ideas expressed are endorsed by
either the editors of the Adventist
Review or the General Conference.
Short, specific, timely letters have
the best chance at being published
(please include your complete
address and phone number—even
with e-mail messages). Letters will
be edited for space and clarity only.
Send correspondence to Letters to
the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501
Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD
20904-6600; Internet: letters@
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (453) 5
Battle Creek’s Long Shadow
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, where the General Conference of
Seventh-day Adventists was organized 150 years ago, may loom larger in Adventist memory than
it does in real life. Signs in the downtown business district point tourists toward the “Historic
Adventist Village,” but apart from a certain, well-known breakfast cereal maker’s headquarters,
there’s little to suggest an Adventist “flavor” to the place.
Yes, the Seventh-day Adventist Tabernacle sits on a downtown corner, and several hundred
come each Sabbath for Bible study and worship. But if you look for “The San,” as the Battle
Creek Sanitarium was familiarly called, you’ll find a massive federal office complex—and a historical
site marker. John Harvey Kellogg, longtime Adventist and later apostate, has truly “left
I came to such somber reflections when in this city for the General Conference’s Spring Meeting.
The fellowship was grand; the historical presentations were both excellent and informative. I
learned a lot, and so did many others who’d had far more years in this movement than I can claim.
Driving around Battle Creek (my hotel was not the main venue, hence I had a daily commute),
I saw, as noted, little evidence of a Seventh-day Adventist impact on the town. In a way, that’s
understandable: after the fire that claimed the Review and Herald Publishing Association building
and after Ellen White’s vision that our headquarters should be close to Washington, D.C.,
the Adventists moved on, and Battle Creek went its own way.
The aforementioned Dr. Kellogg—whose brother, Will, founded the eponymous breakfast
food empire—built the San into a major institution, only to see it destroyed by fire in 1902.
Ellen White counseled that the facility should not be rebuilt, but Kellogg ignored her advice.
Forty years later the U.S. government bought the property for use as a hospital for returning
World War II soldiers, and John Harvey Kellogg died a year later.
What are the lessons Seventh-day Adventists can take from the Battle Creek experience? I
can’t claim a complete list, but here are a few thoughts that came to mind after five days in Battle
First, God knows our destiny better than we do. It might well have seemed—to some of our
pioneers and their successors—that staying in Battle Creek and expanding our “empire” there
would have been a good thing. But the Lord had a different plan, and that difference may well
have shaped our destiny. Being in and around Washington, D.C., has created great opportunities
for our movement’s leadership and our people, ones that might not have been available
At the same time, we have a responsibility to remember the past. The Historic Adventist Village
in Battle Creek is a fine reminder of our heritage, but much more can—and shall, God willing—be
done to show that heritage off. Not to boast, but to remind our people and to inform
others that what began in a small Michigan city has since circled the globe. I believe the Village
and its sponsors, the Adventist Heritage Ministry, deserve your support, including financial, to
accomplish this task.
I believe we also should brighten the corner where we are, to borrow from the old chorus.
While there’s no doubt that much was done for Battle Creek when it was an Adventist stronghold,
perhaps more could have been done to ingrain our message in the community. What
might Battle Creek be like if our health message had continued promulgation after leaders
decamped for the shores of the Potomac?
I wonder what we’re doing today in each of our towns and cities in which we have a major
presence. Can we do more for others? Can we be of greater service to those in physical and spiritual
need? Can we touch more lives in the manner that Jesus did?
For me, one of the greatest lessons of the Battle Creek experience is that not only should we
learn from the past, but we must apply those lessons! Wherever we find ourselves, we should
be good and fruitful ambassadors for Christ and for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, sharing
the blessed hope we have with others, and helping them find that which we have discovered. n
6 (454) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
Beyond the Basics
not long ago, a college-age friend made a big turnaround in
his life. Wanting to learn more from God’s Word, he dug deeply into Daniel and Revelation,
amazed at the accuracy of prophecy. But recently he was startled to hear a presenter on his
Adventist campus state, “When I no longer have anything to say about Jesus, then I’ll talk about
“Jesus is what matters,” a theology major echoed. “And the fruits of the spirit. Love. Joy. Peace.”
Basics are fundamental, but it’s important to grow beyond “one-plus-one.”
No doubt about it—Jesus is my “all in all.” He is the foundation of my faith. But He is much
more. Jesus reveals Himself through prophecy. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He
reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7, NKJV, see also 1 Peter 1:10-11).* We
cannot separate Jesus from prophecy.
Many churches, including ours, preach the amazing truth that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners—and
we are all sinners. Many, including Adventists, serve the underprivileged and seek justice.
But Jesus calls us to move beyond Basic Christianity 101. He calls us to be His remnant people,
those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12, NKJV),
and He urges us to preach the “everlasting gospel”: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour
of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth”(verse 7, NKJV).
This is no exclusive club—He wants all “who dwell on the earth” (verse 6, NKJV) to be part of
His remnant church. The more I learn about Jesus, the more amazed I am that He actually
entrusts the proclamation of His powerful, life-changing, lifesaving prophetic messages to us. n
Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980,
1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Watching the Signs
Do you know the signs of
His coming? Are you watching?
2 Peter 3:3, 4
Matt. 24:6, 7
Luke 21:25, 26
2 Tim. 3:1-5
to all the
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).
World News & Perspectives
Media Center Board Votes
Sweeping Operational Changes
Simi Valley property to be sold,
media ministries to relocate
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor
After 41 years as a church entity and 18
years in its current location, the Adventist
Media Center (AMC) in Simi Valley,
California, is facing the end of its
existence. On April 29, 2013, the center’s
board voted several actions that will
change the nature of Seventh-day Adventist
media outreach in North
“The media ministries’ mission and
messages of hope and wholeness have
helped to spread the gospel of Jesus
Christ throughout North America and
beyond. We appreciate the tireless
efforts of the many media center
employees and ministry staff members,”
said Dan Jackson, president of the
North American Division (NAD) and
chair of the media center’s board. “We
expect the media ministries to continue
to maintain and provide the level of
programs and services which will meet
the future needs of the division,” he
As voted, the move envisions the
church’s various North American radio
and television ministries, which include
Breath of Life Ministries, Faith for
Today, It Is Written, Jesus 101 Biblical
Institute, La Voz de la Esperanza, and
the Voice of Prophecy, to relocate away
from the Simi Valley facility, which
is to be sold. A time frame of 12 to 18
months will be allocated for this process.
According to an NAD statement,
“efforts will be made to minimize the
impact on employees who will be
affected by and during the transition
and relocation period.”
The decision, the NAD statement said,
“comes after two years of research, concentrated
studies, continual meetings
(which included two major summit
meetings), as well as private interviews
with stakeholders. From these meetings,
NAD leadership has developed
documents that summarize the aspects
of the summits, meetings, and interviews.
Participants of the summits
included media ministry speakers,
innovative Adventist pastors who are
already using innovative media effectively,
as well as church administrators
and communication personnel.”
The NAD announcement stressed two
other points concerning Seventh-day
Adventist media work in the division,
which claims more than 1 million
First, the division will maintain
an “ongoing commitment to providing
funding for the media ministries,”
the statement said. “As a part
of this process, and in clear understanding
that the media ministries
are part of the NAD ministry effort,
funding levels from the division
would be identified for each of the
media ministries in order to allow
HOUR OF DECISION: Members of the Adventist Media Center board met on a sound stage at the organization’s Simi Valley, California,
facility on April 29, 2013. The group voted to allow the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division media ministries to
relocate and for the media center property to be sold.
| www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
them to fulfill their mission.”
And, according to the statement, the
NAD will make a “commitment to
explore new possibilities for media
development. The division anticipates a
significant role for the media ministries
in the future of media in North America;
beyond the role they currently play.”
According to the NAD announcement,
“the North American Division Committee
will receive the recommended proposal
from the AMC board.” A final vote
approving the move is expected at the
year-end divisional meeting in November
Adventist Youth Among First Responders
at Bangladesh Factory Collapse
Four rescued alive, 26 others recovered by teens trained in disaster relief.
By BENJAMIN RAKSHAM, Bangladesh Union Mission, reporting from Savar, Bangladesh
Seventh-day Adventists were some of the first
responders to a commercial factory building collapse in
Savar, Bangladesh, that has captured international media
attention and sparked debate over building standards.
Ten Adventist youth trained in earthquake preparedness
and potential building collapse situations
were some of the first on-site
after the April 24, 2013, collapse and
helped bring out 30 victims, four of
whom were still alive.
Another group of 125 Adventist young
people went to the disaster site on Saturday,
April 27, to assist rescue teams. That
group helped recover three women as
photos by Flabian Shaikat Aikder
DOING GOOD: Rescuers work on Saturday,
April 27, 2013, to recover survivors of the
factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh. Adventist
workers wore orange uniforms.
MEDIA NOTICE: Adventist Church member
Thais Landerson is interviewed at the factory
collapse site. She is the daughter of
Serpa Santana Landerson, who serves as
Bangladesh country director for the Adventist
Development and Relief Agency.
well as several bodies. They also provided
food and water to survivors.
The eight-story commercial building
is known as Rana Plaza and is located
approximately 28 miles (45 kilometers)
from the capital city of Dhaka.
The building housed five garment
factories, production lines, banks, and
hundreds of shops. An estimated 3,500
people were in the building at the time
of the collapse, the majority of whom
were female factory workers under the
age of 25. At press deadline approximately
400 bodies had been recovered
and 2,444 injured people had been rescued,
but hundreds were still unaccounted
ADRA Bangladesh also responded
promptly by providing oxygen tanks,
masks, flashlights, hammers, shovels,
and other tools as preliminary assistance.
According to director Serpa Santana Landerson,
ADRA Bangladesh plans to donate cash to the Prime Minister’s
Relief Fund after committee approval is received.
During an April 26 Adventist Youth evening meeting,
young people spontaneously collected 12,100 taka (approximately
US$160) for the victims.
Reports have confirmed that at least
one Seventh-day Adventist, a boy
named Bitu Baroi, who was working in
one of the garment factories, was still
missing. His mother works at Pollywog,
an Adventist-sponsored handicraft
industry located on the Adventist
Church’s Bangladesh Adventist Union
The disaster area is about 12.5 miles
(20 kilometers) from the union office.
The garment industry is a major foreign
currency earner in Bangladesh
and the biggest industry in the country.
Bangladesh is the second-largest
garment exporter country in the world
after China. There are more than 5,000
such factories in Bangladesh, mainly in
Dhaka and Chittagong regions. And
that number counts only factories registered
with the Bangladesh Garment
Manufacturers and Exporting Association.
There are hundreds more not
under this umbrella.
There are about 6 million factory
workers, mostly women, employed
directly in this industry. n
—with additional reporting by Adventist
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (457) 9
World News & Perspectives
Adventist Church Promotes
Next Step for Comprehensive
At Spring Meeting, delegates hear
about outreach approach
By ELIZABETH LECHLEITNER, Adventist News
Network, reporting from Battle Creek, Michigan
Adventist evangelist Mark Finley
quoted a line April 14, 2013, from his
mentor, television ministry legend
George Vandeman, to encourage Seventh-day
Adventists to take a more proactive
approach to personal and
The line comes from a story Vandeman
was fond of telling: The only way to
reach an ancient monastery perched
atop a towering mountain was a single
rope. A monk peering over a sheer cliff
pulled tourists up in a wicker basket.
“How often do you replace the rope?”
one asked nervously.
“Every time it breaks,” the monk said.
The punch line hit home for many
delegates to the first business session of
Spring Meeting in Battle Creek. They
laughed, but they also paused to reflect
on their own lifestyles, not unlike early
church leaders who, 150 years ago, first
heard church cofounder and prophet
Ellen G. White’s account of her vision on
seemingly radical health principles.
Don’t smoke. Exercise. Leave that pork
chop off the menu.
That vision, given in a time period
when bloodletting and doping were
common medical practices, would
become the backbone of what is today a
wholistic global health ministry. The
Seventh-day Adventist Church operates
a network of approximately 600 hospitals,
clinics, and dispensaries worldwide,
and counts many innovative
health leaders among its members.
But at the movement’s Spring Meeting
top church officials called for a
renewed emphasis on the comprehensive
side of health ministry—the
physical and spiritual components.
The discussion was
a continuation of what
world church health and ministerial
leaders first addressed at a summit last
“We’ve been doing this for 150 years.
It’s in our DNA,” Finley said. “But we’re
taking a new look at it.”
Delegates reviewed and accepted 10
recommendations that came out of that
summit. They include refocusing on
Christ’s method of meeting physical
needs before spiritual ones, and finding
ways to integrate these methods into
curriculums and practices at the
church’s education institutions. The
document also pledges to support the
work of “centers of influence,” where
such ministry is already taking place.
“ ‘If less time were given to sermonizing,
and more time were spent in personal
ministry, greater results would be
seen,’ ” said Dr. Allan Handysides, codirector
for the Adventist world church’s
Health Ministries Department, quoting a
passage from White’s landmark book
The Ministry of Healing (p. 143).
Adventist world church president Ted
N. C. Wilson also referred to White’s
writings. “The best thing you can do in
New York is medical missionary work,”
he said, referring to a line from a letter
she wrote. “Health,” he continued, “is
the right arm of evangelism. Health is
what opens the door.”
Going forward, health ministry will
be deeply rooted in church initiatives
photo: Brandan Roberts
HEALTH EVANGELISM : Mark Finley, special assistant
to the Adventist world church president for evangelism,
urges Spring Meeting delegates to reprioritize the
church’s early health message.
such as Mission to the Cities, church
Some delegates, however, questioned
whether the world church’s current
budget for health ministries could fund
a quality, appealing program that will
impact the community. A delegate from
the church’s South Pacific Division
strongly urged the Executive Committee
to review existing successful community
programs and incorporate them
into mainstream ministry. He cited
depression- and addiction-recovery
programs as possible examples.
Mike Ryan, an Adventist world church
vice president, agreed. “We have so
many programs, but bridging them to
create something big, we’re weak on
that”—which was the impetus behind
the urgent call for “comprehensive”
Jonathan Duffy, president of the Adventist
Development and Relief Agency,
applauded the new approach to health
ministry. He said there are steps to conversion,
beginning with raising awareness
and ending with lifelong
“What excites me is that this is a genuine
attempt at blending ministries,”
Duffy said. “All of us have to consider this
and ask, ‘How am I contributing to this
ministry?’ How does ADRA fit into this?
We are part of the preparatory work.”
Handysides said not only should the
10 (458) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
message be comprehensive—appealing
to physical, mental, emotional, social,
and spiritual needs—but the delivery
should be, too.
“Every church, every hospital, every
institution, every supporting ministry
must be comprehensive in its message,”
Handysides said. “Even these meetings
are going to have to change,” he added,
referring to the long hours spent sitting
in conference rooms during church
business sessions. n
At Adventist Health Conference, Faces in the Crowd
From all over Europe, they all come with a story.
By STEPHEN CHAVEZ, coordinating editor, reporting from Prague, Czech Republic
The European Health Conference
(EHC) held in late April and early May in
Prague is the perfect place to experience
the Adventist Church in all its diversity.
Participants at the conference all believe
healthful living is an essential part of
what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist.
But there are almost as many
ways to demonstrate the message as
there are participants.
Bohumil Kern is health ministries
director of the Czecho-Slovakian Union.
He’s honored that Prague was chosen as
the site of this first all-European health
conference, and he attributes this honor
to the role Prague has traditionally
played as a gateway between Eastern
and Western Europe.
Kern describes a ministry model that
has for many years now served to break
down barriers and make friends in communities
in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
They’re called “health clubs,” and
they are neutral venues where people
can come to stop smoking, learn to cook
more healthfully, reduce the health risks
associated with obesity, discover how to
come to terms with their addictions, and
receive counseling for depression.
The concept has been so successful
that it’s been exported to many countries
in Eastern Europe. In the Czecho-
Slovakian Union alone more than 260
teachers in nearly 90 health clubs “teach
secular people about the Adventist lifestyle.”
The clubs meet in community
centers, schools, civic buildings, and
church social halls.
In a partnership with Loma Linda
University, teachers in these health clubs
twice a year receive intensive training in
specialties such as nutrition, physical
therapy, addictions, and counseling.
These health clubs are augmented by
“reconditioning camp meetings,” where
small groups of people spend up to seven
days in a natural setting. The daily schedule
includes outdoor activities appropriate
to both summer and winter, and
features lectures about health and wellness.
The evening program includes lectures
with a spiritual component. Kern,
who pastors three churches in addition
to his role at the Czecho-Slovakian Union,
says that many of those who join the
church have had contact with one of
these health clubs at one time or another.
Flynn Bosch, 14, attends the conference
with his mother, Edith, from
Coimbra, Portugal. What does a
14-year-old want out of a conference
that features such topics as “Biblical
Views on Disease and Healing” and
photos: Stephen Chavez/Adventist Review
CLUB MAN: Bohumil Kern, health ministries
director for the Czecho-Slovakian
Union, helped develop “health clubs”
throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“They’re not just exercise clubs,” he
says. “They’re about disease prevention.”
EARLY TRAINING: Fourteen-year-old Flynn
Bosch from Coimbra, Portugal, visits neighbors
and helps with health expos as part of
his healing ministry to his community.
PRAYER PARTNER: Carol Squier, attending
the conference from Berrien Springs,
Michigan, is a walking testimony of the
power of prayer to heal both physically
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (459) 11
World News & Perspectives
“Hope, Healing, and Diversity”?
“I’m interested in all kinds of health
and disease,” he says. Not surprisingly
he’s considering a career as a medical
doctor. His mother says that one of his
favorite books is about anatomy and
In his local community Bosch is active
in his church’s health ministry outreach.
At health expos he and others
take blood pressure, help measure body
mass, and take blood samples to be
screened for diabetes and cholesterol.
What does he consider the most important
thing to share with others regarding
the Adventist health message? The
eight natural remedies: nutrition, exercise,
water, sunshine, temperance, air,
rest, and trust in divine power.
If you’ve ever been part of a prayer
chain, perhaps you know the name
Carol Squier. For years her prayer
requests have been shared around our
table at Adventist Review staff meetings.
After hearing her introducing herself to
someone at the conference, I was finally
able to put a face to the name.
Squier, who lives in Berrien Springs,
Michigan, is a sincere and devout
believer in the power of prayer. Her
experience with prayer over the past
year reflects perfectly the purpose of
the EHC to explore “perceptions, expectations,
and facts; an exploration
through science, faith, and culture.” She
lost both her husband and son to cancer
last year, but not before they both
accepted Jesus as their Savior. They may
have lost their battle to cancer, but they
received something far more precious.
Squier, herself a cancer survivor,
makes sure people who experience the
trauma of that diagnosis don’t go
through the struggle alone—not if she
knows about them. n
Shawn Boonstra to Lead Voice of
Prophecy Ministry, Board Says
Former speaker/director of It Is Written takes the helm.
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor, with reporting
from the North American Division
Shawn Boonstra, a veteran of Seventh-day Adventist
media outreach, will be the new speaker/director of one of
radio’s longest-running religious programs, The Voice of Prophecy,
the flagship Adventist media outreach started in 1929.
“Shawn has clearly demonstrated that he has a heart for
evangelism and for reaching those who need to hear the
messages of Christ’s love and redemptive power,” said Dan
Jackson, president of the Voice of Prophecy board and of the
North American Division, in a statement.
Boonstra, a pastor who currently is an associate ministerial
director at the North American Division concentrating on
evangelism, was from 2004 to 2011 speaker/director of It Is
Written, the church’s pioneering television outreach. He had
earlier spent six years at the Canadian It Is Written program,
including five as speaker/director there. Earlier he pastored a
number of Adventist congregations in British Columbia.
Boonstra’s selection to head the Voice of Prophecy (VOP)
ministry was voted April 30, 2013, by the organization’s
board of directors, meeting in Simi Valley, California.
Boonstra has also authored more than 15 outreachoriented
books. He and his wife, Jean, social media coordinator
for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines,
have two daughters.
Boonstra replaces Fred Kinsey, who served the Voice of
Prophecy for five years. Pastor Kinsey was named VOP
director after Lonnie
a call to the Kettering
in Ohio in
July 2008. Kinsey
was named VOP
speaker/director in 2009, while still serving as the assistant
to the president for communication for the North American
Division. In August 2010 Kinsey was asked to serve VOP
Under Kinsey’s leadership, VOP expanded the voices heard
on the 15-minute daily and 30-minute weekly radio programs
by Mike Tucker, Elizabeth Talbot, and Willa Sandmeyer. He
also led the ministry to become involved with social media,
including the introduction of a VOP iPhone app.
“We are grateful for Fred’s ability to bring a diversity of
programming to the Voice of Prophecy, which allowed this
ministry to continue to win souls for Christ,” said Jackson.
“We also applaud his commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist
Church and the role he played in communication
ministry at the division for many years,” he said. n
12 (460) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
Have a prayer need? Have a few free minutes? Each
Wednesday morning at 8:15 EDT the Adventist Review staff
meets to pray for people—children, parents, friends, coworkers.
Send your prayer requests and, if possible, pray with us
on Wednesday mornings. Send requests to: Let’s Pray,
Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring,
MD 20904-6600; fax: 301-680-6638; e-mail: prayer@
That dark day of death He said, “I thirst.”
Now He thirsts for grape juice.
Nothing else tastes the same up there.
He’s been waiting 20 centuries
to savor the flavor of crushed grapes.
He can hardly wait to drink it again
. . . with us.
Juicy fruit marked our fall from grace.
This fruit juice connects us to the gift of grace.
A drinking party is planned like never before
. . . the joy of fresh grape juice together
at the beginning of perfect eternity!
Today I thirst. He tells me,
“If anyone thirsts,
let him come to Me and drink.”
And “Blessed are those who . . . thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled”
(John 19:28; John 7:36-38; Isa. 55:1; Matt. 5:6).*
—Doris Burdick, Lincoln, Nebraska
Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights
One recent Monday morning, on the way to school, our 4-yearold
was singing passionately from her car seat. She belted out her
two lines again and again. She had inadvertently mixed up two
widely known songs, however, creating a cute and still meaningful
mash-up: “Jesus loves the little children; over the hills and
—Kimberly Luste Maran, Laurel, Maryland
I was at my friend’s house right around lunchtime. Her 7-year-old
son invited me to stay for lunch. I told him I’d have lunch with them
another time, sharing that I was going home to have a sweet
potato that was already in the process of baking. Not wanting me
to leave, he replied, “We have potatoes! And we can make them
I just grinned from ear to ear.
—Jenni Lane, Summerville, Georgia
© terry crews
Heart and Soul:
The 14-Day nutella Challenge
BY RACHEL LEMONS
once had a friend who was an atheist.
He was also as smart as a whip.
Having completed a master’s
degree at a prestigious university,
he could easily go toe to toe with
just about anyone in cleverly giving
proof of God’s nonexistence. From an
intellectual point of view, I knew I was
no match for him. In fact, we never
engaged on this level.
One time, however, he brought up the
subject of God. He asked how I could
believe in something so nonsensical as a God
I couldn’t hear or see. So I posed the following
question to him: “Can you explain
your relationship with your mom to me?”
He shot me a look of bewilderment.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Your relationship with your mom.
How would you describe it to me?”
Silence. I continued. “I can’t explain my
relationship with my mom to you; however,
it exists. We talk; we laugh; we love.
The relationship exists, but how can I
describe something so intangible? I can
only experience it. That’s why I believe
in God, because I experience Him. I see
Him moving in my life. I talk to Him,
and He answers. It’s less of something
that I can explain and more of something
that I experience.”
So now the question is posed to you:
How can you possibly believe in God?
What proof do you have to support your
belief in God?
The proof is in your relationship with
Are you experiencing God in such a
way that you are assured of His existence?
Are you experiencing a God who
answers when you call? A God who gets
involved in your story? Whatever your
answer may be, I would like to invite you
to go a little deeper with God. Experience
a God who is active and eager to answer
when you call. Experience a God who
loves to get involved in the human story.
The Journey: Sharpening
Our God Gauge
Christianity is a journey. There are no
couch-potato Christians. Take any football
player at the end of the game with a
clean jersey and pristine cleats, and you
can conclude that he’s been sitting on
the bench for the entire game. The same
is true in our Christian walk. Christianity
is a contact sport. It requires that we
get involved and get dirty. It involves a
God who is actively involved in our lives.
We do not serve a god of wood or stone
who doesn’t answer when we call. The
most exciting thing about Christianity
is that we serve a God who loves to get
involved in the human story!
Far too often our spiritual growth is
stalled because we are unable, unwilling,
or unaware of how to hear God’s
voice. Our ability to perceive God moving
in our lives has become dull. And
sometimes, at some point along the
way, we begin to doubt that God actually
| www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
gets involved in the human story. And
more than anything else, this is what we
want. We want God to show up and be
real and apparent. When hardship and
destruction come, we want clarity and a
solution. We want to see a manifestation
of God. We want to know that our
God is as real as our pain.
Our God gauge is off, and sharpening this
ability—learning to tune in—will take us to
the next level in our relationship with God.
Speak, Lord; I’m Listening
Not so long ago I shared a story with
a friend about a plane ride I had taken.
As I sat in the middle seat of my row, I
felt impressed that the woman sitting
next to me was a Seventh-day Adventist.
Over the course of the trip, during my
conversation with her, the impression
was confirmed. While I recounted this
story, my friend interjected, “How did
you hear God’s voice?” I paused and
thought of how to answer that question.
And again today I ponder that question.
How can we hear God’s voice? How can
we rest assured that God gets involved
in the human story? For many of us, if
we could receive confirmation of this,
we would experience an immediate
growth spurt in our spiritual lives.
In order to hear God’s voice and experience
Him moving in our lives, we
must first believe that God exists and
recognize that He is the God of the universe.
Hebrews 11:6 says: “Without faith
it is impossible to please God, because
anyone who comes to him must believe
that he exists, and that he rewards those
who earnestly seek him.” It is important
that we first acknowledge that God
exists and recognize who He is.
Next, we must clearly understand that
God actively gets involved in the human
story. Even when it seems that He’s
somewhere offstage, He’s still a character
in the story. Psalm 66 gives us assurance
of this. In fact, Psalm 66:5, 16 invite
us by saying: “Come and see what God
has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!”
“Come and hear, all you who fear
God; let me tell you what he has done for
me.” The psalmist speaks with assurance
throughout this chapter about the
awesome works of God’s hands.
In this concept we see two levels of
responsibility. If you have not yet experienced
God’s movement in your life and
you want to go deeper with God, it is
your responsibility to read the Bible to
see and understand how God has moved
in the past. Spend time with Christians,
those with strong spiritual experiences,
who can share with you how their relationship
with God has impacted their
lives. If, on the other hand, you are a
mature Christian, it is your responsibility
to be open and expressive about how God
has moved in your life, because in doing
so, your experience will give evidence to
those around you. The proof of God’s existence
is in your relationship with Him.
Finally, we must trust that God will
answer us when we call. If there is one
assurance we have in God’s Word, it is
that He will respond to our prayers. The
Bible is replete with assurances that God
will listen and answer: “Call to me and I
will answer you” (Jer. 33:3). “He will call
on me, and I will answer him; I will be
with him in trouble, I will deliver him
and honor him” (Ps. 91:15). “Before they
call I will answer; and while they are still
speaking I will hear” (Isa. 65:24).
God already knows the desires
of your heart, but He wants to
hear from you.
How to Experience God
Moving in Our Lives
Sometimes even seasoned prayer
warriors find themselves at a standstill
when it comes to understanding God’s
moving and leading in their lives. Trying
to discern God’s action (and inaction)
sometimes sends longtime
Christians into a tailspin in their relationship
with God. And often enough,
it’s most difficult to understand God’s
movement in our lives because of our
emotional involvement in the situation.
Understanding God’s movement in
our lives may require a drastic change
in perspective. Reading a book with the
page pressed against your nose permits
you to see only one or two words on the
page. However, when you adjust the
book to arm’s length, you can see much
more and read so much better.
Our walk with God is the same.
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (463) 15
Obsession with one moment of one day
of one week in one month of life’s experience
is like demanding full beauty
from a single thread in the vast tapestry
of our lives. By contrast, Psalm 37:4
invites us to “delight in the Lord, and he
will give you the desires of your heart.”
This formula involves two jobs: delighting
ourselves in the Lord (the easier of
the two) and experiencing our heart’s
desires (the harder one). But the harder
one is God’s business.
So tell God what you desire. Reveal
your plans, dreams, and goals to Him.
Be spiritually vulnerable before Him.
And focus on doing your job, which is
delighting yourself in Him.
The Nutella Challenge
“How do I do that?” you ask me.
Think of a few of your favorite things—
football, chocolate, your cat, your children.
Whatever it is that brings a smile
to your face, think of it right now. Put a
picture of it in front of you. Revel in the
joy and happiness it brings you. Delight
in the way it gently tugs at the corners
of your mouth until you break into a
smile. Now think of Jesus. Imagine your
relationship with Him. Does it bring
you the same joy? Changing our perspective
is about learning how to
delight in the Lord. It’s about taking our
eyes off our desires and fixing our eyes
upon the Lord, just as Peter had to do as
he was walking on water toward Jesus
(Matt. 14:22-33). God already knows the
desires of your heart, but He wants to
hear from you. Tell them to God, and
then focus on enjoying your relationship
with Him as much as you enjoy
your favorite things. This is your 14-day
I call it that because I first posed this
challenge to a friend, whose number one
delight in life is Nutella. For the next 14
days, let God be your magnificent obses-
sion. Focus on delighting yourself in
God. Don’t selfishly ask Him for anything
during this time; just spend the
time with Him, getting to know Him and
enjoying His presence. Read the Gospels.
Put yourself in the story and imagine
how you would react. Delve into Psalms
and spend time praising God for who He
is. I guarantee you will begin to see and
perceive God’s movement in your life.
You will experience a God who is
actively involved in your story.
Implications for the
Church at Large
Our 14-day Nutella challenge may
seem to be an individual matter. But it
could have a serious positive impact on
corporate spiritual growth. It all comes
down to Philippians 2:3, 4, which says:
“Value others above yourselves, not
looking to your own interests but each
of you to the interests of others.”
Delighting yourself in your relationship
with God frees up your mind from selfish
preoccupations. You learn to “not be
anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6). The
energy used to pray for yourself and
your own needs can now turn toward
the needs of others. This allows us to
channel the same fervency to stand in
the gap for those around us—to
approach God in prayer on their behalf.
When we are assured that God is concerned
about us, will act on our behalf,
speak to our hearts, and move in our
lives, we can confidently speak to Him
on behalf of others. This is one of Christianity’s
most exciting, spiritually revolutionizing
If you find yourself questioning that
God will actually get involved in your
story, just check out the fire of His passion
for you in Psalm 18:6-14. Read it
now! Experience a God who sees you as
“the apple of his eye” (Deut. 32:10) and
who longs for you to prove His existence
through your relationship with Him. He
longs for you to hear Him when He
whispers your name. He longs for you
to recognize His movement in your life
as evidence of His love.
Your God is deeply involved in the
human story. Contrary to all our low
expectations of Him, He’s committed to
doing exceeding abundantly more than
what we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20, 21).
Truly delight yourself in your relationship
with Him, and you will hear and experience
God as you never have before. n
Rachel Lemons, a graduate of
Oakwood University and the
University of Virginia, is the
author of Fish Food, the 2013
Young Adult devotional
published by Review and Herald.
| www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
Almanac Advice and
Most Adventist believers are aware that 2013 is the 150th
anniversary of the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The first General Conference session
occurred, and the formation of the Adventist Church started, on May 21, 1863.
It’s a bit of a misnomer to use the word “started,” because the golden thread of Seventh-day Adventist
beliefs are Bible-based and can be traced from Genesis to Revelation (see Isa. 61:4; Rev. 14:
6-12). To the thoughtful believer this period is a time to reflect on why we are still here, and ask
what we can do to help finish the work that will lead to Christ’s return.
We can profit from counsel Ellen White gave to Arthur Grosvenor Daniells (1858-1935),
president of the General Conference at the end of the first 50 years of the Seventh-day Adventist
movement. In a personal letter she wrote: “Again and again I have been shown that
the past experiences of God’s people are not to be counted as dead facts. We are not to treat
the record of these experiences as we would treat a last year’s almanac. The record is to be kept
in mind, for history will repeat itself.”*
Last year’s calendar and facts have become dated, thereby having little value; so we discard it.
Ellen White’s advice to Daniells was perceptive. Don’t treat the history of the early days of the
Adventist movement as old, irrelevant, and discardable information. Instead, review, study, and
learn from them. We should be enlightened by the trials, tragedies, and triumphs of our movement’s
Recently the leadership of the Adventist Church was enriched as it followed Ellen White’s “almanac
advice” and reviewed the history of the first 50 years of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.
Church leaders met in Battle Creek, Michigan, where the church started, at a commemorative
sesquicentennial event. For two days leaders prayed and studied, listened, and discussed engaging
historic presentations on a wide range of topics that highlighted many lessons learned.
After the commemorative sessions, and after doing the business of the GC Spring Meeting, leaders
headed home inspired and refocused to forward the movement where they have responsibilities. Ironically,
as they traveled around the globe they were confronted with the glaring realities of a suffering world.
As the 150th commemorative events ended, national and international reports repeatedly broadcast news
of the Boston Marathon bombing (April 15, 2013), citing those killed and wounded in the explosions. This
event and multiple other news stories provided an unsettling reminder of the impact of sin and our inhumanity
toward each other. The month of April also reminds us of other historic events that speak to the
great controversy and demonstrate the weight of sin and strife in the world.
In United States history a number of devastating wars and heinous acts of violence have begun in April:
the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War. The
Branch Davidian fiasco occurred in Waco, Texas, and the Oklahoma City bombing shocked the nation in
April. It’s the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, the Virginia Tech shootings, the race riots
in Los Angeles, and the ecologically disastrous British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As Adventists were commemorating, these and many other anniversaries cause us to realize that our work
and witness are badly needed in a hurting world. While we learn from our history, we also long for the Second
Advent, when Jesus will establish His eternal kingdom and end the reign of sin, suffering, and strife. n
Ellen G. White letter 238, 1903, in The Publishing Ministry (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1983), p. 175.
Delbert W. Baker is a general vice president of the General Conference.
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (465) 17
BY GERALD A. KLINGBEIL
A surprising twist to
a well-known text
just don’t get it,” one of my students had told me. “This book is too difficult for me to
understand.” He was referring to the book of Daniel, one of the all-time favorites of
Seventh-day Adventists all around the world. “And,” he had added, “what are all
these weird animals and strange prophecies supposed to mean, anyway?” Juan 1
came from a solid Adventist home and had just recently committed himself to following
Jesus. “I know I should pay more attention, but every time I start reading Daniel or
Revelation I feel like ‘turning off’—it is just too weird and too complicated.”
Juan’s reaction is, undoubtedly, duplicated many times in Adventist academies, colleges,
and churches all around the world. While many love spending time with these fascinating
prophetic books, others tend to be turned off by their language, imagery, and
complex symbolism. They may struggle to look at the big picture that these apocalyptic
books present—all pointing to the Lamb and His final victory in the great controversy
between good and evil. 2
Illustration by Steve Creitz
A Book for a Special Time
The book of Daniel was written sometime
during the sixth century B.C., a
perplexing time for God’s people. Jerusalem
had fallen repeatedly to the Babylonian
King Nebuchadnezzar and,
finally, had been destroyed in 586 B.C.
Ruins now marked the place where the
Solomonic Temple had once stood.
While thousands had perished, others
had been taken as prisoners to Babylon,
where they had settled. Instead of using
their native Hebrew, these captives had
been forced to use Aramaic and Babylonian
instead. A new language, a new
political system, a new country, new
gods—where was the God of Israel in
all of this? Could He still speak, or had
He been silenced forever by the seemingly
more powerful Babylonian gods
who were worshipped by their masters?
Questions like these must have
crossed the mind of more than one of
the Jewish exiles. These questions were
legitimate in a world in which the
power of deities was measured by the
success of their earthly worshippers.
The book of Daniel was written in this
particular historical context and with
these questions in mind. Its first part
(chapters 1-6) tells the stories of four
young men from Judah and their interaction
with heathen kings and an oftenantagonistic
society. Would they stay
faithful to their God? Would they withstand
the temptations of assimilation
and blending in? Would they be able to
become a blessing, hinted at so often in
Scripture (cf. Gen. 12:1-3), and reach
their captors who had become neighbors
and perhaps even friends?
Guided by divine revelation, Daniel
included not only faith-building stories
but also mind-boggling prophetic panoramic
scenes that highlighted one
important concept: the God of Israel, Yahweh,
was in full control of history—and
interested in communicating this prophetic
timetable to those who loved and
worshipped Him—regardless of their
racial and ethnic backgrounds. Daniel
was not only a book for its time: it speaks
to all ages, and particularly to those living
at the time of the end (Dan. 12:1-4).
Setting the Stage
Daniel 2 is a great chapter for seeing the
link between God’s story and human history.
The condensed version goes like this:
a king’s dream becomes the nightmare of
his scholars, who fail to tell him his ostensibly
forgotten message from on high.
Never one to do things halfheartedly, King
Nebuchadnezzar threatens his court
scholars with execution if they are not able
to recount the dream. Daniel and his three
Hebrew friends are informed of this drastic
decree that will affect them as well, and
after requesting more time, they pray for
their lives. During the night God reveals to
Who would be stronger than the
gods that meet on the mountain?
Daniel the dream and its meaning. Daniel
then approaches the court official in
charge of the execution and is brought
before the king.
Truly this is a real-life suspense story,
full of nail-biting moments—yet it is also
full of God moments. The first occurs
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (467)
ight after Daniel received the vision. I
would imagine that everybody (including
me) would immediately rush out of the
prayer meeting and knock on the door of
the king’s palace. There is no time to be
lost. No precious minutes can be squandered.
However, that’s not what Daniel
does. He settles down and praises God in
one of the most significant prayers of
praise in all of Scripture (Dan. 2:20-23).
Here is another God moment. As Daniel
is brought before the irate king he is
confronted with the key question: “Are
you able to tell me my dream?” What a
temptation just to say “Yes” and get on
with it—it would have looked great on
Daniel’s résumé. Yet Daniel does not fall
into this trap, either. His answer is illustrative
of the type of person he is and the
kind of relationship he has with his Lord.
“No, I cannot do that; matter of fact, not
one of your scholars can do it, but there
is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries”
(cf. verse 27). Daniel understands the
real balance of power—even at the epicenter
of an ancient superpower.
The Dream and the Stone
The large statue made of different
materials has been a solid staple of Adventist
preaching and evangelism for
more than 150 years. We have heard
about the golden head, the silver chest
and arms, the bronze belly and thighs,
the iron legs, and the partly iron and
partly clay feet. We also recall its end—
smashed by a stone cut from a mountain—the
remains of the impressive
statue became insignificant like chaff on
a threshing floor. We may even remember
the meaning of the dream pointing
to a sequence of four major kingdoms
that are finally upended by the establishment
of God’s kingdom (verses
37-45). Been there—done that. We
know—and yet we often overlook—significant
details that may have spoken
more profoundly to one of the participants
of this incredible drama.
I first saw this when I translated the
second chapter of Daniel with my Biblical
Aramaic class students—one of the
few chapters in the Old Testament that
is written in Aramaic. 3 Here is my personal
translation of Daniel 2:34, 35, followed
by the interpretation of the dream
in verses 44, 45: “You watched until a
stone [indeterminate] was cut—not by
human hands—and smote the image at
its feet of iron and pottery and crushed
them. Then the iron, the pottery, the
the way people
inside out by
bronze, the silver, and the gold were
crushed altogether, and they were like
chaff from the summer threshing floors;
and the wind lifted them up, and no
place could be found for them. However,
the stone that smote the image became a
huge mountain [indeterminate] and
filled all the earth” (verses 34, 35).
“And in the days of these kings the God
of heaven will establish an eternal kingdom,
which will not be destroyed; and the
kingdom will not be left to another people;
it will smite and put an end to all
these kingdoms and will be established
forever; just as you saw that the stone
[determinate] was cut off from the mountain
[determinate]—not from human
hands—and crushed the iron, the bronze,
the pottery, the silver, and the gold; the
great God has made known to the king
what will be after this and (be assured),
the dream is certain and its interpretation
is trustworthy” (verses 44, 45).
Did you catch it? The descriptive section
mentions a stone coming from
nowhere (verse 34) while the interpretive
section has the stone coming from the
mountain (verse 45). The translators of the
Septuagint, the Greek translation of the
Old Testament, noticed this discrepancy
and thus inserted “from the mountain”
in verse 34. The biblical text continues
with a surprising description of the dramatic
transformation of the stone, which
becomes “a huge mountain” (verse 35),
filling the whole earth. Clearly this stone
is beyond this world: its identity and origin
has been of particular interest to biblical
interpreters. 4 A quick search in
standard commentaries on Daniel brings
to light a number of interpretations of
the stone/mountain symbolism in Daniel
2. What is Daniel telling us by saying it
the way he did? What would a Babylonian
king, living in the sixth century B.C. in
Mesopotamia, understand by a text
involving stones and mountains?
Of Stones and Mountains
There are few references in Mesopotamian
literature to stones used in circumstances
similar to the ones found in
Daniel 2. In the Gilgamesh Epic, the Mesopotamian
Flood story, the main character
has a dream about the coming of
Enkidu (a wild created being meant to
teach Gilgamesh humility) as a meteor
that lands at Gilgamesh’s feet. 5 We see
from Mesopotamian lists that deities
and sacred space were often related to
stones. Mountains, on the other hand,
played a big role in most religions of the
ancient Near East, as we can see in the
architecture of many temples and
tombs. The design of the Mesopotamian
ziggurat (or temple) represents an artificial
mountain, similar to the shape and
design of Egyptian pyramids. 6 Mesopotamian
ziggurats were considered to be
the actual home of the deity. 7 The names
20 (468) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
of these temples illustrate the relationship
between humans and deity. For
example, the ziggurat of Larsa, another
city-state in Mesopotamia, is called
“house of the link between heaven and
earth,” while the ziggurat of Kish is
known as “exalted dwelling place of
Zababa and Inanna, whose head is as
high as the heavens.” The name of the
ziggurat of Nippur is “house of the
mountain.” 8 Similar, in texts from
Ugarit, a site in northern Syria, the home
of the gods is linked to Mount Saphon. 9
The exasperated response of the terrified
intellectual elite of Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar’s
command at the beginning
of Daniel 2 is indeed significant: “No one
can reveal it [the dream] to the king
except the gods, and they do not live
among humans” (verse 11). The reference
to the gods, not living where mortal
beings live, introduces us to one of the
main themes of Daniel 2. While the God
of Daniel is interested in communicating
the future and guides those who trust in
Him through difficult times, the gods of
King Nebuchadnezzar are not able (or
willing) to do the same, since they live far
removed from humanity in the high
places of mountains or ziggurats.
The God of heaven is different (verses
18, 19, 37, 44). He is able and willing to
reveal the future to the king, and the
God of heaven does it in a way that the
king of Babylon will understand. God
wants to guide Nebuchadnezzar from
something known to something new. At
the same time God is subtly but consistently,
undermining familiar religious
concepts. The gods do not respond and
do not give the necessary wisdom to
know the dream of the king or supply
its interpretation. The statue, which was
so important to the dream and, as we
can see later in Daniel 3, also very
important to King Nebuchadnezzar, is
smashed by a stone that has been cut off
from a mountain. In the king’s mind the
high elevations and mountains were
divine meeting places; who would be
able to cut off a sizable stone that could
hit the statue and not only topple it
over, but crush it into powder? Who
would be stronger than the gods that
meet on the mountain? It is this great
God of heaven, Daniel’s God; and once
Nebuchadnezzar has understood the
meaning of the dream he falls on his
face and worships (verse 46). He does
not as yet understand everything about
this God of heaven, but he realizes that
this God truly is the “God of gods and
Lord of kings” (verse 47).
I Am Talking to You
Daniel 2 tells a story of how the God
of heaven communicates with individuals
living outside the chosen community
of faith. As Daniel tells the story, he
uses concepts that were known to anyone
living in the ancient Near East at the
time. Yet these concepts and terminology
are not just being used uncritically.
Rather, Daniel turns the way people
think about religion and history upside
down and inside out by unexpected
outcomes and surprising effects. Missiologists
call this process “contextualization”—the
process of “translating” a
particular (foreign) concept into a different
culture, using concepts and elements
that are familiar to this culture.
The stone and mountain references in
Daniel 2 are not the only biblical passages
that contextualize cultural thoughts and
values to meet people where they were. 10
God repeatedly sends messages through
His prophets that do not leave unbelievers
with their false ideas but take them
further—much further by introducing
them to the living God. At the end of the
day Nebuchadnezzar falls to the ground
and recognizes the power and strength of
Daniel’s God, the God of heaven, so different
from his own gods. But the story does
not end with this one interaction
between Yahweh and Nebuchadnezzar.
The book of Daniel describes a long journey
that would ultimately result in the
king’s recognition of Yahweh not only as
the God of heaven, but as “the Most
High” (Dan. 4:32), the one above everything,
the one who is actively involved in
human history, who appoints and
removes kings. He is the God who comes
close to Nebuchadnezzar and speaks so
he can understand. After all—and above
all—the great God of heaven is Immanuel—God
with us. n
Not his real name.
This article is based on research presented in Gerald A.
Klingbeil, “ ‘Rocking the Mountain’: Text, Theology, and Mission
in Daniel 2,” in “For You Have Strengthened Me”: Biblical and
Theological Studies in Honor of Gerhard Pfandl in Celebration of His
Sixty-fifth Birthday, ed. Martin Pröbstle, Gerald A. Klingbeil, and
Martin G. Klingbeil (St. Peter am Hart, Austria: Seminar
Schloss Bogenhofen, 2007), pp. 117-139.
The Aramaic sections of the Old Testament include
mainly Daniel 2:4-7:28 and Ezra 4:8-6:18 and 7:11-26. Two
shorter verses in Genesis 31:47 (two words) and Jeremiah
10:11 are also written in Aramaic.
C. L. Seow, “The Rule of God in the Book of Daniel,” in
David and Zion: Biblical Studies in Honor of J.J.M. Roberts, ed. Bernard
F. Batto and Kathryn L. Roberts (Winona Lake, Ind.:
Eisenbrauns, 2004), pp. 224-226, for example, suggests that
the rock/mountain symbols point to Abraham’s descendants
who will mediate divine sovereignty on earth. Furthermore,
Seow argues that the mountain is a reference to the coming of
the nations to Mount Zion (Isa. 2:1-4; Micah 4:1; Ps. 22:28, 29).
Cf. Gerhard Pfandl, “Interpretations of the Kingdom of God in
Daniel 2:44,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 34 (1996): 249–
268, for a concise history of interpretation.
John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas,
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (Downers
Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2000), p. 733.
Hartmut Waetzoldt, “Tempelterrassen und Ziggurrate
nach der sumerischen Überlieferung,” in “An Experienced Scribe
Who Neglects Nothing”: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of
Jacob Klein, ed. Yitschak Sefati et al. (Bethesda, Md.: CDL, 2005),
Waetzoldt, p. 332.
Othmar Keel, Die Welt der altorientalischen Bildsymbolik und
das Alte Testament, 5th ed. (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck
and Ruprecht, 1996), p. 100.
Cf. Richard J. Clifford, The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and
the Old Testament, Harvard Semitic Monographs 4 (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1972).
Other biblical references that use a known theological
concept in order to communicate a completely different truth
include Ps. 121:6 and, surprisingly, also Gen. 1 and 2, among
Gerald A. Klingbeil, D.Litt., is
an associate editor of Adventist
Review who enjoys discovering
amazing gems of divine truth in
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (469) 21
Spirit of Prophecy
are assembled here will cherish their
human traits of character. There is danger
of their failing to see the need of
individually humbling themselves
before God each day, and several times
BY ELLEN G. WHITE
God has given His people a
great work to do in the
world, and every soul who
professes to be a son or
daughter of God should
give evidence that his heart is being
impressed by the Holy Spirit. This will
mean everything to the success of his
labors. The Lord has placed various gifts
in the church that we may appreciate
these gifts, and act our part in the grand
finishing-up work of this earth’s history.
Let us understand our need of
communion with God. We are to experience
the sanctifying power of His grace
on the human heart. We are to be submissive
to the will of God, and willing to
engage in the work that He has
appointed His servants to do.
We can not afford to lose any more
each day, and of asking Him for the spiritual
help they must have if they are to
serve faithfully and acceptably in any
office. They may be engaged in the publishing
work, or in some line of medical
work, or in the school work; but whatever
our work for human beings may be
we must perfect a Christian character, or
we shall miss the mark. If we neglect to
humble our hearts before God, we shall
fail of gaining all that we might gain. . . .
My brethren, in your field of labor, you
may be surrounded by unfavorable circumstances;
but the Lord knows all
about this, and He will supply your lack
by His own Holy Spirit. We need to have
much more faith in God. Very soon the
strife and oppression of foreign nations
will break forth with an intensity that
you do not now anticipate. You need to
realize the importance of becoming
acquainted with God in prayer. When
you have the assurance that He hears
you, you will be cheerful in tribulation;
you will rise above despondency, because
you experience the quickening influence
of the power of God in your hearts.
What we need is the truth. Nothing
can take the place of this—the sacred,
solemn truth that is to enable us to
stand the test of trial, even as Christ
endured. Early in His ministry the disciples
wanted the Savior to go up to Jerusalem
and show Himself there. “If thou
be the Christ,” they said, “show thyself
to the world.” Christ was doing this
very thing, but He was doing it in a way
they did not perceive. Speaking to the
people on the streets, and healing the
sick, Christ was working to make
impressions that would arouse the sentime
than we have already lost. We can
not afford to be careless. We need the
wisdom that cometh from God, and not
that wisdom which is natural to the
human heart. We need to study the
Word of the living God, and to be sanctified
through the truth. When the truth
sanctifies the receiver, he will carry the
light of truth to others. And when the
worker is placed in a position where he
is required to bear a straight testimony,
God will inspire that testimony. Those
who have no disposition to learn of
Jesus, and who think they know all that
is worth knowing, will be indifferent to
the communication that God sends; but
it will impress the hearts of those who
are humble enough to learn of Christ.
Last night there was represented to
me the danger there is that those who
© Lars Justinen/GoodSalt.com
| www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
sibilities of the people. Even to the last
He exercised His miracle-working
power. These were the very deeds He
came to the world to do.
We each need to experience a thorough
conversion. Many of us take so much of
self along with us that we fail entirely of
representing Christ. We can not afford to
have such an experience as this; for the
eyes of the world are upon us. My brethren,
when you speak to others, and they
reply in a way that is not pleasant, do not
allow yourselves to be aroused. Remember
that Jesus was met in the same way.
His precious words of truth were met
with scorn. But did He cease His work
because of this? No; He would continue
His work until He had gathered about
Him a multitude of hearers. The Savior
would have us study our words and
actions, and follow His example. Let us
not, when we meet with insults and
taunts, take up these things, and try to
answer them. Let us rather go right on as
though they had not been spoken.
Often as you seek to teach the present
truth, opposition will be aroused; and if
you seek to meet the opposition with
argument, you will only multiply it, and
that you can not afford to do. Hold to
the affirmative. Angels of God are
watching you, and they understand how
to impress those whose opposition you
refuse to meet with argument. If Christ
had not held to the affirmative in the
wilderness of temptation, He would
have lost all that He desired to gain.
Christ’s way is the best way to meet our
opponents. We strengthen their arguments
when we repeat what they say.
Keep always to the affirmative. It may be
that the very man who is opposing you
will carry your words home, and be converted
to the sensible truth that has
reached his understanding. n
This article was first published
in the General Conference
Bulletin, May 18, 1909. Ellen G.
White, its author, was one of
the founders of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church. Her life and work testified to
the special guidance of the Holy Spirit.
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (471) 23
A Day to
We commemorate many
days—so why not the day
of our baptism?
© Lars Justinen/GoodSalt.com
BY HELGA PEDZY
When I first met Edward, the
man who later would
become my husband, I was
filled with contradictions. I
attended church on Sundays, so it was difficult
for me to date someone who went
to church—and even closed his business—on
Saturdays, because he believed
it was the day God asks us to keep holy.
Edward never discussed the issue with me
in detail; he just politely asked me one
time to come to church with him. My
answer was an emphatic “No.” Being a
devout member of a different denomination,
I determined that one day he would
join my church. The situation changed
when I began having doubts about some
of my church’s practices and beliefs. I
wondered whether they were biblically
based and appropriate for Christians. I
had a close relationship with God, but I
didn’t want to stop attending church,
because I realized how difficult it is to
preserve a connection with God without
the support that church membership
provides. I decided, however, not to discuss
these concerns with Edward.
The following summer in Berlin, Germany,
I served as a camp tent leader for
12-year-old girls from East Berlin. I had a
wonderful time with them, but I was
unable to attend church services for two
weeks. Afterward, I was happy to be back
in my home church, but I encountered
another situation involving church practices
that was even more serious, and love
for my church began to diminish. Sunday
morning worship services became mere
routine, and my prior earnestness to
“win” my boyfriend to my church
denomination was extinguished.
Not Seeing Eye to Eye
One day I went to visit Edward at his
| www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
place of business, but only his father, Anton,
was there. Anton shook my hand and then
pulled out from under the counter a worn,
taped-up Bible. He then opened it to the
book of Revelation and started to explain to
me the meaning of the number 666.
In the midst of his statements I interrupted
with a question: “What would
you say if I were to try to get you to
accept a different religion, and how
much time would you give me?” I turned
to leave, but then Edward walked in. He
looked surprised, but he took my hand
and we walked out together. I didn’t talk
to him at that time about his father’s
words; I just looked at him, wondering
why God had put this man into my life.
Becoming Part of the Family
A few weeks later I entered an Adventist
church for the first time. The
building seemed empty, with no statues,
pictures, or candles. I felt out of place.
Edward and I continued dating, but I
never returned to his church. I did spend
many welcoming moments with his family,
however. Anton was a warmhearted,
caring, and loving person, and he never
mentioned his beliefs or his Bible again.
Two years later Anton was diagnosed
with cancer. Edward was very upset.
After a year filled with prayers and many
somber moments, Anton asked to see us
both. With a fading voice he asked us to
kneel in front of his bed. His weakening
eyes looked at me, and with a smile he
asked, “Will you marry min Jung [my
boy]?” Looking at Edward, I answered,
“Yes.” Anton’s face brightened with a
smile. He spoke a prayer filled with love
and blessings for Edward and me and for
our future life together. I felt the presence
of God. A few days later Anton died.
The following year Edward and I were
married. Soon after, however, he
informed me that the minister who had
married us would be visiting me each
week to discuss the Bible and Adventist
beliefs. We’re happily married; why can’t
they leave me alone? I wondered. I decided
to put a stop to this right from the
beginning, so I borrowed a lot of jewelry
from friends and was wearing it
when the pastor knocked on my door.
The pastor appeared startled by my
appearance, but he came in, and I had
my first Bible study. We studied
together for two years. Eventually our
studies turned into discussions about
various events in the Bible, marriage,
children, family behaviors, diseases,
friendships, and the importance of
making Jesus the priority in our lives.
Finally, on March 26, 1960, I was baptized.
As I stepped out of the water,
three trumpeters played “Holy, Holy,
Holy,” my favorite hymn. I had never
felt so close to God. Bowing my head, I
thanked Jesus for accepting me and
becoming my best friend.
A Special Day
We celebrate many special days in our
lives—national holidays, birthdays,
anniversaries, and various other days
we deem important to us. Sadly, however,
we often forget the most important
day of all: that of our baptism.
I have now been a member of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church for more than
50 years and have held numerous church
positions of responsibility, but each year
on the anniversary of my baptism I
recommit myself to God and thank Him
for His many blessings. I remind myself
that the most important things in life are
not positions, but people, and that each of
us must serve God with a humble heart.
People can easily become discouraged,
and some end up leaving the church. But
on the anniversary of my baptism I’m
reminded that strong efforts must be
made to win them back into the family
of God. Jesus wants us to be a blessing to
others and to make a positive difference
in their lives. Our Lord and Savior is in
charge, but we must allow Him to use us
as tools in His hands.
The anniversary of our baptism is a day
of commemoration, one on which we
should reflect on past experiences, especially
on answered prayers and the mercies
of God. We also should ask the Lord on
that day to motivate us to contact newly
baptized members and others who are
seeking the security of God’s love as well as
ours. Caring for and loving one another is
evidence that God is working in our lives.
Just Pick a Day
The best day of my life was that of my
baptism, which is why I commemorate it
every year. Some people may not remember
the date of their baptism. To those I say:
“Just pick a day.” I wish we had a national or
worldwide “baptism day,” to be celebrated
as we do our birthdays, for on that day we
accepted Jesus as our brother, friend, healer,
and Redeemer—and we were reborn.
So let’s remember to celebrate that
special day by remembering Jesus’ blessings
in our past and looking forward to
His triumphant soon return, when I can
envision Him saying once again, as He
did on the cross, “It is finished.” n
Helga Pedzy is a medical technician
who enjoys woodworking, sewing,
and writing. She and her husband,
Edward, emigrated from Germany
to the United States in 1960. The
couple has two grown children and a grandchild.
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (473) 25
BY JOSETTE P. STEVENS-LASSEN
One May evening my husband
and I walked home
from prayer meeting. As he
went to lock our pickup
truck parked in front of
our apartment building, he found a
man lying on the seat. He was clean,
nicely dressed, and held a wine bottle.
The stranger explained that he had no
place to spend the night. We told him he
could stay with us if he got rid of the
wine. We invited him in and gave him
some food, and he spent a restful night
in our apartment.
The next day Bill* said his stomach
bothered him, so I gave him some
herbal tea. As we talked, I asked why he
wasn’t working. He said that he’d
recently had cataract surgery and that
he couldn’t see very well.
So that afternoon I took him to an
optician and paid the $50 for an office
visit. The optician, a friend of ours, gave
our new friend a free pair of prescription
glasses—a $200 value.
We put Bill on a bus that evening. He
went to a nearby city that had a homeless
shelter. We saw him later, and he
told us how he was grateful that we had
taken him in. He added that he had
“Let’s face it,”
she had told
to return a
prayed for God to help him. I gave him a
copy of Steps to Christ, which he could
read with his new glasses.
We felt happy that we had had the
privilege of helping him, so you can
imagine how we felt when a church
member told us how foolish we’d been,
adding that we should have called the
police instead of enabling him.
Well, if helping someone is foolish . . .
A Piece of Junk
One morning as my husband rode his
bicycle to the school where he taught, he
spotted a bracelet on the sidewalk. He
picked it up, put it in his briefcase, and
thought nothing more about it. The
next morning he dropped it on our
breakfast table. “Here,” he said, “want a
piece of junk?”
I picked up the bracelet and examined
it. It was large and heavy, with an
unusual design. I thought it rather
cheap-looking, but it had initials set in
stones, and a name and a blood type
engraved on the backside.
As I drove my husband to school that
morning, I mentioned that the bracelet
must be of some sentimental value to
someone. After all, the person had gone to
much trouble to have the engraving done
26 (474) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
and the initials set in stones. We decided
to try to find the owner of the bracelet.
I looked in the telephone directory. I
called the number of someone with a
similar name but received no answer. I
walked to the apartment building next
door and asked the manager if he had a
tenant by the name engraved on the
bracelet. He said he didn’t.
“Too bad,” I said, “because my husband
found a bracelet with that name on it.”
“Some folks were here yesterday looking
for it,” he said. “They left a sign.” He
pointed in the direction of a nearby telephone
pole. The sign read: “REWARD!”
and listed a telephone number.
Back at our apartment I called the
telephone number; a woman answered.
“Are you Mrs. Hall?” I asked. “My husband
found your bracelet.”
After a short pause the woman said,
“No,” I assured her. I gave her our
address, and soon an attractive woman
and her teenage son appeared at our
apartment beaming with joy.
As I handed the bracelet to the woman,
I showed her where the latch had broken.
“The bracelet belongs to my uncle,”
she said. “I’ll have the latch fixed.” She
went on to say how they had spent the
entire day before looking for the missing
bracelet. They were frantic; the bracelet
was made of gold and diamonds, 69
of them. “Let’s face it,” she had told her
nephew, “no one’s honest enough to
return a bracelet of that value.”
Her uncle had cried when he realized
that his bracelet was lost, because the
diamonds on it came from his late wife’s
wedding jewelry, and it had a lot of sentimental
value. The woman thanked me
profusely and handed me an envelope.
I drove to the school where my husband
was teaching. “Look,” I said excitedly
as I came into his classroom. I held
in my hand a $100 bill.
“Praise God,” he exclaimed. We used
it to buy flowers for that Sabbath’s worship
service, which happened to be our
wedding anniversary. The floral
arrangement was displayed in our
church sanctuary on Sabbath; then we
gave it to our pastor.
A year later the woman to whom I
returned the bracelet was still telling
around town how wonderful Seventhday
Adventists are because of this experience.
How marvelous is our heavenly
Father to allow us to have a part in it.
Praise His name! n
* All names in this article have been changed.
Josette P. Stevens-Lassen
lives in Hamilton, Montana, and
loves to reflect the joy of
living for Christ.
What Do You Think?
1. When have you found something of
value that belonged to someone
else? Describe it briefly.
2. What did it take to return the item to
its rightful owner? What was the
3. Do you know how it feels to recover
something that you thought was lost
forever? Can you describe it in one
4. What does this story say about the
concept of value? What spiritual and
practical applications do you see?
Ask the Doctors
By allan r. handysides and peter n. landless
have enjoyed reading the Ask the
I Doctors column throughout the
years, but I wonder whether you are as
rigorous as you claim to be about evidence-based
opinions. Take coffee, for
example: the latest huge study in the
New England Journal of Medicine suggests
that it’s good for us. Will you now
accept the evidence for coffee?
We smile at this question, because
we are like the veggie meat in the
sandwich: open to criticism from both
the more liberal and conservative of our
The Bible and the writings of Ellen G.
White have provided insights into most
of the ways we should live. We do realize,
however, that in modern life many
new factors exist that may make claims
not referenced in the inspired Word and
Our encouraging of exercise, for
example—particularly of walking—
would have seemed unnecessary to
Jesus, because He and His disciples
walked everywhere. It also appears
obvious that Jesus was not a vegetarian.
Yet still, we recommend a vegetarian
We might easily reference Ellen White
on the elimination of flesh foods from
our diet, and rationalize the difference
between Christ’s diet and ours as existing
because we’re the “end-time people.”
We must, however, be careful not
to make too much of a “spiritual virtue”
of our vegetarianism.
On the whole, we call for evidence—
not about the Lord’s plain and clear
instructions, but on the less clear and
convoluted construction many might
impose upon them. Additionally, as we
see the burgeoning plethora of new
ideas about disease prevention or con-
trol, we call for rational thinking. The
call for evidence then becomes a filter to
keep out the “nonsense.”
On the matter of tea and coffee, however,
we have strong advice to avoid it.
Ellen White describes the pharmacologic
properties of caffeine with the scientific
precision of an expert. She then
goes on to recommend that we not use
tea or coffee. As an “end-time people,”
we need empowering by more than a
shot of caffeine.
The study we believe you are referencing
appeared in the New England
Journal of Medicine 366 (May 17, 2012):
1891-1904. The researchers followed
229,119 men and 173,141 women, ages
50 to 71, for some 13 years. After adjusting
for smoking (and coffee drinkers
were more likely to smoke), they
showed a reduction in the number of
deaths among coffee drinkers that was
not huge, but statistically significant.
The reduction was dosage-related (the
number of cups of coffee per day), and
because the endpoint was for death, it
had a very clear cutoff. The reduction in
deaths held true for most causes, but
not for cancer.
This study involved a large number of
people, which is impressive, but
whether the coffee caused longer life or
whether longevity was associated in
some way with other causal factors
could not be determined. Nor did the
researchers explore why more coffee
drinkers smoke. If coffee drinking is
causally related to smoking, then it’s not
valid to remove the smokers from the
equation. When left in, coffee drinkers
who are smokers did not do well.
Whether a group of vegetarians
would benefit from drinking coffee is
not clear. Perhaps the phytochemicals in
coffee are already present in the vegetarian
diet, and, as with vitamins, once
you have enough, more does not help.
What would the results have shown
for decaffeinated coffee drinkers? We
don’t know. Will we now recommend
coffee? No, because caffeine is still
addictive. But we will put this study in
our memory file and compare it to
future studies. Others must replicate
Our call for evidence is really a call for
balance. Just as we are cautious about
this study, we are cautious about some
of the data used to promote one or
another position in lifestyle among Adventists.
Our caution does not mean we
reject the proposed position (though
sometimes we do), but that evidence
has to be more than a published opinion
with which we resonate. n
Send your questions to Ask the Doctors,
Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia
Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904. Or
e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this column is provided as a service to
our readers, Drs. Landless and Handysides
unfortunately cannot enter into personal and
private communication with our readers. We
recommend you consult with your personal
physician on all matters of your health.
allan r. handysides, a
is THE director of the Health
Ministries department of the
peter n. landless, a
cardiologist, is an associate
director of the Health
Ministries department of the
28 (476) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
Oleg, my personal trainer, thinks 12 is a lucky number.
We’ve been talking about the number 12 since his thirty-eighth birthday on March 12. Oleg pointed out
that we think in 12-hour cycles, and that there are 12 months in a year. We also do our gym exercises in
twelves: five sets of 12 crunches, four sets of 12 weight lifts, three sets of 12 minutes on the
Oleg asked me what else involves a 12. I told him about eggs and buns sold by the dozen in the
United States. He found that surprising, because things come in 10s in Russian stores.
Oleg and I have been working out together for more than a year, three to four days a week. Oleg is
a great role model: muscular and toned, he does not use steroids or smoke, unlike many other
personal trainers and bodybuilders at the gym. He has taught me a lot about good health:
Purposely control the size of food portions. Avoid food after 6:00 p.m. Never relax after a
meal; instead, get up and wash the dishes.
Oleg knows that I choose not to train from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. But he
has never asked why.
As we’ve worked out, I’ve wondered whether he has any interest in God. After all, we are sowers
of the Word, and we are the most effective when we find good ground to plant in. As Jesus said in
the parable of the sower: “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word
and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times
what was sown” (Matt. 13:23).
A few weeks ago I sought to gauge Oleg’s spiritual interest by asking him what he believed to be
the meaning of life. I wondered whether he would mention God or heaven.
Oleg winced at the question and thought for a few minutes. “The point of life,” he said finally, “is
to get married, have children, and through them leave a legacy.”
Those were brave words, considering that Oleg and his wife separated early last year, that she
hasn’t spoken to him since then, and that they don’t have any children.
No opportunity to discuss God arose in our conversation.
Then the other evening as we paused in the middle of four sets of 12 push-ups, I announced to
Oleg that I had thought about him while reading the Bible that morning.
Oleg looked at me curiously.
I told him that I had read a story about a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and how Jesus had
healed her, just as He was traveling to meet an ill 12-year-old girl.
Oleg’s eyes lit up. “The Bible also has 12s!” he exclaimed. “Remember the 12 saints?”
I didn’t remember the 12 saints. I asked whether he meant 12 disciples.
“No, no,” Oleg said. “The 12 saints. You know, they were at the Last Supper: Moses, Elijah, and Judas, the
one who betrayed Him.”
I struggled to keep a straight face. Oleg spoke with such eagerness and sincerity.
But I’m glad we engaged in the conversation. Now I know that Oleg is open to discussing Jesus and the
Bible. He is good ground.
We have many more 12s to discuss: the 12 patriarchs, the 12 tribes of Israel, the fact that Jesus was 12
when He first understood His mission on earth, and the 12 gates made of pearl in the New Jerusalem, which
I look forward to seeing Oleg walk through. n
Andrew McChesney is a journalist in Russia.
www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013 | (477) 29
Manifest: Our Call to
Nathan Brown and Joanna Darby, eds.,
Signs Publishing, Warburton, Victoria, Australia,
2013, 181 pages, A$24.95, softcover.
Reviewed by Stephen Chavez, coordinating
editor, Adventist Review.
Most people see “creativity” and
think “art.” Creativity is involved
in the process of creating art, but they
are not the same. Creativity is that process
that takes the mundane and makes
it memorable. It’s what happened when
Jesus said, “A man was going from Jerusalem
to Jericho . . .” Or when God said
to Moses, “What’s in your hand?”
In Manifest: Our Call to Faithful Creativity,
Nathan Brown and Joanna Darby
have assembled 30 individuals who have
demonstrated their talent at being creative
in a number of media: academics,
filmmakers, artists, photographers,
musicians, ministers, and writers. The
book is about creativity, but it’s also
about how the creative process informs
our experience as Christians, as well as
our expression as Christians in an
increasingly secular society.
In his chapter Neale Schofield writes
about the many television channels
available in the United States. “Sadly,”
he writes, “we had difficulty determining
which were more dull—the Christian
channels or the shopping
channels.” Proof that even though a
church may have television, Internet,
publishing, and artistic outlets, that
doesn’t mean anyone is watching, listening,
reading, or engaging.
The book is divided into five sections:
Believing, Being, Serving, Sharing, and
Living. And, depending on where you
live, the authors of the essays are well
known: Trudy J. Morgan-Cole, Bruce
Manners, Andy Nash, Glenn Townend,
Alex Bryan, Kay D. Rizzo, Gary Krause,
Chris Blake, etc.
The basic premise of the book is simple:
To reach a variety of people, you
need a variety of expressions. And each
of the chapters reveals how the different
writers experience creativity in their
own chosen form of expression. The
strength of the chapters is that the
authors speak from real-life experiences.
They share their successes as well
as their struggles. “Like the prophets,”
writes Darby, “artists are often called to
challenge the norms of society, to question
politics and trends, and to point
out the ugliest realities of our world. . . .
The risk of reuniting calling with
responsibility is that we are likely to be
overwhelmed by the magnitude of the
Some of the chapters contain case
studies, short vignettes in which the
authors describe creativity as either
observed or practiced.
Manifest is an outgrowth of the Manifest
Creative Arts Festival, which for the
last couple years has showcased talent in
music, art, film, writing, and acting. The
faces seen on the Web site (artsmanifest.
info) are all young, a tacit admission that
creativity is an essential ingredient in
reaching other young people.
Manifest only scratches the surface of
this important subject. The writers are
from Australia, the United States, the
United Kingdom, and Germany, not yet
including the creative expression of
Adventist writers, musicians, and filmmakers
from other parts of the world.
But it’s an important first step.
The lesson of the first decade of the
twenty-first century—especially in the
industrialized countries of the world—
is that the future belongs to the innovators.
Faith, devotion, beauty, and
literature won’t go away. But they will
require creative new forms to communicate
This book is an excellent way to begin
the conversation. n
30 (478) | www.AdventistReview.org | May 23, 2013
From a Needle and Thread
I enjoy counted cross-stitching. The various colors, types of
stitches, and overall layout of an emerging picture bring a sense of accomplishment from the project that
is different from anything else in my everyday life.
While sewing a long, repetitious section of a gift I was preparing for my new great-granddaughter, I was
impressed by the similarities between what I was doing and the growth process of my spiritual life.
One of the very first elements I noticed is patience. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither are counted
cross-stitch patterns. Counted cross-stitching involves hours of sewing, concentration, and careful adherence
to written instructions. Any attempt to rush through it causes mistakes that require either time-consuming
restitching or abandoning the project altogether. The pattern will emerge only when done slowly,
one stitch at a time.
In my spiritual life, patience must also be exercised. Hours must be spent in prayer and concentration on
the life of Christ with a clear commitment to learning and following God’s plan for my life.
The designer who created the picture I was working on prepared a particular plan with specific instructions
to follow in order to reproduce it. Counted cross-stitch involves counting the number of stitches you
sew with a certain color or type of stitch, such as straight stitch, back stitch, cross-stitch, or a French knot.
It may also call for the use of single, double, or triple threads. If I tried to do it my way, before long the project
would be a tangled mess.
And so I am reminded of the thoughts and promises that God has for my life recorded in Jeremiah 29:11:
“ ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” When I study and seek to understand the Lord’s plan for my life, I am
confident He will guide me to where I can be of the most service for Him.
When I follow the instructions spelled out by the cross-stitch designer, the pattern will be perfectly
reproduced. When I follow the counsel given to me in the Bible, the Holy Spirit produces the perfection in
me that God desires. Now though I try to follow directions carefully, I make mistakes. But when I encounter
a mistake, I can always go back to the plan laid out by the cross-stitch designer and redo the section.
Likewise in life, when I become aware of a mistake (or sin) that has affected my relationship with another
person or with God, I know I must acknowledge it, take responsibility, and try to correct it.
As I examined my completed project, I discovered a contrast between the upper and bottom side of the
canvas. The bottom is a mess of tangled threads with no noticeable plan or pattern. Certainly it is nothing
to be proud of. But the upper side reveals a remarkable and beautiful scene, which is an exact duplicate of
the picture displayed on the kit I chose.
In my life as well, what seems like a jumble of disconnected events that did not produce a valuable or
lasting influence in this world isn’t really that at all. The upper side of the completed
project reminds me that God looks on the upper side of my life. He
orders what seems like the jumbled mess of my life and connects
the miscellaneous threads in such a way that the pattern
that emerges is the fulfillment of the plan He has
designed for me. And I am amazed. n
Leo Poirier is a retired hospital
chaplain who writes from