Download PDF - Adventist Review

adventistreview.org
  • No tags were found...

Download PDF - Adventist Review

www.adventistreview.org

October 24, 2013

Survey to Inform

Strategic Plan

Christ, Character,

and Creation

Lessons, Unplanned

12

14

28

Connecting

kids with Christ

foR 60 years


“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. 28 9 6

COVER FEATURE

18 Growing Up With Guide

Kim Peckham

The magazine that connects

with the church’s

preteens is 60 years old.

ARTICLES

14 Christ, Character,

and Creation

John T. Baldwin

Grappling with the reality

of death and decay in

God’s perfect creation

24 Their Deepest Lessons

Ellen G. White

The genius of nature

testifies of nature’s God.

DEPARTMENTS

4 Letters

7 Page 7

8 World News &

Perspectives

13 Give & Take

17 Transformation Tips

2 3 Dateline Moscow

EDITORIALS

6 Gerald A. Klingbeil

Whatever

7 Stephen Chavez

Beyond Words

26 Three-Part Gospel

Max Hammonds

Understanding the many

aspects of salvation

31 Reflections

ON THE COVER

The kids who first read Guide

are no longer kids. But Guide’s

ministry remains the same:

connecting kids with Christ.

28 Lessons, Unplanned

Lindsey Gendke

Teachers know everything,

right? Not always.

Next Week in

Adventist world

The Waiting Womb

Anticipating the joys and

challenges of motherhood

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, 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: revieweditor@gc.adventist.org. 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. 30

Subscriptions: Thirty-six issues of the weekly Adventist Review, US$36.95 plus US$28.50 postage outside North America. Single copy US$3.00. To order, send your name, address, and

payment to Adventist Review subscription desk, Box 1119, Hagerstown, MD 21741-1119. Orders can also be placed at Adventist Book Centers. Prices subject to change. Address changes:

addresschanges@rhpa.org. OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257. Subscription queries: shanson@rhpa.org. OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (963) 3


inbox

Letters From Our Readers

www.adventistreview.org

September 19, 2013

Vol. 190, No. 26

September 19, 2013

Theological Seminary

Insta ls New Dean

Unleashing the Word

The God of the Gap

Habits of the Heart

»»

I am writing in regard to

Bill Knott’s article “Habits of

the Heart” (Sept. 19, 2013).

During the recent Revelation

cruise, I was privileged to

visit briefly with Knott. He

stated in passing that he had

stayed up late the night

before finishing an article to

be published in the September

19 Review. So I watched

eagerly for the arrival of my

magazine. When it arrived, I

located the cover story he

authored.

Knott’s first paragraph

contains the following quotation

from Ellen White: “I

long to be beautified every

day with the meekness and

gentleness of Christ” (Our

High Calling, p. 247). This

prayer is the secret to

humility.

The first desirable heart

habit Knott mentions is solitude,

which we humans

sadly avoid even though it

could give us an opportunity

to listen to the “sound of a

gentle whisper” from God,

following Jesus’ example. We

do need quiet moments to

contemplate what God has

done for us in the past. If any

10

14

17

© terry crews

doubt crosses our mind

about His leading, our faith

will reassure us that we are

still loved by a merciful and

forgiving heavenly Father.

And this is where a heart

overflowing with deep gratitude

comes into the picture.

The steps mentioned in

the article are so simple yet

profound. If implemented,

they will see us through to

the day of Christ’s appearing.

Thank you, Bill Knott, for

outlining them so well in the

“Habits of the Heart.”

Laurice Kafrouni

Durrant

Keene, Texas

Something’s Missing

»»

I like to read real-life, true

stories in the Adventist Review;

however, after reading

“Climbing the Tree of Life” in

the September 19, 2013, edition,

I have a question: How

did the lights get on the top

of the tree?

It’s not too difficult to

write a story with a moral,

but sometimes the details

are important to understanding

the entire story. The

lights should be much easier

to get down than to place up

there in the first place. Did

they use a ladder to get them

up (and down), and did the

author have to climb the tree

to get them down?

Norma J. McKellip

Macon, Georgia

The original story contained

more details; unfortunately,

because of space limitations they

were omitted. Here (below) is the

missing information; we hope

this helps you and other readers

enjoy the article that much

more.—Editors.

The Missing Details

»»“Alas, the Christmas lights

were still up in the tree, and

the mission to retrieve them

was still unaccomplished.

Looking at the tree, I couldn’t

honestly believe it had supported

a six-foot-four-inch,

nearly 200-pound man hanging

lights on it. ‘Tossing’ had

played a strategic part in getting

them up there as well,

which had made it easier to

get them up than to get them

down. So there we were in

the front yard without

cranes, ropes, apple picker,

or any other gadget to help.

My husband had swayed the

tree too much originally, and

our daughter had just given

her most valiant effort. Two

out of the three had ‘been

there and done that.’ . . . As I

removed my bulky vest, mittens,

and scarf, I told them

I’d give it a try.”

No One Close

»»

The title of Andy Nash’s

article “No One Close: The

Finest Adventist Author”

(Sept. 19, 2013) was attractive.

I was eager to read it.

But alas, what a shocking

realization it was to find the

article that seemed to praise

Ellen White’s writings was,

in reality, destroying any

credibility of her being

inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The article states: “It’s OK

to disagree with her, to point

out her mistakes. It’s OK to

limit her counsel; she herself

said, ‘Circumstances alter

cases.’ Those who read only

Ellen White tend to be troubled

people. But those who

study Scripture, who also

read Ellen White, are the

recipients of rich last-day

blessings.”

Are there really people

who read only Ellen White?

She stated very clearly that

her writings were to lead

people to the greater light.

Studies prove that those who

read White spend more time

reading the Bible compared

to those who do not.

Notice what she wrote

about her own writings:

“The very last deception of

Satan will be to make of none

effect the testimony of the

Spirit of God. ‘Where there is

no vision, the people perish’

(Prov. 29:18). Satan will work

ingeniously, in different

ways and through different

agencies, to unsettle the confidence

of God’s remnant

people in the true testimony”

(Selected Messages,

book 1, p. 48).

Meshach Samuel

Memphis, Tennessee

4 (964) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


Why Mission?

»»

I’m writing in regard to

Nancy Vyhmeister’s “Why

Mission?” (Sept. 12, 2013).

Thank you for publishing

this timely article. It’s wonderfully

focused on God’s

call to His church.

A couple of comments:

Under the section “How?” no

clear reference is made to the

integral working of the Holy

Spirit. The sidebar texts, John

www.adventistreview.org

Why

Missi o n

September 12, 2013

Vol. 190, No. 25

September 12, 2013

Adventist Church

Destroyed in Egypt

Thinking the Unthinkable

Milkw ed and Thistles

20:21, 22 and Acts 1:8, explicitly

demand the central role

of the Holy Spirit in mission.

Mission can be accomplished

only by the presence of God’s

Spirit.

The discussion “Why?” is

limited; it mentions only “listeners”

and “missionaries.”

Isaiah 43:10 states, “ ‘You are

my witnesses,’ declares the

Lord, ‘and my servant whom

I have chosen, so that you

may know and believe me

and understand that I am

he.’ ” Being God’s witness

transforms the missionary by

increasing both faith in God

and intimacy with Him.

When both individuals

and the church respond to

people or to crises (Matt.

24:14), they reveal the character

of God, His love, goodness,

and faithfulness. They

document why God can and

therefore should be trusted.

When ministry includes the

whole person—physical,

10

20

28

social, emotional, and spiritual—the

gospel is painted

in three dimensions and living

color for all to see. This

Holy Spirit’s work will bring

praise to God.

At this point in time the

world is in crisis and awaits

the clear revelation of God that

only mission can accomplish.

Harvey A. Elder

Loma Linda, California

Milkweed and

Thistles

»»

Thank you for printing

Kris Smith’s story “Milkweed

and Thistles” (Sept. 12,

2013). It is just the counsel

I’ve needed at this change

point in my life. Things

haven’t been easy for me

lately, but as Smith said so

well: “The very worst of

times can turn out to be the

very best of times.” This has

happened often in my life,

but it helps to be reminded.

Satan wants us to become

bitter and judgmental, but

with Jesus we can change

such tendencies into new

growth that glorifies Him.

I thank the Lord Jesus for

this article—and for the

whole Review. May Smith’s

ministry—and her cheery

smile—continue!

Bettylou Moore

Brownsville, California

“At this point in time the world is

in crisis and awaits the clear revelation

of God that only mission can

accomplish.


—harvey a. elder, Loma Linda, California

Page 7

»»

I was indeed surprised to

learn from Page 7 in the September

12, 2013, Review that

9 percent of those professing

no religion, and 18 percent of

those professing a faith

other than Christianity, have

read the entire Bible from

start to finish. And I was dismayed

that only 61 percent

of professing Christians have

done so. That leaves more

than a third of Christians

who have never read the

entire Bible. This is a saddening

statistic.

I have just finished reading

the New King James Version,

and as one very familiar

with the old KJV, I found the

newer version a delightful

read. There was only minimal

changes in the wording.

I hope Christians wake up

and start reading!

Irene Wakeham Lee

Coalmont, Tennessee

Correction

»»

Charlotte Ishkanian, featured

for her work as the

mission quarterly editor and

mission story writer in the

August 22, 2013, Page 7, has

retired from the position of

editor, although she still

works full-time for Adventist

Mission. We regret printing

an inaccuracy about her

retirement.

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@

adventistreview.org.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (965) 5


Editorials

Gerald A.

Klingbeil

What caused

Jesus to be

passionate—

what moved

Him to action?

Whatever

My three daughters know the drill. If they want to see their

papa distressed and ready to climb a wall, they just have to answer a straightforward question

with a nonchalant whatever. “Would you like some salad on your plate?” A shrug, a look—

“Whatever.” Whatever signals indifference, apathy, and sometimes even superiority. Whatever

suggests lack of passion and interest. Whatever is one of the banner words of our time and

challenges us profoundly.

In ages past (it seems at least) people walked for ideas. They marched for equality and the

right to vote, or against war, nuclear weapons, and racism. Today we say whatever, shrug our collective

shoulders—and return to like a friend’s two-line posting on Facebook about a restaurant

with abysmal service. What happened to the passion and convictions that our Creator

endowed us with and that have driven so many movements—including our own?

Before I receive a bag full of letters from passionate readers, let me clarify that whatever is not

the only response I see around me—but it’s a prevalent one. My sense is that the whatever mindset

has slowly but surely crept into every facet of our culture and has infected every age group.

Here is the crucial question for the readers of the Adventist Review: has this whatever mind-set

also crept into our faith community, or has it stopped dead at the threshold of our churches?

Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of important issues and places where Adventists engage

in passionate discussion. Think of the question of appropriate worship music or the important

discussion regarding the ordination of female pastors. However, where is the passion when we

think about 3 billion people who have had little or no contact with the soon-coming Savior and

His good news? Or, closer to home, where is the passion for the neighbors around us who may

wonder why we leave our home every Saturday morning all dressed up, yet have never heard

Jesus’ loving invitation into His kingdom?

Matter of fact, there is passion in the whatever age. The rights of homosexuals seem to dominate

the headlines of news and media outlets. You can find echoes of this discussion in some of

our churches in North America and Europe as well. Equality and justice are the keywords of this

debate. Gun control, universal health care, or the role of government are issues that are heatedly

debated in our culture and have crept also into conversations around fellowship dinner

tables in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Yet, I wonder—are these the causes that should

dominate our hearts and minds?

What caused Jesus to be passionate—what moved Him to action? If tears mark passion, we

are told of two occasions on which Jesus wept. He wept standing at the tomb of His friend Lazarus

(John 11:35). He also wept as He looked at Jerusalem during His triumphal entry (Luke

19:41). In the midst of roaring applause and boisterous proclamations, Jesus stops and weeps.

Anticipating the future of the city of His people, He knows about the stubbornness and pride

and the sense of superiority of those who should have known. His passion leads Him to cleanse

the Temple with authority. His love keeps Him on the cross. Jesus is passionate about people

and salvation and the battle of which He is the centerpiece.

I dream of a community of young and old—together—that is passionate about the well-being

of people around them—and I am talking about not only social engagement but eternal destiny.

I pray for church leaders, lay members, theologians, pastors, and anyone else who engages others

passionately, but lovingly and respectfully, even on the topics that often divide us. I wish for

conversations and warm embraces and prayer meetings that bind this movement to the passion

of Jesus. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, whatever will not do the trick.

Whatever did not motivate Jesus to give up the five-star glory of heaven and dwell in the lowlands

of earth’s history. Whatever did not drive Paul to travel the ancient world untiringly—

without any frequent-flyer benefits. Passion for the lost, love for the stubborn, salvation for the

erring—that’s what moved the Master and all those following in His footsteps. They should

also motivate us. n

6 (966) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


Beyond Words

Next time your National Geographic arrives in the mail, check

out the letters to the editor. In a recent issue I noticed that the letters typically published are five

sentences long. That’s it: five sentences, often fewer. I once saw a letter that had eight sentences,

but that’s rare.

Now look at the letters published on pages 4 and 5 of this magazine: most of the writers are

just getting warmed up after five sentences. To be sure, readers of National Geographic don’t feel

a need to support their opinions with Bible verses and quotes by Ellen White, but this simple

fact reveals an underlying truth: We Adventists love our words.

Our idea of evangelism is a 45-minute verbal presentation, often accompanied by proof texts

on PowerPoint slides; or handing out books, pamphlets, or magazines that can rarely be read in

one sitting.

Why? Because our message is important; and you can’t communicate an important message

without words. Or can you?

The other day one of my neighbors and I got to talking about the Sabbath. I told her briefly

about what it means to us and how we observe the day. Then our conversation veered off into a

discussion about salvation. I could’ve said more, I could’ve given her some literature, but I

believe in going no farther or faster than the Holy Spirit leads. I felt led to leave it there, knowing

that we’ll have more conversations, and believing that when she’s ready, she’ll ask for more.

The truly important thing about our message is how we live it. The sheer volume of words

written and spoken today makes it difficult to communicate our message above all the others

out there. But few can argue with the powerful witness of a godly life. n

Stephen

Chavez

Pray

Pray for the pastor’s

spiritual health,

protection, and wisdom.

The most affirming

words can be: “Pastor,

I’m praying for you.”

rELEaSE

Constant ministry can

cause burnout. Urge

your pastor to take

weekly breaks for

spiritual renewal as

well as annual breaks

for study leave and

vacation.

Seven Things Pastors Wish

Their Congregation Would Do

aFFIrM

Pastors don’t live for

affirmation; however,

words of validation

do provide a lifeline

of strength through

treacherous times.

TaLK

Talk with your pastor,

not about or around.

Complaining about your

pastor to someone

else is corrosive for the

entire church family.

Challenge privately.

Affirm publicly.

BLESS

Bless their spouse.

Bless the kids. Let go of

any expectations

and treat the family

with a rich blessing of

heaven’s grace.

FOrGIVE

Forgive your pastor

for falling short of your

expectations; no pastor

will perfectly satisfy

your ideals. Extend to

your pastor the same

grace that God

extends to you.

October is

Clergy

appreciation

Month.

Still time to

find ways to say

thank you!

FEED

Don’t expect to live on

a limited spiritual diet

of 30-minute weekly

sermons.The role of the

shepherd is not to stick

grass in the mouths of

the sheep but to lead

the sheep to green

pastures. Get into the

Word every day.

Adapted from “10 Things Pastors Wish Their Congregations Would Do.” Read the full article at http://www.nadministerial.org/article/670/for-nad-pastors/nad-ministerial-articles/10-

things-pastors-wish-their-congregations-would-do.


World News & Perspectives

■■World Church

Statistics Reveal Massive

Adventist Missions Challenge

There’s substantial church impact in many lands,

but 10/40 window remains unreached.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor

Although the Seventh-day Adventist

Church has reduced its ratio to world

population from 1 in 360,000 at the

movement’s founding to 1 in 400 today,

massive outreach challenges remain in

many countries of the Middle East, East

Asia, and Southeast Asia, church officials

were told September 29, 2013, during

the movement’s Urban Mission Conference

at the Silver Spring, Maryland,

headquarters.

Citing the lack of Adventist penetration

in many of the major cities of the

Middle East/North Africa (MENA) area,

China, India, and other parts of the

10/40 window, Rick McEdward, director

of the church’s Global Mission Religious

Study Centers, said, “There is a tremendous

geographical problem we have” in

the region.

Among Christians, the 10/40 window

is defined as a geographical rectangle in

the Eastern Hemisphere between the 10

and 40 northern lines of latitude, where

more than 60 percent of the world’s

population live, most of whom have not

yet been reached with the gospel message.

Of the 500 world cities with more

than 1 million population, nearly 250

are in this area.

Delegates to the meeting, which

included leaders from each of the General

Conference’s 13 world divisions,

were told by David Trim, director of the

church’s Office of Archives, Statistics,

and Research, that there is one Seventhday

Adventist Christian for every 65,000

people in the MENA area, currently one

of the highest ratios in the world.

McEdward said there are 126 urban

areas with a population of 1 million or

more in which there are 125 or fewer

Adventists in each area; in 33 of these

urban areas there are no Seventh-day

Adventists. And among the world’s

least-reached cities with a population of

5 million or more, they all share the

same religion, Islam.

The statistics came during the Sunday

morning session of the Urban Mission

Conference, an event organizers said

was designed not as a “show-and-tell”

of self-congratulation, but rather as a

strategy session on how Seventh-day

Adventists can complete the task of

world evangelization. With more than

half of the world’s population residing

in cities since 2007, a share expected to

rise to 66 percent by 2050, the need is

apparent, said Michael L. Ryan, a general

vice president of the world church who

oversees the Office of Adventist Mission

and was a principal organizer of the

conference.

“We will not come up with methodologies”

during the three-day session,

Ryan said, “but we can agree on a common

vision.”

The presentation of statistics came

photos: Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review

GOD DIDN’T TWEET: Gerson Santos, coordinator

for Urban Mission Centers, said

outreach “can no longer be called an

option, but a commission to the [Adventist]

Church,” adding that “God did not

send a Twitter [message]; He came Himself”

in the person of His Son, Jesus.

RESEARCH RESULTS: Stephanie Sahlin

Jackson, daughter of Seventh-day

Adventist researcher Monte Sahlin, presents

research results to the Urban Mission

Conference, September 29, 2013, in

Silver Spring, Maryland.

INVOLVE YOUTH: Samuel Telemaque,

Adventist Mission coordinator for the

Inter-American Division, urged Adventists

from “high areas of receptivity” to the

church’s message—particularly young Adventists—to

go as missionaries “into the

areas of low receptivity.”

8 (968) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


first with a demographic overview prepared

by veteran Adventist researcher

Monte Sahlin but presented by daughter

Stephanie Sahlin Jackson, who substituted

for her father. “The mission

given to us by Jesus requires us to go

where the people are,” Sahlin Jackson

said, noting the massive shifts to the cities

that are continuing worldwide, as

well as the present-day concentration of

more than 825 million people globally

in slum areas of the big cities.

Gerson Santos, coordinator for Urban

Mission Centers, said outreach “can no

longer be called an option, but a commission

to the [Adventist] Church,”

adding, “God did not send a Twitter

[message]; He came Himself” in the

person of His Son, Jesus.

Reaction to the statistical presentations

was deliberate: Delbert Baker, a

general vice president of the General

Conference, urged participants to

develop “a theology of how we wrap

our minds around the challenge” of

■■North America

Pacific Press

Cancels ABC

Contracts

Conferences will resume

ownership; online

options available.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor

reaching so many people and people

groups.

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean division

president Paul Ratsara said he

viewed the reports with “mixed emotions,”

saying his overwhelming feeling

was “how are we going to do this?” Ratsara

also quoted a French proverb that

“A problem well stated is half-solved.

We should not be discouraged.”

Jonathan Duffy, president of ADRA

International, the church’s relief and

development arm, suggested his

group’s humanitarian work “can open

areas where it is not open [to evangelism]

at the moment.”

Samuel Telemaque, Adventist Mission

coordinator for the Inter-American

Division, urged Adventists from “high

areas of receptivity” to the church’s

message to go as missionaries “into the

areas of low receptivity.” In response

Ryan pointed out this is being done by

students at River Plate Seventh-day

Adventist University in Entre Rios,

Argentina, many of whom are volunteering

for missions in Kyrgyzstan, a

landlocked central Asian republic, as

well as in the Middle East/North Africa

Union.

Williams Costa, Jr., communication

director for the world church, noted the

movement’s efforts to increase Internet

availability of the Adventist message in

many places, while Jim Ayer, Adventist

World Radio (AWR) vice president for

advancement, pointed to the massive

numbers of Arabic-language AWR podcast

downloads in Saudi Arabia, as well

as Mandarin-language programming in

China.

General Conference president Ted

N. C. Wilson said that while he was

“sobered and overwhelmed” by some

of the statistics presented, he was

encouraged by the attention being

paid by world church leaders in these

discussions. n

A total of 17 Adventist Book Center

retail stores servicing 24 conference territories

operated by the Pacific Press Publishing

Association (PPPA) of Nampa,

Idaho, under management agreements

with conferences, will transition to local

Seventh-day Adventist Church conference

administration, officials of the publishing

house announced following a September

26, 2013, board meeting.

The board “voted to request termination

of the management agreements”

for the stores, which it has managed

“over the course of nearly 15 years,” a

pppa

MANAGEMENT SHIFT: Pacific Press Publishing Association has announced it will seek

termination of contracts to manage 25 Adventist Book Center retail stores serving half of

the church’s North American membership. Shown here is the ABC in Loma Linda,

California.

statement from the organization said.

The outlets, PPPA said, served “nearly

half of the North American Division

membership.” A plan to terminate management

agreements for the stores

should be in place by December 31,

2013, the statement indicated.

“The board recognized that the current

business model for these management

agreements has experienced challenges

because of changing trends in technology

and the way people access informa-

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (969) 9


World News & Perspectives

tion,” the PPPA announcement said.

The publishing house said it would not

leave any local conferences or members

without easy access to church materials.

“We are committed to making all quarterlies,

magazines, books, and music easier

than ever to order,” says Dale Galusha,

PPPA president. “For most products, the

local church won’t even notice a change

in how they are ordered or delivered.”

These materials are available online at

www.AdventistBookCenter.com.

Pacific Press is a Seventh-day Adventist

publisher based in Nampa, Idaho, that

publishes books and magazines for all

ages. The company, which has been in

operation since 1874, has been based in

Nampa, Idaho, since 1984. n.

■■california

Seventh-day Adventist Gains

EEOC Win in Sabbath Case

Employer pays $158,000 to settle workplace discrimination suit.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor

A Seventh-day Adventist who was recognized for his

“customer service and teamwork” at a northern California

automobile dealership was awarded $158,000 in settlement

of a lawsuit brought when Maita

Chevrolet of Elk Grove, California,

fired him for refusing work on the

Sabbath, or Saturday.

The lawsuit, seeking damages

under Title VII of the Civil Rights

Act of 1964, was filed by the Equal

Employment Opportunity Commission,

a U.S. federal government

agency. Seventh-day

Adventist attorney Alan Reinach,

of the movement’s Church State

Council, also represented the

employee, Anthony Okon, in the

action.

“The EEOC’s investigation

found that Maita supervisors not

only failed to accommodate Mr.

Okon’s religious practice, but

answered his requests with

harassment, discipline, and ultimately

discharge,” said EEOC San

Francisco regional attorney William

R. Tamayo. “Employers must

recognize the value of diversity in

their workforce, including religious diversity, and not

harass or discriminate against those of different faiths or

religious practices.”

Todd McFarland, an attorney with the world church’s

Office of General Counsel, said the Seventh-day Adventist

Church was “happy to partner with the EEOC in this action

Adventist News Network file photo

ATTORNEY INVOLVED: Alan Reinach, a Seventhday

Adventist attorney and head of the Church-

State Council in California, participated in the lawsuit

over a member’s refusal to work on the Bible

Sabbath, or Saturday.

to ensure that employers honor their commitment to

workers’ rights.”

Okon, a Nigerian immigrant, worked for the dealership

from April 2005 to May 2007. A

key tenet of Okon’s Adventist

faith is to observe the Sabbath by

refraining from secular work

from sundown Friday to sundown

Saturday. The EEOC charged the

company with persistently scheduling

him to work shifts during

the Sabbath, despite numerous

requests from Okon and his pastor,

explaining the requirements

of their religion. In addition, the

EEOC alleged that Okon was

harassed, denied work on Sundays,

and ultimately disciplined

and discharged for taking leave to

observe the Bible Sabbath.

Under the court-approved consent

decree settling the suit, Maita

Chevrolet will revise its personnel

policy manual concerning religious

accommodation; train its

managers, supervisors, and

human resources personnel on

this subject; and report to the

EEOC all requests for religious accommodation or complaints

of religious discrimination.

Elk Grove, California, is part of the church territory

known as the Northern California Conference. As of 2010,

there were 41,824 baptized members worshipping in 151

congregations in the conference. n

10 (970) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


photos: Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review

A TIME TO SPEAK: Ted N. C. Wilson addresses delegates to the Urban Mission Conference during Sabbath morning worship.

■■World Church

Seventh-day Adventists

Urged Toward Urban Ministry

Wilson: “It’s time to reach the millions” in the cities.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor

The imperative to venture into the

world’s cities with the Seventh-day

Adventist Church’s special message

sounded in both Sabbath worship and

contemplation on September 28, 2013, as

delegates to the Urban Mission Conference

gathered at the General Conference

headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“It’s time to move forward. It’s time

to reach the millions living in the great

cities of this world,” said Ted N. C. Wilson,

General Conference president, in a

Sabbath morning message

about the need to do the

“work of Enoch” in reaching

metropolitan areas.

“God tells us, as He did

Enoch, to enter the cities

with the power of God’s

truth to find those who are

honest of heart who will

respond to the tender

pleading of the Holy Spirit

as biblical truth is presented,”

Wilson said. “That

is why today and in the

future we must be part of

those who diligently seek

God personally through

revival and reformation in

DELEGATES PRAY FOR CITIES: Following a call from Wilson,

delegates at the Urban Mission Conference pray for work in the cities.

our own lives, leaning completely on

the merits and grace of Jesus Christ for

our salvation and for the salvation of

others as we proclaim the central theme

in the three angels’ messages—the righteousness

of Christ—righteousness by

faith in Him.”

Noting the need in today’s society, to

which both Enoch and, later, Jesus Himself

responded, Wilson said, “As Enoch

did and as Christ did, we are [to] go into

the cities to bring encouragement, healing,

and spiritual blessing to those who

need to hear of hope—this is mission to

the cities.”

Following Wilson’s sermon—broadcast

on church-owned Hope Channel—

Sabbath afternoon was devoted to

several presentations about urban ministry,

including a report from Tony

Romeo, pastor of the Historic Manhattan

Seventh-day Adventist Church,

where a major NY13 evangelistic event

took place.

A highlight of the afternoon

program was a DVD

presentation of the innovative

Simplicity program

recently launched in Allentown,

Pennsylvania.

Adventist Mission director

Gary Krause interviewed

Wes Via, director of Simplicity,

about this churchowned

“center of influence”

recently inaugurated in

suburban Allentown. The

program, Via said, is an initiative

of the Pennsylvania

Conference and integrates

Bible work, canvassing,

door-to-door contacts, wel-

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (971) 11


World News & Perspectives

fare work, and medical missionary

efforts. He noted the program is

attempting to demonstrate the comprehensive

evangelism being described in

the new urban ministry model.

Via said the ministry is making an

average of 100 contacts per week with

the unchurched. And, he added, two

baptisms have already resulted.

Associate GC ministerial secretary

Anthony Kent said the presentations

were helpful. “It was particularly valuable

to see courageous, innovative, and

effective methods that individuals and

congregations are using to reach out to

people in their communities, particularly

in those communities that are challenging

to reach,” Kent told the Adventist

Review. “It was also clearly apparent that

these methods were successful not

because they were innovative but primarily

because the Holy Spirit seems to

be blessing and leading in these

approaches.” n

■■world church

Major Survey to Inform Adventist

Church’s Next Strategic Plan

Churchwide canvass to identify areas of concern, opportunities.

By ELIZABETH LECHLEITNER, Adventist News Network

Seventh-day Adventist leaders are making initial recommendations

for a global strategic plan based on the

results of an unprecedented survey of the opinions, attitudes,

and spiritual life patterns of church members worldwide.

Survey results will guide members of the church’s

Strategic Planning Committee as it identifies areas of concern,

ranks priorities, and seeks opportunities for growth

through 2020.

“The church regularly engages in strategic planning to

carefully position the organization to best pursue its mission,”

said Mike Ryan, chair and director of the Strategic

Planning Committee and a general vice president of the

Adventist world church. “Data collection and analysis are

crucial steps in this process,” he said.

In 2011 top church officials voted to establish an ongoing

budget for Adventist research. Since then 11 research teams

have conducted five major surveys. Seven teams worked on a

survey of church members, eventually receiving completed

surveys from 22,500 Adventists from nine world church divisions.

Other research included a survey of more than 4,000

pastors from all 13 divisions. Including both survey and

interview-based research, the study polled a total of 38,000

Adventists worldwide.

“That gives us a lot of rich data to work with,” said David

Trim, secretary of the Strategic Planning Committee and

director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research for

the Adventist world church, which oversaw the research

project. “Some of the results might come as a surprise, but

[division presidents] already know the nature of the

research,” Trim said.

Indeed, division leadership has been instrumental in the

research process, Trim said. As well as supporting the work

of the research teams, each division was asked to submit an

appraisal of the strategic issues it rates most important,

both for the world church and its own territory. Each

department at Adventist world church headquarters submitted

a similar appraisal.

But strategic planning doesn’t end with survey results, or

even the best interpretation of those results, church leaders

said. “Strategic planning must go far beyond decision-making

based on the best orator—the most eloquent speaker. It

must be built upon a solid biblical basis, the best research

and information, and, most important, the guidance of the

Holy Spirit as we choose a direction and begin to expend

the resources of the church,” Ryan said.

Comprehensive strategic planning, church officials said,

should also have a practical side and lead to measurable

results.

“Encouraging more Bible reading and prayer will probably

be in every Adventist strategic plan until the world ends,

but strategic planning doesn’t stop at identifying areas of

concern,” Trim said. “It’s also asking, ‘What can be done to

effect positive change?’ and identifying key performance

indicators so that in five years we can go back and measure

our progress.”

G. T. Ng, a committee member and executive secretary of

the Adventist world church, said that any strategic plan

should propel the mission of the church forward. “We

know that strategic planning is important, but it must be a

servant to mission,” Ng said. “Planning is valid only when it

helps the church fulfill the purpose for which it was

established.”

A revised draft of the 2015 to 2020 strategic plan went to

delegates of the 2014 Annual Council for approval. n

12 (972) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


think about it

When the church first started, it was like

the day of Pentecost or the beginning of

the Exodus: everyone came together in one

accord and literally heard God speak, and

they were able to communicate with others.

But over time there have at times been

breaks in communication. We live in

Judges-like times. Cultures, and subcultures,

seem to influence Christians more

than Christianity affects individuals.

—Falvo Fowler, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Sound Bite

“A whole lot of

people come

close to Jesus,

but they never

really ever touch

Him.”

—Wintley Phipps, March 29, 2012,

during the General Conference’s

Week of Spiritual Emphasis.

adventist life

“Pastor J” was being introduced as the guest speaker

in a central Texas church one Sabbath. The presiding

elder mentioned that it was written in the bulletin that

Pastor J had “pastured” in Marshall, Texas, for six years,

to which the guest speaker stepped up and quipped,

“Well, at least I was not out in the ‘pasture’ as long as

Nebuchadnezzar.”

—Helen Johnson, Keene, Texas

herald’s trumpet

Hi, kids! Herald’s trumpet is once

again hidden somewhere in this magazine.

If you find it, send a postcard telling us where.

Be sure to include your name and address! Then we’ll

randomly choose three winning postcards.

In our last contest (August 8, 2013) we had 15

entries! Our three winners were Caleb Kim, from Hendersonville,

North Carolina; Hannah Scalzo, from New

Albany, Ohio; and Christina Wood, from St. Petersburg,

Florida. Each received a book from Pacific Press and

KidsView putty. Where was the trumpet? On page 10.

If you can find the trumpet this time, send your postcard

to Herald’s Trumpet, Adventist Review, 12501 Old

Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600. The

prize will be a kids’ book! Look for the three winners’

names next year in the January 16, 2014, edition of the

Adventist Review. Have fun searching and keep trumpeting

Jesus’ love—and His second coming!

© terry crews

(973)

13


Theology

The “former things” and the

BY JOHN T. BALDWIN

Creation is a hot topic both inside and outside the Seventh-day

Adventist Church. The question of origins is also highly debated in scientific

circles and theology faculties by scholars trying to grapple with

the biblical as well as the scientific data. Progressive creation and

theistic evolutionary models of earth history are two models that scientists

and theologians outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church have proposed.

In both the progressive creation and the theistic evolutionary models of

earth history, various forms of life are assumed to have been present on earth for

about 3.7 billion years before the appearance of Homo sapiens. 1

Do these models of earth history impact the beneficent character, the “lovingkindness”

(Ps. 36:5) 2 of the Creator and His worship worthiness? Do they necessarily involve

Him in action contrary to His divine nature, indicating “injustice with God” as measured

by the cross, and by His own self-described portrait of divine goodness, the moral Ten

Commandments, which are “holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 9:14; 7:12)? 3

14 (974) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


Christ,

Character,

and Creation

Creator

A Loving God and

Theistic Evolution

Considering these questions, we note

that these models necessarily render the

“former things” (Rev. 21:4, KJV), listed by

John as death, sorrow, crying, and pain,

as the Creator’s originally intended things,

or means by which He created life forms

on earth over millions of years. How so?

The answer lies in what drives these

models of creation. Death, the life cycle,

predation, cancer, other diseases, suffering,

pain, extinction, and other horrors,

necessarily drive the development of life

forms in these models in combination

with some form of divine action. 4

Moreover, these models assert that at

some future point the Creator brings

forth the new creation out of the old in

Photo © Zack Ahern

which new laws of nature replace the

present laws. Then enabling these “former

things” or the allegedly divinely

intended means of creation “pass away”

(Rev. 21:4). Hence, according to these

models of earth history, there will be no

evolution and no death in the new

creation. 5

Does this good end justify these means,

or the allegedly divine use of these “former

things” to create this end? In God’s sight,

does the end justify the means —whatever

they may be—even if the means are evil?

Not so according to Paul, who states that

some individuals slanderously reported

that he proclaimed: “Let us do evil that

good may come.” Paul then adds that their

“condemnation is just” (Rom. 3:8). Surely

all the “former things,” are regarded as evil

things in the sight of the Lord. They are

abhorred by Him who explicitly calls diseases

evil ,and death the last enemy to be

overcome, and admonishes humans to

“hate evil” (Ps. 97:10; see

also Deut. 7:15; Ps. 36:4;

Prov. 6:16-19; Amos 5:15;

Matt. 6:13; 1 Cor. 15:26).

Consequently, the

biblical God would be

acting contrary to His nature if He were

to create through evil things He considers

to be enemies of life, and through

things He abhors. This means, and these

words are said gently, long-age models

of earth history slanderously render the

geologic column, with its mayhem of

destruction, as a rock record of how

God originally creates, rather than a

rock record of how God judges sin

through a global flood (Gen. 6-9). We

turn to the ultimate reality challenging

these models.

Christ cannot be the God of

either progressive creation

or theistic evolution.

The Cross and Origins

The cross is the final and most powerful

evaluation of any model of earth history.

Driven by His profound hatred of

the “former things,” and by His desire to

dwell with His creatures, on the cross

the Creator perished to perish perishing

(John 3:16)! How could this God, without

fatal self-contradiction, use, as tools

of original creation, these “former

things,” that He died to eradicate? To do

so would be for the Creator to clothe

Himself with the attributes of the enemy.

The cross of Christ tells us that the “former

things,” such as death, suffering,

disease, and so on, are an outrage

against the love of God. 6 Ellen White

insightfully writes: “Christ never planted

the seeds of death in the system.” 7 For all

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (975) 15


thy of worship as judged by the cross

and by His own self-described standard

of goodness, the Ten Commandments.

Hence, the “former things” are not

God’s things or His tools of creation.

They are the products of the enemy and

will pass away with him.

Scripture asks, “Shall not the Judge of

all the earth deal justly?” (Gen. 18:25).

Indeed, “The Rock! His work is perfect,

for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness

and without injustice, righteous

and upright is He” (Deut. 32:4). The

Bible records that this merciful God created

all things recently and benignly

through His word over a brief span of

time measured by six historical earth

days as we experience them today (Gen.

1; 2; Ps. 33:6; Matt. 1; John 1:1; Eph. 3:9).

Among many reasons, three show

clearly that the special creation worldview

is the true model of earth history.

1. It is the one described in the Word of

God. 2. It does not use the “former

things” as tools of creation. 3. It powerfully

establishes God’s matchless goodness

and renders Him worthy of

worship by applying the “wisdom from

above which is first pure, then peace-

Photo © Zack Ahern

these reasons, God would not, could not,

and thus did not create through the “former

things.” This conclusion means that,

banned from employing these tools or

means of creation, Christ cannot be the

God of either progressive creation or theistic

evolution.

The above understanding means that

we can safely say that no true model of

earth history will render God cruel, or

unworthy of our worship. If a model

undermines the goodness of God,

something is amiss—not with the biblically

described benevolent character of

God, but with our understanding of the

model in question. Further research will

correct our understanding either in this

life or in the next.

In conclusion, if the Prince of Peace

used the “former things” originally to

create life forms on earth for millions

of years prior to the Fall, He would be a

serial slayer of species and “a murderer

from the beginning”—an epitaph

Christ reserved for Satan (John 8:44). 8

In this case the God of peace would

merit such adjectives as “cruel,” “vile,”

“criminal,” “unrighteous,” “wicked,”

and “demonic,” rendering Him unworable,

gentle, reasonable, [and] full of

mercy and good fruit” (James 3:17).

Hence, it matters greatly what model

of earth history we adopt. This explains

why Jesus carefully worded the first

angel’s message to endorse a special

creation worldview and a global flood,

both so important to the worship of the

Creator. 9 How beautifully, then, the

name Seventh-day Adventist testifies to

the goodness and worship worthiness

of our God, the benevolent Creator, who

banishes forever the “former things.” n

1

The following work represents the classic formulation

and endorsement of the progressive creation

perspective: Bernard L. Ramm, The Christian View of Science

and Scripture (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Pub.

Co., 1954). The theistic evolution orientation is probably

best exemplified in Nancey Murphy, Robert John

Russell, and William R. Stoeger, eds., Physics and Cosmology:

Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil

(Vatican City: Vatican Observatory Publications; Berkeley,

Calif.: Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences;

Notre Dame, Ind.: Distributed by University of

Notre Dame Press, 2007).

2

Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references in

this article have been taken from the New American

Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968,

1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman

Foundation. Used by permission.

3

Numerous other self-descriptions of His goodness,

faithfulness and mercy are presented throughout

the Bible, such as, but not limited to, Exodus 34:6, 7;

Psalms 34:6; 145:8, 9; 146:5-10; Isaiah 43:1-4, 25; 49:15,

16; Lamentations 3:22-26; 1 John 4:8. It is important to

remember that the standard by which we judge any

model as rendering the Creator unworthy of worship

is not one that we humans erect by ourselves. Rather it

is the biblical measurement of divine goodness and of

worship worthiness revealed on the cross and by

God’s self-description in the Ten Commandments.

4

The most open and frank discussion of this point

that I have discovered to date is contained in the work

edited by Murphy, Russell, and Stoeger, Physics and Cosmology:

Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil.

5

Personal conversations by the author with the Rev.

Dr. John Polkinghorne. See also John Polkinghorne,

Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (New Haven, Conn.:

Yale University Press, 2011), pp. 102-109.

6

Thomas Torrance, Divine and Contingent Order

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 139.

7

Ellen G. White manuscript 65, 1899, in Ellen G.

White, Ellen G. White Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring,

Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990-1993), vol. 16, p. 247.

8

In this case, Christ would also be a serial destroyer

of life-sustaining habitats recorded in the strata of the

geologic column.

9

A topic for a possible subsequent article.

John T. Baldwin, Ph.D.,

recently retired as emeritus

professor of theology from

the Seventh-day Adventist

Theological Seminary at

Andrews University.

16 (976) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


Transformation Tips

Next Time, Stand!

It was one gloomy, dark day for Job. He was unspeakably sad,

depressed, and morose. Things had reached such a low point that the old man, about 80 years of age, found

a mound of manure and sat on it.

His losses were incalculable. His sons, daughters, animals, tents, wealth, even his health—were lost.

So it’s no surprise that he was caught unexpectedly in a snare of despair and desolation. Some

believe that his forlorn condition may have lasted up to a year.

The Job Saga

We’ve all been there to some degree. We’ve felt a similar stark loneliness, a comparable icy

isolation, and a hollow lack of motivation. If we’re honest, we’ve asked or thought about asking

the same question Job asked: “Why me?”

Those were the thoughts I reflected on when I recently read about Job in the Revived by His

Word Bible-reading initiative (revivedbyhisword.org). I was strangely sympathetic. Maybe it

was my own maturation and exposure to the cruelties of life. Or maybe it’s that age, armed

conflicts, destructive weather patterns, or unprecedented atrocities were having their effect.

All I know is that this time while reading the story, I related to Job in a personal sense.

God and Suffering

What is especially vexing is the problem of innocent suffering. Self-inflicted wounds we can

live with. But when we suffer for no apparent reason, the first question is, understandably, “Why?”

or “Why me?”

But such questions betray an understandable egocentric notion about suffering: that it’s all about

me, all about us. If Job learned anything in this experience, he learned that suffering wasn’t about

him; it was about God.

Suffering tends to turn us inward; it becomes a mirror in which we see only ourselves and wonder

why such disfigurement has come our way. Author Kathleen Norris argues that we “should drop the

mirror and look for God.” Indeed, the question in suffering, as God points out to Job, is not

“Why?” but “Where?” Where is God in all this?

People say that when you go through tough times you have to get some light, pull back the curtains;

open the windows.

The issue for Job was whether he could trust a God when everything happening in his life seemed

to argue against a God who could be trusted. It was a test to see if Job could stand when the pressure

was on and the lights were out.

Delbert W.

Baker

Stand and See God

In his suffering, Job had an opportunity to encounter God. It was a powerful experience in which he

learned more about God than he learned about himself. Suffering is not about us: it’s about being able to

see God in the presence of the storm and know that God is there somewhere. God told Job to stand up, to

be a man. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message, says: “Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet!

Stand tall!” (Job 38:3).* Even in hard times, God never abandons us.

In the end, God restored everything Job had lost. God, through Christ, can restore to us what we need as

well. He may not necessarily restore to us what we have lost in this life. But if we stand in trust, we will know

that God is with us, and that He will make it right in His own way. Ultimately, it makes no difference whether

He makes it right in this life or in the life to come.

So if we find ourselves sitting in the manure mounds of life, if we find ourselves sad, depressed, or lonely,

if we find ourselves in hard times—God is with us.

So next time our test comes—and there will be a next time—our job is to stand and trust God! n

* From The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Delbert W. Baker is a general vice president of the General Conference.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (977) 17


Cover Feature

FOLLOW ME:

Lawrence Maxwell

served as Guide’s

first editor.

Times

change, but

Guide

magazine

remains a

constant

in the

experience of

growing up

Adventist.

BY KIM PECKHAM

Sometimes it’s funny what people

remember about growing up Adventist.

Kristen Heslop, a professional musician

who grew up in the ’70s, recalls sitting

around a bonfire at Indiana’s Camp Timber

Ridge making hand motions and singing: “Waddle eee ah cha,

waddle ee ah cha, doodle eee dooo, doodle eee dooo.” (Now, try to

get that song out of your head.)

There are other good memories to choose from: The smell of sizzling gluten samples in the

camp meeting store. That one time you beat everyone else to the text in a Bible sword drill. Sipping

hot chocolate after a cold night of Ingathering. Gathering around the piano on a Sabbath

evening singing, “Day Is Dying in the West.”

Just for Us

Many memories involve a little story magazine that has been a part of the Adventist experience

for 60 years—Guide. “Guide taught me multitasking,” jokes Loren Seibold. “It taught me

how to read the magazine while also pretending to listen to the sermon.” He remembers the

issues that had nature stories on the back page that were formatted like comic strips. This was

strangely wonderful to Seibold, whose parents forbade the reading of dime store comics. “It

was generally more interesting than what our pastor was saying,” he remembers. And Seibold

has a license to say that because he is a pastor himself.

Before the 1950s Juniors had much less to read during the sermon. They had only one page

dedicated to their age group in the Youth’s Instructor, a more mature weekly magazine that was

18 (978)

| www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


the forerunner of Insight. But that all

changed in October 1953.

Now retired from teaching at the Seventh-day

Adventist Theological Seminary,

Jane Thayer was attending a small

church in Owensville, Missouri, when

those early issues of Guide were handed

out in her Junior class. She couldn’t

believe her good fortune. “We had a

small journal that was all ours, and

when you opened it, it was full of stories—there

weren’t any lectures,” she

says. “It always amazed me that the people

who were writing the stories knew

just what we were interested in.”

Several trends helped Juniors and Earliteens

end up with a paper that they could

call their own. One was the Baby Boom

that filled Sabbath school rooms and

Adventist schools to overflowing. In the

years after World War II, a church with

100 members would be throwing baby

showers almost as often as it observed

Communion. The introduction of Guide

also owes a lot to the connection Seventhday

Adventists have always made between

reading and the spiritual life.

“We have a fundamental reverence for

the Word of God,” says Adventist

researcher Monte Sahlin. “Ours is a

Scripture-based faith, in contrast to the

more tradition-based faith in many

other churches. Young Adventists learn

the faith by reading.” As a child and

teenager, Sahlin remembers often hearing

the statement “He read himself into

the truth.”

Perhaps this is why research consistently

shows Seventh-day Adventists

are better educated and greater con-

Favorite Memories of Growing Up Adventist

My favorite thing growing up was Friday night, hair washed, in

our jammies, listening to my mom play the piano or listening to

Sam Campbell stories.—Laurie Gauthier

At camp meeting, I loved waiting in the long line, late Saturday

night after the evening meetings, for a veggie burger.—Teri

Pollard

Lying on the floor listening to The Bible in Living Sound while coloring.

Dressing up and acting out the Bible stories.—Teresa Peckham

My Junior Sabbath school leaders gave us a seashell when we

knew our memory verse. By the end of the year, we had a nice collection

of small but beautiful shells from around the world—each

identified and tied to a memory verse.—Glen Milam

It was all those enjoyable Pathfinder camping trips: sleeping in

old pup tents; sitting around the campfire listening to stories.—

Steve Hamilton

Haystacks for Sabbath lunch every single Sabbath there wasn’t a

potluck!—Katrina Pepper

Friday evenings. Lights dimmed. Candles burning. A stack of Heritage

Singers LPs on the record player. And me, lying with my

5-year-old head resting on my daddy’s chest as he patted my back

along with the rhythm of the songs. That’s gold. Can’t wait to see

him again.—Mark Bond

Saturday night popcorn and fruit salad, and getting together

with other families to play games.—Alyssa Truman

We had our own record player, and all those Eric B. Hare stories such

as “Pip Pip the Naughty Chicken,” on 45s.—Ronald Simkin

At the Michigan camp meeting, standing on the porch at the

back of the main auditorium with all the other academy girls

watching the boys go by.—Sheryal Vandenberghe

Shoes polished with white shoe polish Friday afternoon. Roasts

with crusty edges. Potluck vegetarian steaks with sour cream gravy.

Jell-O salads.—Pamela Maize Harris

Sabbath school songs—“The Captain Calls for You,” “We’ve a

Story to Tell to the Nations,” “Love Lifted Me”—although that last

song seems more appropriate, on reflection, for a group of reformed

drunken sailors than primary kids.—Evelyn Caro

Back when “camp” was still part of camp meeting, and we

camped in the back of the farm straight truck. We had to spend

some time cleaning it up good first—it was used to haul cows as

well as corn!—Deea Kaufmann

The most reverent foot washings in my memory were at Platte

Valley Academy with the girls singing hymns softly.—Monica

Wootton

Going Ingathering door to door to residential areas and bars (I

can’t believe we did that), caroling, coming back to the church with

our tin cans full of money, and having hot chocolate.—Rejane

Jackson

At Lone Star Camp (Texas) we had to learn to waterski quick,

because if we fell we would be next to the water moccasins. I loved

growing up Adventist.—Shayne Remmers

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (979) 19


Is It Better to Be a Junior Now,

or Then?

It’s easy to see that growing up is different now than it

was when the Review and Herald Publishing Association

introduced Guide magazine 60 years ago. When was the

better time to be a kid?

Advantages of Being a Junior in the 1950s

&&

More time was spent outdoors and in nature.

&&

Junior Missionary Volunteer programs gave youth

something to do every Sabbath.

&&

Adventists were sheltered from media, especially

from movies.

&&

No addictive video games (unless you count

pinball).

&&

Mother was more likely to be at home.

&&

Lower rates of divorce.

&&

Strong emphasis on temperance.

&&

No Internet.

Advantages of Being a Junior Today

&&

The Internet.

&&

Smoking tobacco is less of a temptation.

&&

Houses, on average, are twice as big.

&&

More ethnic diversity among friends at church and

school.

&&

Racism is no longer openly tolerated.

&&

Many media choices.

&&

Seat belts and bicycle helmets.

&&

More Lego kits.

&&

Opportunity for short-term mission projects.

&&

More career options—especially for minorities and

women.

&&

Spiritual education is more likely to emphasize God’s

love and grace.

&&

Haystacks.

sumers of books and

magazines than the

general population.

This is true around

the globe, according

to Sahlin.

The Paper

Then and Now

Now Guide is looking

back on 60 years

of telling stories to

the church’s young

people. In the 1950s,

many stories

reflected life growing

up in rural locations.

“In those early magazines,

many illustrations

reflect farm

settings. There are

milk cans and lost

cows,” says Guide

editor Randy Fishell.

“It was like watching

Green Acres.”

Mission stories

were more common

in the 1950s and 1960s.

American missionaries

would come back

from Africa or Borneo

with amazing stories.

The adventures of

native children would

show up regularly.

Stories told of escapes

from wild elephants

or crocodiles.

“One feature that I

really got a lot of

benefit from was Pen Pals—a list of kids

that wanted to write letters,” recalls

Thayer. I would go through the list and

look for those that were from countries

outside the United States. It took forever

to get an answer back, but when it

came, the letter looked so fancy with all

its foreign stamps.” Sadly, the chance

for kids to connect with pen pals ended

in the early 1990s with the heightened

awareness of child predators.

A positive change is that stories now

reflect the rainbow of ethnic diversity in

the church. “It’s fascinating to see the

monochromatic approach to the presentation

of most stories in the past,”

says Fishell. In the 1950s, 75 to 80 percent

of Juniors were of European

descent. Today 75 percent of Juniors

represent other ethnic groups.

“We recognize that the demographic

in the North American Division is very

multicultural,” says Guide assistant editor

Laura Sámano, who is Hispanic herself.

“We ask authors to send us stories

that are set in different countries and

with heroes of different ethnicities.”

Guide continues to adjust to stay relevant.

There are fewer stories about how

to get your horse out of quicksand, and

more about how to respond to text messages

from a depressed friend. But there

are aspects of the magazine that don’t

change. Today, all the stories in the magazine

are true. The first editor, Lawrence

Maxwell, held to the same standard. “I

didn’t want made-up stories,” he said

during a 2003 interview. “I felt that if

we’re going to tell the children this is the

way Christianity works, it had better be

the way Christianity works.”

Distinctively Guide

The stories in Guide continue to affirm

what Fishell calls an Adventist

worldview. They show how

God honors those who

keep the Sabbath. They

underscore the

importance of honesty,

compassion,

and other Christian

virtues. The true stories

of children dealing

with problems in their

lives become an inspiration

Lawrence

Maxwell

20 (980) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


to the thousands of Juniors and Earliteens

who open up their Guide magazines

each Sabbath morning. It is these stories

that help them map out the unseen spiritual

world and their place in it.

“The power of a story is that it will literally

change your life for good or bad,”

says former Guide editor Penny Estes

Wheeler. “A well-written story taps into

emotions—what we feel and who we are.

It makes us a participant in the story.”

“Kids are always getting in trouble

for talking too much. If you listen to

what they’re saying, they’re telling stories

to each other about what happened

this week,” says José Rojas, who got his

start as an international youth speaker

working with Juniors. “Stories are what

drives a person’s life. Guide leads with

those stories to the feet of Jesus.”

“I find Guide magazine really inspiring,”

says 13-year-old Jackie Recuenco.

“It inspires me to take a stand and fight

for things I believe in. I remember reading

this one story about a girl who was

on a public bus, and they were playing a

horror movie on the TVs that creeped

her out. At first she was afraid to ask

anybody if she could turn it off. But

then she gathered up the courage to say

something, and everybody was like,

‘Yes, please do. It’s about time.’ ”

“I don’t think we can get along without

stories,” says Southwestern Union children’s

ministries director Margaret

Taglavore. “It gives a child something to

relate to. They haven’t seen God. But when

you tell children a story, they can place

themselves in it.” Ultimately, they can

share an experience that someone else had

with God and learn about Him that way.

That’s not to say that the appeal of

60 Years of Editors

Pen Pals for Life

Jan was a teenager in 1956 when she submitted

her name to the Pen Pals column in Guide

magazine. Her entry in the long list of names and

addresses caught the attention of Leroy Dickhaut,

an academy student in South Dakota.

He began writing to her, and continued until a

wedding was planned. “My [future] husband

wrote to me for five years,” Jan recalls.

The couple had seven children and enjoyed 49

years of marriage until Leroy’s death in 2010. Jan

Dickhaut still writes to several friends she made

through Guide’s Pen Pal column.

the stories is limited to children. “I see

adults in our church reading Guide

instead of listening to the sermon,” says

Taglavore. Some church members are

drawn into smuggling operations

where they snatch unused Guides from

the Sabbath school room and take them

to friends in a nursing home.

A good story draws in everyone. The

Review and Herald Publishing Association

has produced a series of best-selling

books simply by collecting the top

stories from the 15,000 that have been

printed over the history of Guide.*

Where do all these stories come

from? Oakwood professor Derek Bowe

has provided several notable stories to

Guide. “I ask the Lord to give the

thoughts and the stories,” he says. “A

particular episode will come to mind

that I was not thinking about at all. I

thank God for helping me every step of

the way from conceiving the story to

refining it. He’s the one responsible for

the whole thing.”

His is a thankless job in some ways.

“Kids don’t pay attention to who wrote

the story,” says Bowe. “But that doesn’t

matter. I write so that kids all over the

world will see how great God is and ask

Him to be a part of their lives forever.”

Guide is obviously a kind of child

evangelism. It touches the lives of kids

at an age when research shows that they

are likely to make a lifelong decision

about whether or not to follow Christ. It

may be part of many happy memories

that we have from the past, but its real

value comes from how it leads children

into the future. n

* The most recent is 60 Years of Guide: The Anniversary

Story Collection.

Kim Peckham directs

corporate communications for

the Review and Herald

Publishing Association. His

favorite memory growing up is

lying on shag carpeting on Sabbath afternoons

listening to a recording of the King’s

Heralds singing “Wheel in a Wheel.”

Lowell Litton

Penny Estes-

Wheeler

Jeannette

Johnson

Carolyn Sutton

tim lale

randy fishell

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (981) 21


How a Runaway Horse Led Me Home

During a painful spiritual struggle, I reluctantly made my way to a

conference I had been invited to attend as a guest speaker.

Frankly, I didn’t want to participate, because I felt unworthy to speak to the group of Christian professionals.

But something compelled me to go anyway, and I’m glad I did. I met a professional horse jockeyturned-pastor

named Pavel, and he told me three stories in rapid succession.

The Runaway Horse

Shortly after becoming a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, Pavel was working at his stables in

Kiev when one of the animals escaped and fled down a busy street.

Pavel was horrified. He didn’t know how to stop the horse. He saw the creature darting through

traffic. He heard squealing tires and the neighing animal. An injured horse would hurt his

team. A dead horse would prove costly to his wallet and career. Helpless, he prayed, “God,

make the horse stop.” At that precise second, the horse halted in midgallop.

Pavel approached the animal cautiously. It didn’t twitch a muscle. Gently Pavel began to

nudge the horse back in the direction of the stables. Step by step it followed him obediently, its

movements resembling a robot. It was as if angels had grabbed the horse’s legs and were planting

one in front of the other.

“It was a miracle,” Pavel told me. “The incident occurred when the horse was full of energy. It

should have been impossible to stop the horse.”

Dateline Moscow

Give Me Vision

Several years later, after Pavel had given up horses to keep the Sabbath, he met an elderly woman at

one of the three churches which he served as pastor. The woman was losing her sight. She went through

three pairs of glasses, each thicker than the last. It got to the point that she couldn’t read at all.

Weeping, she prayed over her open Bible one evening, “God, I want to see. All I want is to be

able to read Your Word.” Through her tears something incredible happened. The words of the

Bible came into focus. The woman began to read.

At church the next Sabbath, she read from her Bible before the entire church. A shocked member

exclaimed, “You’re reading without glasses!”

“That’s right,” the woman replied with a smile. “I can see like a first grader!”

Andrew

McChesney

A Freed Prisoner

A young man contacted Pavel to ask for food and a job after being released from prison, where he had

served time for theft. But the man had a problem. While in prison, he had been beaten brutally by the guards,

who had broken his spinal cord in three places. He could not walk.

Pavel brought the young man to church. Seeing the visitor with his thin legs dangling limply over the pew,

church members felt compassion and decided to pray for him. They held a season of special prayer for a

whole week. They prayed morning and evening.

One morning the man, excited, called Pavel on the phone. “I’m walking!” he exclaimed.

My Story

When Pavel reached the end of the third story, my mouth hung open, and all I could say was “Wow!”

Jesus said to a woman caught in her own painful spiritual struggle: “Neither do I condemn you . . . go now

and leave your life of sin.” Why? Because “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk

in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:11, 12).

I left the conference knowing three things: The God who set an ex-convict free from his prison of immobility

could break my ugly chains of sin. The God who gave a woman her sight could allow me to see His will.

And the God who stopped a runaway horse would lead me home. n

Andrew Mc Chesney is a journalist in Russia.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (983) 23


Spirit of Prophecy

david knott

david knott

Their

Deepest

Lessons

BY ELLEN G. WHITE

24


He alone

who recognizes in nature his Father’s

handiwork, who in the richness and

beauty of the earth reads the Father’s handwriting—he alone learns

from the things of nature their deepest lessons, and receives their

highest ministry. Only he can fully appreciate the significance of hill

and vale, river and sea, who looks upon them as an expression of the

thought of God, a revelation of the Creator.

david knott

Many illustrations from nature are used by the Bible writers,

and as we observe the things of the natural world, we

shall be enabled, under the guiding of the Holy Spirit, more

fully to understand the lessons of God’s Word. It is thus that

nature becomes a key to the treasure house of the Word.

Children should be encouraged to search out in nature the

objects that illustrate Bible teachings, and to trace in the Bible

the similitudes drawn from nature. They should search out,

both in nature and in Holy Writ, every object representing

Christ, and those also that He employed in illustrating truth.

Thus may they learn to see Him in tree and vine, in lily and

rose, in sun and star. They may learn to hear His voice in the

song of birds, in the sighing of the trees, in the rolling thunder,

and in the music of the sea. And every object in nature

will repeat to them His precious lessons.

To those who thus acquaint themselves with Christ, the

earth will nevermore be a lonely and desolate place. It will be

their Father’s house, filled with the presence of Him who

once dwelt among men. n

This article is drawn from Ellen G. White’s classic book

Education, pages 119, 120. Seventh-day Adventists believe

that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift

of prophecy during more than 70 years of public

ministry.

25


Devotional

Three-Part Gospel

As empowering as our deepest need

BY Max Hammonds

The gospel comes in three

parts. All Christians know

the first part: “Believe in the

Lord Jesus, and you will be

saved” (Acts 16:31). And we

yearn for the third part, to be filled with

all God’s fullness (Eph. 3:13-19), and

swept away at Christ’s second coming.

This is Christianity for most people: a

conviction by the Spirit; sorrow for sin;

and repentance of our past lives. We go

through a major struggle about choosing

Jesus, and we make that choice. We know

we want to be included when Jesus

comes. But what happens until then?

One to Three

The thief on the cross didn’t have

much time to wait. But for most of us

the lapse between our choice to follow

Jesus and our elation at His second

coming involves years. We have to live

in a real world that does not follow the

Ten Commandments. We have to maintain

our Christianity in the midst of

people who do not. If we are to follow

Christ’s great commission, we must

grow our Christian witness. And we

carry a gnawing awareness that something

is supposed to happen between

part one and part three of the gospel.

What’s the second part?

Everywhere around us are people

caught in the grip of the world. In developed

countries, business and the busyness

of everyday life distract people

from their life in Christ. In developing

regions, superstitions and spiritistic

influences of cultural and life habits

frighten believers away from their newfound

life in Christ.

Does Christianity have a practical

answer for how to live and thrive in

these circumstances? The answer is

“yes.” And it’s Christianity’s part two.

The First Gift

When we are led to Christ, we become

recipients of two gifts—salvation and

righteousness—given out of God’s

grace and love (Rom. 10:9, 10; Eph. 2:8,

9). God-given faith enables us to receive

these gifts and believe that “God [has]

to do what he [has] promised” (Rom.

4:21). In obedience from our hearts

(Rom. 6:17) we make public, through

baptism, our commitment to living “a

new life” (Rom. 6:4). But most of us

don’t know how Jesus will perform such

a radical change in our lives.

Jesus identifies two agents of change

in our Christian life—water and the

Spirit—that are necessary for entrance

into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). We

receive the one through water baptism,

the external, public announcement of

our hearts’ decision. We receive it too

through the “washing with water

through the Word” (Eph. 5:26), the

instruction in righteousness (2 Tim.

3:16) that introduces us to God and His

plan for our lives.

The Second Gift

But Jesus also promises us another

gift: “I will ask the Father, and he will

give you another advocate . . . the Spirit

of truth” (John 14:16, 17). While water

baptism covers our bodies and Word

baptism enlightens our minds, the Spir-


it’s baptism affects us in another vital

area. “I will give you a new heart. . . . And

I will put my Spirit in you and move you

to follow my decrees” (Eze. 36:26, 27).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit begins

with the heart, for out of it flows the

issues of life (Prov. 4:23). The values that

guide our life choices and the decision

as to which master we will follow are

made at the very core of our being. This

is where our obedience from our hearts

originates (Rom. 6:16, 17).

As the calendar flips forward, we are

quickly reminded that this faith transaction

is a process, not a point in time.

God will put His law within us (Jer.

31:33) and transform us by renewing

our minds (Rom. 12:2), which means

working from the inside out. The articles

of furniture in the first apartment

of the Old Testament sanctuary illustrate

the tools the Holy Spirit uses to

make this transformational change.

1. The seven-branched lampstand

illustrates the light of present truth and

prophetic guidance (Ps. 119:105; John

16:13) that bear witness of Jesus (John

15:26). By this light the Spirit helps us

behold as in a mirror the glory of the

Lord in order that we might be transformed

into the same image of Jesus

Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). This is Bible study.

2. The table of the presence brings us

into an abiding relationship with Christ

without whom we can do nothing (John

15:5). Partaking of His life signifies

sharing the experiences of Christ. We do

His works in the world (John 14:12).

This is witnessing; this is ministry.

3. The altar of incense places us as

close to God as it is possible to be. Especially

here, we are encouraged to “draw

near to God with a sincere heart and

with the full assurance that faith

brings” (Heb. 10:22), to share with our

Lord Himself in intercessory prayer.

The first apartment of the sanctuary

itself speaks to the fact that we carry

out these functions as a royal priesthood,

not as individuals (Heb. 9:1-6;

1 Peter 2:9). We are a collective priesthood

(1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 5:10), with gifts

the Spirit gives “for the common good,”

distributed “to each one, just as he

determines” (1 Cor. 12:7, 11). The gifts

fit the church “for works of service,”

building up the body of Christ “until we

all reach unity in the faith . . . and

This is the secret

of the daily,

overcoming

Christian life.

become mature, attaining . . . the fullness

of Christ” (Eph. 4:12, 13).

This is the purpose of church: learning

from the Word; living ministry;

interceding on behalf of others. We

cooperate as a church, exercising our

spiritual gifts for the good works that

God prepared for us to experience (Eph.

2:10). And even as we externally employ

these tools we are internally “being

transformed into his image . . . , which

comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”

(2 Cor. 3:18). Quietly but effectively the

Holy Spirit is using His tools to grow

the fruit of the Spirit in us, making us

partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter

1:4). Our transformation is “ ‘not by

might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’

says the Lord Almighty” (Zech. 4:6).

The human contribution to this second

part of salvation is the same as it was in

the grace-faith first part: relationship. It is

a mutual abiding between us and Christ

as we accept by faith that “God [has]

power to do what he [has] promised”

(Rom. 4:21; see John 14:17; 15:5). This is

the secret of the daily, overcoming Christian

life, a new life in which the Spirit

empowers us to do that which we were

unable to do on our own (Rom. 8:11).

Conclusion

The gospel comes in three parts. Day

to day we may revel and triumph in part

two, and be more than conquerors

through Him who loves us (Rom. 8:37),

as we look forward to being swept away

in part three. n

Max Hammonds is a retired

anesthesiologist, writer,

missionary, musician, and sailor

who lives in Hendersonville, North

Carolina. He delights in teaching

his grandson, Braeden, the Bible and sailing.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (987) 27


Story

Lessons, Unplanned

Learning about

myself, and God

BY LINDSEY GENDKE

Twenty-three years old and

fresh out of college, I was

hired to teach freshman

English at a rural Texas high

school. I was poorly

equipped for the job. Having decided at

the last minute to postpone graduate

school, I had little pedagogical training

and no student teaching experience.

With these glaring shortcomings I was

amazed I even got the job. However, as

time went on I began to realize that my

lack of professional knowledge was the

least of my problems.

The product of a broken home as a

teen and plagued by depression ever

since, I was still too focused on my own

life’s losses to care deeply about others.

Moreover, having married nearly on the

heels of completing high school, then

relying on my husband’s financial and

emotional support to get me

through college, I had not yet

learned toappreciate self-reliance.

I had not yet learned

what it meant to rest in God’s

strength. I certainly wasn’t

equipped to take on the pain

of 100 adolescents while still grappling

with my own. But God doesn’t always

call the equipped.

God was about to teach major lessons

through this job, the most important of

which would not be for my students.

First Year: I Need Help

On Friday afternoon at the end of my

first week, I was so exhausted that I collapsed

into bed at 6:00 and slept until

morning. This turned out to be a fitting

start for the school year, as the next nine

months brought alternating bouts of

stress, exhaustion, and tears. Often that

year I woke anywhere between 4:00 and

5:00 a.m. with knots in my stomach,

dreading having to manage seven classes

of hormonal, unpredictable teenagers.

In the evenings, I left school thankful

to have escaped one more day, yet

already dreading the next. To cope with

my stress, which also caused me loss of

appetite and lack of sleep, I exercised

excessively, trying to sweat myself into a

stupor. If before the job I’d thought I had

made progress in my personal mental

plights (a college degree is, after all, quite

an accomplishment), the stress of the job

was calling forth my darkest demons.

On those mornings I woke at 4:00 or

5:00, though I might crack open the

book of Psalms for comfort, my mind

was generally racing too fast for me to

concentrate. Because I couldn’t relax

long enough to surrender to God, I tried

to battle each day in my own strength. I

usually ended up barely clinging to my

sanity. By the end of the year I was ready

to slam the door on teaching.

Second Year: Trust God

Since my husband wouldn’t let me quit,

the next year I found myself back for more.

Somehow (perhaps because I now

taught juniors instead of freshmen) the

year got off to a much better start, and

by the end of the first week, I actually

felt somewhat excited.

But just weeks into the semester I

was informed that back home, more

than 1,000 miles away, my mother had

been hospitalized and my 10-year-old

28 (988) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013


other placed in foster care. I

was told the possibility existed

that Mom might not be able to

get my brother back.

The knots in my stomach

returned, but this time my mind

was far from school matters. During

my childhood the family had been

through many similar episodes, and

I had often let them upset me to the

point of incapacitation. Now, 1,000

miles away from my family and

with adult responsibilities, I had no

choice but to seek help beyond my

own strength. That September I

spent hours on my knees, pouring

out my heart to God.

I was also learning how to sit

down and have devotions every

morning. Unlike my first year of

teaching, out of necessity, I was

now disciplining myself to read

my Bible, even when I didn’t feel

like it.

By November, Mom was out of the hospital

and in the process of getting custody

of my brother back. But with all the

recent turmoil, I was ripe for a life

change.

About the middle of the school year

my husband shared material from a Revelation

Seminar with which he’d assisted

years before. Listening to the wealth of

scriptures and hard-hitting truths the

speaker invoked, I had nowhere to turn

but to examine my own life.

I looked inside and saw a self-centered,

self-pitying soul. I saw that I had

not fully given my life to Christ—the

biggest indicators being my frequent

and sometimes long-lasting bouts of

anxiety or depression, as well as the

unhealthy need I felt to micromanage

every aspect of my life.

I saw that to be wholeheartedly with

Christ I could not remain where I was. I

started becoming more conscious of the

decisions I made throughout the day,

asking myself whether they would

bring glory to God.

Toward the end of the school year I

began memorizing Scripture and

started a systematic plan to read the

Bible through in one year. The first passage

I memorized was 2 Corinthians

12:9, 10. After the events of the past two

years, I could say with confidence God’s

grace “is sufficient” for me, that His

“power is made perfect in weakness,”

and “when I am weak, then I am

strong.”

As I came to realize that God’s

strength made up for all I lacked, I

noticed my focus gradually shifting

from myself to my students.

Third Year: It’s Not

All About Me

I entered my third year of teaching

feeling victorious and determined. By

now I had enrolled in graduate school

part-time, and I had a pretty good idea

that this would be my last year teaching

high school. I had finally figured out

that God had placed me there for a reason,

and I determined to make the most

of my last year.

When planning lessons, instead of

asking, “How can I fill the time?” I

Through my

crucible God

refined me.

started asking, “How can I positively

impact these students? What lessons will

be most useful to them in the future?”

Although I couldn’t explicitly share

my newfound religious convictions, I

found creative ways to slip Bible-based

principles into my classes. As the year

wound to a close, I saw the fruit of my

heart’s conversion in my students, a

number of whom, knowing I would be

leaving, expressed sincere gratitude.

On the last day of school, many students

stopped by with hugs, cards, and

words of thanks for my practical and

caring instruction. Perhaps most memorable

was a phone call I received from a

parent in tears, who told me I had been

the most influential teacher for her son

throughout his high school years.

Still a Learner

When I think back to who I was at the

beginning of my teaching stint—college

grad and married woman, yet too scared

of responsibility to own a pet, much less

have kids; a perpetual pessimist; a virtual

bump on a log in face of perceived

crisis; and a lukewarm Christian—I can

only marvel that God used me to change

lives.

Through my crucible God refined me.

Before I began teaching, I felt I deserved

a path free from obstacles (the anxiety

and depression that had characterized

my past). Now I realize that a rocky road

was exactly what I needed to grow

beyond my self.

God placed me in a situation in which

I was held accountable for my attitude

and actions by perceptive, sometimesincisive,

and always-searching teens. He

taught me how to trust Him, and that

it’s not all about me.

Had I merely gone to graduate school

after college, those three years would

still have been emotionally wrenching

(grad school, as I’ve learned, is pretty

stressful). However, I would not be “the

new creation” I am today (2 Cor. 5:17).

I praise the Lord. Those three Godappointed

years taught me lessons I

could never have planned, and will

never forget! n

?

Lindsey Gendke, a freelance

writer, recently earned a

master’s degree in English.

What Do You Think?

1. What time in your life taught you

most about yourself, but at the

same time was the most challenging

spiritually and emotionally? Recall it

briefly.

2. What two or three influences connected

with those events helped you

cope, and taught you important life

skills?

3. Why does it seem that we don’t

learn as much or as quickly when

everything is going our way?

4. Do you know how to recognize stress

in someone else’s life? If so, what

can you do to help relieve it?

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (989) 29


Reflections

Why Peacemakers Are So Special

Drew remembered the feeling in the pit of his stomach every time he

thought about it. A coworker, someone he considered a close friend, had taken credit for his idea and was

reaping the benefits at work.

Drew soon noticed that his anger had little effect on his coworker but a big effect on him. A doctor’s visit

confirmed Drew’s suspicion. His anger was causing significant health problems. When the doctor asked him

if he was under any unusual stress, he had only one explanation.

James 5:16 came to his mind. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Drew absolutely knew that he was powerless to repay God for the sins he’d committed. He finally realized

that it was unfair for him to refuse to forgive others. The desire to extend the gift of grace to his coworker

began to fill his heart.

He no longer wanted to harbor anger and disappointment. While he considered the friendship irreparably

harmed, he didn’t want to dwell on the hurt he felt. The only way past this situation was to let it go. By an act

of his will, Drew decided to forgive. Mentally, he bundled up all his hostile feelings and surrendered them to

Christ. His identity was now solidly based upon who he was in Christ, and he soon felt peace in his heart.

A prominent Christian medical doctor and professor told me this story of his own life.

A coworker gave him a “dirty deal.” Thereafter, whenever he would see that man crossing the campus, he

would make a quick detour to avoid him. This went on for months. Every time his “enemy” came up in any

conversation, he would get in a little “dig.”

He was getting tired of this ongoing warfare. His feelings frightened him, and the Lord spoke clearly:

“Can’t you see what this is doing to you?” How could he make peace with someone who didn’t want anything

to do with him?

He decided to go to his colleague’s office to apologize and to ask for forgiveness. I can imagine the two of

them kneeling beside each other, talking to their Father in heaven.

Through the awesome power of God, the men were able to resolve their issues and become good friends.

Their initial decision to forgive was followed by the faith walk of forgiveness.

“People shouldn’t have the power to make or break our day depending on how they treat us,” writes North

American evangelist Charles F. Stanley. “When we decide to forgive as an act of the will, we absolve others of

any responsibility to meet our needs. Forgiveness is genuine when we don’t feel the way we used to when we

run into those who offended us. Harsh feelings will be replaced with feelings of concern, pity, empathy, but

not resentment. We might not forget the offense, but the old negative feelings aren’t there. Also, we’ll find it

easier to accept them without feeling the need to change them. It is our responsibility to let go of the pressure

and weight of an unforgiving attitude. Remember, the other person doesn’t have to apologize or change for

you to find freedom.”*

Jesus taught His disciples, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will

forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt. 6:14, 15).

The apostle Peter once asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. Jesus answered by saying:

“It’s not the number of times that’s important, but your attitude. If your attitude is right, you’ll forgive

someone 70 times if you have to” (see Matt. 18:21, 22).

The most beautiful expression of a loving and forgiving heart was Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world,

hanging on the cross of Calvary. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

To such a wise Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, both now and forevermore. Amen. n

* The Gift of Forgiveness, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1991.

Dick Rentfro was a longtime Adventist Review contributor as well as a pastor for many years. He passed

away in 2011.

www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (991) 31

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines