October 24, 2013
Survey to Inform
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
18 Growing Up With Guide
The magazine that connects
with the church’s
preteens is 60 years old.
14 Christ, Character,
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.
7 Page 7
8 World News &
13 Give & Take
17 Transformation Tips
2 3 Dateline Moscow
6 Gerald A. Klingbeil
7 Stephen Chavez
26 Three-Part Gospel
Understanding the many
aspects of salvation
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
Teachers know everything,
right? Not always.
Next Week in
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: email@example.com. Web site: www.adventistreview.org. Postmaster: Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740-7301. Unless
otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Unless
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www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (963) 3
Letters From Our Readers
September 19, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 26
September 19, 2013
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
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
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
© 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.”
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
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
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
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
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”
book 1, p. 48).
4 (964) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013
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
Missi o n
September 12, 2013
Vol. 190, No. 25
September 12, 2013
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
The discussion “Why?” is
limited; it mentions only “listeners”
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
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
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
“At this point in time the world is
in crisis and awaits the clear revelation
of God that only mission can
—harvey a. elder, Loma Linda, California
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
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
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
We welcome your letters, noting,
as always, that inclusion of a letter
in this section does not imply that
the ideas expressed are endorsed by
either the editors of the Adventist
Review or the General Conference.
Short, specific, timely letters have
the best chance at being published
(please include your complete
address and phone number—even
with e-mail messages). Letters will
be edited for space and clarity only.
Send correspondence to Letters to
the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501
Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD
20904-6600; Internet: letters@
www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013 | (965) 5
Jesus to be
Him to action?
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
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
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
Pray for the pastor’s
protection, and wisdom.
The most affirming
words can be: “Pastor,
I’m praying for you.”
Constant ministry can
cause burnout. Urge
your pastor to take
weekly breaks for
spiritual renewal as
well as annual breaks
for study leave and
Seven Things Pastors Wish
Their Congregation Would Do
Pastors don’t live for
words of validation
do provide a lifeline
of strength through
Talk with your pastor,
not about or around.
Complaining about your
pastor to someone
else is corrosive for the
entire church family.
Bless their spouse.
Bless the kids. Let go of
and treat the family
with a rich blessing of
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.
Still time to
find ways to say
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-
World News & Perspectives
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,
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
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
“We will not come up with methodologies”
during the three-day session,
Ryan said, “but we can agree on a common
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
Conferences will resume
By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor
reaching so many people and people
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
Adventist attorney Alan Reinach,
of the movement’s Church State
Council, also represented the
employee, Anthony Okon, in the
“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
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
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.
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
“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
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
A highlight of the afternoon
program was a DVD
presentation of the innovative
recently launched in Allentown,
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
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.
“A whole lot of
close to Jesus,
but they never
really ever touch
—Wintley Phipps, March 29, 2012,
during the General Conference’s
Week of Spiritual Emphasis.
“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
—Helen Johnson, Keene, Texas
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
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
A Loving God and
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
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).
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
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thomas Torrance, Divine and Contingent Order
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 139.
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.
In this case, Christ would also be a serial destroyer
of life-sustaining habitats recorded in the strata of the
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
16 (976) | www.AdventistReview.org | October 24, 2013
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.
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
served as Guide’s
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
| 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
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
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.—
Haystacks for Sabbath lunch every single Sabbath there wasn’t a
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
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
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,
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
No addictive video games (unless you count
Mother was more likely to be at home.
Lower rates of divorce.
Strong emphasis on temperance.
Advantages of Being a Junior Today
Smoking tobacco is less of a temptation.
Houses, on average, are twice as big.
More ethnic diversity among friends at church and
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
Spiritual education is more likely to emphasize God’s
love and grace.
sumers of books and
magazines than the
This is true around
the globe, according
Then and Now
Now Guide is looking
back on 60 years
of telling stories to
the church’s young
people. In the 1950s,
reflected life growing
up in rural locations.
“In those early magazines,
settings. There are
milk cans and lost
cows,” says Guide
editor Randy Fishell.
“It was like watching
were more common
in the 1950s and 1960s.
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
“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.”
The stories in Guide continue to affirm
what Fishell calls an Adventist
worldview. They show how
God honors those who
keep the Sabbath. They
importance of honesty,
and other Christian
virtues. The true stories
of children dealing
with problems in their
lives become an inspiration
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
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.
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
BY ELLEN G. WHITE
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.
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
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,
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2. What two or three influences connected
with those events helped you
cope, and taught you important life
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
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