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March 14, 2013

Prisoners of Fear

Morris Venden Dies at 80

Do I Need a Gun?




It Starts


What happens when

toddlers go to

Sabbath school?


18 It Starts Here

Wilona Karimabadi

Sabbath school for

toddlers? Why not?



22 Red Shirt



By HEATHER had a student in the English class I

THOMPSON-DAy was teaching at a community college

a couple years ago tell me the

most beautiful story. I was talking

to them about my life growing up

as a biracial child. For me, the combining

of two different cultures has been

precious. I have never had any real confusion

about who I was or where I

belonged. I grew up with both my Black

father and White mother, who loved

each other dearly. There really was not

much room for confusion, because I

knew them both, loved them both, and

knew that they loved me.

My student’s story was about her son.

He had been attending his first year of

school and often came home raving to

his mother about his new friend. When

Heather Thompson-Day

There are all kinds of ways

to describe each other.

24 Do I Need a Gun?

Claude Richli

The question of selfdefense

is a complicated


22 (214) | | March 14, 2013

“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.

she tucked him in at night, he’d tell her

all the fun stories from his school days

playing with his comrade. In the mornings

when he got up, he was excited to go

back to school because he knew his

friend was going to be there. One day she

arrived at the school earlier than usual to

pick up her son. He saw her at the door

and came running, as children often do

when they catch a glimpse of Mom. He

gave her a hug and then immediately

pointed across the room so that he could

show her who his new friend was.

“He’s right there!” he said, beaming

and pointing.

“Which one?” she asked, perplexed

as she followed his tiny finger into a

sea of children.

“The kid in the red shirt!”

When her eyes landed on her child’s

friend, she couldn’t help smiling. In a


18 22 11 6


4 Letters

class with 25 or so children, every child

in her son’s room was White except her

son’s best friend, who was wearing a

red shirt. In a room in which all but one

shared the same skin tone, her son

could not think of a single characteristic

that would identify his friend to his

mother from the other children in the

room, except for his red shirt.

7 Page 7

8 World News &


Identifying Me

When my student told me that story, I

was moved. There is a reason that Christ

said that in order to enter the kingdom

of heaven, we would first need to

become like children. Children are precious.

Children don’t hate until they are

first taught hate.

There are a lot of things Jesus could

13 Give & Take

14 GLOW Stories

15 Searching the Obvious

28 Introducing the Why

29 Etc.


6 Bill Knott

Reclaiming the Library


7 Stephen Chavez

Prisoners of Fear


Sabbath school isn’t just for

big kids. The younger they

start, the more they receive.

Cover photo by Merle Poirier.

31 Reflections

Next Week

Beyond Belief

We used to say, “Once an

Adventist, always an Adventist.”

New research indicates

that may no longer be true.

Publisher General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® , Executive Publisher Bill Knott, Associate Publisher Claude Richli, Publishing Board: Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun,

vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik

Doukmetzian, legal adviser. Editor Bill Knott, Associate Editors Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Coordinating Editor Stephen Chavez, Online Editor Carlos Medley, Features Editor Sandra

Blackmer, Young Adult Editor Kimberly Luste Maran, KidsView Editor Wilona Karimabadi, News Editor Mark A. Kellner, Operations Manager Merle Poirier, Financial Manager Rachel

Child, Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste, Assistant to the Editor Gina Wahlen, Quality Assurance/Social Media Coordinator Jean Boonstra, Marketing Director Claude Richli,

Editor-at-Large Mark A. Finley, Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke, Art Director Bryan Gray, Design Daniel Añez, Desktop Technician Fred Wuerstlin, Ad Sales Glen Gohlke, Subscriber Services

Steve Hanson. To Writers: Writer’s guidelines are available at the Adventist Review Web site: 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: Web site: 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. 7

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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: OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257. Subscription queries: OR call 1-800-456-3991, or 301-393-3257. | March 14, 2013 | (195) 3


Letters From Our Readers

Only Adventist


The January 24 article by

Grenville Kent, “Listening to

Atheists,” sums up the main

reason I couldn’t be anything

other than an Adventist. It’s

not hard to see why so many

Christians are leaving their

churches and becoming

atheists. I would too if I

believed the common “Christian”

belief in life after death

and an eternally burning

hell. I could never love or

respect a God like that.

I realize there are a lot of

flaws in our people, myself

included. I have been an

Adventist all my life and

don’t know of one member

of my family who hasn’t been

hurt emotionally, or in other

ways, by someone in the

church. After all, why would

Satan try to discourage people

who are not attempting

to follow the truth of the

Bible? . . .

There are other reasons,

too, for my love of the Adventist

Church. Our Sabbath

rest is wonderful, . . . then

there is the health message.

Most of all, when I think of

my Best Friend, Jesus, agonizing

on the cross for me, I

have to know that Someone

like that would never do anything

to harm me, much less

send me to an eternally

burning hell. I’m so glad we

know the end of the story as

Revelation tells us. God wins,

and I want to be on His side.

Pauline N. Pierson

Collegedale, Tennessee

Tried and True,

Old and New


I appreciated Sandra Blackmer’s

editorial “Tried and

True” (Jan. 24, 2013). I identify

with her not adapting

readily to change. I also drive

an older Honda, slightly

younger than hers, but with

398,000 miles. It has never

left me stranded, and has

required minimal repair.

Those of us who don’t make

a lot of money, but still want

to be faithful in tithe and

support for various church

ministries, can do so by

denying our desire for new

toys and clothes.

I too want to see our

church utilize new technology

as well as continue polishing

the “tried and true”

and using them to spread the

gospel. If more people would

put the Lord’s work first,

there would be a huge difference

in the funds that went

into ministry versus personal


Tim Arner

Knoxville, Tennessee

Taking the Hint


I appreciated Andrew

McChesney’s article “Taking

the Hint” (Jan. 24, 2013). The

lesson he shares is based on

the biblical principle that it

is a sin to tempt or influence

others to sin. Jesus Himself

made this very plain in

Luke 17:1, 2.

As the author implies, this

principle is often violated by

the adoption of provocative

worldly styles of dress. But

another area of concern is

the advertising done by the

immoral gambling, alcohol,

tobacco, and theatrical entertainment

interests. As conscientious

Christians we

shouldn’t be involved in any

way with the promotion or

production of advertising for

these morally degenerate


Leonard Lang

Newcastle, Wyoming


Freedom in

the United


January 17, 2013

January 17, 2013

Vol. 190, No. 2

IS one of

the most



unde attack?

Religious Freedom

in America


I found Nicholas P. Miller’s

brief historical sketch of the

various viewpoints regarding

church and state relations

(“Religious Freedom in

America,” Jan. 17, 2013) to be

very helpful. Positioning

Adventism with the “dissenting

Protestants” and counseling

us to support government

involvement in “civil

morality” while opposing its

promotion of “spiritual

morality” makes sense.


A Wave and a Gr eting

Religiously Unaffiliated

Swe l Worldwide

Divine A sa sin?





It seems to me that God

cut the template for that

approach when He fashioned

the Ten Commandments. The

first four define “spiritual

morality”—a citizen’s relationship

to religion, if he or

she chooses to have such a

relationship. Here civil governments

should not intrude

except as necessary to safeguard

those freedoms. The

last six commandments

define “civil morality”—

those that preserve the lives

and well-being of all citizens,

religious and secular. If civil

governments do not enforce

just laws here, the result is


Some might say that the

commandment against coveting

cannot be regulated by

civil law since it is a sin of

the mind. Even that commandment,

however, can

influence laws dealing with

fraud, overreaching in business,

unjust discrimination,


Lee Roy Holmes

Kettle Falls, Washington

January 10, 2013

January 10, 2013

Vol. 190, No. 1

Ordination Study

Commi t e Named

Wi ling to Be Led

God’s Peddler

What Is a

What Is a Mystic?


This is just a note to thank

you for publishing Eric

Anderson’s article on mysticism

(see “What Is a Mystic?”

Jan. 10, 2013). I never

expected to see such a thing,

in view of my experience of

the deep negativity toward







with Christ

4 (196) | | March 14, 2013

Christian mysticism in Seventh-day

Adventist churches.

I was especially pleased to

see the references to the

Ellen White comments

Anderson selected, Evelyn

Underhill (who may not be

found in Internet sources),

and C. S. Lewis. I liked the

whole article, especially the

last two paragraphs. . . . I

hope this is not the last thing

you write on the subject!

Lynn P. Hartzler

Sacramento, California


I looked up the word “mysticism”

in response to the

recent article from Eric

Anderson. If you do a search

in E. G. White’s writings, you

will find that “mysticism” is

generally used as leading a

person away from God’s

truth, not in leading them


Mystics and mysticism

have been around a long

time. It came out of the study

of Plato leading those followers

who were Christians to

go into monasteries to

become the first Christian

mystics. Anderson is blurring

the edges so that one

cannot see between good and


Read the following quote

from Ellen White: “Spiritual

darkness has covered the

earth and gross darkness the

people. There are in many

churches skepticism and

infidelity in the interpretation

of the Scriptures. Many,

very many, are questioning

the verity and truth of the

Scriptures. Human reasoning

and the imaginings of

the human heart are undermining

the inspiration of the

Word of God, and that which

“I’m so glad we know the end of the story as Revelation

tells us. God wins, and I want to be on His side.

—pauline N. pierson, Collegedale, Tennessee

should be received as

granted is surrounded with a

cloud of mysticism. Nothing

stands out in clear and distinct

lines, upon rock bottom.

This is one of the

marked signs of the last

days” (Selected Messages,

book 1, p. 15).

May the truth always

stand clear!

Bob Stewart

via e-mail


Eric Anderson’s article

spoke to the whole issue in a

positive, biblically informed,

Ellen White-influenced, and

personally experiential way.

I was very moved by it. I plan

to share his article regularly

with my students and others

who ask questions about

spirituality, mysticism, and

related issues. I want to

thank Anderson for writing

such a thoughtful and personally

revealing piece, and

to thank the Adventist

Review team for giving prominence

to a piece that will

run counter to some unfortunate

prejudices against

learning from other Christians

that can be found in

certain Adventist circles.

In a number of instances

Christ held up the faith of

Gentile outsiders, including

the Syrophoenician woman

and the Roman centurion, as

models of spirituality from

which the “chosen” could

learn. Anyone who examines

the library of Ellen White can

see a similar openness to

learning from the insights of

other Christians. I just pray

that the “chosen” of today

can, along with their doctrinal

faithfulness, exhibit a

similar humility, grace, and

openness. I think this was a

very important article at a

critical time, and I deeply

appreciate the Review’s candor

and courage in serving

Christ and His church.

Nicholas Miller

Berrien Springs, Michigan

The Place of

a Servant


Hooray for Jimmy Phillips

and his article “The Place of a

Servant” (Jan. 10, 2013)! His

eloquent description of

doing what we don’t feel like

doing when people annoy us

reminds me of the gospel

song that goes something

like “to put my human

nature down, and let the

Spirit take control of all I do

. . .” Not easy.

I am very proud of our

magazine and the variety of

views expressed in it.

Phyllis E. DeLise

New Port Richey, Florida



We’ve published two

errors related to photos. The

photo that accompanied

Steve R. Morris’ article “My

Father Sang to Me” (Jan. 17)

is a photo of

another one of

our authors,

Larry Yeagley.

Here is a photo

of Morris.

S. R. Morris

South England

Conference president

Samuel Davis is the speaker

mentioned in the caption

with the bottom photo on

page 10 of the February 14

Review, not Pastor Ian Sweeney.

Our apologies

for these


S. davis

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@ | March 14, 2013 | (197) 5




“A tiny minority

of Adventists

is now wielding


influence on

the church’s


pastoral, and



Reclaiming the Library

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by

little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”—Emerson.

[DISCLAIMER 1: The citation of a justly famous proverb by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), the

celebrated Unitarian clergyman and Transcendentalist, does not mean that I endorse all that Emerson

ever wrote or thought or preached. I simply like the proverb and find it useful, especially in these combative


Emerson’s bon mot has been quoted by a century and a half of college English, religion, and philosophy

teachers—yes, at Adventist colleges, too—who have been trying to crack the intellectual tundra that often

accompanies the adolescent mind, hoping some new, green idea might emerge and even flower. Originally

intended to cleverly skewer reactionary politicians, pedants, and preachers, his witticism has

become a cultural warning of the dangers of the unsupple mind, the rigid and fearful consistency that

insists on rolling the marble down the same groove, time after time. Had he been more daring, Emerson

might have pointed to the work of his friend and sometime tenant Henry David Thoreau, the Transcendentalist

who memorably chastised government, consumerism, and militarism. Thoreau also mentored

at a distance of decades the developing ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

[DISCLOSURE 1: I have read extensively in Thoreau’s works, spending some of the happiest hours of

my youth walking the muddy path around his beloved Walden Pond, and admiring the countercultural

man who called respectable Victorian America to “Simplify, simplify” (Walden, 1854). His volumes, frequently

dusted off, are some of those I would rush to save should fire strike my library.]

[DISCLAIMER 2: Much as I admire the willingness of Thoreau to counter the acquisitiveness of his age

(“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone”), I cannot make him into a

Christian, or allow the impression to linger in a hundred little minds that I endorse everything he wrote.]

Yet Emerson and Thoreau must have winced when fellow Concord resident and author Nathaniel Hawthorne

took up his pen to mock the pretentiousness of Transcendentalist thought in a redux version of

Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress that he cleverly titled “The Celestial Railroad.”

[DISCLOSURE 2: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1843 6,700-word short story, deemed “a most happy exposure

of the inconsistencies of popular religion,” was so prized by Review and Herald founder and editor

James White that it was almost continuously offered for sale in booklet or tract form on the back page of

this magazine in his lifetime.]

The tortured shape of this editorial is a grim illustration of the fact that a tiny minority of Adventists

is now wielding unwarranted influence on the church’s educational, pastoral, and publishing ministries

by stoutly insisting that no reputable thought leader should read, own, or cite from a book by a non-

Adventist author. They have invaded pastors’ offices, disrupted worship services, and left a trail of litter

across a smattering of Web sites.

Their position is clearly wrong, for by their test none of the church’s founders, including Ellen White

herself, should have any credibility. The libraries of Ellen and James White, Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews,

John Loughborough, and every major Adventist officer or thought leader since the mid-nineteenth century

have been filled with volumes by non-Adventist authors, well read and frequently dusted off. It is

precisely Adventism’s engagement with the ideas, opinions, beliefs, and philosophies of the age that

make this movement’s faith statements so compelling and ultimately victorious. We are winning the

contest of ideas—which, of course, requires that we know what others are thinking. Weary of the soulless

ideologies and isms of the contemporary world, millions of men and women around the globe are turning

to the clearly biblical and rational ideas on which our faith rests.

Now is no time to allow the well-intentioned but misguided fringes of this movement to distract us

from the mission given us by Jesus, even when their anti-intellectualism is cloaked in memorized and

repeated pieties. The faith of Jesus has always been—and should always be—a robust, resilient, and

engaging faith that does not hesitate to understand the ideas around us, but tests them all by the clear

and timeless Word of God.

[DISCLOSURE 3: This magazine, for 164 years the journal of literate Adventism, will not be intimidated

by those too fearful to read.] n

6 (198) | | March 14, 2013

Prisoners of Fear

Until recently members of our editorial staff took turns

posting items on the Adventist Review’s Facebook page for a week at a time. Coincidentally, in 2012

I was asked to monitor our Facebook account during the weeks just prior to Easter and Christmas.

I know some Adventists see red every time they read the words “Easter” and “Christmas,” so I

was careful not to use those words. Instead, I used terms such as “Christ’s death and resurrection,”

and “Christ’s birth.” I know that Christ wasn’t likely born in December, and I know that

pagan practices have been connected with both events.

Still, the vehemence of the posts from our “friends” who objected to the very notion that we

should join other Christians in commemorating these significant events surprised me. The inference

seemed to be: “Don’t call us Christians; we’re Adventists!”

I know some like to entertain the fantasy that our movement sprang out of some vacuum, and

that before Seventh-day Adventists arrived, Christianity was apostate and infected with all kinds

of pagan beliefs and practices. In fact, our movement is part of a progression of 2,000 years of

Christian history—some good, some bad—that’s left us centuries of tradition (the good kind)

from those who have faithfully transmitted “the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s

holy people” (Jude 3).

I feel bad for Adventists whose fear of being deceived leads them to view fellow Christians only

with suspicion and suggest that because they aren’t Adventists and they commemorate Christ’s

birth and resurrection they’re somehow deceived.

In countries of the world in which Christianity is the predominant religion, the weeks leading

up to the observance of Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection

are prime opportunities to share our faith, not our fears. n



While at the Palmer home

on March 16, two days after

receiving a vision on the great

controversy, Ellen White is struck

with severe paralysis, leaving her

incapacitated. It takes six months

to write what she has seen. White

is later shown that the illness was

a direct attack by Satan so the

vision could not be shared.

A House for God

One home; five historical events in Adventism.

1852 1853

Joseph Bates returns to Palmer

home and converts M. E. Cornell,

who later converts John P. Kellogg,

father of John Harvey Kellogg.




First convert of

Joseph Bates in

Michigan in 1849

A prayer meeting is held in the home just before

James and Ellen White leave on a train bound for

Wisconsin. Shortly after leaving the station, it derails,

injuring many, but the Whites are unharmed.

Hiram S. Case and C. P. Russell are

rebuked by Ellen White in the Palmer

home for accusations against a woman

in the company. They defect and begin

the Messenger party, the first Seventhday

Adventist offshoot movement.


A council meeting is held in

the Palmer home, and there

is a decision to purchase an

evangelistic tent—Adventism’s

first in Michigan. Cornell

(the converted minister from

1852) left immediately for New

York to make the purchase.

World News & Perspectives

Photos: West Indonesian Union

PRESIDENTIAL MEETING: General Conference president Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson, left,

greets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, at the Halim Perdanakusuma

Air Base, near the capital of Jakarta, on February 12, 2013. Wilson expressed gratitude to

President Yudhoyono for the religious liberty granted in Indonesia, and pledged the help

of Seventh-day Adventists in the nation.


Wilson Meets Indonesia’s

President Yudhoyono,

Praises Religious Freedom

Pledges cooperation to help people in need

By MARK A. KELLNEr, news editor

“It is an honor for us to be able to be in

Indonesia and a good experience to meet

with the president to share the views of

the Seventh-day Adventist Church in

helping the people,” Ted N. C. Wilson,

president of the General Conference of

Seventh-day Adventists, said to reporters

after an audience with President Susilo

Bambang Yudhoyono at the Halim Perdanakusuma

Air Base near the capital of

Jakarta, on February 12, 2013.

Wilson is visiting Indonesia as part of

celebrations of more than a century of

Seventh-day Adventist work in the

country. There are 1,547 Adventist congregations

in Indonesia, and approximately

250,000 baptized members in

the nation, whose majority population

is Muslim.

“We are grateful for the opportunity

to contribute in this country, and I am

grateful to the president for the religious

freedom granted to groups in

Indonesia,” Wilson added.

“It’s amazing to hear that Indonesia

is a country with the second-highest

economic growth. But President Yudhoyono

is also aware of the need to do

more things for his people,” Wilson

explained. The General Conference president

said the church is committed to

help in various ways, whether social,

physical, emotional, or spiritual, as well

as assisting in disaster relief on the

island of Sumatra after the 2004


“We are grateful for the opportunity

to contribute in this country,” he said.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church

operates a number of facilities that

help the Indonesian people, including

Adventist hospitals in Bandung,

Bandar Lampung, Manado and

Medan. The church also operates 372

schools and three universities in


“We hope to help the people of Indonesia

to solve a number of problems.

God understands what is best for our

lives,” Wilson concluded.

During his visit, Wilson helped inaugurate

a new wing of the Manado

Adventist Hospital on February 15. The

new three-story facility, which first

opened in 2008, provides an additional

55 beds.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the

governor of the North Sulawesi Province,

Sinyo Harry Sarundayang, said the

additional facility was a response to primary

health development goals of

increasing longevity, reducing the

infant mortality rate, and reducing the

prevalence of malnutrition.

“Optimizing private hospitals is our

priority,” Sarundayang said. “Manado

Adventist Hospital is a representation

of strengthening community health

resources and becomes the right answer

to continuous development of welfare,”

he said.

The provincial government pledged

US$400,000 for radio-diagnostic equipment

and a new ambulance unit.

The hospital has grown to employ

265 people, up from 25 employees when

it opened five years ago.

On February 13 Wilson visited Bandung

Adventist Hospital, which is

located about 90 miles southeast of

Jakarta, and considered one of the top

hospitals in West Java. Founded in 1950,

it now has 230 beds and employs 700

people. A new $7 million building

8 (200)

| | March 14, 2013

facility was inaugurated last year.

Wilson also visited Indonesian

Adventist University in Bandung, which

was first opened in 1929. He helped to

dedicate ground for the construction of

a new science center, and later

addressed an assembly in the university’s

Alumni Center.

“You are an important part of the

worldwide Adventist education process,”

Wilson told a group of 2,000 faculty,

staff, and students. “You may seek

knowledge of science and philosophy

and all other bodies of knowledge, but

remember that the foundation of all

true knowledge is the knowledge of

God,” he said.

The Adventist Church also operates

hospitals in Bandar Lampung and


Wilson was joined on the trip by his

wife, Nancy; Alberto Gulfan, president

of the Adventist Church’s Southern

Asia-Pacific Division; Joseph Peranginangin,

president of the West Indonesia

HOSPITAL INAUGURATION: Nancy Wilson, left, joined her husband, Ted N. C. Wilson, at

the dedication of a new wing for Manado Adventist Hospital. At right is the Honorable

Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, governor of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia.

Union; Noldy Sakul, president of the

East Indonesia Union; and T. B. Silalahi,

a retired Army lieutenant general who

is an Adventist Church member. n

—with information from local media

reports and Adventist News Network


Adventist Schools, Security Leaders,

Unite to Keep Campuses Safe

PASS group to hold conference in July 2013

By KERI SUAREZ, media relations specialist, Andrews University, writing from Berrien Springs, Michigan

As national debates intensify over

how to effectively safeguard our educational

institutions against future acts of

violence, Professional Adventists for

Safety and Security (PASS) is preparing

for their third annual meeting, to be

held in July 2013. PASS was organized in

2010 to bring together safety and security

professionals serving at Seventhday

Adventist schools, hospitals, and

other institutions to discuss best practices,

provide community resources,

and maintain an Adventist network of

security personnel to allow the distribution

of important information.

To date, there has been active involvement

in PASS from campus security

directors of Oakwood Adventist University,

Southern Adventist University,

Andrews University, and Loma Linda

University, as well as the directors of

security at ADRA, the General Conference

of Seventh-day Adventists, and

the Review and Herald Publishing


For years there were discussions

about the need to establish an organization

that would connect the various

safety and security departments at

Adventist institutions. Although there

was an acknowledged need for communication

between the different entities,

attempts to form a professional network

never moved beyond preliminary stages.

When Dale Hodges became the director

of the Office of Campus Safety at

Andrews University, he was concerned

about the negative perceptions that had

developed between students and campus

safety. The term “veggie cop,” a

slang term commonly used in Adventist

settings to refer to safety or security

professionals, was new to Hodges. As a

retired homicide detective, Hodges

wanted to repair any negative perceptions

while building the professionalism

of his office.

“It was my desire to establish standards

of service and levels of professionalism

that had not been seen

before,” he says, hoping such improve- | March 14, 2013 | (201) 9

World News & Perspectives

Andrews University photo

SECURITY FOCUS: PASS officers. Back row, left to right: Lewis Eakins, vice president (chief of the Oakwood

University Police Department); Melvin Harris, sergeant at arms (captain of the Oakwood University

Police Department); Dale Hodges, president (director of the Office of Campus Safety, Andrews University).

Front row, left to right: James Vines, General Conference director at large (director of Security and

Safety for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists); Blaise Adams, secretary (office manager,

Campus Safety, Southern Adventist University); Paul Muniz, chaplain (director of Agency Safety and

Security for ADRA); Brian Worden, treasurer (foreman for Plant Services, Review and Herald Publishing


ments would eliminate negative perceptions.

“When we raise the standards,

everybody wins.”

Hodges felt the best way to raise standards,

both at Andrews and other

Adventist institutions, was to develop

an organization to provide models and

lists of best practices for safety and

security offices in the Adventist community.

During the summer of 2010

Hodges contacted his counterparts at

various Adventist colleges and institutions

to see whether there was interest

in forming such an organization. The

response was overwhelming. Some

departments committed to attending

the meetings, and those that could not

stated their support. Meeting dates and

an agenda were set and the rest fell into

place. Hodges learned that many of his

Photo courtesy Loma Linda University


a retired police captain, is director of security

at Loma Linda University. She is organizing

this year’s meeting of the Professional

Adventists for Safety and Security,

scheduled for July 15-16.

counterparts were also

retired law enforcement or

active members of their

local law enforcement

communities with a diversified

knowledge base and

experience to share.

“It’s my desire that this

association will bring a

level of professionalism

across the board to all

Adventist entities, so we’re

all providing similar services

in a professional

manner,” says Hodges.

“Setting the bar, so to


During its second

annual meeting in 2012,

PASS adopted an official

constitution and bylaws in

addition to laying out several

goals. One goal is the

development of a Web

page under the umbrella

of the General Conference

of Seventh-day Adventists.

This Web site will allow

PASS to provide its members

with resources of

working policies and

guidelines for emergency

management that include requirements

published by the Department of Homeland

Security and the Department of

Education. Other goals include the

development of a peer review team to

evaluate the security services of institutions

at their request and suggest possible

improvements; the collection of a

database for persons or things of interest;

and recommendations for Clery Act

compliance and adherence to NFPA,

OSHA, and EPA regulations and guidelines

within our institutions.

The 2013 PASS conference is scheduled

for July 15-16, 2013, at Loma Linda

University. For information on attending,

contact Dale Hodges, current PASS

president and director of the Andrews

University Office of Campus Safety, at n

10 (202) | | March 14, 2013


Morris Venden, Noted Adventist

Preacher, Author, Dies at 80

Ministered to generations, had wide influence

By JAY WINTERMEYER, Upper Columbia Conference, reporting from College Place, Wash.

Morris L. Venden, well-known husband, father, Seventhday

Adventist preacher, teacher, and author, passed to his

rest Sunday evening, February 10, 2013. Venden was 80 years

old and died following a 10-year battle with frontotemporal

dementia, or FTD, a comparatively

rare form of dementia.

His wife, Marilyn; one son, Lee,

and his wife, Marji; two

daughters, Lynn and LuAnn

Venden; three grandchildren,

Kris, Lindsey, and Mark; one

brother, Louis, and Louis’ wife,

Margie, survive.

During his ministry Venden

pastored several large

Seventh-day Adventist congregations,

including the La

Sierra University Church and

Pacific Union College Church

in California and the Union

College Church in Nebraska.

Later he led the Azure Hills

Seventh-day Adventist

Church near Loma Linda, California,

from which he retired

in August 1998.

At Azure Hills Venden held

three services each Sabbath

that were filled to capacity.

His son, Lee, recalled his

father’s advice, as he became

a pastor: “The world and the

Seventh-day Adventist

Church are starving for more

of Jesus. . . . Any pastor who

will make Jesus the one string on his violin will be in


In retirement Venden briefly joined the Voice of Prophecy

(VOP) radio ministry team as an associate speaker.

“Morrie agreed to preach on our 30-minute Sunday

broadcast and also appeared at dozens of appointments

and camp meetings for the VOP,” recalled Lonnie Melashenko,

who at the time was VOP speaker/director. “Always

UCC photo

PREACHING LEGEND: Morris L. Venden, longtime Seventhday

Adventist preacher, teacher, and author, passed to his

rest on February 10, 2013.

the consummate statesman, Morrie was deeply respected

and admired everywhere he served,” he added.

Along with writing more than 30 books about Jesus, Venden

was a widely sought-after speaker and has been

described as a master of the art

of preaching, and most of all,

someone who loved Jesus.

“His books were like an

oasis of fresh spirituality. They

uplifted Christ, not just keeping

the Sabbath and keeping

the law,” said Ovidiu Radulescu,

a pastor now living in

Arkansas, who in Communist

Romania secretly typed and

distributed translated copies

of Venden’s 1980 book “Faith

That Works.”

The tagline from that book,

as listed on, is

“You don’t get righteousness

by seeking righteousness.

Righteousness comes by seeking


“I know several people who

chose to stay in the church

because of reading Morris Venden’s

books,” Radulescu said.

Venden’s son, Lee, said, “Dad

will be remembered for the

one string on his violin that he

consistently talked about;

Jesus, and the privilege available

to everyone to have a

meaningful friendship with

Him. At this point it seems clear Dad will be able to sleep

this disease off; the long sleep from our perspective, the

short sleep from his.”

Venden’s memorial service was scheduled to be held in

the Loma Linda University Church, on Sunday, March 3,

2013. n

—with additional reporting by Mark A. Kellner and Adventist

News Network | March 14, 2013 | (203) 11

World News & Perspectives

BRAND-NEW CHURCH: Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church in the city of Higüey in the

eastern part of the Dominican Republic was the twenty-fifth new church to be dedicated

by the local union. It’s so new that the sign isn’t on the building yet.


Adventists to Open 25 New,

25 Remodeled Churches

in Dominican Republic

Membership approaches 282,000

attending 686 congregations.

By BERNARDO MEDINA, Inter-American Division, reporting

from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Maintaining existing worship

facilities and building new ones is a

goal Seventh-day Adventist church

leaders in the Dominican Republic

have in order to keep pace with the

needs of a fast-growing membership.

During a recent series of dedication

ceremonies, 25 new churches throughout

the island country were inaugurated.

Another 25 are being remodeled,

leaders said.

“This has been possible only thanks

to God’s grace and to the thousands of

church members who have contributed

toward the development of the church

throughout the island,” said Pastor

Cesario Acevedo, president of the

church in the Dominican Republic.

“We praise God because 25 new congregations

can worship and glorify the

name of our Lord in a dignified and

proper way,” he added.

With a membership of more than

284,000 attending some 686 churches,

the church leadership developed a plan

to better some of the buildings that are

in precarious conditions and in great

need to be rebuilt, church leaders said.

Church members jumped on board

thanks to a united church, said Moise

Javier, treasurer for the church in the

Dominican Republic. “Each member has

recognized their responsibility and is

willing to contribute talents and

resources in order to accomplish great

things for the church and the


The Faith Adventist Church in the city

of Higüey in the eastern part of the

island was the twenty-fifth new church

to be dedicated, an event that took place

on the final Sabbath of 2012, December

29. Church leaders and hundreds of

members filled the church for a special

thanksgiving program to commemorate

the new building.

Twenty-five more Adventist churches

are scheduled to be rebuilt and remodeled

this year, administrators said.

Administrators have no doubts about

reaching the goal this year thanks to a

committed membership.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in

the Dominican Republic operates a hospital,

a university, dozens of primary

and secondary schools, and 20 radio

stations throughout the island.

For more on the Seventh-day Adventist

Church in the Dominican Republic,

visit n

UNION PRESIDENT: Pastor Cesario Acevedo speaks during the inaugural ceremony for

the La Fe (Faith) Seventh-day Adventist Church of Higüey in the eastern part of the

island on December 29, 2012.

12 (204) | | March 14, 2013

© terry crews

© terry crews

adventist life

Sound Bite

“It is possible to lie without

saying a word. People may do

so by a nod of the head, a wink

of the eye, a wave of the hand,

or merely by remaining silent.”

—Thomas Chitowe, Guruve, Zimbabwe, as a caution to

Adventists to monitor their behavior in regard to


My wife recently told me an interesting story. When she was young, she went

to her grandmother’s house for the summer. Her brother, a year younger than

she, wrote her a letter. In the letter he told her that their family had turned vegetarian

and that “now we are eating something that resembles rubber heels.”

—N. Gordon Thomas, Angwin, California

My husband, the boys’ dean, and I live in a boarding academy boys’ dormitory.

As we eagerly awaited the birth of our first child this past summer, I was a little

uncertain how the boys would feel about the baby when they returned to school.

Would the baby make too much noise for the boys; would the boys make too

much noise for the baby? Would they dislike the extra demands on our time?

Shortly after the boys returned to school my husband told me that every

night in worship with his RAs (resident assistants), one of them would pray,

“Please help the baby to sleep so that Mrs. Knight can get some rest.” I’ve frequently

been asked, “How’s the baby, Mrs. Knight?” or “Can I hold the baby, Mrs.

Knight?” The baby even made a candid appearance with one of the boys in his

school “Names and Faces” picture.

I shouldn’t have worried. After all, one of the best things about boarding

academy life is that we’re all just one big family!

—Jaclyn Knight, Hutchinson, Minnesota

did you know?

Here are some interesting dates regarding vegetarianism in the United States.

By the way, how’s that vegeburger?

1838: Vegetarianism

endorsed in the U.S.

by the American

Health Convention

1971: Publication of Diet for a Small Planet, by

Frances Moore Lappe, launches vegetarian movement

in U.S. One percent of U.S. citizens describe

themselves as vegetarian.

1983: Dr. John McDougall’s The McDougall

Plan—the first book promoting

veganism by a credentialed Western

medical authority—is published.

2003: Vegetarian

food (such as soy

milk and textured

vegetable protein)

sales double since

1998 to $1.6 billion.

2011: MyPlate replaces MyPyramid,

ending 19 years of food pyramid

guidelines from the U.S.

government. According to the

diagram, “protein” is a component

of a healthy diet, but meat

is not specifically mentioned.

1838 1990 2011

1900-1960: As

transportation and

refrigeration improve,

meat consumption


1974: Vegetarian

Times magazine is

founded by Paul Obis.

1990s: Medical evidence supporting the superiority of vegetarian diets becomes overwhelming.

The American Dietetic Association officially endorses vegetarianism, and

books by prominent doctors promote low-fat vegan or mostly vegan diets (e.g., The

McDougall Program and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease).

—from an October 12, 2012, TakePart article available at | March 14, 2013 | (205) 13

GLOW Stories

Giving Light to Our World—GLOW—is an outreach

initiative in multiple NAD conferences based on

the concept of church members carrying Adventist

literature with them wherever they go and handing

it out, free of charge, at every opportunity. Here are

two short stories of lives touched by GLOW:

Giving Light to Our World

Story 1

A hairdresser in California found two pieces of literature

addressing the topic of Sabbath in two different places. After

she found the second one she wondered whether it might be a sign from

God, so she prayed and asked the Lord to somehow give her one more piece

of literature on that subject if she was supposed to learn more about the

Sabbath. Not long after, a person distributing literature in Fresno handed

her a GLOW tract—the topic was the seventh-day Sabbath. The woman

broke into tears. She soon called the GLOW office number listed on the tract

and signed up for Bible studies. She recently was baptized and now stocks

her local Adventist church with GLOW tracts.

Story 2

A husband and wife who own a small store in which they sell

wholesome, healthful bread placed a rack filled with GLOW

tracts near the front of their store. One day two customers who at first

looked like they were going to buy some bread instead expressed interest in

the tracts. “When we go on walks, we like to give out religious literature

door to door,” they told the store owners. “These GLOW tracts will be great

to distribute.” The store owners said the customers inspired them to be

faithful and to let their “light” shine more fully at every opportunity.

Stories compiled by Central California Conference GLOW director Nelson Ernst. To learn

more about GLOW, go to

Ricardo Camacho

14 (206) | | March 14, 2013

Searching the Obvious

Precious Item

I forgot to pray.

* * *

At 7:30 a.m. my colleague and friend Martin stops by my office and places a box on the corner of my desk.

It’s a gift from his wife, Tracy. He explains that over the weekend, as they walked through the botanical

gardens, they saw this item and thought of me. I barely have a chance to thank Martin as he quickly heads

out to teach. I have to get to my 8:00 class.

I look at the box, the heavy lid and thick green bow. What exactly made them think of me? I carefully lift

the lid and see the delicate, beautiful gift: a bonsai embedded in a beautiful clay pot. Engraved on the

clay pot is the phrase: “Precious Item.”

At the bottom of the box is a pamphlet. There it is, in bold print: Five Simple Steps to Care for

Precious Item: Water, Soil, Housing, Pruning, and Light. As I quickly thumb through the

“simple steps” (six pages with 10-point font, Arial Narrow), I feel an urgency to return the

bonsai to Martin and Tracy with a note that would convey the sentiment “Thank you, but I

don’t think so. This is too complicated.” Instead, I place the bonsai back in the box and

begin my walk to the classroom.

As I walk across campus I walk past students, colleagues, the janitor that sings every

morning while she completes a final walk through of the building, the gardener that calls

everyone sir and ma’am, and a few strangers that I cannot identify as visitors or students.

Entering the classroom, I realize: I forgot to pray in my office. My day is dependent on constant prayer!

I immediately say a silent prayer.

Every morning when I reach my office I take a moment to pray for guidance, for strength to

complete tasks I may not know are ahead for that day. I’ve already had a morning devotional at

home; still I need the presence of the Holy Spirit in this environment. Working in a secular educational

institution is a challenge. On a daily basis I recognize that my witness and ministry are by

example. This is not always easy. I am conscious that I must walk these halls accompanied by

heavenly grace.

I glance at my lecture notes and notice I have inadvertently included the bonsai pamphlet in my lecture

folder. Water, soil, housing, pruning, and light. Any precious item would thrive with those components. Any

precious item would grow and take a beautiful shape with these components. Precious “items” like the

students sitting here, like Martin, Tracy, and me. Suddenly my mind is inundated with reminders of Bible

verses that speak of these components as necessary: living water, seed that fell on good soil, house built on rock, the

vine and the branches, the light and the way. I am amazed at the extraordinary ways in which God reminds me of

the ministry I am called to bear witness to.

* * *

Back in my office I consult the pamphlet to find the best housing for the bonsai. I am certain a proper

name is in order. As I work, Tracy stops by for a visit. She arrives as I am placing the bonsai near the window

to soak in the light. I am grateful to have the opportunity to thank her for the gift in person.

She tells me she is a minister’s daughter. She knows how hard it can be not to have the luxury to speak

openly of your faith. “When I read the bonsai steps for care, I thought: This is what I try to do in my Christian

life,” says Tracy. “The precious item we share with others is our example, our faith. I wanted you to know

that I see you. I see your example.” Her words give me courage and also place a weight on my shoulders that

only prayer will take care of.

At the end of the day the bonsai has acquired a proper name: Faith. Because a visual reminder of why I pray

every day is not only good to have, it is easy to share with others: water, soil, housing, pruning, and light. n



Dixil Rodríguez, a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain, lives in north Texas. Join the conversation at | March 14, 2013 | (207) 15

Cover Story




By Wilona Karimabadi

here is a room somewhere

in the back of a

church or maybe in

the basement. Its purpose

is similar to

other rooms—a

place to study, to

learn, and to visit.

But this room is

a little different.

Its walls may be painted a

soft muted color with snowflake cutouts

taped to them. Perhaps there are

colorful pictures of penguins tacked to

bulletin boards and tinsel icicles dangling

from white ceiling panels. There is

usually an upright piano in the corner

played by someone who knows all the

tunes that will be sung that day. And at

the front of the room, next to a blue felt

board, stands a woman or man or a duo

of both who will have loaded up on an

energy-fueling breakfast in order to

carry out the task at hand.

There will also be boxes of props—

rubber ducks, small hammers, stuffed

animals, and felt flowers neatly placed

in front of rows of tiny, colorful chairs.

But it is the inhabitants of these

chairs—of this room —that make this

class so special.

They file in—some shy and others

bold—accompanied by moms and dads

or sometimes, just dads and other times

just moms, and even grandparents.

They are dressed in their Sabbath best—

tiny suits with coordinating shirts and

ties; khakis and button-downs and little

sweater-vests; and dresses and tights

with pretty clips in their hair. The babies

are present as well—nestled in wellcushioned

car-seat carriers, they too are

dressed in their best.

“Teacher Ruth” or “Teacher David,” or

whoever the case may be that Sabbath,

welcomes each child with cheerful

grins, cuddly stuffed animals, and welcome

songs that many of us may still

remember from our own days in classes

such as these.

These are the children of beginner

Sabbath school. Tiny tots from newborns

to preschool-ready toddlers who

Photos by merle poirier

18 (210) | | March 14, 2013

Why beginner Sabbath

school is so important.

attend a class created especially for

them. But at their ages and developmental

levels, why does it matter that

they come? Are beginner Sabbath school

classes Sabbath morning day care or

something much, much greater?

Where Did It Come From?

Beginner Sabbath school (ages 0-2)

was better known as cradle roll for

many years. It is the first class a child is

introduced to under the umbrella of the

children’s division in most Adventist

churches. Other classes for the youngest

members of our churches include kindergarten,

primary, and junior. The age

groups in these classes vary from

church to church, but generally the

beginner class welcomes its tiniest

members from babyhood until they are

ready for either a beginner II or kindergarten

class environment (ages 3-5).

According to Gary Swanson, associate

director for the General Conference’s

Sabbath School and Personal Ministries

Department, children’s Sabbath school

in the Seventh-day Adventist movement

had interesting and humble beginnings.

In the late nineteenth century, Protestant

churches began Sunday school programs

under the name “Sabbath school,”

as Sundays were considered the Sabbath.

They were initially outreach programs to

children who had to work

instead of attending school.

The idea behind them was to

provide academic education while

slipping a little religion into the mix.

Among early Adventists, Sabbath

school work didn’t come about until

1852, when James White authored 19 lessons

for children and youth that were

published in the Youth’s Instructor. The

first Sabbath school classes for adults

were organized in 1853 while James and

Ellen White were in Rochester, New York,

and in the early days there were only two

divisions—children and adults. But the

Sabbath school concept was of great

importance to Ellen White’s ministry.

“The Sabbath school is an important

branch of the missionary work,” she

wrote. “Not only because it gives young

and old a knowledge of God’s Word, but

because it awakens in them a love for its

sacred truths, and a desire to study them

for themselves; above all, it teaches them

to regulate their lives by its holy teachings.”

1 More formal organization followed

in 1869 when Goodloe Bell

became editor of the Youth’s Instructor. He

created two series of lessons—for children

and youth—and published plans

for organizing leaders. This more formal

approach was implemented in Battle

Creek, Michigan. Once it gained initial

success, the concept of organized Sabbath

school took flight.

The very first children’s division was

formed in 1878 and was actually called

the “Bird’s Nest.” This soon morphed

into the kindergarten division in 1886,

and by 1890 children were able to

receive Our Little Friend—the weekly

paper for the beginner and kindergarten

Sabbath school, still in publication

today. Over the years the church’s Sabbath

school programs have been redefined

and reorganized. Though cradle

roll was the beloved name of the beginner

class, the latter moniker became

widely known with the development

and implementation of the GraceLink

curriculum in 2000. And as the result of

a recent reassessment initiative, new

material in the form of artwork,

resources, program ideas for leaders

and parents of special-needs children,

etc., have debuted for the junior level

this year, with more to follow soon for

other age levels.

Do the Wee Ones

Really Understand?

The littlest ones in beginner class—

some too small to sit upright in their

chairs by themselves—absorb everything

going on around them like

sponges. Developmentally, there are

vast differences between a newborn and

a 6-month-old, so just imagine what is

happening with them cognitively during

those crucial first years—a time in

which they will learn much more than

in other periods of their lives.

Donna Habenicht, Ed.D., professor

emeritus of educational and counseling | March 14, 2013 | (211) 19

psychology at Andrews University,

coauthored Teaching the Faith: An Essential

Guide for Building Faith-shaped Kids,

with Larry Burton, professor of curriculum

and instruction at Andrews University.

“Babies, toddlers and 2-year-olds

can learn many things in Sabbath

school, including religious, social, and

character-developing experiences,”

which include prayer, singing and moving

to music, sharing, listening, giving

an offering, saying Jesus’ name and recognizing

the Bible as God’s book. 2

Though children this young have

short attention spans, they are very

capable of gleaning much, relying on

their senses to learn the most. Thus they

benefit immensely from a program filled

with prop boxes of goodies such as felts

and small toys, felt boards to “wham”

pictures of Jesus and shepherds and animals

onto, and of course, short and

sweet songs. Children of this age group

also respond well to repetition—a technique

employed by the most experienced

beginner Sabbath school leaders.

“I like beginners because you stick to the

same program as they need that repetition,”

says Jane Morrison, a veteran

beginner class teacher currently serving

at Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist

Church in Maryland. “By the time we

change programs, they’re kind of just

catching on. Parents will say, ‘Oh, it’s

nice to have a new program,’ but for a

child that age, they need to keep doing it

and doing it and doing it.”

And it sticks—in more ways than you

may realize.

“My mother told me that when I was

14 or 15 months old, she took me to

what we then called cradle roll,” says

Aileen Andres Sox, editor of Our Little

Friend. “It seemed to her as if I were paying

attention to everything but the

teacher. She remembers thinking that if

I weren’t going to learn anything, she

might as well go to her own class, taking

me along with her. The very next day she

noticed I was walking rather oddly and

repeating ‘tee toe, tee toe’ over and over.

She finally realized that I was trying to

sing ‘Tiptoe, tiptoe, little feet.’ When she

began to sing the song, I was absolutely

gleeful and tiptoed to the music. Never

again did Mother think going to my Sabbath

school was a waste of time.”

And It Matters Because . . .

In the life of a church there is a past,

present, and future. As adults we straddle

the line between the past and the

present. But the future of the church

lies squarely in the hands of our progeny—our

littlest ones.

“There is a saying from Malawi that

goes “Nkhuzi nkhu ma thole,” says

Saustin Mfune, associate

director of the Children’s

Ministries Department

at the General Conference.

“It literally

translates to ‘the

bulls are in the

calves.’ The essence of the saying is that

if you want strong reliable bulls, you

must take care of the calves.”

It’s hard to ready babies and toddlers

in their Sabbath finery for Sabbath

school and church and make it there on

time. It’s harder still when they can’t sit

quietly and you know there is no way

the family will make it through an entire

service with a restless baby/toddler. But

going week after week is crucial.

“As much as I want parents involved,

I also want them to be assured that

there is value in bringing their little

children to Sabbath school,” says Tina

Pillai, who leads beginners at New Hope

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fulton,

Maryland. “When parents are

excited and motivated about what is

going on in Sabbath school, they will

bring their kids regularly to church, and

when parents participate in Sabbath

school, they become agents for change.”

“Going to Sabbath school with a baby,

toddler, or 2-year-old is a supportive

experience for baby’s parents,” adds

Habenicht. “They meet other people in

the church who have babies, and they

support each other in baby rearing. They

observe how the teacher teaches their

child and are encouraged to teach their

little ones at home.”

On mother-of-four Chrystal Kueter’s

first visit to an Adventist church, she was

hesitant to involve herself and her little

ones in Sabbath school.

20 (212) | | March 14, 2013

“I thought you had to drop them off at

a glorified day care as in other churches,”

she says. “So when I was encouraged to

stay, I have to be honest, I was really disappointed.

But as I watched my son

eagerly learning about nature and God, I

was stunned! I was moved to tears and

blessed more than if I’d gone to a month

of Sabbath school classes on my own. I

was so moved by the tender way they

taught the very young. I was also blessed

to be an example for my son, and sit with

him to model that example.”

That early exposure to the simplest

concepts of our faith in developmentally

appropriate ways does make a big difference.

“Helping young children grow

spiritually nurtures the bud of spirituality

that God has placed in the human

heart. Eventually the bud becomes the

full-bloom rose of spiritual devotion.” 3

In a room at the back of the church, a

beginner class is ending. A little boy no

older than 18 months toddles to a prop

box and reaches inside—mimicking his

teacher. He finds a little orange felt flag

with the word “Jesus” on it. Excited, he

waves it around and with a big smile on

his sweet face, says: “Ree-zuz!”

In the end, isn’t that what it’s all

about? n


Ellen G. White, Testimonies on Sabbath School Work

(Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.,

1900), pp. 109, 110.


Donna Habenicht and Larry Burton, Teaching the

Faith: An Essential Guide for Building Faith-shaped Kids

(Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.,

2004), p. 213.


Ibid., pp. 211, 212.

Wilona Karimabadi taught

beginner Sabbath school for

many years when her now-teen

and -tween kids were little,

and appreciates what it did for

her faith and theirs.

Best Practices for Beginner

Sabbath School Leaders

By “Teacher” Jane Morrison

• Love the children and tell them so! And

“throw kisses” as they leave.

• Know your families. Call each child by

name. As they come in, greet them by name

even if the program has begun. Touch and

hug them as appropriate.

• Be prepared—don’t read. You’re going to

use the program for several months, so learn

it. You may need some help to remember the

order. Place cards or the program sheet where

you will pick up your “tools”—the props.

• Be super-organized, but at the same time adaptable. Some Sabbaths you may

have such full attendance that you’ll need to skip the more involved activities. Or

maybe you just sense things are too busy and choose to use certain activities to calm

the children.

• Watch the pitch of your voice. Try to keep an even, normal tone. Sometimes whisper

and you’ll be amazed at the calming effect it has on the little ones.

• If necessary, ask parents to be quiet. They don’t mean to distract—they’re usually

so happy to see another adult or friend beside them that they begin to visit. Ask them

to participate with their child in the program.

• Be accepting. If a child comes up front, pick them up or use them to help. Then

help them back to their seat when appropriate. Assure the parents it’s OK.

• I like to have coleaders up front. It helps to alternate speaking—giving each other

a break, collecting the next item, and providing another voice. If it works, include a

man and a woman. I’ve had some great coleaders in my time.

• Use as many 3-D items as possible—stuffed animals, mitts, little wooden hammers

and wood, etc. You may also want to use at least one of those “good old felt”

activities in each program and let them “pat-pound” away. They love it!

• Be creative. Always keep your eyes and ears open for new activities and items.

Recently I heard some laughing as we were leaving a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I

looked and found the laughing coming from a “peekaboo” bear. I just had to have two

for Sabbath school as beginner-age children love playing peekaboo. It’s an excellent

prop to use at the beginning of our program to get their attention and welcome them.

• And one more! When you have a nature or other type of program instead of a

Bible story program such as Noah’s ark, heaven, Little Boy Jesus, etc., make sure you

are always conscious to say, “Jesus made the animals. Jesus takes care of the animals.

Jesus lets us help take care of the animals. Jesus sees us. Jesus loves us.”

Jane Morrison teaches beginners Sabbath school at Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist

Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. | March 14, 2013 | (213) 21


she tucked him in at night, he’d tell her

all the fun stories from his school days

playing with his comrade. In the mornings

when he got up, he was excited to go

back to school because he knew his

friend was going to be there. One day she

arrived at the school earlier than usual to

pick up her son. He saw her at the door

and came running, as children often do

when they catch a glimpse of Mom. He

gave her a hug and then immediately

pointed across the room so that he could

show her who his new friend was.

“He’s right there!” he said, beaming

and pointing.

“Which one?” she asked, perplexed

as she followed his tiny finger into a

sea of children.

“The kid in the red shirt!”

When her eyes landed on her child’s

friend, she couldn’t help smiling. In a









had a student in the English class I

was teaching at a community college

a couple years ago tell me the

most beautiful story. I was talking

to them about my life growing up

as a biracial child. For me, the combining

of two different cultures has been

precious. I have never had any real confusion

about who I was or where I

belonged. I grew up with both my Black

father and White mother, who loved

each other dearly. There really was not

much room for confusion, because I

knew them both, loved them both, and

knew that they loved me.

My student’s story was about her son.

He had been attending his first year of

school and often came home raving to

his mother about his new friend. When

class with 25 or so children, every child

in her son’s room was White except her

son’s best friend, who was wearing a

red shirt. In a room in which all but one

shared the same skin tone, her son

could not think of a single characteristic

that would identify his friend to his

mother from the other children in the

room, except for his red shirt.

Identifying Me

When my student told me that story, I

was moved. There is a reason that Christ

said that in order to enter the kingdom

of heaven, we would first need to

become like children. Children are precious.

Children don’t hate until they are

first taught hate.

There are a lot of things Jesus could

22 (214) | | March 14, 2013

use to point us out to His Father. I can As I read this part, I did what I often

just see Him discussing bringing me do while reading or listening to stories:

into the kingdom.

I put myself in the leading character’s

“That’s her!” He’d say, beaming as shoes. I thought, If that were my husband,

He’d point me out to God the Father. I would leave him. I am not saying that is

“Which one?” He’d respond. Now, at the right thing to

this point there are a million things do, and I am not

Jesus could use to identify me. He could saying that is

point me out as the girl that’s been a what everyone

hypocrite or the same girl who stole else should do. I

that ankle bracelet from the convenience

store in ninth grade and to this what I think I

am simply saying

day has never been caught for it. The would do in this

girl who threw up all over her twin bed situation.

the first time she got drunk in high

In Lucado’s

school, or that girl who lost her cool book the couple

and spewed a few choice words when is on vacation

she got cut off on the highway (and that together, reflecting and crying, and trying

to figure out how to move forward.

one was more recent than I’d like to


The woman is trying to figure out if she

We try not to tell each other about can move on from this infidelity. Lucado


our shortcomings because we fear we

will lose respect. We keep things from

one another, sometimes even from our

closest friends, for fear that if they

found out they wouldn’t see us anymore,

and they’d just see the sin.

I Forgive You. Let’s Move on

I read a devotional entry once by Max

Lucado in his book Just Like Jesus, in

which he talked about a personal friend

who had had an affair. The affair had

happened more than a decade earlier,

and the husband never confessed it.

When his wife finally did find out, 10

years later, they dropped everything and

took a trip together to put out the noise

of the world and focus on each other

and their relationship.

On that card is

a note penned

from the hand

of Christ that

reads: “I forgive

you. I love you.

Let’s move on.”

says this: “In this case the wife was

clearly in the right. She could have left.

Women have done so for lesser reasons.

Or she could have stayed and made his

life a living hell. Other women have

done that. But she chose a different


“On the tenth night of their trip my

friend found a card on his pillow. On

the card was a printed verse: ‘I’d rather

do nothing with you than something

without you.’ Beneath the verse she had

written these words: I forgive you. I love

you. Let’s move on.”

I was struck by this story, because in

the character of this woman I recognized

the character of Christ. Romans

3:23 reminds us: “For all have sinned

and fall short of the glory of God.”

Red Shirts All

We do not deserve Christ. We have hurt

Him, we have disgraced Him, we have

betrayed Him, and if He came back right

now, I believe many of us would crucify

Him all over again. If

you are sunk in the

guilt of your past, so

much so that you

cannot breathe or

move, lie still, because

Jesus wants you. On

your pillow is a card,

and on that card is a

note penned from the

hand of Christ that

reads: “I forgive you. I

love you. Let’s move on.”

Jesus, the one whom they called

Christ, is so good, because everything

we have done, every secret sin He’s seen

us do in the dark, means nothing to

Him the second we have sincerely

repented and sought His forgiveness.

I’m not perfect, but at least I know what

a loser I am; and because of that, I am

forced to seek His shelter and guidance

every morning the second my eyelids

open. Yes, there are a million different

things Jesus could use to point me out

to the Father. Lucky for me, He’ll just

stand there beaming, proud to point me

out in the crowd. And the single characteristic

that He notices that would distinguish

loser me from a roomful of

saints is my red shirt.

In heaven we’ll all be wearing red. It

will be the color for every season. Trust

me, no matter what you’ve done or

where you’ve been, you can still seek the

refuge of Christ, and when you do, stand

tall and be proud to slip on that beautiful,

distinguishable, bright-red shirt.

“That’s My friend!” Jesus will say,

smiling. “The one washed in the blood

of the Lamb.” n

Heather Thompson Day is

working on her Ph.D. at

Andrews University. Her most

recent book is Cracked Glasses,

the Review and Herald’s 2013

young adult devotional. | March 14, 2013 | (215) 23




loud banging sound woke

us shortly before 4:00 one

morning. Apprehension

filled my heart as I raced

downstairs. What I saw

confirmed my worst fears. Someone

was hard at work, trying to smash,

break, or saw through the metal bars

that protected our windows.

Peeking outside, I saw in the glare of

the lights, two or three dark figures

Do I





ourselves from

the bad things

out there


busying themselves. I turned all the

lights on, ran upstairs to our bedroom,

and flipped the switch of the siren on

the roof. It began to wail in the darkness,

building to a crescendo, alerting

the whole neighborhood that we were

victims of a break-in.

Frantically I grabbed my cell phone

and called 9-1-1 and our security

agency, which, according to their ads

and our contract, was supposed to be

only minutes away in the case of an

incident. Their car was usually parked a

couple miles away from the gates of our

residential neighborhood, a discreet

presence to reassure us that all was well

in our suburb of Nairobi, Kenya.

But where were they? Worse yet, why

did their emergency center not take my

call? I dialed and dialed, but my call

went unanswered.

The banging on our security bars continued,

and the thugs began working on

our doors. Thankfully, our solid metal

doors resisted their assault for a while.

So Much to Protect

Our two girls hid under the blankets

in our bed. Young and small, their tiny

bodies hardly made a bump where they

lay huddled.

I headed back downstairs with my

wife, Beate, behind me, shouting and yelling

in the hope of perhaps scaring them

away. I had no weapon in the house—

nothing. I reached for my toolbox and

grabbed a rubber mallet. Now I stood,

fearing the worst, feeling naked and completely

vulnerable in my pajamas.

If only I had a weapon, I thought, things

might be different.

Nobody came to our rescue; least of

all the police, notorious for showing up

well after the fact, if at all.

Finally the door gave, and in rushed

the first individual. Whack! I hit the

man’s head with the mallet, and he

reeled and crashed to the floor. Six other

men erupted into our living room,

shouting and yelling for money and

valuables. One of the intruders went

straight to our pantry and stuffed his

mouth with raw pasta shells. They

seemed to be high on drugs; perhaps

they had sniffed too much glue.

Why don’t I have a gun?

The next thing I knew, one of the men

lifted a crowbar over my head and

brought it down savagely. Instinctively, I

raised my arm to deflect the blow, but it

still glanced my head. My arm felt funny;

something warm trickled down my head

and formed a large, crimson stain on my

blue pajamas. My wife was also

assaulted. A blow landed on her shoulder,

grazing her ear, but leaving her

standing and comparatively unscathed.

Stunned, I threw one or two hundred

dollars in cash, and my wristwatch (a

wedding present from my wife) at the

24 (216) | | March 14, 2013

men. I shouted, “You’re being watched

by holy angels, who are recording your

every move.”

Hearing these words, my attacker

stopped, looked around slowly, and

then made his way to the door. The others

followed. They quickly disappeared

into the night, leaving behind the one I

had knocked out with my rubber mallet.

What If?

The man roused, stood slowly, and

looked at me, pained. Then came my

second shock of the night: it was James,

our gardener, who lived in a small

house behind ours. He explained that

when the intruders had broken into the

property, which was protected by a high

fence, he had tried to intervene, but they

had quickly immobilized him. When the

door had finally given way, they had

thrust him forward as a human shield,

in case I was armed. Subsequently he

had received the blow on the head.

Instantly I knew why I didn’t have a

gun. I would have killed him, even while

he was trying to protect me and my

family! In fact, as I reached for my toolbox

15 minutes earlier for something to

protect us, I had hesitated for a

moment: should I take my heavy, carpenter’s

hammer or the silly rubber

mallet? I chose the latter.

I couldn’t have been happier: the carpenter’s

hammer would have broken

his skull.

It was a traumatic night for our family.

Thankfully, the girls were unhurt and

hadn’t seen any of the violence. Beate was

left with a bruise on her shoulder and

deafness in one ear for a week or two.

Within 48 hours we were able to

move into a vacant house on the campus

of Maxwell Adventist Academy, just

a few miles away, leaving the worst of

the bad memories behind. This gave us

the safety we needed to serve another

three years in Kenya.

My recovery was the most difficult. It

wasn’t just that I had to sport a strange

haircut because of the two-inch-long gash

on the side of my head, and it wasn’t

because of the cast on my arm. It was the

terrible sense of having let my family down.

The dreadful scene played again and

again in my mind, feeding my sense of

guilt: if only I had been better prepared,

at least with a can of pepper spray. I

could have easily sprayed the choking

substance into the assailants’ faces

while they were working on the window

bars, taking care of the situation before

it became worse. I wondered if I should

have prayed instead of running around

shouting like a madman.

One thing I never regretted, however,

was not having a gun that night. Had I

had one, I may now have someone’s life

on my conscience, the life of someone

dear to us, someone who showed the

utmost loyalty and courage.

The Violence

Around Us

A few years later we

woke up again in the

middle of the night,

this time because of

gunshots that seemed so close as to be

on the compound of the East-Central

Africa Division, where we served. We

were terrified at the thought that our

colleagues may have lost their lives to


The next morning all seemed to be normal,

and none of our friends or coworkers

were missing. Reports came back that a

couple bodies lay on a side street, not far

from our gates. The police left them there

as a deterrent to criminals. Following this

incident we decided that after four years

in Africa, it was time to move on.

As if to seal the decision in my mind,

the national newspaper screamed in its

next Sunday edition, in bold letters covering

almost the entire page: “100,000

reasons to be afraid in Kenya!” The

story described the escalation of violence

because of the estimated 100,000

guns circulating in the country.

A few months later the country

descended into violence following presidential


My family and I now live in the

United States, a country with more than

300 million guns in circulation. Considering

the mass shootings that have

taken place at public events, in schools,

at shopping malls, etc., we may well

have 3,000 times more reasons to be

Then came my

second shock

of the night.

afraid than in Kenya, and 3,000 times

more reasons to have a gun at home (or

in our purse or under the arm) and to

leave the country.

Although we don’t always feel safe in

the United States, and even though I

may decide one day to replace the pepper

sprays I eventually acquired but

gave away when we left Kenya, I am convinced

there are no good reasons I

should have a gun. The unintended consequences

of that sort of ownership

frighten me even more than the possible

consequences of not owning a gun.

The words of Jesus to Peter resonate

in my mind: “Put your sword back in its

place,” “for all who draw the sword will

die by the sword”

(Matt. 26:52). The 300

million guns, and the

more than 30,000

lives lost to gunshot

deaths every year in

this country, * still fail to convince me to

join the ranks of citizens who are armed

and ready. Maybe one day, but that day

hasn’t come yet. n


See Georgina Olson, “More Than 30,000 People Die

From Gunshot Wounds Each Year in the United States”

(Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,




Claude Richli is associate

publisher of Adventist Review

and Adventist World magazines.

What Do You Think?

1. Is there a difference between

“defending yourself” and owning a

gun? What is it?

2. You decide you should own a gun for

self-protection. Your neighbor thinks

about buying a gun but decides not

to. Who is right?

3. What should be one’s primary consideration

when deciding whether or not

to own a gun for protection?

4. How do texts such as Matthew 7:1

influence what you think about this

important topic? | March 14, 2013 | (217) 25

Vital Signs



the connection




was with much shock and sadness that

North American Division president Daniel

Jackson interrupted the proceedings during

an administrative meeting on December 14,

2012, to announce the tragic news of the

fatal shooting of 20 children and six adult staff members

at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,

Connecticut. Those of us at the meeting stopped what we

were doing and together earnestly prayed for the families

in pain. We couldn’t believe that such young, precious

children, together with teachers, would die in this senseless

way. Evil seemed to prevail.

During such times of inexplicable

tragedy many find comfort in the assurance

that this world is not our home

and that soon the great controversy

between good and evil will end. We look

forward to the day that families will be

reunited with loved ones whom they

lost to death. We yearn to complete the

task given to us by God to share the gospel

message with the world so that He

can return soon and take us home. In

the meantime, however, we cannot

neglect to do everything we can to help

reduce the risk of mass killings in our

communities today.

Violence and Health

Violence in all its forms—domestic,

gun, youth, gender-based, intimate partner,

childhood, elderly, and so forth—has

been linked to physical, mental,

and social health as well as

mortality. The Institute of

Medicine (IOM) and the Centers

for Disease Control have

documented violence as a

major health problem in this

country. The IOM states that

“in 2001, violence accounted

for 45 million disabilityadjusted

life years (DALYs) lost,

with low- and middle-income

countries bearing the largest

burden.” 1 But violence can be

prevented, and the IOM’s

Forum on Global Violence Prevention

(FGVP) is working to

reduce violence worldwide by

promoting research on both

protective and risk factors and

encouraging evidence-based

prevention efforts. The FGVP aims to facilitate

dialogue and exchange by bringing

together experts from all areas of violence

prevention, including faith-based organizations,

to address this concern.

The World Health Organization also

confirms a significant health impact

from this “contagion of violence.” Public

health officials list violence as one of

eight major factors negatively affecting

26 (218) | | March 14, 2013

the health of citizens in the United

States. 2 This is a major health issue that

health ministries leaders in faith-based

institutions must address. Johns Hopkins

University recently held a summit

on gun violence at which presenters and

attendees discussed available research

and evidence that support the need to

reduce violence and thus its related

health risks in the community. 3

Gun Violence and Politics

There are those who view matters

such as gun violence as political issues.

Others, including the Seventh-day

Adventist Church, view them differently.

In line with current research, the official

Adventist Church statement regarding

gun violence reads as follows:

“While it is true that violence and

criminal inclinations lead to guns, it is

also true that availability of guns leads

to violence. The opportunity for civilians

to acquire by purchase or otherwise

automatic or semiautomatic

assault weapons only increases the

number of deaths resulting from

human crimes. . . . Seventh-day Adventists

. . . wish to cooperate in using every

legitimate means of reducing, and eliminating

where possible, the root causes

of crime. In addition, with public safety

and the value of human life in mind, the

sale of automatic or semiautomatic

assault weapons should be strictly controlled.

This would reduce the use of

weapons by mentally disturbed people

and criminals, especially those involved

in drug and gang activities.” 4

We must do what we can to help depoliticize

the issue of gun violence. We can

point to the research linking violence

with adverse health factors, while sharing

biblical principles that, if followed,

can strengthen entire communities, families,

and individuals. We also must ask

the question Are we as individuals and

as a faith community doing enough to

educate ourselves on the health consequences

of violence, in order to raise

awareness of the importance of violence

prevention in all its forms—including

gun violence? Are we learning appropriate

and helpful therapeutic ways to talk

about violence with kids, answering

questions they may have and addressing

their possible fears of encountering violent


Many helpful resources are available

that can help answer these questions

from a public-health perspective (see

sidebar). It’s well worth the time to read

and utilize these materials.

Ultimately, we must grasp opportunities

to point people to Christ, the Creator,

healer, and restorer of our lives.

Jesus said: “I have come that they may

have life, and that they may have it more

abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). 5 We

look forward to the time our Savior will

bring an end to the death and evil in

this world; but until then, He calls us to

be His lips, hands, and feet to make our

communities places of health, healing,

and wholeness today.

Let us not neglect to do our part. n


Institute of Medicine, “Forum on Global Violence


ViolenceForum.aspx. Accessed Feb. 5, 2013.


Surgeon general, “National Prevention Strategy,”

strategy/index.html. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,

“Gun Policy Summit,”

Accessed Feb. 5, 2013.


Seventh-day Adventist Church, “Ban on Sales of

Assault Weapons to Civilians,”

beliefs/statements/main-stat4.html. Accessed Feb. 5. 2013.


Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King

James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas

Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Katia Reinert, Ph.D.c., C.R.N.P.,

F.N.P.-B.C., P.H.C.N.S.-B.C., is

director of the North American

Division Health Ministries


Online Resources

on Preventing

Gun Violence


“Gun Violence

Must Stop. Here’s

What We Can Do

to Prevent More


Prevention Institute—

“Statement in

Response to the


School Shooting

in Connecticut”;

American Academy

of Pediatrics

“Helping Children

and Adults Cope

With Events Like

the Newtown

School Shootings”;

Connecticut Commission

on Children

“Talking to

Children About

Recent Events”;

Sesame Street


“Ten Tips to Help

Children Cope”;

Save the Children

| March 14, 2013 | (219) 27

Introducing the Why



Faith Over Feeling

He simply hung in place, matted in blood and gasping for breath.

Though it’s often used in hyperbole, in this case the weight—and, for that matter, the hope—of the world

was literally on His shoulders.

For the past 24 hours a universal audience of angels, demons, and unfallen beings had been fixated on

Planet Earth. They watched as beads of blood poured down His cheeks and as He was condemned by a

kangaroo court. With their own eyes they saw His back bend under the ultimate symbol of humiliation

before being nailed to it like a common criminal.

After nearly 4,000 years of seeing “through a glass darkly,” they were coming face to face with the

truth, which was suddenly so clear: Jesus was love, justice, mercy, and truth.

Satan was not.

On that dark afternoon the universe was enlightened with clarity. But inside the heart, mind,

and soul of the Savior, evil forces sought to enshroud Him with doubt.

As we know, when life is at its worst, Satan works his hardest, pouncing like a predator on

a wounded animal that falls behind the safety of the herd.

Ellen White sheds light on Satan’s unrelenting attacks on the wounded Son of God: “The

Savior could not see through the portals of the tomb. . . . He feared that sin was so offensive to

God that Their separation was to be eternal” (The Desire of Ages, p. 753).

Undoubtedly, heavenly angels, who finally grasped the full scope of the great controversy,

wanted to jump out of heaven and bring Jesus back to His rightful throne.

But this had to be done, and He had to face it alone.

For six hours a war waged within Jesus. Even as it did, He remained meek and peaceful, never once

lashing out against those who were truly guilty.

When the weight of sin became too great, Jesus bowed His head and left the world the same way

He came in: humble and innocent. His last victory provides the ultimate example of trust, conviction,

and courage.

Ellen White wrote: “In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance.

. . . He was acquainted with the character of His Father. . . . He committed Himself to God, the

sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was the victor” (ibid., p. 756).

Faith Like Jesus

If you’re anything like me, you run back to your favorite Bible promises when times get tough. In the face

of adversity, uncertainty, and doubt the assurances of Scripture are a constant reminder that God is faithful

and has our best interest in mind. One of my favorites, and perhaps one of yours too, is Proverbs 3:5, 6.

Let’s take a brief look at verse 5 (next month we’ll examine verse 6): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding.”

In my experience it seems we tend to hone in on the first half of the verse, the part about trusting God. If

you’ve ever confided in a Christian friend during a difficult time, you’ve undoubtedly heard such sentiments

directed back to you: “You just have to trust God.”

True, trust and faith are where each of us must begin when we face trials. However, without further detail,

a plea to trust in God can sound ambiguous, clichéd, and empty. That’s where the part about not leaning on

our own understanding comes in.

In His experience on the cross Jesus provided the perfect blueprint. Despite His dire circumstances and

complete separation from God, Jesus didn’t rely on a gut feeling. Instead He focused on the just, merciful,

and loving character of His Father.

As end-time believers we’re called to have similar perseverance in times of trouble (see Rev. 14:12). Follow

the example of Jesus: Don’t be captive to feelings; have faith in whom you know.

He sees the beginning from the end. Most of the time, we can barely see at all. n

Jimmy Phillips ( writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is electronic media coordinator

for San Joaquin Community Hospital. Visit his Web site at

28 (220) | | March 14, 2013



Living Life to the


Allan Handysides, Peter Landless, Kathleen

Kuntaraf, and Fred Hardinge. Softcover, 240

pages, General Conference of Seventh-day

Adventists Health Ministries Department,

2012, US$14.99. Reviewed by David R. Williams,

Norman Professor of Public Health

and African and African-American Studies,

Harvard University.

This book is worth purchasing simply

for the breathtaking pictures.

Each page provides stunning photographs

that reflect the diversity of our

planet in terms of both people and

places. This coffee-table book, however,

provides much, much more. Written by

four health professionals who serve in

the General Conference Health Ministries

Department, CELEBRATIONS is

packed with timely and practical scientifically

valid strategies to improve


CELEBRATIONS is an acronym for key

principles that provide a broad vision of

health. Readers familiar with the eight

laws of health will recognize several of

them (exercise, liquid, rest, air, temperance,

and nutrition). But scientific information

is also presented on factors that

we often don’t think of as key drivers of

health, such as choices, the environment,

belief, integrity, optimism, and

social support. The chapter on the role

of the environment, for example, argues

that environmental awareness is relevant

to the maintenance of good health.

Issues discussed include overpopulation,

deforestation, sustainable agriculture/food

distribution, energy

conservation, air and water pollution,

and domestic and agricultural waste.

Surprisingly, this chapter does not

include a discussion of the multiple

ways in which plant-based diets offer

benefits to the environment.

The chapter on choices is excellent in

providing the long-lasting consequences

of our decisions. It recognizes

that choices can be affected by contextual

factors and indicates that stress and

emotion can affect individual decisionmaking.

Research indicates that most

individuals will do things that they

would not normally do if placed in a

compelling situation. Accordingly, it’s

important for Christians to learn to pay

attention to situational cues and contexts

of vulnerability and to avoid them,

to the extent possible. In addition, many

people live in conditions that impose

severe limits on good choices; therefore,

promoting health also requires us to

pay greater attention to policies that

create opportunities to facilitate healthful

choices and initiatives that remove

barriers to healthful living. Much can be

done to create a culture supportive of

good health in our homes, churches,

schools, hospitals, and other institutions.

Every effort should be made to

make the healthful choice, the easy


CELEBRATIONS is filled with detailed

practical advice. For example, the chapter

on exercise provides tips on selecting

proper training shoes. Also

important to note is that the many

health recommendations in CELEBRA-

TIONS are credible. The authors routinely

present official evidence-based

guidelines from reputable professional

organizations. Moreover, to maximize

the practical value of the book, each

chapter ends with a life-application

section, which provides questions for

individual reflection and practical

application, as well as for group discussion.

A spiritual focus is a golden

thread that runs through each chapter.

CELEBRATIONS is a book that people

will have a hard time putting down, and

is an invaluable resource that can move

each reader along the path to more

healthful living. n | March 14, 2013 | (221) 29

Essential Tools for


Two major reference tools have recently

been published that every Adventist

should have at hand to answer Bible

questions. What the Bible Says About . . . was

written by veteran

evangelist Mark

Finley. It contains

32 studies that

cover all the doctrines

of Adventist

faith. It uses the

classic questionand-answer

approach with

Bible texts to address each question.

The second book, Always Prepared:

Answers to Questions About Our Faith, provides

responses to often-debated questions

in the contemporary context: How

reliable is the Bible? How can miracles

be possible? Are there moral absolutes?

A total of 20 such topics are carefully

examined, each by a different Bible

scholar. Humberto Rasi and Nancy Vyhmeister,

both of whom have distinguished

careers in Adventist higher

education, edited the collection.

Pacific Press published both volumes,

which are available through your local

Adventist Book Center or at www.

Men’s Bible Study

Former Adventist military chaplain

Dick Stenbakken has produced two

resources that could help your church

reach out to men, which is a particular

need in most congregations.

The Centurion develops the story of the

Roman officer who was in charge of the

crucifixion and a witness to the resurrection

of Christ. It asks men to imagine

what difference this experience might

have made in the centurion’s life. Each

chapter has discussion questions.

The Armor of God is an eight-part DVD

series exploring what Paul means when

he urges in Ephesians 6 to “put on the


of the


full armor of God.” Discussion panelists

include well-known speakers Shawn

Boonstra, Roscoe Howard, Dick Duerksen,

and Rich Carlson.

There are also

downloadable discussion


Published by

Pacific Press, you

can purchase these

materials through

your Adventist

Book Center or

directly from the author at www.dick

Responding With

Practical Compassion

A growing number of Adventists are

training and organizing to respond with

practical help, in Christ’s name, to

major disasters. First Response: Change

Your World Through

Acts of Love, by

David Canther, is

the story of ACTS

World Relief, a

disaster response

team that goes to

such places as

Haiti after the

earthquake and

New Jersey after

Hurricane Sandy.

This book includes much practical

information on helping devastated communities

as well as some of the most

helpful material I have ever seen on

dealing with the spiritual questions and

needs that arise in the wake of disaster.

You can get a copy from major online


Three New Books on

Church Growth

How can we grow? That is one of the

most pressing questions for almost all

pastors and congregations in North

America. Three new books address this

question with specific, doable answers:

The Big Four: Secrets of a Thriving Church

Family, by Joseph Kidder (Review and

Herald Publishing Association),

describes empowering leadership, passionate

spirituality, active members, and

the worship experience as key factors. It

includes discussion tools to help you

assess your local situation.

How to Grow an Adventist Church, by

Russell Burrill (HART Resource Center),

is the culmination of the author’s long

career as an effective public evangelist

and trainer of pastor-evangelists. He

discusses natural church development,

classic church growth theory as it

applies to Adventist churches, friendship

evangelism, and includes a chapter

specifically on how to relate to newcomers

who show up at your church.

As Jesus Did It, by José Cortés (Xulon

Press), describes

the approach to

small-group evangelism

being used

successfully in the

New Jersey Conference,

where the

author is president.

It provides a

useful description

of the methods

used in immigrant churches, which are

growing much faster than the average

church in North America.

The first two books are available

through your Adventist Book Center;

the third, by Cortés, can be purchased at n

Monte Sahlin is director of

research and special projects

for the Ohio Conference and a

senior consultant at the

Center for Creative Ministry.

questions and suggestions can be sent to him


30 (222) | | March 14, 2013



“Juli-Buli, it is so good for you to join us,” the woman in the church

foyer gushed as she wrapped her arms around me. I stiffened as she released me from her bear hug. Only

my dad calls me that, I grumbled to myself.

To have a stranger use my dad’s nickname for me made me uncomfortable, but it reminded me of an

important fact: nicknames are almost sacred. When friends call us by our nicknames, it is as if they are also

saying, “We are close. We have a history. We are friends.”

One of the most powerful truths in the Bible is that Jesus used nicknames for His disciples. “These are

the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother

John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’)” (Mark 3:16, 17).

Jesus’ use of nicknames reveals something powerful about how He relates to us. Each nickname revealed

how He loved each disciple uniquely, as there were individual traits about each one that Jesus acknowledged

and loved. He knew Simon well enough to call him Peter—the stone; and James and John enough to

call them the sons of thunder. Jesus’ love for His disciples and for us is not just a feeling of goodwill directed

toward a group of people, but rather a love that takes in the distinctive qualities of each person. In a sense,

each relationship Jesus has with His followers has its own DNA. He appreciates a sense of humor, a love for

nature, a passion for cooking, or any other idiosyncratic quality that His followers might have. He loves,

enjoys, and laughs with delight over His children.

I wonder what it must have been like for Simon to hear Jesus call him Peter. Or what it must have been

like for John to hear Jesus call him a son of thunder. It makes me think about the times I have heard my own

nickname called. I love hearing my nickname—especially after a long trip among strangers. When I arrive

home and someone calls me “Jules” instead of Julie, I know I am where I belong. I am home. Peter, James,

and John had the privilege of knowing what it was like to be at home with Christ.

Jesus is calling each of us to be at home with Him. Can you imagine Him calling you by your nickname?

What would it sound like? How would you feel when He said it? Not only can He call you by your earthly

nickname, but He has a special nickname waiting for you in heaven. Jesus said, “To the one who is victorious,

I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on

it, known only to the one who receives it” (Rev. 2:17). God has an eternal nickname that

He wants to share with you. And the name He has prepared for you will

be between you and Him—an intimate seal of your friendship

forever. n

Julie Cook is an assistant professor of

English at Adventist University of

Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida.

Illustration © darrel tank | March 14, 2013 | (223) 31

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