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www.adventistreview.org<br />

March 14, 2013<br />

Prisoners of Fear<br />

Morris Venden Dies at 80<br />

Do I Need a Gun?<br />

7<br />

11<br />

24<br />

It Starts<br />

<strong>Here</strong><br />

What happens when<br />

toddlers go to<br />

Sabbath school?


18 It Starts <strong>Here</strong><br />

Wilona Karimabadi<br />

Sabbath school for<br />

toddlers? Why not?<br />

Devotional<br />


22 Red Shirt<br />

I<br />

eyeS<br />

By HEATHER had a student in the English class I<br />

THOMPSON-DAy was teaching at a community college<br />

a couple years ago tell me the<br />

most beautiful story. I was talking<br />

to them about my life growing up<br />

as a biracial child. For me, the combining<br />

of two different cultures has been<br />

precious. I have never had any real confusion<br />

about who I was or where I<br />

belonged. I grew up with both my Black<br />

father and White mother, who loved<br />

each other dearly. There really was not<br />

much room for confusion, because I<br />

knew them both, loved them both, and<br />

knew that they loved me.<br />

My student’s story was about her son.<br />

He had been attending his first year of<br />

school and often came home raving to<br />

his mother about his new friend. When<br />

Heather Thompson-Day<br />

There are all kinds of ways<br />

to describe each other.<br />

24 Do I Need a Gun?<br />

Claude Richli<br />

The question of selfdefense<br />

is a complicated<br />

one.<br />

22 (214) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013<br />

“Behold, I come quickly . . .”<br />

Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ by presenting stories of His<br />

matchless love, news of His present workings, help for knowing<br />

Him better, and hope in His soon return.<br />

she tucked him in at night, he’d tell her<br />

all the fun stories from his school days<br />

playing with his comrade. In the mornings<br />

when he got up, he was excited to go<br />

back to school because he knew his<br />

friend was going to be there. One day she<br />

arrived at the school earlier than usual to<br />

pick up her son. He saw her at the door<br />

and came running, as children often do<br />

when they catch a glimpse of Mom. He<br />

gave her a hug and then immediately<br />

pointed across the room so that he could<br />

show her who his new friend was.<br />

“He’s right there!” he said, beaming<br />

and pointing.<br />

“Which one?” she asked, perplexed<br />

as she followed his tiny finger into a<br />

sea of children.<br />

“The kid in the red shirt!”<br />

When her eyes landed on her child’s<br />

friend, she couldn’t help smiling. In a<br />

Red<br />

18 22 11 6<br />


4 Letters<br />

class with 25 or so children, every child<br />

in her son’s room was White except her<br />

son’s best friend, who was wearing a<br />

red shirt. In a room in which all but one<br />

shared the same skin tone, her son<br />

could not think of a single characteristic<br />

that would identify his friend to his<br />

mother from the other children in the<br />

room, except for his red shirt.<br />

7 Page 7<br />

8 World News &<br />

Perspectives<br />

Identifying Me<br />

When my student told me that story, I<br />

was moved. There is a reason that Christ<br />

said that in order to enter the kingdom<br />

of heaven, we would first need to<br />

become like children. Children are precious.<br />

Children don’t hate until they are<br />

first taught hate.<br />

There are a lot of things Jesus could<br />

13 Give & Take<br />

14 GLOW Stories<br />

15 Searching the Obvious<br />

28 Introducing the Why<br />

29 Etc.<br />

Shirt<br />

6 Bill Knott<br />

Reclaiming the Library<br />


7 Stephen Chavez<br />

Prisoners of Fear<br />


Sabbath school isn’t just for<br />

big kids. The younger they<br />

start, the more they receive.<br />

Cover photo by Merle Poirier.<br />

31 Reflections<br />

Next Week<br />

Beyond Belief<br />

We used to say, “Once an<br />

Adventist, always an Adventist.”<br />

New research indicates<br />

that may no longer be true.<br />

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,<br />

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<br />

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

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

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

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<br />

Steve Hanson. To Writers: Writer’s guidelines are available at the Adventist Review Web site: www.adventistreview.org and click “About the Review.” For a printed copy, send a self-addressed envelope<br />

to: Writer’s Guidelines, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600. E-mail: revieweditor@gc.adventist.org. Web site: www.adventistreview.org. Postmaster:<br />

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.<br />

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-<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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

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:<br />

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www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (195) 3

inbox<br />

Letters From Our Readers<br />

Only Adventist<br />

»»<br />

The January 24 article by<br />

Grenville Kent, “Listening to<br />

Atheists,” sums up the main<br />

reason I couldn’t be anything<br />

other than an Adventist. It’s<br />

not hard to see why so many<br />

Christians are leaving their<br />

churches and becoming<br />

atheists. I would too if I<br />

believed the common “Christian”<br />

belief in life after death<br />

and an eternally burning<br />

hell. I could never love or<br />

respect a God like that.<br />

I realize there are a lot of<br />

flaws in our people, myself<br />

included. I have been an<br />

Adventist all my life and<br />

don’t know of one member<br />

of my family who hasn’t been<br />

hurt emotionally, or in other<br />

ways, by someone in the<br />

church. After all, why would<br />

Satan try to discourage people<br />

who are not attempting<br />

to follow the truth of the<br />

Bible? . . .<br />

There are other reasons,<br />

too, for my love of the Adventist<br />

Church. Our Sabbath<br />

rest is wonderful, . . . then<br />

there is the health message.<br />

Most of all, when I think of<br />

my Best Friend, Jesus, agonizing<br />

on the cross for me, I<br />

have to know that Someone<br />

like that would never do anything<br />

to harm me, much less<br />

send me to an eternally<br />

burning hell. I’m so glad we<br />

know the end of the story as<br />

Revelation tells us. God wins,<br />

and I want to be on His side.<br />

Pauline N. Pierson<br />

Collegedale, Tennessee<br />

Tried and True,<br />

Old and New<br />

»»<br />

I appreciated Sandra Blackmer’s<br />

editorial “Tried and<br />

True” (Jan. 24, 2013). I identify<br />

with her not adapting<br />

readily to change. I also drive<br />

an older Honda, slightly<br />

younger than hers, but with<br />

398,000 miles. It has never<br />

left me stranded, and has<br />

required minimal repair.<br />

Those of us who don’t make<br />

a lot of money, but still want<br />

to be faithful in tithe and<br />

support for various church<br />

ministries, can do so by<br />

denying our desire for new<br />

toys and clothes.<br />

I too want to see our<br />

church utilize new technology<br />

as well as continue polishing<br />

the “tried and true”<br />

and using them to spread the<br />

gospel. If more people would<br />

put the Lord’s work first,<br />

there would be a huge difference<br />

in the funds that went<br />

into ministry versus personal<br />

desires.<br />

Tim Arner<br />

Knoxville, Tennessee<br />

Taking the Hint<br />

»»<br />

I appreciated Andrew<br />

McChesney’s article “Taking<br />

the Hint” (Jan. 24, 2013). The<br />

lesson he shares is based on<br />

the biblical principle that it<br />

is a sin to tempt or influence<br />

others to sin. Jesus Himself<br />

made this very plain in<br />

Luke 17:1, 2.<br />

As the author implies, this<br />

principle is often violated by<br />

the adoption of provocative<br />

worldly styles of dress. But<br />

another area of concern is<br />

the advertising done by the<br />

immoral gambling, alcohol,<br />

tobacco, and theatrical entertainment<br />

interests. As conscientious<br />

Christians we<br />

shouldn’t be involved in any<br />

way with the promotion or<br />

production of advertising for<br />

these morally degenerate<br />

businesses.<br />

Leonard Lang<br />

Newcastle, Wyoming<br />

www.adventistreview.org<br />

Religious<br />

Freedom in<br />

the United<br />

States<br />

January 17, 2013<br />

January 17, 2013<br />

Vol. 190, No. 2<br />

IS one of<br />

the most<br />

fundamental<br />

freedom<br />

unde attack?<br />

Religious Freedom<br />

in America<br />

»»<br />

I found Nicholas P. Miller’s<br />

brief historical sketch of the<br />

various viewpoints regarding<br />

church and state relations<br />

(“Religious Freedom in<br />

America,” Jan. 17, 2013) to be<br />

very helpful. Positioning<br />

Adventism with the “dissenting<br />

Protestants” and counseling<br />

us to support government<br />

involvement in “civil<br />

morality” while opposing its<br />

promotion of “spiritual<br />

morality” makes sense.<br />

r<br />

A Wave and a Gr eting<br />

Religiously Unaffiliated<br />

Swe l Worldwide<br />

Divine A sa sin?<br />

S<br />

7<br />

8<br />

26<br />

It seems to me that God<br />

cut the template for that<br />

approach when He fashioned<br />

the Ten Commandments. The<br />

first four define “spiritual<br />

morality”—a citizen’s relationship<br />

to religion, if he or<br />

she chooses to have such a<br />

relationship. <strong>Here</strong> civil governments<br />

should not intrude<br />

except as necessary to safeguard<br />

those freedoms. The<br />

last six commandments<br />

define “civil morality”—<br />

those that preserve the lives<br />

and well-being of all citizens,<br />

religious and secular. If civil<br />

governments do not enforce<br />

just laws here, the result is<br />

anarchy.<br />

Some might say that the<br />

commandment against coveting<br />

cannot be regulated by<br />

civil law since it is a sin of<br />

the mind. Even that commandment,<br />

however, can<br />

influence laws dealing with<br />

fraud, overreaching in business,<br />

unjust discrimination,<br />

etc.<br />

Lee Roy Holmes<br />

Kettle Falls, Washington<br />

www.adventistreview.org<br />

January 10, 2013<br />

January 10, 2013<br />

Vol. 190, No. 1<br />

Ordination Study<br />

Commi t e Named<br />

Wi ling to Be Led<br />

God’s Peddler<br />

What Is a<br />

What Is a Mystic?<br />

»»<br />

This is just a note to thank<br />

you for publishing Eric<br />

Anderson’s article on mysticism<br />

(see “What Is a Mystic?”<br />

Jan. 10, 2013). I never<br />

expected to see such a thing,<br />

in view of my experience of<br />

the deep negativity toward<br />

8<br />

15<br />

27<br />

Mystic?<br />

Seeking<br />

companionShip<br />

with Christ<br />

4 (196) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Christian mysticism in Seventh-day<br />

Adventist churches.<br />

I was especially pleased to<br />

see the references to the<br />

Ellen White comments<br />

Anderson selected, Evelyn<br />

Underhill (who may not be<br />

found in Internet sources),<br />

and C. S. Lewis. I liked the<br />

whole article, especially the<br />

last two paragraphs. . . . I<br />

hope this is not the last thing<br />

you write on the subject!<br />

Lynn P. Hartzler<br />

Sacramento, California<br />

»»<br />

I looked up the word “mysticism”<br />

in response to the<br />

recent article from Eric<br />

Anderson. If you do a search<br />

in E. G. White’s writings, you<br />

will find that “mysticism” is<br />

generally used as leading a<br />

person away from God’s<br />

truth, not in leading them<br />

closer.<br />

Mystics and mysticism<br />

have been around a long<br />

time. It came out of the study<br />

of Plato leading those followers<br />

who were Christians to<br />

go into monasteries to<br />

become the first Christian<br />

mystics. Anderson is blurring<br />

the edges so that one<br />

cannot see between good and<br />

evil.<br />

Read the following quote<br />

from Ellen White: “Spiritual<br />

darkness has covered the<br />

earth and gross darkness the<br />

people. There are in many<br />

churches skepticism and<br />

infidelity in the interpretation<br />

of the Scriptures. Many,<br />

very many, are questioning<br />

the verity and truth of the<br />

Scriptures. Human reasoning<br />

and the imaginings of<br />

the human heart are undermining<br />

the inspiration of the<br />

Word of God, and that which<br />

“I’m so glad we know the end of the story as Revelation<br />

tells us. God wins, and I want to be on His side.<br />

”<br />

—pauline N. pierson, Collegedale, Tennessee<br />

should be received as<br />

granted is surrounded with a<br />

cloud of mysticism. Nothing<br />

stands out in clear and distinct<br />

lines, upon rock bottom.<br />

This is one of the<br />

marked signs of the last<br />

days” (Selected Messages,<br />

book 1, p. 15).<br />

May the truth always<br />

stand clear!<br />

Bob Stewart<br />

via e-mail<br />

»»<br />

Eric Anderson’s article<br />

spoke to the whole issue in a<br />

positive, biblically informed,<br />

Ellen White-influenced, and<br />

personally experiential way.<br />

I was very moved by it. I plan<br />

to share his article regularly<br />

with my students and others<br />

who ask questions about<br />

spirituality, mysticism, and<br />

related issues. I want to<br />

thank Anderson for writing<br />

such a thoughtful and personally<br />

revealing piece, and<br />

to thank the Adventist<br />

Review team for giving prominence<br />

to a piece that will<br />

run counter to some unfortunate<br />

prejudices against<br />

learning from other Christians<br />

that can be found in<br />

certain Adventist circles.<br />

In a number of instances<br />

Christ held up the faith of<br />

Gentile outsiders, including<br />

the Syrophoenician woman<br />

and the Roman centurion, as<br />

models of spirituality from<br />

which the “chosen” could<br />

learn. Anyone who examines<br />

the library of Ellen White can<br />

see a similar openness to<br />

learning from the insights of<br />

other Christians. I just pray<br />

that the “chosen” of today<br />

can, along with their doctrinal<br />

faithfulness, exhibit a<br />

similar humility, grace, and<br />

openness. I think this was a<br />

very important article at a<br />

critical time, and I deeply<br />

appreciate the Review’s candor<br />

and courage in serving<br />

Christ and His church.<br />

Nicholas Miller<br />

Berrien Springs, Michigan<br />

The Place of<br />

a Servant<br />

»»<br />

Hooray for Jimmy Phillips<br />

and his article “The Place of a<br />

Servant” (Jan. 10, 2013)! His<br />

eloquent description of<br />

doing what we don’t feel like<br />

doing when people annoy us<br />

reminds me of the gospel<br />

song that goes something<br />

like “to put my human<br />

nature down, and let the<br />

Spirit take control of all I do<br />

. . .” Not easy.<br />

I am very proud of our<br />

magazine and the variety of<br />

views expressed in it.<br />

Phyllis E. DeLise<br />

New Port Richey, Florida<br />

Corrections<br />

»»<br />

We’ve published two<br />

errors related to photos. The<br />

photo that accompanied<br />

Steve R. Morris’ article “My<br />

Father Sang to Me” (Jan. 17)<br />

is a photo of<br />

another one of<br />

our authors,<br />

Larry Yeagley.<br />

<strong>Here</strong> is a photo<br />

of Morris.<br />

S. R. Morris<br />

South England<br />

Conference president<br />

Samuel Davis is the speaker<br />

mentioned in the caption<br />

with the bottom photo on<br />

page 10 of the February 14<br />

Review, not Pastor Ian Sweeney.<br />

Our apologies<br />

for these<br />

errors.<br />

S. davis<br />

We welcome your letters, noting,<br />

as always, that inclusion of a letter<br />

in this section does not imply that<br />

the ideas expressed are endorsed by<br />

either the editors of the Adventist<br />

Review or the General Conference.<br />

Short, specific, timely letters have<br />

the best chance at being published<br />

(please include your complete<br />

address and phone number—even<br />

with e-mail messages). Letters will<br />

be edited for space and clarity only.<br />

Send correspondence to Letters to<br />

the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501<br />

Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD<br />

20904-6600; Internet: letters@<br />

adventistreview.org.<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (197) 5

Editorials<br />

Bill<br />

Knott<br />

“A tiny minority<br />

of Adventists<br />

is now wielding<br />

unwarranted<br />

influence on<br />

the church’s<br />

educational,<br />

pastoral, and<br />

publishing<br />

ministries.”<br />

Reclaiming the Library<br />

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by<br />

little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”—Emerson.<br />

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

celebrated Unitarian clergyman and Transcendentalist, does not mean that I endorse all that Emerson<br />

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

times.]<br />

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

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

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

intended to cleverly skewer reactionary politicians, pedants, and preachers, his witticism has<br />

become a cultural warning of the dangers of the unsupple mind, the rigid and fearful consistency that<br />

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

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

who memorably chastised government, consumerism, and militarism. Thoreau also mentored<br />

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

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

my youth walking the muddy path around his beloved Walden Pond, and admiring the countercultural<br />

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

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

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

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

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

Yet Emerson and Thoreau must have winced when fellow Concord resident and author Nathaniel Hawthorne<br />

took up his pen to mock the pretentiousness of Transcendentalist thought in a redux version of<br />

Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress that he cleverly titled “The Celestial Railroad.”<br />

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

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

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

this magazine in his lifetime.]<br />

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

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

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

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

across a smattering of Web sites.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ideologies and isms of the contemporary world, millions of men and women around the globe are turning<br />

to the clearly biblical and rational ideas on which our faith rests.<br />

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

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

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

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

and timeless Word of God.<br />

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

by those too fearful to read.] n<br />

6 (198) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Prisoners of Fear<br />

Until recently members of our editorial staff took turns<br />

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

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

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

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

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

pagan practices have been connected with both events.<br />

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

should join other Christians in commemorating these significant events surprised me. The inference<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

holy people” (Jude 3).<br />

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

with suspicion and suggest that because they aren’t Adventists and they commemorate Christ’s<br />

birth and resurrection they’re somehow deceived.<br />

In countries of the world in which Christianity is the predominant religion, the weeks leading<br />

up to the observance of Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection<br />

are prime opportunities to share our faith, not our fears. n<br />

Stephen<br />

Chavez<br />

While at the Palmer home<br />

on March 16, two days after<br />

receiving a vision on the great<br />

controversy, Ellen White is struck<br />

with severe paralysis, leaving her<br />

incapacitated. It takes six months<br />

to write what she has seen. White<br />

is later shown that the illness was<br />

a direct attack by Satan so the<br />

vision could not be shared.<br />

A House for God<br />

One home; five historical events in Adventism.<br />

1852 1853<br />

Joseph Bates returns to Palmer<br />

home and converts M. E. Cornell,<br />

who later converts John P. Kellogg,<br />

father of John Harvey Kellogg.<br />

1858<br />

1854<br />


First convert of<br />

Joseph Bates in<br />

Michigan in 1849<br />

A prayer meeting is held in the home just before<br />

James and Ellen White leave on a train bound for<br />

Wisconsin. Shortly after leaving the station, it derails,<br />

injuring many, but the Whites are unharmed.<br />

Hiram S. Case and C. P. Russell are<br />

rebuked by Ellen White in the Palmer<br />

home for accusations against a woman<br />

in the company. They defect and begin<br />

the Messenger party, the first Seventhday<br />

Adventist offshoot movement.<br />

1854<br />

A council meeting is held in<br />

the Palmer home, and there<br />

is a decision to purchase an<br />

evangelistic tent—Adventism’s<br />

first in Michigan. Cornell<br />

(the converted minister from<br />

1852) left immediately for New<br />

York to make the purchase.

World News & Perspectives<br />

Photos: West Indonesian Union<br />

PRESIDENTIAL MEETING: General Conference president Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson, left,<br />

greets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, at the Halim Perdanakusuma<br />

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

President Yudhoyono for the religious liberty granted in Indonesia, and pledged the help<br />

of Seventh-day Adventists in the nation.<br />


Wilson Meets Indonesia’s<br />

President Yudhoyono,<br />

Praises Religious Freedom<br />

Pledges cooperation to help people in need<br />

By MARK A. KELLNEr, news editor<br />

“It is an honor for us to be able to be in<br />

Indonesia and a good experience to meet<br />

with the president to share the views of<br />

the Seventh-day Adventist Church in<br />

helping the people,” Ted N. C. Wilson,<br />

president of the General Conference of<br />

Seventh-day Adventists, said to reporters<br />

after an audience with President Susilo<br />

Bambang Yudhoyono at the Halim Perdanakusuma<br />

Air Base near the capital of<br />

Jakarta, on February 12, 2013.<br />

Wilson is visiting Indonesia as part of<br />

celebrations of more than a century of<br />

Seventh-day Adventist work in the<br />

country. There are 1,547 Adventist congregations<br />

in Indonesia, and approximately<br />

250,000 baptized members in<br />

the nation, whose majority population<br />

is Muslim.<br />

“We are grateful for the opportunity<br />

to contribute in this country, and I am<br />

grateful to the president for the religious<br />

freedom granted to groups in<br />

Indonesia,” Wilson added.<br />

“It’s amazing to hear that Indonesia<br />

is a country with the second-highest<br />

economic growth. But President Yudhoyono<br />

is also aware of the need to do<br />

more things for his people,” Wilson<br />

explained. The General Conference president<br />

said the church is committed to<br />

help in various ways, whether social,<br />

physical, emotional, or spiritual, as well<br />

as assisting in disaster relief on the<br />

island of Sumatra after the 2004<br />

tsunami.<br />

“We are grateful for the opportunity<br />

to contribute in this country,” he said.<br />

The Seventh-day Adventist Church<br />

operates a number of facilities that<br />

help the Indonesian people, including<br />

Adventist hospitals in Bandung,<br />

Bandar Lampung, Manado and<br />

Medan. The church also operates 372<br />

schools and three universities in<br />

Indonesia.<br />

“We hope to help the people of Indonesia<br />

to solve a number of problems.<br />

God understands what is best for our<br />

lives,” Wilson concluded.<br />

During his visit, Wilson helped inaugurate<br />

a new wing of the Manado<br />

Adventist Hospital on February 15. The<br />

new three-story facility, which first<br />

opened in 2008, provides an additional<br />

55 beds.<br />

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the<br />

governor of the North Sulawesi Province,<br />

Sinyo Harry Sarundayang, said the<br />

additional facility was a response to primary<br />

health development goals of<br />

increasing longevity, reducing the<br />

infant mortality rate, and reducing the<br />

prevalence of malnutrition.<br />

“Optimizing private hospitals is our<br />

priority,” Sarundayang said. “Manado<br />

Adventist Hospital is a representation<br />

of strengthening community health<br />

resources and becomes the right answer<br />

to continuous development of welfare,”<br />

he said.<br />

The provincial government pledged<br />

US$400,000 for radio-diagnostic equipment<br />

and a new ambulance unit.<br />

The hospital has grown to employ<br />

265 people, up from 25 employees when<br />

it opened five years ago.<br />

On February 13 Wilson visited Bandung<br />

Adventist Hospital, which is<br />

located about 90 miles southeast of<br />

Jakarta, and considered one of the top<br />

hospitals in West Java. Founded in 1950,<br />

it now has 230 beds and employs 700<br />

people. A new $7 million building<br />

8 (200)<br />

| www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

facility was inaugurated last year.<br />

Wilson also visited Indonesian<br />

Adventist University in Bandung, which<br />

was first opened in 1929. He helped to<br />

dedicate ground for the construction of<br />

a new science center, and later<br />

addressed an assembly in the university’s<br />

Alumni Center.<br />

“You are an important part of the<br />

worldwide Adventist education process,”<br />

Wilson told a group of 2,000 faculty,<br />

staff, and students. “You may seek<br />

knowledge of science and philosophy<br />

and all other bodies of knowledge, but<br />

remember that the foundation of all<br />

true knowledge is the knowledge of<br />

God,” he said.<br />

The Adventist Church also operates<br />

hospitals in Bandar Lampung and<br />

Medan.<br />

Wilson was joined on the trip by his<br />

wife, Nancy; Alberto Gulfan, president<br />

of the Adventist Church’s Southern<br />

Asia-Pacific Division; Joseph Peranginangin,<br />

president of the West Indonesia<br />

HOSPITAL INAUGURATION: Nancy Wilson, left, joined her husband, Ted N. C. Wilson, at<br />

the dedication of a new wing for Manado Adventist Hospital. At right is the Honorable<br />

Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, governor of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia.<br />

Union; Noldy Sakul, president of the<br />

East Indonesia Union; and T. B. Silalahi,<br />

a retired Army lieutenant general who<br />

is an Adventist Church member. n<br />

—with information from local media<br />

reports and Adventist News Network<br />


Adventist Schools, Security Leaders,<br />

Unite to Keep Campuses Safe<br />

PASS group to hold conference in July 2013<br />

By KERI SUAREZ, media relations specialist, Andrews University, writing from Berrien Springs, Michigan<br />

As national debates intensify over<br />

how to effectively safeguard our educational<br />

institutions against future acts of<br />

violence, Professional Adventists for<br />

Safety and Security (PASS) is preparing<br />

for their third annual meeting, to be<br />

held in July 2013. PASS was organized in<br />

2010 to bring together safety and security<br />

professionals serving at Seventhday<br />

Adventist schools, hospitals, and<br />

other institutions to discuss best practices,<br />

provide community resources,<br />

and maintain an Adventist network of<br />

security personnel to allow the distribution<br />

of important information.<br />

To date, there has been active involvement<br />

in PASS from campus security<br />

directors of Oakwood Adventist University,<br />

Southern Adventist University,<br />

Andrews University, and Loma Linda<br />

University, as well as the directors of<br />

security at ADRA, the General Conference<br />

of Seventh-day Adventists, and<br />

the Review and Herald Publishing<br />

Association.<br />

For years there were discussions<br />

about the need to establish an organization<br />

that would connect the various<br />

safety and security departments at<br />

Adventist institutions. Although there<br />

was an acknowledged need for communication<br />

between the different entities,<br />

attempts to form a professional network<br />

never moved beyond preliminary stages.<br />

When Dale Hodges became the director<br />

of the Office of Campus Safety at<br />

Andrews University, he was concerned<br />

about the negative perceptions that had<br />

developed between students and campus<br />

safety. The term “veggie cop,” a<br />

slang term commonly used in Adventist<br />

settings to refer to safety or security<br />

professionals, was new to Hodges. As a<br />

retired homicide detective, Hodges<br />

wanted to repair any negative perceptions<br />

while building the professionalism<br />

of his office.<br />

“It was my desire to establish standards<br />

of service and levels of professionalism<br />

that had not been seen<br />

before,” he says, hoping such improve-<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (201) 9

World News & Perspectives<br />

Andrews University photo<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Association).<br />

ments would eliminate negative perceptions.<br />

“When we raise the standards,<br />

everybody wins.”<br />

Hodges felt the best way to raise standards,<br />

both at Andrews and other<br />

Adventist institutions, was to develop<br />

an organization to provide models and<br />

lists of best practices for safety and<br />

security offices in the Adventist community.<br />

During the summer of 2010<br />

Hodges contacted his counterparts at<br />

various Adventist colleges and institutions<br />

to see whether there was interest<br />

in forming such an organization. The<br />

response was overwhelming. Some<br />

departments committed to attending<br />

the meetings, and those that could not<br />

stated their support. Meeting dates and<br />

an agenda were set and the rest fell into<br />

place. Hodges learned that many of his<br />

Photo courtesy Loma Linda University<br />


a retired police captain, is director of security<br />

at Loma Linda University. She is organizing<br />

this year’s meeting of the Professional<br />

Adventists for Safety and Security,<br />

scheduled for July 15-16.<br />

counterparts were also<br />

retired law enforcement or<br />

active members of their<br />

local law enforcement<br />

communities with a diversified<br />

knowledge base and<br />

experience to share.<br />

“It’s my desire that this<br />

association will bring a<br />

level of professionalism<br />

across the board to all<br />

Adventist entities, so we’re<br />

all providing similar services<br />

in a professional<br />

manner,” says Hodges.<br />

“Setting the bar, so to<br />

speak.”<br />

During its second<br />

annual meeting in 2012,<br />

PASS adopted an official<br />

constitution and bylaws in<br />

addition to laying out several<br />

goals. One goal is the<br />

development of a Web<br />

page under the umbrella<br />

of the General Conference<br />

of Seventh-day Adventists.<br />

This Web site will allow<br />

PASS to provide its members<br />

with resources of<br />

working policies and<br />

guidelines for emergency<br />

management that include requirements<br />

published by the Department of Homeland<br />

Security and the Department of<br />

Education. Other goals include the<br />

development of a peer review team to<br />

evaluate the security services of institutions<br />

at their request and suggest possible<br />

improvements; the collection of a<br />

database for persons or things of interest;<br />

and recommendations for Clery Act<br />

compliance and adherence to NFPA,<br />

OSHA, and EPA regulations and guidelines<br />

within our institutions.<br />

The 2013 PASS conference is scheduled<br />

for July 15-16, 2013, at Loma Linda<br />

University. For information on attending,<br />

contact Dale Hodges, current PASS<br />

president and director of the Andrews<br />

University Office of Campus Safety, at<br />

dbhodges@andrews.edu. n<br />

10 (202) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013


Morris Venden, Noted Adventist<br />

Preacher, Author, Dies at 80<br />

Ministered to generations, had wide influence<br />

By JAY WINTERMEYER, Upper Columbia Conference, reporting from College Place, Wash.<br />

Morris L. Venden, well-known husband, father, Seventhday<br />

Adventist preacher, teacher, and author, passed to his<br />

rest Sunday evening, February 10, 2013. Venden was 80 years<br />

old and died following a 10-year battle with frontotemporal<br />

dementia, or FTD, a comparatively<br />

rare form of dementia.<br />

His wife, Marilyn; one son, Lee,<br />

and his wife, Marji; two<br />

daughters, Lynn and LuAnn<br />

Venden; three grandchildren,<br />

Kris, Lindsey, and Mark; one<br />

brother, Louis, and Louis’ wife,<br />

Margie, survive.<br />

During his ministry Venden<br />

pastored several large<br />

Seventh-day Adventist congregations,<br />

including the La<br />

Sierra University Church and<br />

Pacific Union College Church<br />

in California and the Union<br />

College Church in Nebraska.<br />

Later he led the Azure Hills<br />

Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church near Loma Linda, California,<br />

from which he retired<br />

in August 1998.<br />

At Azure Hills Venden held<br />

three services each Sabbath<br />

that were filled to capacity.<br />

His son, Lee, recalled his<br />

father’s advice, as he became<br />

a pastor: “The world and the<br />

Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church are starving for more<br />

of Jesus. . . . Any pastor who<br />

will make Jesus the one string on his violin will be in<br />

demand.”<br />

In retirement Venden briefly joined the Voice of Prophecy<br />

(VOP) radio ministry team as an associate speaker.<br />

“Morrie agreed to preach on our 30-minute Sunday<br />

broadcast and also appeared at dozens of appointments<br />

and camp meetings for the VOP,” recalled Lonnie Melashenko,<br />

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

UCC photo<br />

PREACHING LEGEND: Morris L. Venden, longtime Seventhday<br />

Adventist preacher, teacher, and author, passed to his<br />

rest on February 10, 2013.<br />

the consummate statesman, Morrie was deeply respected<br />

and admired everywhere he served,” he added.<br />

Along with writing more than 30 books about Jesus, Venden<br />

was a widely sought-after speaker and has been<br />

described as a master of the art<br />

of preaching, and most of all,<br />

someone who loved Jesus.<br />

“His books were like an<br />

oasis of fresh spirituality. They<br />

uplifted Christ, not just keeping<br />

the Sabbath and keeping<br />

the law,” said Ovidiu Radulescu,<br />

a pastor now living in<br />

Arkansas, who in Communist<br />

Romania secretly typed and<br />

distributed translated copies<br />

of Venden’s 1980 book “Faith<br />

That Works.”<br />

The tagline from that book,<br />

as listed on Amazon.com, is<br />

“You don’t get righteousness<br />

by seeking righteousness.<br />

Righteousness comes by seeking<br />

Jesus.”<br />

“I know several people who<br />

chose to stay in the church<br />

because of reading Morris Venden’s<br />

books,” Radulescu said.<br />

Venden’s son, Lee, said, “Dad<br />

will be remembered for the<br />

one string on his violin that he<br />

consistently talked about;<br />

Jesus, and the privilege available<br />

to everyone to have a<br />

meaningful friendship with<br />

Him. At this point it seems clear Dad will be able to sleep<br />

this disease off; the long sleep from our perspective, the<br />

short sleep from his.”<br />

Venden’s memorial service was scheduled to be held in<br />

the Loma Linda University Church, on Sunday, March 3,<br />

2013. n<br />

—with additional reporting by Mark A. Kellner and Adventist<br />

News Network<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (203) 11

World News & Perspectives<br />

BRAND-NEW CHURCH: Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church in the city of Higüey in the<br />

eastern part of the Dominican Republic was the twenty-fifth new church to be dedicated<br />

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


Adventists to Open 25 New,<br />

25 Remodeled Churches<br />

in Dominican Republic<br />

Membership approaches 282,000<br />

attending 686 congregations.<br />

By BERNARDO MEDINA, Inter-American Division, reporting<br />

from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic<br />

Maintaining existing worship<br />

facilities and building new ones is a<br />

goal Seventh-day Adventist church<br />

leaders in the Dominican Republic<br />

have in order to keep pace with the<br />

needs of a fast-growing membership.<br />

During a recent series of dedication<br />

ceremonies, 25 new churches throughout<br />

the island country were inaugurated.<br />

Another 25 are being remodeled,<br />

leaders said.<br />

“This has been possible only thanks<br />

to God’s grace and to the thousands of<br />

church members who have contributed<br />

toward the development of the church<br />

throughout the island,” said Pastor<br />

Cesario Acevedo, president of the<br />

church in the Dominican Republic.<br />

“We praise God because 25 new congregations<br />

can worship and glorify the<br />

name of our Lord in a dignified and<br />

proper way,” he added.<br />

With a membership of more than<br />

284,000 attending some 686 churches,<br />

the church leadership developed a plan<br />

to better some of the buildings that are<br />

in precarious conditions and in great<br />

need to be rebuilt, church leaders said.<br />

Church members jumped on board<br />

thanks to a united church, said Moise<br />

Javier, treasurer for the church in the<br />

Dominican Republic. “Each member has<br />

recognized their responsibility and is<br />

willing to contribute talents and<br />

resources in order to accomplish great<br />

things for the church and the<br />

community.”<br />

The Faith Adventist Church in the city<br />

of Higüey in the eastern part of the<br />

island was the twenty-fifth new church<br />

to be dedicated, an event that took place<br />

on the final Sabbath of 2012, December<br />

29. Church leaders and hundreds of<br />

members filled the church for a special<br />

thanksgiving program to commemorate<br />

the new building.<br />

Twenty-five more Adventist churches<br />

are scheduled to be rebuilt and remodeled<br />

this year, administrators said.<br />

Administrators have no doubts about<br />

reaching the goal this year thanks to a<br />

committed membership.<br />

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in<br />

the Dominican Republic operates a hospital,<br />

a university, dozens of primary<br />

and secondary schools, and 20 radio<br />

stations throughout the island.<br />

For more on the Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church in the Dominican Republic,<br />

visit adventistas.org.do. n<br />

UNION PRESIDENT: Pastor Cesario Acevedo speaks during the inaugural ceremony for<br />

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

island on December 29, 2012.<br />

12 (204) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

© terry crews<br />

© terry crews<br />

adventist life<br />

Sound Bite<br />

“It is possible to lie without<br />

saying a word. People may do<br />

so by a nod of the head, a wink<br />

of the eye, a wave of the hand,<br />

or merely by remaining silent.”<br />

—Thomas Chitowe, Guruve, Zimbabwe, as a caution to<br />

Adventists to monitor their behavior in regard to<br />

truthfulness<br />

My wife recently told me an interesting story. When she was young, she went<br />

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

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

and that “now we are eating something that resembles rubber heels.”<br />

—N. Gordon Thomas, Angwin, California<br />

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

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

uncertain how the boys would feel about the baby when they returned to school.<br />

Would the baby make too much noise for the boys; would the boys make too<br />

much noise for the baby? Would they dislike the extra demands on our time?<br />

Shortly after the boys returned to school my husband told me that every<br />

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

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

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

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

school “Names and Faces” picture.<br />

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

academy life is that we’re all just one big family!<br />

—Jaclyn Knight, Hutchinson, Minnesota<br />

did you know?<br />

<strong>Here</strong> are some interesting dates regarding vegetarianism in the United States.<br />

By the way, how’s that vegeburger?<br />

1838: Vegetarianism<br />

endorsed in the U.S.<br />

by the American<br />

Health Convention<br />

1971: Publication of Diet for a Small Planet, by<br />

Frances Moore Lappe, launches vegetarian movement<br />

in U.S. One percent of U.S. citizens describe<br />

themselves as vegetarian.<br />

1983: Dr. John McDougall’s The McDougall<br />

Plan—the first book promoting<br />

veganism by a credentialed Western<br />

medical authority—is published.<br />

2003: Vegetarian<br />

food (such as soy<br />

milk and textured<br />

vegetable protein)<br />

sales double since<br />

1998 to $1.6 billion.<br />

2011: MyPlate replaces MyPyramid,<br />

ending 19 years of food pyramid<br />

guidelines from the U.S.<br />

government. According to the<br />

diagram, “protein” is a component<br />

of a healthy diet, but meat<br />

is not specifically mentioned.<br />

1838 1990 2011<br />

1900-1960: As<br />

transportation and<br />

refrigeration improve,<br />

meat consumption<br />

increases.<br />

1974: Vegetarian<br />

Times magazine is<br />

founded by Paul Obis.<br />

1990s: Medical evidence supporting the superiority of vegetarian diets becomes overwhelming.<br />

The American Dietetic Association officially endorses vegetarianism, and<br />

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

McDougall Program and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease).<br />

—from an October 12, 2012, TakePart article available at http://news.yahoo.com/look-around-america-vegetarianism-isnt-going-anywhere-155700692.html<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (205) 13

GLOW Stories<br />

Giving Light to Our World—GLOW—is an outreach<br />

initiative in multiple NAD conferences based on<br />

the concept of church members carrying Adventist<br />

literature with them wherever they go and handing<br />

it out, free of charge, at every opportunity. <strong>Here</strong> are<br />

two short stories of lives touched by GLOW:<br />

Giving Light to Our World<br />

Story 1<br />

A hairdresser in California found two pieces of literature<br />

addressing the topic of Sabbath in two different places. After<br />

she found the second one she wondered whether it might be a sign from<br />

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

of literature on that subject if she was supposed to learn more about the<br />

Sabbath. Not long after, a person distributing literature in Fresno handed<br />

her a GLOW tract—the topic was the seventh-day Sabbath. The woman<br />

broke into tears. She soon called the GLOW office number listed on the tract<br />

and signed up for Bible studies. She recently was baptized and now stocks<br />

her local Adventist church with GLOW tracts.<br />

Story 2<br />

A husband and wife who own a small store in which they sell<br />

wholesome, healthful bread placed a rack filled with GLOW<br />

tracts near the front of their store. One day two customers who at first<br />

looked like they were going to buy some bread instead expressed interest in<br />

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

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

to distribute.” The store owners said the customers inspired them to be<br />

faithful and to let their “light” shine more fully at every opportunity.<br />

Stories compiled by Central California Conference GLOW director Nelson Ernst. To learn<br />

more about GLOW, go to sdaglow.org.<br />

Ricardo Camacho<br />

14 (206) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Searching the Obvious<br />

Precious Item<br />

I forgot to pray.<br />

* * *<br />

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

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

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

out to teach. I have to get to my 8:00 class.<br />

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

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

clay pot is the phrase: “Precious Item.”<br />

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

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

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

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

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

begin my walk to the classroom.<br />

As I walk across campus I walk past students, colleagues, the janitor that sings every<br />

morning while she completes a final walk through of the building, the gardener that calls<br />

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

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

I immediately say a silent prayer.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

heavenly grace.<br />

I glance at my lecture notes and notice I have inadvertently included the bonsai pamphlet in my lecture<br />

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

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

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

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

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

the ministry I am called to bear witness to.<br />

* * *<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

only prayer will take care of.<br />

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

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

Dixil<br />

Rodríquez<br />

Dixil Rodríguez, a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain, lives in north Texas. Join the conversation at<br />

searchingtheobvious@dixilrodriguez.com.<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (207) 15

Cover Story<br />

It<br />

Starts<br />

ere<br />

By Wilona Karimabadi<br />

here is a room somewhere<br />

in the back of a<br />

church or maybe in<br />

the basement. Its purpose<br />

is similar to<br />

other rooms—a<br />

place to study, to<br />

learn, and to visit.<br />

But this room is<br />

a little different.<br />

Its walls may be painted a<br />

soft muted color with snowflake cutouts<br />

taped to them. Perhaps there are<br />

colorful pictures of penguins tacked to<br />

bulletin boards and tinsel icicles dangling<br />

from white ceiling panels. There is<br />

usually an upright piano in the corner<br />

played by someone who knows all the<br />

tunes that will be sung that day. And at<br />

the front of the room, next to a blue felt<br />

board, stands a woman or man or a duo<br />

of both who will have loaded up on an<br />

energy-fueling breakfast in order to<br />

carry out the task at hand.<br />

There will also be boxes of props—<br />

rubber ducks, small hammers, stuffed<br />

animals, and felt flowers neatly placed<br />

in front of rows of tiny, colorful chairs.<br />

But it is the inhabitants of these<br />

chairs—of this room —that make this<br />

class so special.<br />

They file in—some shy and others<br />

bold—accompanied by moms and dads<br />

or sometimes, just dads and other times<br />

just moms, and even grandparents.<br />

They are dressed in their Sabbath best—<br />

tiny suits with coordinating shirts and<br />

ties; khakis and button-downs and little<br />

sweater-vests; and dresses and tights<br />

with pretty clips in their hair. The babies<br />

are present as well—nestled in wellcushioned<br />

car-seat carriers, they too are<br />

dressed in their best.<br />

“Teacher Ruth” or “Teacher David,” or<br />

whoever the case may be that Sabbath,<br />

welcomes each child with cheerful<br />

grins, cuddly stuffed animals, and welcome<br />

songs that many of us may still<br />

remember from our own days in classes<br />

such as these.<br />

These are the children of beginner<br />

Sabbath school. Tiny tots from newborns<br />

to preschool-ready toddlers who<br />

Photos by merle poirier<br />

18 (210) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Why beginner Sabbath<br />

school is so important.<br />

attend a class created especially for<br />

them. But at their ages and developmental<br />

levels, why does it matter that<br />

they come? Are beginner Sabbath school<br />

classes Sabbath morning day care or<br />

something much, much greater?<br />

Where Did It Come From?<br />

Beginner Sabbath school (ages 0-2)<br />

was better known as cradle roll for<br />

many years. It is the first class a child is<br />

introduced to under the umbrella of the<br />

children’s division in most Adventist<br />

churches. Other classes for the youngest<br />

members of our churches include kindergarten,<br />

primary, and junior. The age<br />

groups in these classes vary from<br />

church to church, but generally the<br />

beginner class welcomes its tiniest<br />

members from babyhood until they are<br />

ready for either a beginner II or kindergarten<br />

class environment (ages 3-5).<br />

According to Gary Swanson, associate<br />

director for the General Conference’s<br />

Sabbath School and Personal Ministries<br />

Department, children’s Sabbath school<br />

in the Seventh-day Adventist movement<br />

had interesting and humble beginnings.<br />

In the late nineteenth century, Protestant<br />

churches began Sunday school programs<br />

under the name “Sabbath school,”<br />

as Sundays were considered the Sabbath.<br />

They were initially outreach programs to<br />

children who had to work<br />

instead of attending school.<br />

The idea behind them was to<br />

provide academic education while<br />

slipping a little religion into the mix.<br />

Among early Adventists, Sabbath<br />

school work didn’t come about until<br />

1852, when James White authored 19 lessons<br />

for children and youth that were<br />

published in the Youth’s Instructor. The<br />

first Sabbath school classes for adults<br />

were organized in 1853 while James and<br />

Ellen White were in Rochester, New York,<br />

and in the early days there were only two<br />

divisions—children and adults. But the<br />

Sabbath school concept was of great<br />

importance to Ellen White’s ministry.<br />

“The Sabbath school is an important<br />

branch of the missionary work,” she<br />

wrote. “Not only because it gives young<br />

and old a knowledge of God’s Word, but<br />

because it awakens in them a love for its<br />

sacred truths, and a desire to study them<br />

for themselves; above all, it teaches them<br />

to regulate their lives by its holy teachings.”<br />

1 More formal organization followed<br />

in 1869 when Goodloe Bell<br />

became editor of the Youth’s Instructor. He<br />

created two series of lessons—for children<br />

and youth—and published plans<br />

for organizing leaders. This more formal<br />

approach was implemented in Battle<br />

Creek, Michigan. Once it gained initial<br />

success, the concept of organized Sabbath<br />

school took flight.<br />

The very first children’s division was<br />

formed in 1878 and was actually called<br />

the “Bird’s Nest.” This soon morphed<br />

into the kindergarten division in 1886,<br />

and by 1890 children were able to<br />

receive Our Little Friend—the weekly<br />

paper for the beginner and kindergarten<br />

Sabbath school, still in publication<br />

today. Over the years the church’s Sabbath<br />

school programs have been redefined<br />

and reorganized. Though cradle<br />

roll was the beloved name of the beginner<br />

class, the latter moniker became<br />

widely known with the development<br />

and implementation of the GraceLink<br />

curriculum in 2000. And as the result of<br />

a recent reassessment initiative, new<br />

material in the form of artwork,<br />

resources, program ideas for leaders<br />

and parents of special-needs children,<br />

etc., have debuted for the junior level<br />

this year, with more to follow soon for<br />

other age levels.<br />

Do the Wee Ones<br />

Really Understand?<br />

The littlest ones in beginner class—<br />

some too small to sit upright in their<br />

chairs by themselves—absorb everything<br />

going on around them like<br />

sponges. Developmentally, there are<br />

vast differences between a newborn and<br />

a 6-month-old, so just imagine what is<br />

happening with them cognitively during<br />

those crucial first years—a time in<br />

which they will learn much more than<br />

in other periods of their lives.<br />

Donna Habenicht, Ed.D., professor<br />

emeritus of educational and counseling<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (211) 19

psychology at Andrews University,<br />

coauthored Teaching the Faith: An Essential<br />

Guide for Building Faith-shaped Kids,<br />

with Larry Burton, professor of curriculum<br />

and instruction at Andrews University.<br />

“Babies, toddlers and 2-year-olds<br />

can learn many things in Sabbath<br />

school, including religious, social, and<br />

character-developing experiences,”<br />

which include prayer, singing and moving<br />

to music, sharing, listening, giving<br />

an offering, saying Jesus’ name and recognizing<br />

the Bible as God’s book. 2<br />

Though children this young have<br />

short attention spans, they are very<br />

capable of gleaning much, relying on<br />

their senses to learn the most. Thus they<br />

benefit immensely from a program filled<br />

with prop boxes of goodies such as felts<br />

and small toys, felt boards to “wham”<br />

pictures of Jesus and shepherds and animals<br />

onto, and of course, short and<br />

sweet songs. Children of this age group<br />

also respond well to repetition—a technique<br />

employed by the most experienced<br />

beginner Sabbath school leaders.<br />

“I like beginners because you stick to the<br />

same program as they need that repetition,”<br />

says Jane Morrison, a veteran<br />

beginner class teacher currently serving<br />

at Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church in Maryland. “By the time we<br />

change programs, they’re kind of just<br />

catching on. Parents will say, ‘Oh, it’s<br />

nice to have a new program,’ but for a<br />

child that age, they need to keep doing it<br />

and doing it and doing it.”<br />

And it sticks—in more ways than you<br />

may realize.<br />

“My mother told me that when I was<br />

14 or 15 months old, she took me to<br />

what we then called cradle roll,” says<br />

Aileen Andres Sox, editor of Our Little<br />

Friend. “It seemed to her as if I were paying<br />

attention to everything but the<br />

teacher. She remembers thinking that if<br />

I weren’t going to learn anything, she<br />

might as well go to her own class, taking<br />

me along with her. The very next day she<br />

noticed I was walking rather oddly and<br />

repeating ‘tee toe, tee toe’ over and over.<br />

She finally realized that I was trying to<br />

sing ‘Tiptoe, tiptoe, little feet.’ When she<br />

began to sing the song, I was absolutely<br />

gleeful and tiptoed to the music. Never<br />

again did Mother think going to my Sabbath<br />

school was a waste of time.”<br />

And It Matters Because . . .<br />

In the life of a church there is a past,<br />

present, and future. As adults we straddle<br />

the line between the past and the<br />

present. But the future of the church<br />

lies squarely in the hands of our progeny—our<br />

littlest ones.<br />

“There is a saying from Malawi that<br />

goes “Nkhuzi nkhu ma thole,” says<br />

Saustin Mfune, associate<br />

director of the Children’s<br />

Ministries Department<br />

at the General Conference.<br />

“It literally<br />

translates to ‘the<br />

bulls are in the<br />

calves.’ The essence of the saying is that<br />

if you want strong reliable bulls, you<br />

must take care of the calves.”<br />

It’s hard to ready babies and toddlers<br />

in their Sabbath finery for Sabbath<br />

school and church and make it there on<br />

time. It’s harder still when they can’t sit<br />

quietly and you know there is no way<br />

the family will make it through an entire<br />

service with a restless baby/toddler. But<br />

going week after week is crucial.<br />

“As much as I want parents involved,<br />

I also want them to be assured that<br />

there is value in bringing their little<br />

children to Sabbath school,” says Tina<br />

Pillai, who leads beginners at New Hope<br />

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fulton,<br />

Maryland. “When parents are<br />

excited and motivated about what is<br />

going on in Sabbath school, they will<br />

bring their kids regularly to church, and<br />

when parents participate in Sabbath<br />

school, they become agents for change.”<br />

“Going to Sabbath school with a baby,<br />

toddler, or 2-year-old is a supportive<br />

experience for baby’s parents,” adds<br />

Habenicht. “They meet other people in<br />

the church who have babies, and they<br />

support each other in baby rearing. They<br />

observe how the teacher teaches their<br />

child and are encouraged to teach their<br />

little ones at home.”<br />

On mother-of-four Chrystal Kueter’s<br />

first visit to an Adventist church, she was<br />

hesitant to involve herself and her little<br />

ones in Sabbath school.<br />

20 (212) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

“I thought you had to drop them off at<br />

a glorified day care as in other churches,”<br />

she says. “So when I was encouraged to<br />

stay, I have to be honest, I was really disappointed.<br />

But as I watched my son<br />

eagerly learning about nature and God, I<br />

was stunned! I was moved to tears and<br />

blessed more than if I’d gone to a month<br />

of Sabbath school classes on my own. I<br />

was so moved by the tender way they<br />

taught the very young. I was also blessed<br />

to be an example for my son, and sit with<br />

him to model that example.”<br />

That early exposure to the simplest<br />

concepts of our faith in developmentally<br />

appropriate ways does make a big difference.<br />

“Helping young children grow<br />

spiritually nurtures the bud of spirituality<br />

that God has placed in the human<br />

heart. Eventually the bud becomes the<br />

full-bloom rose of spiritual devotion.” 3<br />

In a room at the back of the church, a<br />

beginner class is ending. A little boy no<br />

older than 18 months toddles to a prop<br />

box and reaches inside—mimicking his<br />

teacher. He finds a little orange felt flag<br />

with the word “Jesus” on it. Excited, he<br />

waves it around and with a big smile on<br />

his sweet face, says: “Ree-zuz!”<br />

In the end, isn’t that what it’s all<br />

about? n<br />

1<br />

Ellen G. White, Testimonies on Sabbath School Work<br />

(Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.,<br />

1900), pp. 109, 110.<br />

2<br />

Donna Habenicht and Larry Burton, Teaching the<br />

Faith: An Essential Guide for Building Faith-shaped Kids<br />

(Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn.,<br />

2004), p. 213.<br />

3<br />

Ibid., pp. 211, 212.<br />

Wilona Karimabadi taught<br />

beginner Sabbath school for<br />

many years when her now-teen<br />

and -tween kids were little,<br />

and appreciates what it did for<br />

her faith and theirs.<br />

Best Practices for Beginner<br />

Sabbath School Leaders<br />

By “Teacher” Jane Morrison<br />

• Love the children and tell them so! And<br />

“throw kisses” as they leave.<br />

• Know your families. Call each child by<br />

name. As they come in, greet them by name<br />

even if the program has begun. Touch and<br />

hug them as appropriate.<br />

• Be prepared—don’t read. You’re going to<br />

use the program for several months, so learn<br />

it. You may need some help to remember the<br />

order. Place cards or the program sheet where<br />

you will pick up your “tools”—the props.<br />

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

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

maybe you just sense things are too busy and choose to use certain activities to calm<br />

the children.<br />

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

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

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

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

to participate with their child in the program.<br />

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

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

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

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

man and a woman. I’ve had some great coleaders in my time.<br />

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

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

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

• Be creative. Always keep your eyes and ears open for new activities and items.<br />

Recently I heard some laughing as we were leaving a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I<br />

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

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

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

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

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

are always conscious to say, “Jesus made the animals. Jesus takes care of the animals.<br />

Jesus lets us help take care of the animals. Jesus sees us. Jesus loves us.”<br />

Jane Morrison teaches beginners Sabbath school at Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (213) 21

Devotional<br />

she tucked him in at night, he’d tell her<br />

all the fun stories from his school days<br />

playing with his comrade. In the mornings<br />

when he got up, he was excited to go<br />

back to school because he knew his<br />

friend was going to be there. One day she<br />

arrived at the school earlier than usual to<br />

pick up her son. He saw her at the door<br />

and came running, as children often do<br />

when they catch a glimpse of Mom. He<br />

gave her a hug and then immediately<br />

pointed across the room so that he could<br />

show her who his new friend was.<br />

“He’s right there!” he said, beaming<br />

and pointing.<br />

“Which one?” she asked, perplexed<br />

as she followed his tiny finger into a<br />

sea of children.<br />

“The kid in the red shirt!”<br />

When her eyes landed on her child’s<br />

friend, she couldn’t help smiling. In a<br />

Seeing<br />

with<br />

Jesus’<br />

eyes<br />

Red<br />

By HEATHER<br />


I<br />

had a student in the English class I<br />

was teaching at a community college<br />

a couple years ago tell me the<br />

most beautiful story. I was talking<br />

to them about my life growing up<br />

as a biracial child. For me, the combining<br />

of two different cultures has been<br />

precious. I have never had any real confusion<br />

about who I was or where I<br />

belonged. I grew up with both my Black<br />

father and White mother, who loved<br />

each other dearly. There really was not<br />

much room for confusion, because I<br />

knew them both, loved them both, and<br />

knew that they loved me.<br />

My student’s story was about her son.<br />

He had been attending his first year of<br />

school and often came home raving to<br />

his mother about his new friend. When<br />

class with 25 or so children, every child<br />

in her son’s room was White except her<br />

son’s best friend, who was wearing a<br />

red shirt. In a room in which all but one<br />

shared the same skin tone, her son<br />

could not think of a single characteristic<br />

that would identify his friend to his<br />

mother from the other children in the<br />

room, except for his red shirt.<br />

Identifying Me<br />

When my student told me that story, I<br />

was moved. There is a reason that Christ<br />

said that in order to enter the kingdom<br />

of heaven, we would first need to<br />

become like children. Children are precious.<br />

Children don’t hate until they are<br />

first taught hate.<br />

There are a lot of things Jesus could<br />

22 (214) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

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

just see Him discussing bringing me do while reading or listening to stories:<br />

into the kingdom.<br />

I put myself in the leading character’s<br />

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

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

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

this point there are a million things do, and I am not<br />

Jesus could use to identify me. He could saying that is<br />

point me out as the girl that’s been a what everyone<br />

hypocrite or the same girl who stole else should do. I<br />

that ankle bracelet from the convenience<br />

store in ninth grade and to this what I think I<br />

am simply saying<br />

day has never been caught for it. The would do in this<br />

girl who threw up all over her twin bed situation.<br />

the first time she got drunk in high<br />

In Lucado’s<br />

school, or that girl who lost her cool book the couple<br />

and spewed a few choice words when is on vacation<br />

she got cut off on the highway (and that together, reflecting and crying, and trying<br />

to figure out how to move forward.<br />

one was more recent than I’d like to<br />

admit).<br />

The woman is trying to figure out if she<br />

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

Shirt<br />

our shortcomings because we fear we<br />

will lose respect. We keep things from<br />

one another, sometimes even from our<br />

closest friends, for fear that if they<br />

found out they wouldn’t see us anymore,<br />

and they’d just see the sin.<br />

I Forgive You. Let’s Move on<br />

I read a devotional entry once by Max<br />

Lucado in his book Just Like Jesus, in<br />

which he talked about a personal friend<br />

who had had an affair. The affair had<br />

happened more than a decade earlier,<br />

and the husband never confessed it.<br />

When his wife finally did find out, 10<br />

years later, they dropped everything and<br />

took a trip together to put out the noise<br />

of the world and focus on each other<br />

and their relationship.<br />

On that card is<br />

a note penned<br />

from the hand<br />

of Christ that<br />

reads: “I forgive<br />

you. I love you.<br />

Let’s move on.”<br />

says this: “In this case the wife was<br />

clearly in the right. She could have left.<br />

Women have done so for lesser reasons.<br />

Or she could have stayed and made his<br />

life a living hell. Other women have<br />

done that. But she chose a different<br />

response.”<br />

“On the tenth night of their trip my<br />

friend found a card on his pillow. On<br />

the card was a printed verse: ‘I’d rather<br />

do nothing with you than something<br />

without you.’ Beneath the verse she had<br />

written these words: I forgive you. I love<br />

you. Let’s move on.”<br />

I was struck by this story, because in<br />

the character of this woman I recognized<br />

the character of Christ. Romans<br />

3:23 reminds us: “For all have sinned<br />

and fall short of the glory of God.”<br />

Red Shirts All<br />

We do not deserve Christ. We have hurt<br />

Him, we have disgraced Him, we have<br />

betrayed Him, and if He came back right<br />

now, I believe many of us would crucify<br />

Him all over again. If<br />

you are sunk in the<br />

guilt of your past, so<br />

much so that you<br />

cannot breathe or<br />

move, lie still, because<br />

Jesus wants you. On<br />

your pillow is a card,<br />

and on that card is a<br />

note penned from the<br />

hand of Christ that<br />

reads: “I forgive you. I<br />

love you. Let’s move on.”<br />

Jesus, the one whom they called<br />

Christ, is so good, because everything<br />

we have done, every secret sin He’s seen<br />

us do in the dark, means nothing to<br />

Him the second we have sincerely<br />

repented and sought His forgiveness.<br />

I’m not perfect, but at least I know what<br />

a loser I am; and because of that, I am<br />

forced to seek His shelter and guidance<br />

every morning the second my eyelids<br />

open. Yes, there are a million different<br />

things Jesus could use to point me out<br />

to the Father. Lucky for me, He’ll just<br />

stand there beaming, proud to point me<br />

out in the crowd. And the single characteristic<br />

that He notices that would distinguish<br />

loser me from a roomful of<br />

saints is my red shirt.<br />

In heaven we’ll all be wearing red. It<br />

will be the color for every season. Trust<br />

me, no matter what you’ve done or<br />

where you’ve been, you can still seek the<br />

refuge of Christ, and when you do, stand<br />

tall and be proud to slip on that beautiful,<br />

distinguishable, bright-red shirt.<br />

“That’s My friend!” Jesus will say,<br />

smiling. “The one washed in the blood<br />

of the Lamb.” n<br />

Heather Thompson Day is<br />

working on her Ph.D. at<br />

Andrews University. Her most<br />

recent book is Cracked Glasses,<br />

the Review and Herald’s 2013<br />

young adult devotional.<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (215) 23

Story<br />


A<br />

loud banging sound woke<br />

us shortly before 4:00 one<br />

morning. Apprehension<br />

filled my heart as I raced<br />

downstairs. What I saw<br />

confirmed my worst fears. Someone<br />

was hard at work, trying to smash,<br />

break, or saw through the metal bars<br />

that protected our windows.<br />

Peeking outside, I saw in the glare of<br />

the lights, two or three dark figures<br />

Do I<br />

a<br />

Need<br />

?<br />

Protecting<br />

ourselves from<br />

the bad things<br />

out there<br />

GUN<br />

busying themselves. I turned all the<br />

lights on, ran upstairs to our bedroom,<br />

and flipped the switch of the siren on<br />

the roof. It began to wail in the darkness,<br />

building to a crescendo, alerting<br />

the whole neighborhood that we were<br />

victims of a break-in.<br />

Frantically I grabbed my cell phone<br />

and called 9-1-1 and our security<br />

agency, which, according to their ads<br />

and our contract, was supposed to be<br />

only minutes away in the case of an<br />

incident. Their car was usually parked a<br />

couple miles away from the gates of our<br />

residential neighborhood, a discreet<br />

presence to reassure us that all was well<br />

in our suburb of Nairobi, Kenya.<br />

But where were they? Worse yet, why<br />

did their emergency center not take my<br />

call? I dialed and dialed, but my call<br />

went unanswered.<br />

The banging on our security bars continued,<br />

and the thugs began working on<br />

our doors. Thankfully, our solid metal<br />

doors resisted their assault for a while.<br />

So Much to Protect<br />

Our two girls hid under the blankets<br />

in our bed. Young and small, their tiny<br />

bodies hardly made a bump where they<br />

lay huddled.<br />

I headed back downstairs with my<br />

wife, Beate, behind me, shouting and yelling<br />

in the hope of perhaps scaring them<br />

away. I had no weapon in the house—<br />

nothing. I reached for my toolbox and<br />

grabbed a rubber mallet. Now I stood,<br />

fearing the worst, feeling naked and completely<br />

vulnerable in my pajamas.<br />

If only I had a weapon, I thought, things<br />

might be different.<br />

Nobody came to our rescue; least of<br />

all the police, notorious for showing up<br />

well after the fact, if at all.<br />

Finally the door gave, and in rushed<br />

the first individual. Whack! I hit the<br />

man’s head with the mallet, and he<br />

reeled and crashed to the floor. Six other<br />

men erupted into our living room,<br />

shouting and yelling for money and<br />

valuables. One of the intruders went<br />

straight to our pantry and stuffed his<br />

mouth with raw pasta shells. They<br />

seemed to be high on drugs; perhaps<br />

they had sniffed too much glue.<br />

Why don’t I have a gun?<br />

The next thing I knew, one of the men<br />

lifted a crowbar over my head and<br />

brought it down savagely. Instinctively, I<br />

raised my arm to deflect the blow, but it<br />

still glanced my head. My arm felt funny;<br />

something warm trickled down my head<br />

and formed a large, crimson stain on my<br />

blue pajamas. My wife was also<br />

assaulted. A blow landed on her shoulder,<br />

grazing her ear, but leaving her<br />

standing and comparatively unscathed.<br />

Stunned, I threw one or two hundred<br />

dollars in cash, and my wristwatch (a<br />

wedding present from my wife) at the<br />

24 (216) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

men. I shouted, “You’re being watched<br />

by holy angels, who are recording your<br />

every move.”<br />

Hearing these words, my attacker<br />

stopped, looked around slowly, and<br />

then made his way to the door. The others<br />

followed. They quickly disappeared<br />

into the night, leaving behind the one I<br />

had knocked out with my rubber mallet.<br />

What If?<br />

The man roused, stood slowly, and<br />

looked at me, pained. Then came my<br />

second shock of the night: it was James,<br />

our gardener, who lived in a small<br />

house behind ours. He explained that<br />

when the intruders had broken into the<br />

property, which was protected by a high<br />

fence, he had tried to intervene, but they<br />

had quickly immobilized him. When the<br />

door had finally given way, they had<br />

thrust him forward as a human shield,<br />

in case I was armed. Subsequently he<br />

had received the blow on the head.<br />

Instantly I knew why I didn’t have a<br />

gun. I would have killed him, even while<br />

he was trying to protect me and my<br />

family! In fact, as I reached for my toolbox<br />

15 minutes earlier for something to<br />

protect us, I had hesitated for a<br />

moment: should I take my heavy, carpenter’s<br />

hammer or the silly rubber<br />

mallet? I chose the latter.<br />

I couldn’t have been happier: the carpenter’s<br />

hammer would have broken<br />

his skull.<br />

It was a traumatic night for our family.<br />

Thankfully, the girls were unhurt and<br />

hadn’t seen any of the violence. Beate was<br />

left with a bruise on her shoulder and<br />

deafness in one ear for a week or two.<br />

Within 48 hours we were able to<br />

move into a vacant house on the campus<br />

of Maxwell Adventist Academy, just<br />

a few miles away, leaving the worst of<br />

the bad memories behind. This gave us<br />

the safety we needed to serve another<br />

three years in Kenya.<br />

My recovery was the most difficult. It<br />

wasn’t just that I had to sport a strange<br />

haircut because of the two-inch-long gash<br />

on the side of my head, and it wasn’t<br />

because of the cast on my arm. It was the<br />

terrible sense of having let my family down.<br />

The dreadful scene played again and<br />

again in my mind, feeding my sense of<br />

guilt: if only I had been better prepared,<br />

at least with a can of pepper spray. I<br />

could have easily sprayed the choking<br />

substance into the assailants’ faces<br />

while they were working on the window<br />

bars, taking care of the situation before<br />

it became worse. I wondered if I should<br />

have prayed instead of running around<br />

shouting like a madman.<br />

One thing I never regretted, however,<br />

was not having a gun that night. Had I<br />

had one, I may now have someone’s life<br />

on my conscience, the life of someone<br />

dear to us, someone who showed the<br />

utmost loyalty and courage.<br />

The Violence<br />

Around Us<br />

A few years later we<br />

woke up again in the<br />

middle of the night,<br />

this time because of<br />

gunshots that seemed so close as to be<br />

on the compound of the East-Central<br />

Africa Division, where we served. We<br />

were terrified at the thought that our<br />

colleagues may have lost their lives to<br />

violence.<br />

The next morning all seemed to be normal,<br />

and none of our friends or coworkers<br />

were missing. Reports came back that a<br />

couple bodies lay on a side street, not far<br />

from our gates. The police left them there<br />

as a deterrent to criminals. Following this<br />

incident we decided that after four years<br />

in Africa, it was time to move on.<br />

As if to seal the decision in my mind,<br />

the national newspaper screamed in its<br />

next Sunday edition, in bold letters covering<br />

almost the entire page: “100,000<br />

reasons to be afraid in Kenya!” The<br />

story described the escalation of violence<br />

because of the estimated 100,000<br />

guns circulating in the country.<br />

A few months later the country<br />

descended into violence following presidential<br />

elections.<br />

My family and I now live in the<br />

United States, a country with more than<br />

300 million guns in circulation. Considering<br />

the mass shootings that have<br />

taken place at public events, in schools,<br />

at shopping malls, etc., we may well<br />

have 3,000 times more reasons to be<br />

Then came my<br />

second shock<br />

of the night.<br />

afraid than in Kenya, and 3,000 times<br />

more reasons to have a gun at home (or<br />

in our purse or under the arm) and to<br />

leave the country.<br />

Although we don’t always feel safe in<br />

the United States, and even though I<br />

may decide one day to replace the pepper<br />

sprays I eventually acquired but<br />

gave away when we left Kenya, I am convinced<br />

there are no good reasons I<br />

should have a gun. The unintended consequences<br />

of that sort of ownership<br />

frighten me even more than the possible<br />

consequences of not owning a gun.<br />

The words of Jesus to Peter resonate<br />

in my mind: “Put your sword back in its<br />

place,” “for all who draw the sword will<br />

die by the sword”<br />

(Matt. 26:52). The 300<br />

million guns, and the<br />

more than 30,000<br />

lives lost to gunshot<br />

deaths every year in<br />

this country, * still fail to convince me to<br />

join the ranks of citizens who are armed<br />

and ready. Maybe one day, but that day<br />

hasn’t come yet. n<br />

*<br />

See Georgina Olson, “More Than 30,000 People Die<br />

From Gunshot Wounds Each Year in the United States”<br />

(Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,<br />

2010), www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/<br />

Olson_21.pdf.<br />

?<br />

Claude Richli is associate<br />

publisher of Adventist Review<br />

and Adventist World magazines.<br />

What Do You Think?<br />

1. Is there a difference between<br />

“defending yourself” and owning a<br />

gun? What is it?<br />

2. You decide you should own a gun for<br />

self-protection. Your neighbor thinks<br />

about buying a gun but decides not<br />

to. Who is right?<br />

3. What should be one’s primary consideration<br />

when deciding whether or not<br />

to own a gun for protection?<br />

4. How do texts such as Matthew 7:1<br />

influence what you think about this<br />

important topic?<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (217) 25

Vital Signs<br />

HEALTH<br />

Exploring<br />

the connection<br />



It<br />

was with much shock and sadness that<br />

North American Division president Daniel<br />

Jackson interrupted the proceedings during<br />

an administrative meeting on December 14,<br />

2012, to announce the tragic news of the<br />

fatal shooting of 20 children and six adult staff members<br />

at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,<br />

Connecticut. Those of us at the meeting stopped what we<br />

were doing and together earnestly prayed for the families<br />

in pain. We couldn’t believe that such young, precious<br />

children, together with teachers, would die in this senseless<br />

way. Evil seemed to prevail.<br />

During such times of inexplicable<br />

tragedy many find comfort in the assurance<br />

that this world is not our home<br />

and that soon the great controversy<br />

between good and evil will end. We look<br />

forward to the day that families will be<br />

reunited with loved ones whom they<br />

lost to death. We yearn to complete the<br />

task given to us by God to share the gospel<br />

message with the world so that He<br />

can return soon and take us home. In<br />

the meantime, however, we cannot<br />

neglect to do everything we can to help<br />

reduce the risk of mass killings in our<br />

communities today.<br />

Violence and Health<br />

Violence in all its forms—domestic,<br />

gun, youth, gender-based, intimate partner,<br />

childhood, elderly, and so forth—has<br />

been linked to physical, mental,<br />

and social health as well as<br />

mortality. The Institute of<br />

Medicine (IOM) and the Centers<br />

for Disease Control have<br />

documented violence as a<br />

major health problem in this<br />

country. The IOM states that<br />

“in 2001, violence accounted<br />

for 45 million disabilityadjusted<br />

life years (DALYs) lost,<br />

with low- and middle-income<br />

countries bearing the largest<br />

burden.” 1 But violence can be<br />

prevented, and the IOM’s<br />

Forum on Global Violence Prevention<br />

(FGVP) is working to<br />

reduce violence worldwide by<br />

promoting research on both<br />

protective and risk factors and<br />

encouraging evidence-based<br />

prevention efforts. The FGVP aims to facilitate<br />

dialogue and exchange by bringing<br />

together experts from all areas of violence<br />

prevention, including faith-based organizations,<br />

to address this concern.<br />

The World Health Organization also<br />

confirms a significant health impact<br />

from this “contagion of violence.” Public<br />

health officials list violence as one of<br />

eight major factors negatively affecting<br />

26 (218) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

the health of citizens in the United<br />

States. 2 This is a major health issue that<br />

health ministries leaders in faith-based<br />

institutions must address. Johns Hopkins<br />

University recently held a summit<br />

on gun violence at which presenters and<br />

attendees discussed available research<br />

and evidence that support the need to<br />

reduce violence and thus its related<br />

health risks in the community. 3<br />

Gun Violence and Politics<br />

There are those who view matters<br />

such as gun violence as political issues.<br />

Others, including the Seventh-day<br />

Adventist Church, view them differently.<br />

In line with current research, the official<br />

Adventist Church statement regarding<br />

gun violence reads as follows:<br />

“While it is true that violence and<br />

criminal inclinations lead to guns, it is<br />

also true that availability of guns leads<br />

to violence. The opportunity for civilians<br />

to acquire by purchase or otherwise<br />

automatic or semiautomatic<br />

assault weapons only increases the<br />

number of deaths resulting from<br />

human crimes. . . . Seventh-day Adventists<br />

. . . wish to cooperate in using every<br />

legitimate means of reducing, and eliminating<br />

where possible, the root causes<br />

of crime. In addition, with public safety<br />

and the value of human life in mind, the<br />

sale of automatic or semiautomatic<br />

assault weapons should be strictly controlled.<br />

This would reduce the use of<br />

weapons by mentally disturbed people<br />

and criminals, especially those involved<br />

in drug and gang activities.” 4<br />

We must do what we can to help depoliticize<br />

the issue of gun violence. We can<br />

point to the research linking violence<br />

with adverse health factors, while sharing<br />

biblical principles that, if followed,<br />

can strengthen entire communities, families,<br />

and individuals. We also must ask<br />

the question Are we as individuals and<br />

as a faith community doing enough to<br />

educate ourselves on the health consequences<br />

of violence, in order to raise<br />

awareness of the importance of violence<br />

prevention in all its forms—including<br />

gun violence? Are we learning appropriate<br />

and helpful therapeutic ways to talk<br />

about violence with kids, answering<br />

questions they may have and addressing<br />

their possible fears of encountering violent<br />

situations?<br />

Many helpful resources are available<br />

that can help answer these questions<br />

from a public-health perspective (see<br />

sidebar). It’s well worth the time to read<br />

and utilize these materials.<br />

Ultimately, we must grasp opportunities<br />

to point people to Christ, the Creator,<br />

healer, and restorer of our lives.<br />

Jesus said: “I have come that they may<br />

have life, and that they may have it more<br />

abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). 5 We<br />

look forward to the time our Savior will<br />

bring an end to the death and evil in<br />

this world; but until then, He calls us to<br />

be His lips, hands, and feet to make our<br />

communities places of health, healing,<br />

and wholeness today.<br />

Let us not neglect to do our part. n<br />

1<br />

Institute of Medicine, “Forum on Global Violence<br />

Prevention,” http://iom.edu/Activities/Global/<br />

ViolenceForum.aspx. Accessed Feb. 5, 2013.<br />

2<br />

Surgeon general, “National Prevention Strategy,”<br />

www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/prevention/<br />

strategy/index.html. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.<br />

3<br />

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,<br />

“Gun Policy Summit,” www.jhsph.edu/events/gunpolicy-summit/agenda.html.<br />

Accessed Feb. 5, 2013.<br />

4<br />

Seventh-day Adventist Church, “Ban on Sales of<br />

Assault Weapons to Civilians,” http://adventist.org/<br />

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

5<br />

Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King<br />

James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas<br />

Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.<br />

Katia Reinert, Ph.D.c., C.R.N.P.,<br />

F.N.P.-B.C., P.H.C.N.S.-B.C., is<br />

director of the North American<br />

Division Health Ministries<br />

Department.<br />

Online Resources<br />

on Preventing<br />

Gun Violence<br />


cga.ct.gov<br />

“Gun Violence<br />

Must Stop. <strong>Here</strong>’s<br />

What We Can Do<br />

to Prevent More<br />

Deaths”;<br />

Prevention Institute—<br />

sesameworkshop.org<br />

“Statement in<br />

Response to the<br />

Elementary<br />

School Shooting<br />

in Connecticut”;<br />

American Academy<br />

of Pediatrics<br />

savethechildren.org<br />

“Helping Children<br />

and Adults Cope<br />

With Events Like<br />

the Newtown<br />

School Shootings”;<br />

Connecticut Commission<br />

on Children<br />

preventioninstitute.org<br />

“Talking to<br />

Children About<br />

Recent Events”;<br />

Sesame Street<br />

Workshop<br />

aap.org<br />

“Ten Tips to Help<br />

Children Cope”;<br />

Save the Children<br />

| March 14, 2013 | (219) 27

Introducing the Why<br />

Jimmy<br />

Phillips<br />

Faith Over Feeling<br />

He simply hung in place, matted in blood and gasping for breath.<br />

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

was literally on His shoulders.<br />

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

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

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

before being nailed to it like a common criminal.<br />

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

truth, which was suddenly so clear: Jesus was love, justice, mercy, and truth.<br />

Satan was not.<br />

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

and soul of the Savior, evil forces sought to enshroud Him with doubt.<br />

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

a wounded animal that falls behind the safety of the herd.<br />

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

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

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

Undoubtedly, heavenly angels, who finally grasped the full scope of the great controversy,<br />

wanted to jump out of heaven and bring Jesus back to His rightful throne.<br />

But this had to be done, and He had to face it alone.<br />

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

lashing out against those who were truly guilty.<br />

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

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

and courage.<br />

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

. . . He was acquainted with the character of His Father. . . . He committed Himself to God, the<br />

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

Faith Like Jesus<br />

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

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

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

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

and lean not on your own understanding.”<br />

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

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

directed back to you: “You just have to trust God.”<br />

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

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

our own understanding comes in.<br />

In His experience on the cross Jesus provided the perfect blueprint. Despite His dire circumstances and<br />

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

and loving character of His Father.<br />

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

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

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

Jimmy Phillips (jimmyphillips15@gmail.com) writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is electronic media coordinator<br />

for San Joaquin Community Hospital. Visit his Web site at introducingthewhy.com.<br />

28 (220) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Bookmark<br />

Celebrations:<br />

Living Life to the<br />

Fullest<br />

Allan Handysides, Peter Landless, Kathleen<br />

Kuntaraf, and Fred Hardinge. Softcover, 240<br />

pages, General Conference of Seventh-day<br />

Adventists Health Ministries Department,<br />

2012, US$14.99. Reviewed by David R. Williams,<br />

Norman Professor of Public Health<br />

and African and African-American Studies,<br />

Harvard University.<br />

This book is worth purchasing simply<br />

for the breathtaking pictures.<br />

Each page provides stunning photographs<br />

that reflect the diversity of our<br />

planet in terms of both people and<br />

places. This coffee-table book, however,<br />

provides much, much more. Written by<br />

four health professionals who serve in<br />

the General Conference Health Ministries<br />

Department, CELEBRATIONS is<br />

packed with timely and practical scientifically<br />

valid strategies to improve<br />

health.<br />

CELEBRATIONS is an acronym for key<br />

principles that provide a broad vision of<br />

health. Readers familiar with the eight<br />

laws of health will recognize several of<br />

them (exercise, liquid, rest, air, temperance,<br />

and nutrition). But scientific information<br />

is also presented on factors that<br />

we often don’t think of as key drivers of<br />

health, such as choices, the environment,<br />

belief, integrity, optimism, and<br />

social support. The chapter on the role<br />

of the environment, for example, argues<br />

that environmental awareness is relevant<br />

to the maintenance of good health.<br />

Issues discussed include overpopulation,<br />

deforestation, sustainable agriculture/food<br />

distribution, energy<br />

conservation, air and water pollution,<br />

and domestic and agricultural waste.<br />

Surprisingly, this chapter does not<br />

include a discussion of the multiple<br />

ways in which plant-based diets offer<br />

benefits to the environment.<br />

The chapter on choices is excellent in<br />

providing the long-lasting consequences<br />

of our decisions. It recognizes<br />

that choices can be affected by contextual<br />

factors and indicates that stress and<br />

emotion can affect individual decisionmaking.<br />

Research indicates that most<br />

individuals will do things that they<br />

would not normally do if placed in a<br />

compelling situation. Accordingly, it’s<br />

important for Christians to learn to pay<br />

attention to situational cues and contexts<br />

of vulnerability and to avoid them,<br />

to the extent possible. In addition, many<br />

people live in conditions that impose<br />

severe limits on good choices; therefore,<br />

promoting health also requires us to<br />

pay greater attention to policies that<br />

create opportunities to facilitate healthful<br />

choices and initiatives that remove<br />

barriers to healthful living. Much can be<br />

done to create a culture supportive of<br />

good health in our homes, churches,<br />

schools, hospitals, and other institutions.<br />

Every effort should be made to<br />

make the healthful choice, the easy<br />

choice.<br />

CELEBRATIONS is filled with detailed<br />

practical advice. For example, the chapter<br />

on exercise provides tips on selecting<br />

proper training shoes. Also<br />

important to note is that the many<br />

health recommendations in CELEBRA-<br />

TIONS are credible. The authors routinely<br />

present official evidence-based<br />

guidelines from reputable professional<br />

organizations. Moreover, to maximize<br />

the practical value of the book, each<br />

chapter ends with a life-application<br />

section, which provides questions for<br />

individual reflection and practical<br />

application, as well as for group discussion.<br />

A spiritual focus is a golden<br />

thread that runs through each chapter.<br />

CELEBRATIONS is a book that people<br />

will have a hard time putting down, and<br />

is an invaluable resource that can move<br />

each reader along the path to more<br />

healthful living. n<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (221) 29

Essential Tools for<br />

Witnessing<br />

Two major reference tools have recently<br />

been published that every Adventist<br />

should have at hand to answer Bible<br />

questions. What the Bible Says About . . . was<br />

written by veteran<br />

evangelist Mark<br />

Finley. It contains<br />

32 studies that<br />

cover all the doctrines<br />

of Adventist<br />

faith. It uses the<br />

classic questionand-answer<br />

approach with<br />

Bible texts to address each question.<br />

The second book, Always Prepared:<br />

Answers to Questions About Our Faith, provides<br />

responses to often-debated questions<br />

in the contemporary context: How<br />

reliable is the Bible? How can miracles<br />

be possible? Are there moral absolutes?<br />

A total of 20 such topics are carefully<br />

examined, each by a different Bible<br />

scholar. Humberto Rasi and Nancy Vyhmeister,<br />

both of whom have distinguished<br />

careers in Adventist higher<br />

education, edited the collection.<br />

Pacific Press published both volumes,<br />

which are available through your local<br />

Adventist Book Center or at www.<br />

adventistbookcenter.com.<br />

Men’s Bible Study<br />

Former Adventist military chaplain<br />

Dick Stenbakken has produced two<br />

resources that could help your church<br />

reach out to men, which is a particular<br />

need in most congregations.<br />

The Centurion develops the story of the<br />

Roman officer who was in charge of the<br />

crucifixion and a witness to the resurrection<br />

of Christ. It asks men to imagine<br />

what difference this experience might<br />

have made in the centurion’s life. Each<br />

chapter has discussion questions.<br />

The Armor of God is an eight-part DVD<br />

series exploring what Paul means when<br />

he urges in Ephesians 6 to “put on the<br />

Tools<br />

of the<br />

Trade<br />

full armor of God.” Discussion panelists<br />

include well-known speakers Shawn<br />

Boonstra, Roscoe Howard, Dick Duerksen,<br />

and Rich Carlson.<br />

There are also<br />

downloadable discussion<br />

sheets.<br />

Published by<br />

Pacific Press, you<br />

can purchase these<br />

materials through<br />

your Adventist<br />

Book Center or<br />

directly from the author at www.dick<br />

stenbakken.com.<br />

Responding With<br />

Practical Compassion<br />

A growing number of Adventists are<br />

training and organizing to respond with<br />

practical help, in Christ’s name, to<br />

major disasters. First Response: Change<br />

Your World Through<br />

Acts of Love, by<br />

David Canther, is<br />

the story of ACTS<br />

World Relief, a<br />

disaster response<br />

team that goes to<br />

such places as<br />

Haiti after the<br />

earthquake and<br />

New Jersey after<br />

Hurricane Sandy.<br />

This book includes much practical<br />

information on helping devastated communities<br />

as well as some of the most<br />

helpful material I have ever seen on<br />

dealing with the spiritual questions and<br />

needs that arise in the wake of disaster.<br />

You can get a copy from major online<br />

booksellers.<br />

Three New Books on<br />

Church Growth<br />

How can we grow? That is one of the<br />

most pressing questions for almost all<br />

pastors and congregations in North<br />

America. Three new books address this<br />

question with specific, doable answers:<br />

The Big Four: Secrets of a Thriving Church<br />

Family, by Joseph Kidder (Review and<br />

Herald Publishing Association),<br />

describes empowering leadership, passionate<br />

spirituality, active members, and<br />

the worship experience as key factors. It<br />

includes discussion tools to help you<br />

assess your local situation.<br />

How to Grow an Adventist Church, by<br />

Russell Burrill (HART Resource Center),<br />

is the culmination of the author’s long<br />

career as an effective public evangelist<br />

and trainer of pastor-evangelists. He<br />

discusses natural church development,<br />

classic church growth theory as it<br />

applies to Adventist churches, friendship<br />

evangelism, and includes a chapter<br />

specifically on how to relate to newcomers<br />

who show up at your church.<br />

As Jesus Did It, by José Cortés (Xulon<br />

Press), describes<br />

the approach to<br />

small-group evangelism<br />

being used<br />

successfully in the<br />

New Jersey Conference,<br />

where the<br />

author is president.<br />

It provides a<br />

useful description<br />

of the methods<br />

used in immigrant churches, which are<br />

growing much faster than the average<br />

church in North America.<br />

The first two books are available<br />

through your Adventist Book Center;<br />

the third, by Cortés, can be purchased at<br />

www.xulonpress.com. n<br />

Monte Sahlin is director of<br />

research and special projects<br />

for the Ohio Conference and a<br />

senior consultant at the<br />

Center for Creative Ministry.<br />

questions and suggestions can be sent to him<br />

at msahlin@creativeministry.org.<br />

30 (222) | www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013

Reflections<br />

Nicknames<br />

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

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

my dad calls me that, I grumbled to myself.<br />

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

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

saying, “We are close. We have a history. We are friends.”<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

enjoys, and laughs with delight over His children.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He wants to share with you. And the name He has prepared for you will<br />

be between you and Him—an intimate seal of your friendship<br />

forever. n<br />

Julie Cook is an assistant professor of<br />

English at Adventist University of<br />

Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida.<br />

Illustration © darrel tank<br />

www.AdventistReview.org | March 14, 2013 | (223) 31

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