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Once: A Film About Hope


Editor's Note: I just turned off the 2008 Academy Awards and realized that the only award category I cared about this year was Best Song. That's because it's the only category that Once, the small, simple Irish film made for just 100K, was nominated in (for the gorgeous, haunting, and hopeful "Falling Slowly"). It won (in a rare moment of a truly indie film getting recognized by Hollywood), and I wanted to take the opportunity to remind our readers of this spectacular film and Pastor Ryan Bell's review

CSI Goes to the Library

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With the title People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks' latest novel was a must read for me. When it turned out to be one detective story after another involving the Sarajevo Haggadah, I was hooked.

A Platform of Compassion


Marianne Thieme is a Dutch politician, animal activist and publicist. She is the chair and political leader of the first animal rights party in history that is represented in a national parliament. She is also a Seventh-day Adventist.

Deconstructing My Bucket List


The currently popular movie The Bucket List stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as improbable ‘buddies’ who meet while in cancer treatment, then learn their conditions are likely terminal. Freeman has been constructing a ‘bucket list’ – things he wants to do before ‘kicking the bucket’. His character is a blue collar, God-believing family man, while Nicholson is typecast as a wealthy, unbelieving, multi-divorced playboy and workaholic.

A Family Reviews Secret of the Cave

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Uncle Arthur has gone to Hollywood. And, Southern Adventist University took him there. At least, that’s what we discovered on a recent trip to Hollywood Video. While searching for a good Saturday night movie, I stumbled across Secret of the Cave – not knowing that it was based on the book by “Uncle” Arthur S. Maxwell.

Behind the movie camera

Last year, Southern Adventist University students and faculty released a feature film based on an Arthur S. Maxwell book. The Secret of the Cave follows the story of Roy, a young American boy spending the summer in a tiny fishing village in the west of Ireland. While there, unexplainable events happen and the locals mention ghosts. But Roy, together with his new friends, looks for clues to solve the mystery and discover the secret of the cave.

Mudhouse Sabbath: A Book About Those Things I Miss


What do you do when you’ve walked away from one form of religion only to discover you miss, at least some aspects, of it? Seven years after converting from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity, Lauren Winner admits that, while she is in love with Jesus and his teachings, she misses the practices and rituals of Judaism.

Religion and Politics in the Public Square


Do you ever feel like a battlefield casualty of the culture wars? In American Gospel, a highly readable bestseller, author Jon Meacham suggests another understanding of America’s past that, he hopes, will lower the level of hostility and presumably leave fewer victims.

The One Who Stayed Behind


The courage of Carl Wilkens, the American Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency country director who stayed in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, is an inspiration.

Although foreign diplomats, missionaries, aid workers, and peacekeepers all fled the horrific killing, Carl Wilkens decided to remain at his post and help wherever he could.

Alita Byrd asked him how the experience changed his life.

Byrd: How do you feel now, looking back twelve years after the genocide in Rwanda?

Wilkens: Each time I give a presentation about my experiences there is still a huge overwhelming sadness mixed with glimpses of hope, of courage, of selflessness on the part of those who put others first in their thoughts and actions during that time.

There is still so much to process, and to learn. Each time I speak with college students and go back and examine the genocide experience, I learn something new. I’m grateful for these opportunities.

The Road to Clarity: Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar

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From September 1998 until May 2000, Eva Keller lived in northeastern Madagascar to study the Adventist Church, or more accurately, the ordinary people who comprised the local church communities. She lived with Adventist families, first for 16 months in Maroantsetra, a coastal district government town of 20,000, then for 4 months in Sahameloka, a village of 1000, 20 km. upriver, accessible only on foot. This field work was initially in support of her dissertation, culminating in a PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2002.

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