June 12, 2008
Vol. 185, No. 16
This is an outstanding issue! When you finish reading it, give it to a friend.
Against the Wind by Lillian R. Guild
Christine was born in India and became an Adventist when she married and moved to Singapore. Not content to keep to herself the joys she'd found in Jesus, she became the catalyst for outreach efforts in her hometown in India. Now retired and living in Southern California, she continues to give Bible studies and teaches a Sabbath school class.
To Be Like Trees by Norman L. Mitchell
Mitchell is a retired professor of biology and tree lover. His essay is beautifully crafted and a MUST READ. His writing is poetic when he compares trees "planted by the rivers of water" to Christian communities "known to provide . . . shelter, solace, acceptance, and encouragement".
Testiphonies by Carl McRoy
McRoy shares my discomfort when I hear popular Christian speakers "share lively accounts of how sinful they used to be and how God is using them mightily now, following their conversion". He argues that Christians should more often celebrate the "keeping power" of God's grace; His ability to lead us NOT into temptation.
Open Heart, Open Door by Anna Perez
This story is an incredible MUST READ. Shortly after her husband's death, Anna opens her home to strangers, a young family of undocumented immigrants. Before the story ends, she has become the savior, mother and the grandmother of their extended family.
The editors are to be commended for their inclusion of letters reflecting the diversity of viewpoints. In addition a serious attempt has been made to include comments regarding recent issues. However, I believe another two pages of letters to the editor would encourage more readers to participate in a discussion of important current issues and make the magazine more interesting to an increasingly casual readership.
World News and Perspectives
Adventist Relief Workers Aid Victims of Myanmar Cyclone, China Earthquake
ADRA workers were the first to deliver aid to stranded survivors in Myanmar's isolated Pinsalu Islands. They are currently working with the United Nations and the government of Myanmar to provide emergency aid to 30,000 survivors. The fate of 1000 church members in coastal Myanmar is unknown. ADRA is also working with UN agencies and other nongovernmental organizations to take the lead in food distribution in Yangon, China.
Roger C. Smith, Jr., GC Associate Communication Director, died on May 8, following a lengthy illness; Paulsen’s Let’s Talk Series was concluded in Romania; Bill Knott delivered the Baccalaureate Address at Andrews University; and a Navajo outreach booklet has been published.
On Equality by Sari Fordham
Fordham asks an important question and suggests a change in official attitudes. "[How do] conservative Christians including women, view gender? Do we still believe that a woman's Place is fundamentally in the kitchen?" She goes on to comment, "After a radical beginning, our church quickly settled into gender norms. And while there are now growing numbers of Adventist women in ministry, they are still the minority. Even fewer women are in top administrative positions, such as conference or university presidents."
Introducing the Why
Empty Energy? by Jimmy Phillips
Phillips reminds us that, "Spirituality comes easily when wonderful emotions seep in. It's a lot more fun to sing when you can't hear your own voice. It's cool to pray when you're one of many. It's a much shorter trip to the altar with the crowd." He offers the following excellent advice. "Help [kids] find a specific, practical, and attainable ways to have an impact on their world. If it's not applied systematically, their exuberance [following a mountaintop experience] will soon fade."
Prayer Doesn’t Work—God Does! By Debbonnaire Kovacs
Debbonnaire sums up her charming, thoughtful essay with these final words. "Prayer is not a magic spell. It's just the name we have for the dialogue. Never, never quit talking. Prayer doesn't work—God does! Pass it on!"
Healing the Uncaring Heart by Bill Knott
In this excellent editorial, Bill speaks with the confidence that made me a fan before he was running the show. "When we reduce the ‘face of Jesus’ to only the Sabbath or the Second Coming or tithing or vegetarianism, we offer the world less than the Lord has offered on us. We become just one more flag waving on the boulevard, one more cause among so many others."
A Hidden Treasure by Carlos Medley
Medley compares his rediscovery of "a treasure chest of music—nearly 100 record albums" with the merchant who discovered the pearl of great price in Jesus’ parable. Along the way, he reveals that he is a musician and a music historian. Way cool.
Andy Hanson is Professor of Education at California State University, Chico. He blogs at Adventist Perspective.