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The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

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24 Matters of the Heart 28 Nutrition: A Balanced Approach 32 Made to Move


Wholeness in mind, body, and soul

North American Division | n a d

Ja nua r y 2017


8 Blessed Beyond Measure



By Ted N. C. Wilson




Nutrition: A Balanced Approach

By Fred Hardinge

Good health is a blessing we dare not take for granted.

There are 7 billion people on the planet, and 7 billion ways to a balanced diet.

20 Gospel Wellness

Why All the Fuss About Diabetes?

By Zeno Charles-Marcel



By Eike Mueller

Good health is part of Jesus’ good news.

22 Desiring Their Good



By Viriato Ferreira

Are Adventists in your community known for the good they do? H E A L T H


Made to Move

By Darren Morton

Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion.

By Peter N. Landless

Taking care of the muscle that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.



More than half the people with diabetes don’t know they have it.


24 Matters of the Heart H E A R T








Opened Eyes By Daniel R. Jackson

What we see when God removes our blinders

26 Hope in a Broken World



By Katia Reinert

We’re all survivors; some more than others.



3 News Briefs 6 News Feature

19  S P I R I T


All About Health

T H I S I S S U E: 42  B I B L E


For Your Health

43 B I B L E S T U D Y Our Total Health Matters to Jesus 44 I D E A

Wholeness in Mind, Body, and Spirit

E X C H A N G E Available in 10 languages online The Adventist World® (ISSN 1557-5519), one of the Adventist Review® family of publications, is printed monthly by the Pacific Press® Publishing Association. Copyright © 2017. Send address changes to your local conference membership clerk. Contact information should be available through your local church. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2017.


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Choosing Health and Healing

* Scripture quotations marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Adventist Sworn In as

Kenya’s Top Judge David Maraga seeks God’s blessing before starting his new job.



By Andrew McChesney


“Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6, ESV).* At first, it seems a foolish question: who wouldn’t want to be restored to health and wholeness? Why would Jesus ask anyone— and especially a man paralyzed for 38 years— if he wanted to be healed? What sufferer would choose to stay unhealed when restoration and recovery were readily available? But still Jesus asks the question—then and now—for He understands the strange comfort we sometimes get from the illnesses of both body and spirit that trouble our days and nights. Jesus understands that every step toward spiritual, emotional, and physical health is a step away from a life with which we may have become painfully familiar. He knows that the prospect of becoming whole again can itself be frightening or unsettling. Those who have only known brokenness may even lack a clear idea of what the new life He is offering will look and feel like. And so He must create in wounded hearts a deep longing for a life reshaped and reformed. Until we want—and deeply want—a life of joy, vitality, and faith, we will always be tempted to sink back beside the pool, complaining of how helpless and immovable we are. The Saviour never forces health upon us. At every stage and every step He asks for the cooperation of our wills, the activation of our choice. He will not eat the better, healthier diet for us, but He will eat it with us. He will not walk the heart-healthy miles for us, but He will always walk them with us—toward Emmaus, and toward discovery. The journey toward bodies that work better and relationships that create love and belonging is just the kind of joyful discipleship to which He calls us. As you read this month’s special focus on wholeness and health, pray that a deepening desire for change—for joy—will help you answer Jesus’ question with an immediate and resounding “Yes!”

Chief Justice David Maraga takes the oath of office at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 19, 2016.


Seventh-day Adventist judge who refuses to work on Sabbath has been sworn in as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya, becoming the first church member to preside over a country’s top court. Chief Justice David Maraga invited Blasious Ruguri, president of the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division, whose territory includes Kenya, into his new chambers for a prayer of dedication before tackling his new responsibilities. “As a staunch Christian, I had purposed that before I begin to discharge my new duties, I will pray and thank God for bringing me this far,” Maraga said as he ushered Ruguri, other Adventist leaders, and senior judges into his chambers. “I have come along with the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I call upon Dr. Ruguri to lead the prayer session,” Maraga said, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported. Ruguri told Adventist World that the judge is a man of prayer and an example of faithfulness to all Adventists. “He puts prayer first,” Ruguri said. “He was in no hurry to take up his new office until after he had invited God to accompany him on this path.” Continued on next page

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One Third of


By Simone Joe

Become Adventist

Prisoners accept Jesus in Brazil.


wo years of local church outreach to a state prison in northern Brazil have resulted in the baptism of a third of its inmates, and the opening of a Seventh-day Adventist church on its grounds. Erton Köhler, president of the Adventist Church in South America, encouraged local church members to keep sharing the gospel wherever God leads during the church dedication at the prison in Bacabal, a city of 103,000 people in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. “We are going in the right direction,” Köhler said. “We need to go

where God sends. He will do the conversion work.” He emphasized that the Adventist Church exists to save souls. “This salvation is entering places that were previously impossible to reach,” he said. Twelve inmates were baptized at the church opening in the prison of about 150 prisoners on September 17, 2016. The new church members declared that the baptism had set them free, even though they remained behind bars. In all, 92 inmates have been baptized since local church members


Maraga, 64, was sworn in on October 19, 2016, during a ceremony at the State House, the official residence of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, in Nairobi. Kenyatta had endorsed Maraga, a court of appeals judge, to the seven-member supreme court upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, which is comprised of supreme court judges and other legal experts. The previous chief justice had retired. Maraga made national headlines in late August when he told the Judicial Service Commission during the vetting process that he would always place his faith above his work. “It would be very difficult for me to sit on a Saturday to hear a case,” Maraga said at the time. “I would rather talk with my colleagues in the court to accommodate me and exempt me from sitting if the hearing extends to a Saturday.” Maraga said his practice was to worship God in church on Saturdays, the biblical seventh-day Sabbath. Seventh-day Adventists have served as judges in the past, but none has led a country’s supreme court. Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko of Uganda is a judge with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. In Papua New Guinea, Gibuna Gibbs Salika serves as deputy chief justice of the South Pacific nation’s supreme court. Maraga’s elevation to chief justice should remind all Adventists to remain faithful, Ruguri said. “You never know when you might be called upon to fill in a sensitive and critical position like this,” he said. “We must just practice our Christian life with diligence and carefulness so we can serve well when we are called.” n

An inmate is baptized at the Bacabal state prison in northern Brazil. Twelve inmates were baptized on Sept. 17, 2016.

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began visiting the prison in 2014. About 50 of those inmates are currently in prison. The others have been released and become active members of the local church, church leaders said. “We have former inmates who now preach the same Word that transformed them,” said Caio Campos, pastor of the prison church. Inmates still in prison have also noticed a change over the past two years. The number of fights and other violent incidents has sharply declined, and the facility is now ranked as the second most peaceful state prison in Brazil, Campos said. The pastor of the local Adventist church, Alexandre Meneses, praised his members for their dedication in working with the prisoners. “The church is strong in this region, and the gospel has expanded wherever it goes,” he said. “We are happy and committed.” Among the former inmates who have been baptized is José Pereira Sousa, Jr., a one-time bar owner and drug dealer. While serving an eightmonth sentence, Sousa accepted the message of hope presented by the Adventist Church, and his life began to change, he said. He completed his sentence a few days after his baptism and was released. Married and the father of two children, Sousa now works as a motorcycle taxi driver and operates a cafeteria in his home. In church he serves as a deacon, Sabbath School teacher, and a coordinator for the prison outreach program. For him, nothing is better than sharing the Word of God. “I am happy because I am serving,” Sousa said. “God performed a miracle in my life, and I feel an obligation to help people who are going through the same situation that I went through.” n




Ballots are counted in front of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Executive Committee.

By Andrew McChesney and Mark A. Kellner

Vote Encourages


to Church Policies

Annual Council delegates pass “Unity” document.


nnual Council delegates approved a document that details steps on how to deal with Seventh-day Adventist Church entities not adhering to voted actions of the Adventist world church. In a 169-122 vote, members of the General Conference Executive Committee endorsed on October 11, 2016, a three-page document that calls for a patient, multistep process of dialogue and prayer to bring about reconciliation between these entities and the church’s voted policies. The one-year process, which several delegates described as conciliatory in approach, envisages multiple consultations at various levels of the

church’s structure, pastoral letters urging compliance with voted church actions, and much prayer. If the matter relates to the fundamental beliefs or voted actions and policies of the world church and remains unresolved, the next step of action is to take place. The document calls for the General Conference Administrative Committee to draft a proposal on the next course of action and submit it to the 2017 Annual Council for approval. “We will work with diligence to bring a good dialogue and discussion,” world church president Ted N. C. Wilson said after the vote. “The Lord is not going to let this Continued on next page

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WORLD REPORT church falter,” he said. “This church will move ahead with mission.” The vote capped a nearly threehour discussion about the document, titled “Unity in Mission: Procedures in Church Reconciliation,” in the auditorium of the Adventist Church’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. A total of 315 delegates representing 19.5 million church members in more than 200 countries and territories gathered in Maryland for the yearly business meetings of the General Conference Executive Committee, the highest decision-making authority in the world church after the General Conference session, which is held every five years. A total of 291 delegates participated in the vote. Michael Ryan, an assistant to the General Conference president who was involved in the development of the document, explained to delegates at the beginning of the discussion and again partway through that the “Unity in Mission” document was not about women’s ordination. Instead, he said, it was about making sure that all church entities followed world church policy. This, in turn, would keep the church united and help it fulfill its mission of spreading the gospel to the world, Ryan said. “What we have here is a document responding to the call that we enter into a time of discussion and listening on the issues that might be before us on noncompliance,” Ryan said. “This document is not about women’s ordination, [although] it certainly will be one of the tests.” The 2015 General Conference session turned down a proposal that would have allowed some regions of the church to ordain women to pastoral ministry. A few of the church’s administrative fields, however, have ordained women. n




/ T E D

Marek Micyk is interviewed at the headquarters of the Adventist Church in Warsaw, Poland.

By Marek Micyk, as told to Andrew McChesney

How The Great Controversy

Saved a

Polish Drug Dealer My path from drugs to Adventist youth director


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y two best friends in high school were Maciek and Marcin. When fights broke out at school, the same three of us were always at fault: Maciek, Marcin, and me. Today Maciek is dead. Marcin spent seven years in prison. I was a drug user and drug dealer. But now I am a pastor, youth leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland,

enjoying a relationship with Jesus. It started one night after a party with friends in my hometown of Katowice, a city of about 300,000 people in southern Poland. I had been using and selling drugs for about three years, and things had gone from bad to worse. I started reading the Bible because I wanted to find out whether the world would end soon. As we ate fast food in the car, I

noticed a bookstore called Signs of the Times. The words caught my attention. I had seen the same words in the Bible. The next day I asked the salesperson for books about Nostradamus. She said, “If you are interested in prophecy, we have The Great Controversy.” I bought the book and read it with great interest. I was amazed that the Ten Commandments had been changed. The story of the Protestant Reformation intrigued me. One night as I read, I asked myself, “Am I gaining light from this book?” I had read that Martin Luther had gained light from God, and I wondered whether I was, too. At that moment the lightbulb in the lamp above my head began to blink and make a buzzing sound. Normally this would last for a half second and the lightbulb would burn out. But my lightbulb blinked and buzzed for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds. Suddenly, I noticed a reflection of myself in a glass pane on the other side of the room. All I could see was my face and the lightbulb above my head. Abruptly the bulb stopped sputtering and shone brightly. The answer was clear to me. Yes, I thought, There is light in that book. For the first time in my life I found that God is near, ready to answer even a nobody like me with such a bad history. That night I knelt and said, “God, if You are like this, I want to serve You.” Step by Step

In The Great Controversy I read about the Sabbath, so I decided to keep the Sabbath. I also read that smoking is bad, so I decided to quit. But I couldn’t. As I worried about my smoking habit, I passed a poster on the street

that offered a five-day stop-smoking class. The address led to a Seventh-day Adventist church. I had never heard about the Adventist Church before. I showed up at the church at 2:00 p.m. one Sabbath. Normally no one would have been at the church, but a group of literature evangelists was living in the building for a month. I spoke with them, and they invited me to return. Two weeks later, they invited me to join them in another city for a Sabbath youth meeting. That Sabbath I waited by a road for the Adventists to pick me up. They seemed to have forgotten me. At 7:45 I heard two voices. One voice said: “Don’t worry. Go out in nature and enjoy the nice weather.” But the other voice said: “Stay here; it’s important that you go to this meeting.” After a while the Adventists showed up and took me to a meeting of 1,000 people. During the worship service every word was meaningful to me. The preacher, a pastor from London, spoke until noon and said, “I know that I’m supposed to end now, but I know somebody’s here who needs Jesus.” I thought, Who told him about me? The pastor shared his story. He said he had been born into a religious family but had left the church. He had used drugs and alcohol. His life had gotten worse and worse. He said his church had given up on him, and even his own mother had stopped praying for him. “Then I met Jesus,” the pastor said. “He picked me up from the bottom where I was, and now I’m here to tell you about His power. He can change your life.” Then the pastor started his appeal. “If you want Jesus to change your life,

just come here to the front,” he said. I saw the crowd and cringed at the thought of everyone staring at me. The pastor addressed my doubts with his next sentence. “Don’t think about others looking at you,” he said. “Just come here. Come to the front. It’s between you and God.” I stood up. My heart beat wildly as I went to the front. Several people joined me. As the pastor prayed, the picture of salvation could not have been more clear to me. Jesus took my place because of my bad life. He took my place on the cross, and He released me. He told me, “You are free. You are free to have a place in My kingdom.” I began to cry. Tears of joy and excitement flowed down my cheeks. The pastor finished his sermon with these words: “As you go now for lunch, tell everyone what Jesus has done for you.” After the meeting the literature evangelists and I headed down the city’s main street. I ran from bench to bench and person to person. I even spoke with people who were drunk. “I’ve met Jesus,” I said. “He’s changed my life, and I will be in His kingdom.” From that moment I wanted to engage in a work that changes other people’s lives. God has saved my life, not only for His kingdom but also from a miserable life. While I was studying at the Adventist seminary, I learned that my best friend Maciek had been found dead with a knife in his heart. He was only 23. I want to help young people find their God-given purpose in life sooner than I did. Maybe young persons who hear my story will live a better life as a result. God saved me from everything; He gave me everything. I have given everything to Him. n

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad





veryone likes to have a new beginning. Perhaps that’s why the new year is celebrated so widely around the world; it’s a time for a fresh start as we look to the future. It’s also a time to try new things, change old habits, and make healthy choices. The year ahead of us provides for just such opportunities, especially when it comes to health. We Seventh-day Adventists have known for a long time about the important connection between mind and body. In 1875 Ellen White wrote: “Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds.”* Adventist health practices have been noticed around the world. Scientific studies have shown that those who practice the Adventist lifestyle of a plant-based diet, get regular exercise, abstain from harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco, maintain a healthy body weight, and eat nuts regularly can significantly increase a person’s life expectancy. Numerous articles have been written about the results of this study, including “The Lovely Hill: Where People Live Longer and Happier,” published in The Atlantic magazine on February 4, 2013. Read it online at: A Good Start

Getting off to a good start can go a long way in maintaining healthy habits. I’ve been fortunate. My parents were very careful about living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been a vegetarian all my life. Water, rest, and exercise were all important aspects in our family life.


By Ted N. C. Wilson

Beyond Measure A personal glimpse into a healthy lifestyle As I became older, I realized the importance of a proactive approach to a healthy lifestyle. After becoming acquainted with the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy, I grasped the importance of health reform and a healthy life. During my study for a Master of Science in Public Health at Loma Linda University, the importance of medical missionary work/ comprehensive health ministry became prominent in my thinking. It’s vital for parents to set a healthy lifestyle example at home. It will lay a foundation that will be there throughout the lives of their children. Not only instruction about healthy daily living but, more important, a daily and practical demonstration by parents will speak volumes to young people in the home. Parents have an enormous influence on their children. So Many Wonderful Foods

Throughout my life I’ve continued to practice what I learned in my early years. I haven’t had any problem being a vegetarian, because that’s what’s most comfortable for me, and because it’s a much healthier way of life. Science has proven that a vegetarian lifestyle provides more physical stamina and greatly reduces the chances for

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heart disease and stroke. When we are at home, Nancy and I are, of course, vegetarian and primarily on a plant-based diet, since it is a healthy approach to life and is a simpler way of life. Nancy is a great cook and has found many ways to provide tasty and delightful completely plantbased dishes. This type of diet is easy when we’re at home, but when we travel we don’t demand to be served a strictly plant-based diet, although we still remain vegetarian. Many wonderful foods are available around the world, and we’ve found that it is not at all difficult to eat a vegetarian diet. Sometimes we may run into a challenging situation where our hosts may not have received information about our preferred diet. In those cases, we generally inform our hosts in a kind way that we are vegetarians, and they are happy to comply with our needs. If we handle situations with Christian grace and kindness, we usually won’t have long-lasting misunderstandings. We’ve had almost no difficulties. The Best Exercise

When I’m at home, I try to walk a little more than three kilometers (2 miles) a day, and more when I can. I

Pastor Ted and Nancy Wilson enjoyed a warm traditional welcome from church members on the South Pacific island country of Vanuatu during a visit in 2016.

Through the power of God the spiritual and physical aspects of life are very much bound up together. love to walk, and the Spirit of Prophecy indicates that it is the best exercise. Although walking takes longer than jogging or cycling, it’s so easy, and we notice many wonderful things around us as we walk. With smartphones we can download recordings of the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, or other materials and profit by listening while we walk (making sure to be fully alert to traffic while walking and listening!). In order to find time for devotions and for exercise, one must plan to have time for these important aspects of life. Sometimes life simply gets too busy. Then it’s time to reset our schedules so we don’t miss out on the daily blessings of Bible study, study of the Spirit of Prophecy, prayer, and physical exercise.

sleep, we are affected in many ways. This is an area Nancy and I are always trying to improve. Since we travel so much internationally, we sometimes lack sleep. We try to sleep on airplanes, however, and try to quickly adjust to the local time wherever we are. While it is important to be with our church members around the world, we also try to balance in how much we “pack” into our days (and nights). We attempt as far as possible to get adequate rest. Fortunately, the Lord has provided His blessings and given us energy and presence of mind to accomplish what is expected—but only by His grace, and we give Him all the glory. Wherever we are and whatever we do, it is important to get adequate rest and sleep.

Sleep and Rest

Blessed Beyond Measure

Sleep is an important parts of our lives. When we don’t get adequate

It is so important that we watch what we eat, what we drink, how we

live, how much exercise we get, how much water we drink, how much rest we get, and how we look at life as we lean on Christ each day. Through the power of God the spiritual and physical aspects of life are very much bound up together. I urge you to read God’s Word and see how many health blessings are provided in Scripture. I also encourage you to read the books The Ministry of Healing, Medical Ministry, Counsels on Health, Counsels on Diet and Foods, and other health-related Spirit of Prophecy books. All these books, and more, are available for free download in a variety of formats, including MP3, at As we submit our lives to the Lord, and follow His health laws outlined in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, we will become healthier, happier, and holier, all through the power and grace of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ none of this is possible. But God will add His incredible blessings when we ask Him to work through us to keep His moral laws and His health laws. When we live God’s healthful lifestyle through His grace, we will enjoy life to the fullest. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We will be blessed beyond measure as we allow God to work in our lives according to His marvelous moral and physical laws. It will be a great blessing to the worldwide church as we approach Christ’s soon coming. n * Ellen

G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 3, pp. 485, 486.

Ted N. C. Wilson is

president of the Seventhday Adventist Church. You may follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


Have a Plan FASTCHAT is a monthly ministry feature/interview for Adventist World. This month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dennis Carlson, director of Planned Giving and Trust Services, a ministry of the General Conference.—Editors.

PLANNED GIVING AND TRUST SERVICES Your ministry helps individuals who want to support the mission of the church after they fall asleep in Jesus. Who among our readers should reach out to you and your office? Every Seventh-day Adventist disciple of Jesus Christ who is over the age of 18, in order to be a faithful steward of God’s assets, needs to have a plan. This plan will provide for individuals’ families, and protect the assets of God from falling into enemy hands. This plan will accomplish the passing of our stewardship responsibility to the next generation of faithful stewards.

Is your ministry only for wealthy individuals?

If you had one wish for your ministry, what would it be? I would find a way to assist all 19.5 million Seventh-day Adventists—no matter their economic status, culture, heritage, educational level, and geographic location— to have a God-honoring plan to pass their stewardship management of God’s assets to the next generation.

What is something about Planned Giving and Trust Services that many people don’t know? Planning is really easy; it doesn’t take a lot of a person’s time. Find out how easy at

What is your favorite quote? By no means! All believers need a Godhonoring plan for their families. In fact, those who aren’t wealthy often have an easier time making a plan.

What area of ministry has benefited by the work your office does and the funds individuals have donated?

To learn more about the Planned Giving and Trust Services ministry, visit


In 2015 more than US$65 million ($30 million outside North America, $35 million within North America) came into all areas of God’s work around the world. Most gifts were relatively small, but when combined, they make a big difference in advancing our ministry to reach the world with the gospel.

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I have many quotes whose source is out of this world. If I had to choose one from this world it would have to be the Nike slogan, Just Do It! By that I mean Don’t procrastinate: get your plan done today.

Whom are you looking forward to having lunch with when we get to Paradise? The disciple Matthew, since he was one of Jesus’ faithful business stewards. If I could have a second choice, it would be Dionysius (Acts 17:34), who became a disciple of Jesus Christ after Paul spoke to the Areopagus on Mars’ Hill in Athens. My given name comes from him.



Committees Offer Recommendations for “Advancing Mission”

Year-End Meeting

■■ Three special reports examining the Adventist Church’s missional structure were presented during the 2016 North American Division year-end meeting. Growing out of the Dulles, Virginia, meetings on May 13-15, 2014,1 the reports centered on recommendations each task force deemed important— based on guidance from the 2015 NAD year-end meeting executive committee—in Advancing the Adventist Mission in North America (church governance), Advancing Mission Effectiveness in the North American Division, and Advancing Adventist Christian Education in North America. After each report was given, delegates divided into groups to discuss each recommendation and offer suggestions.

Coverage Online


NAD is on track to plant 300 churches in one year. Plant1000, the church planting initiative, has a goal of planting 1,000 new churches in the NAD by 2020. The delegates also spent time in worship and prayer. College and university students, attending the yearend meetings as Adventist Intercollegiate Association representatives, were instructed to interrupt the business sessions anytime things got “a little hot” with a call for prayer. “We will always honor that motion,” said Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president. Vigorous conversation occurred during the tithe sharing report, the report on church governance, and discussion concerning the General Conference Unity in Mission document. Below are two articles from the NAD year-end meetings; for more news, videos, and other reports, visit

Church Governance



he 2016 North American Division (NAD) year-end meeting was held October 28 through November 1 at the world headquarters of the church in Silver Spring, Maryland. The NAD executive committee worked through a full agenda of reports from church administrators, “Building Block” initiatives (Transformational Evangelism, Young Adult Life, Adventist Learning Community, Refugee and Immigrant Groups, Big Data/Social Media, and Women in Pastoral Leadership); special mission task forces; departments; ministries; and other NAD entities. Oakwood University, Christian Record Services for the Blind, and Message magazine shared reports after becoming NAD entities in 2015. The NAD Ministerial Association reported that more than 200 Adventist churches had been planted in North America by the end of October. The

Adventist college and university students attending the 2016 NAD year-end meeting gather at the front of the auditorium on October 28, 2016, to be recognized by the executive committee right before they offer prayer.

Kyoshin Ahn, NAD undersecretary, introduced the report on church governance. The 10 committee members and invitees included Ahn (as chair), George Crumley, Elaine Hagele, Ray Hartwell, Randy Roberts, Glynn Scott, Andre Wang, and Bill Winston (Dan Day and Mike Jamieson served as invitees). The 81-page report detailed the process the committee undertook, as well as how and why the committee arrived at its recommendations (a priority as indicated by the 2015 executive committee). The report offered six specific recommendations: revenue enhancement; increasing the number of local offerings; addressing the tithereversion process; tithe percentages, Continued on next page

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NAD NEWS tithe designation for local congregations; and consistency in the use of tithe. Each of these gave details on the recommendation itself, the value behind the recommendation, the benefits and obstacles, and an action plan. The two recommendations that generated the most conversation addressed the tithe-reversion process and tithe percentages. Several recommendations were accepted by the executive committee. First, the committee voted to seek new or better ways of enhancing tithe and offerings throughout the division. It voted to increase the number of local church offerings by four weeks a year (from 24 to 28), effective 2018. It also voted to adjust the percentage of remittance in retirement as part of an ongoing effort to eliminate unnecessary duplication. The other two recommendations in this regard, i.e., evangelism and K-12, were deferred for further study. The committee voted that of the 2 percent reduction in remittance negotiated with the General Conference (GC) by the division, a total of 1 percent be reverted back to local conferences, which may be used for outreachfocused ministries in local congregations. It also voted to ask the GC to modify its policy regarding the use of tithe for primary/elementary schools. While current policy allows up to 30 percent of remuneration and benefits of teachers and principals, this request is intended to increase it to 50 percent. Effective Mission

Seven specific actionable ideas— along with seven recommendations based on those ideas—were presented in the second report, Advancing Mission Effectiveness in the North American Division. Previously known as


“Advancing Mission to Contemporary Audiences,” this committee studied trends among Adventists and other Christian denominations in the United States and Canada, and discovered that the percent change in worship attendance for Adventists from 2009 to 2014 was up more than 8 percent compared to six other denominations. In that same comparative study, however, Adventists had similar numbers compared with other denominations, and only 25 percent of Adventists strongly agree that congregations have a clear mission and purpose. All seven ideas/recommendations were voted. They include: missionfocused branding; every entity strategic; continued financial and creative support for iBelieve, data-driven decisions, and social media; missionfocused leaders; creativity for an impactful mission, including innovation labs, an annual innovation conference, and blogs; “franchising” relational approaches that work; and continued partnership with the online Adventist Learning Community. The committee reported, “[We] believe that it is crucial that our organizations learn to adapt to the drastic changes in our society while adhering firmly to the church’s mission,” and offered ways in which “the church can be salt and light to the world around it.” Adventist Education

The third report, Advancing Adventist Christian Education in North America, offered ways for advancing Adventist education. The committee, chaired by Elissa Kido, director of the Center for Research on K-12 Adventist Education, included Larry Blackmer as secretary, and 19 other educators, pastors, and administrators from union conferences and

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conferences across the NAD. The committee, known as the North American Division Education Taskforce (NADET), was charged with prioritizing eight recommendations it received from the 2014 Dulles meeting, which were distilled to five recommendations that received the most votes at the 2015 NAD year-end meetings. Some of these include innovative strategy development for the delivery of Adventist education; program development tied to educators, pastors, and members to encourage students in engaging in personal evangelism; and the appointment of a study group to compare Adventist education with public and private schools in determining the quality of education and cost. After extensive research that included interviews, focus groups, and data analysis, and many collaborative committee meetings during the past year, NADET crafted eight final recommendations on the importance of mission of Adventist education: collaboration between pastors and educators; finances; school quality; accountability; leadership development; personnel quality and accountability; distance learning; and marketing and public relations.2 All eight recommendations were voted by the NAD executive committee. Information, including the history of these committees and their first reports, is available at www.nad; visit nadchurch for the 2016 reports. 1 The Dulles meetings were historic: It was the first time that presidents, executive secretaries, and chief financial officers of each of the NAD’s administrative units, conferences, and union conferences met in a joint session. 2 Look for an interview with Larry Blackmer, vice president of education for the NAD, as he discusses what these recommendations mean for Adventist education’s future in North America in the February 2017 NAD edition of Adventist World.


Left: Mike Jamieson, NAD undertreasurer (left), explains how tithe is appropriated in the North American Division. Right: Adventist Community Services director Sung Kwon voices his support for the recommendations of the NAD Education Taskforce at the 2016 NAD Year-End Meeting.

Delegates Talk Tithe ■■ A lengthy and lively discussion ensued during the 2016 North American Division year-end meeting tithe-sharing report on October 30. The report and subsequent conversation took nearly five hours (discussion was tabled and continued the next day) as the NAD executive committee asked questions, and NAD and General Conference officers helped explain percentages, budgets, and adjustments. Mike Jamieson, undertreasurer for the NAD, gave his report to demonstrate how the NAD handles the funds entrusted to it based on three functions: tithe, nontithe, and projects. Jamieson said, “Appropriations and transfers are combined/netted in a practical way to make it easier to understand while remaining totally transparent. The vast majority of operations go through these three functions.” Jamieson reported that in 2015, North American Division tithe was $983.25 million; with $172.43 million remitted to NAD and $810.82 million kept at local conferences and union conferences.

P H O T O S :



Of the $172.43 million, Jamieson said that amount was dispersed $157.35 million to conferences; $8.82 million to union conferences; and $6.10 million for special assistance. After breaking down the numbers for 2015 North American Division use of funds, Jamieson explained that $30,307,545 is left for NAD use (after moneys sent to GC for tithe exchange, evangelism reversion, special assistance, Adventist Media Center, auditing services, the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, retirement, and North American Division Evangelism Institute/Adventist Information Ministry). That $30.31 million is 3.08 percent of the $983.25 million gross tithe. Jamieson also described how the NAD appropriated that tithe percentage—$30.31 million—into ministries, administrative functions, and projects. Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president, remarked, “Ministry occurs in multiple sites. The local church is the front line. But we need to make sure that we don’t limit our vision, saying that ministry only happens at the local church. Ministry happens at the conference, union, division, and General Conference.” Delegates unpacked the report

with questions about spending and percentages for each line item. The percent of tithe sent back to the General Conference (GC), currently 6.85 percent, was also scrutinized. One delegate expressed appreciation for the opportunity to “take a close look at what it is we fund, and how we fund it.” Several delegates questioned the amount of tithe sent to the GC, which is several percentage points higher than other world divisions of the church. “It has been and continues to be the privilege of the NAD to fund and forward the work of mission in the world,” said Jackson. “We have built a lot of buildings around the world, with funding from the NAD.” Jackson acknowledged, however, that “missional interests of the NAD are being limited by policy; and at some point the world church is going to have to come to terms with reality in terms of equity.” Throughout the discussion the NAD executive committee expressed its continued support for the mission of the world church. The executive committee voted to accept the report. Near the session’s conclusion, a motion from the floor recommended that the NAD transition to paying 2 percent of its tithe to the GC, just as the other world divisions do. This would have called for a reduction from the 6.85 percent that is currently paid. Worried that such a rapid reduction would hurt the work of the church around the world, as most of the GC budget comes from the NAD, delegates voted the motion down by a vote of 64 yes, 121 no. —Kimberly Luste Maran, NAD Office of Communication Continued on next page

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M U R I L L O / I S T O C K


Commitment to Christ Through

Collaboration Growing our church, renewing our commitment, feeding our souls


n 2017 the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventhday Adventist Church will hold and/or partner on several events designed to help nurture a spiritual walk with Jesus, increase talents and skills in ministry, and teach how to better relate to our communities. Some will help grow your church. Some will provide tips on effective outreach. Some will bring awareness; all of them will feed your soul.

PDF of the 2017 calendar). What if every Seventh-day Adventist in North America spent just a few minutes each day—just a minute each day—praying for one specific need? One specific person—a neighbor, a colleague— someone special whom God lays on your heart? More than 1 million hours would be spent in prayer—in just four months. Visit NADPrayerMinistries. org for prayer resources, the 2017 NAD prayer calendar, and more.

NAD Day of Prayer

Adventist Ministries Convention

January 7 Held across the NAD NAD Prayer Ministries encourages all members in North America to join the world church in prayer on the first Sabbath of the new year. Each week, join the NAD in praying for our division conference by conference (visit uploads/2015/11/31423Web.pdf for a


January 8-11 Tucson, Arizona The Adventist Ministries Convention is a premier event for church leaders held twice every five years. Since its inception in 1988, it has provided training and resources for more than 700 church leaders. The 2017 convention, “Beyond the Pew,” will be held in

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Tucson, Arizona. Conference and union conference colleagues come together in a unique fellowship that inspires and renews those who attend. It’s a place to welcome those who are new to local church ministries, to learn about new resources, and, most important, to learn from each other. The convention will feature more than 28 ministry tracks, robust exhibit events, inspirational and motivational general sessions, outreach activities, and awards given to individuals for ministry achievement. Visit AdventistMinistriesConvention. com for more information. Church Planters Boot Camp

March 30-April 2 Camp Kulaqua, Florida The objective of the annual Church Planters Boot Camp is to equip, assess, and support those who plant churches in the NAD. Those who plan to be involved in church plants funded by PLANT1000 (#Plant1000) must attend the boot camp. Attendees will receive assessment and training by top church planters in North America and the world, and will be matched with a coach who will provide support in ministry during the experience. Visit NAD for more information. SONscreen Film Festival

April 6-8 Loma Linda, California The SONscreen Film Festival is an annual gathering for Christian young adults who have a passion for using film and video to create timely and relevant productions for social awareness, outreach, and uplifting creative entertainment. Since its debut in 2002, the festival has become the destination for established and up-and-coming Christian filmmakers, many from Adventist

colleges and universities, to share their creative work, gain exposure, and network with other media and film professionals. SONscreen was created by the NAD to nurture Christian filmmakers in their craft, help develop their careers, and enhance their spiritual lives. Visit for more information. Day of Hope and Compassion

April 22-23 Held across the NAD Day of Hope and Compassion is actually a weekend event (Sabbath and Sunday) that calls for all Adventist churches, schools, academies, colleges, universities, and hospitals across our division to join together in reaching out to our neighborhoods, towns, and cities with our message of hope and our lifestyle of compassion. Dan Jack-

son, NAD president, envisions a grand collaboration among church members, church departments, and institutions to bring hope through service, acts of kindness, social media postings, and inspiring, practical literature that benefits our communities’ everyday life. Mark your calendars, and be creative and thoughtful—total involvement is necessary to make this a reality. Use these tags on social media: #compassion and #compassion10m. Visit CompassionMove for more information. enditnow Summit on Abuse

September 11-12 Columbia, Maryland Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse affects all ages and genders within the

church and community. How does your local church and its leaders deal with abuse? The 2017 Summit on Abuse will feature trained counselors and experts to help pastors and chaplains learn how to identify abuse, help victims, and work toward abuse prevention. This event will be held at the new NAD headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. Visit enditnowNorth for resources. More information regarding the summit will be available soon. More Events

These are just a few of the events and programs scheduled for 2017. To stay up-to-date on the latest events and news, sign up for NewsPoints, the NAD weekly e-newsletter, at NADAdventist/newspoints. n

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January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN AGES 8–12 Have you, as a parent, ever felt like screaming out for help? The reality is that Christian parenting in today’s world can be challenging. But there is good news—help is available! Help! I’m a Parent was developed as the result of a survey of parents in North America. Participants were asked to identify the biggest challenges faced by parents in today’s world. The topics covered in Help! I’m a Parent are a response to those needs. This series will inspire and encourage parents, grandparents, and caregivers on your journey as disciple-makers of your children. Pamela and Claudio Consuegra host a 30-minute video for each of the 10 sessions: • Tweens: Changes & Transitions • Kindling That Spiritual Fire in Your Child • School, Study Skills & Homework • Friends, Peer Pressure & Bullying • Puberty & Purity • Communication • Rules & Rebellion • Screening Screen Time • Healthy Habits • Making Memories The complete set includes a two-DVD set, facilitator’s guide for small groups, lapel pin, and two copies of the Help! I’m a Parent book for parents. DVD Set with Two Participant Books #351819 $69.95 Participant Book #351817 11.95 Quantity discounts available

Available from AdventSource at or 402.486.8800. Help! I’m a Parent for parents of children from birth through age 7 is also available.

NAD PERSPECTIVE By Ivan L. Williams, Sr.

: E Word Making Mission Meaningful



oing nothing is not an option for those who have a heart for people. Doing nothing is not an option for those who are missionfocused. Doing as Jesus did within the community makes mission work meaningful, authentic, and vital. According to an article about the first global summit focusing on Seventh-day Adventist Church membership retention, the world church has lost at least one in three Seventh-day Adventist members over the past 50 years.1 In this century the ratio of people lost versus new converts is 43 per 100. “These figures are too high,” said David Trim, director of the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. “There’s a theological point to this, and it’s that God’s mission is to seek the lost.” This gives followers of Jesus a reason to seek people who have not personally met or accepted Jesus Christ. Yet many followers of Jesus seem to shy away from the E-word (evangelism) as if it’s a meaningless mission. Evangelism has many different facets. Myriad approaches and methods of reaching people include friendships, community outreach, seminars, Bible studies, and others. In the latest edition of CALLED, the North American Division Ministerial Department’s online magazine, we share firsthand accounts and journeys, ups and downs, of connecting with people. We’ve published stories of pastors, church planters, and evangelists who

have boldly tried new things, challenged the status quo, even learned what not to do. These believers are striving, with God’s help, to make evangelism meaningful and life-changing. Their experiences reveal the futility of cookie-cutter evangelism, of using only one method or focus. CALLED highlights stories of proclamation, personal relationships, acts of compassion, fellowship, Bible study, community connections, health outreach, church planting, and more. One pastor even shares his view and ministry of planting churches in prisons. This quarter’s edition contains videos with a plethora of evangelistic ideas, approaches, and passionate stories from throughout North America, from Alaska to Ohio, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the greatest ways a denomination can give genuine growth and sustainability to its life and mission is by planting new churches. Author Kimone Hinds writes, “To support and seed church plants can appear at times to local congregations as a losing venture. . . . The natural human inclination for self-preservation may overtake the church because, after all, it is made up of humans. But what if we look at it differently and define a win by new and maybe more biblical standards? . . . What if instead of churches counting seating capacity, they looked at sending capacity?”2 Self-preservation is antithetical to evangelism, and church planting is

congruent with much-needed growth in the church. Let’s risk a lot, venture out, practice radical change, and defy the visual rational odds, all to share the saving grace of Jesus to a dying world. And let’s express compassion. Our Compassion Movement calls for Adventists across North America to invest 10 million hours in blessing their communities with intentional, repetitive, and relevant acts of love and service. Disinterested benevolence, providing places to belong, mingling, showing sympathy, desiring the community’s good, and winning confidence are all parts of Christ’s method. Make mission meaningful! Dustin Hall wrote in CALLED about the power of fostering an evangelistic culture that grows out of a genuine and perpetual love and concern for everyone in our communities, both within and outside the church. He writes, “Through community and the bonds of friendship, the message of Jesus emerges often organically and naturally. . . . Authentic community happens when relationships of mutual trust are formed among our members and with anyone we encounter in our broader spheres of influence.”3 n 1 Ansel

Oliver, “At First Retention Summit, Leaders Look at Reality of Church Exodus,” Adventist News Network, Nov. 19, 2013. 2 Kimone Hinds, “Playing to Win,” CALLED, 3rd Quarter 2016. 3 Dustin Hall, “125 New Members in Two Years,” CALLED, 3rd Quarter 2016.

Ivan L. Williams, Sr.,

is director of the North American Division Ministerial Association. For more information about CALLED, the digital magazine for clergy, visit

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


NAD Letters Unity and Variety

Simply Outstanding

The November Adventist World was simply outstanding. The wide-ranging coverage of so many events and news items portrayed the world church at its best. The human interest stories and varied church growth articles were enlightening and inspirational. I’m glad that Adventist World is reaching many lands. Richard Fearing Waiting on location Ready for Hacksaw Ridge?

I think it’s admirable for Adventists to want to capitalize on the favorable press received by the movie Hacksaw Ridge (November 2016). And I’m delighted that a hero like Desmond Doss is receiving such wide exposure. But it seems to me that we Adventists have to be responsible for raising our own profile in our communities. It would be nice if more people started inquiring about Adventists because they saw the movie, but it would be more remarkable if people knew us for our acts of service and compassion. Those are likely to have a more lasting impact. Ruth Ellis Albuquerque, New Mexico


Thank you for the article “The Paradox of Unity and Variety” (November 2016). Anyone who needs to be persuaded about God’s love of variety and diversity can simply look at nature. God created trees, not a tree. He created fish, not a fish. Even cats and dogs are widely diverse in appearance and behavior. To insist that every Adventist dress, eat, and believe exactly the same would violate the variety with which we were all created. J. J. Aragon Chicago, Illinois

coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health” (Counsels on Health [Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923], p. 261). Here is another: “Properly prescribed drugs kill 128,000 and hospitalize 1.9 million Americans per year” (Donald Light, Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, June 27, 2014). Carla Shryock Paradise, California

Adventists and Prescription Drugs

Thank you for your response to this important issue. There is no doubt that prescription drugs sometimes have unintended results, and are sometimes misused. But it would be irresponsible, simply on the basis of two blanket statements, to advise our readers to ignore the counsel of their physicians and stop taking prescription medications; especially when medications, properly prescribed and administered, are essential in restoring health for so many people. —Editors.

Regarding the article “Adventists and Prescription Drugs” (October 2016), the following are two relevant quotes regarding prescription drugs, the first from Ellen White: “Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God’s physicians—pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea,

Adventist World - nad | January 2017

It would be nice if people started inquiring about Adventists because they saw the movie, but it would be more remarkable if people knew us for our acts of service and compassion. —Ruth Ellis, Albuquerque, New Mexico


All About Health By Ellen G. White

Jesus’ ministry was a healing ministry.


ur Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. Matthew 8:17. The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to [men and women] complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character. Varied were the circumstances and needs of those who besought His aid, and none who came to Him went away unhelped. From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and in body and mind and soul [men and women] were made whole. The Savior’s work was not restricted to any time or place. His compassion knew no limit. On so large a scale did He conduct His work of healing and teaching that there was no building in Palestine large enough to receive the multitudes that thronged to Him. On the green hill slopes of Galilee, in the thoroughfares of travel, by the seashore, in the synagogues, and in every other place where the sick could be brought to Him, was to be found His hospital. In

I M A G E :

L D S / I N T E L L E C T U A L



every city, every town, every village, through which He passed, He laid His hands upon the afflicted ones and healed them. Wherever there were hearts ready to receive His message, He comforted them with the assurance of their heavenly Father’s love. All day He ministered to those who came to Him; in the evening He gave attention to such as through the day must toil to earn a pittance for the support of their families. Jesus carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of [humanity]. . . . Yet it was heaven to be in His presence. Day by day He met trials and temptations; day by day He was brought into contact with evil and witnessed its power upon those whom He was seeking to bless and to save. Yet He did not fail or become discouraged. . . . His life was one of constant selfsacrifice. He had no home in this world except as the kindness of friends provided for Him as a wayfarer. He came to live in our behalf the life of the poorest and to walk and work among the needy and the suffering. Unrecognized and unhonored, He walked in and out among the people for whom He had done so much. He was always patient and cheer-

ful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace. He saw the needs of men and women, children and youth, and to all He gave the invitation, “Come unto Me.” During His ministry, Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His words, that He came not to destroy, but to save. Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health and making trial of their newfound powers. Crowds were collecting around them to hear from their lips the works that the Lord had wrought. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon. Why should they not love Jesus and sound His praise? As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy. n Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. These excerpts were taken from the first chapter of the book The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905).

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any people came to Jesus to find healing. Jesus healed all kinds of diseases: leprosy, fever, withered hands, paralysis, demon possession, even death. Among the most remarkable examples is the story of a nameless woman who simply wanted to touch Jesus’ clothing. Many came and pleaded with Jesus, but this woman had a very unique approach: she tried to sneak up on Jesus. She “came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well’” (Mark 5:27,28, ESV).*

and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’’ And he looked around to see who had done it” (verses 30-32, ESV). The disciples are puzzled by Jesus’ statement. They feel the crowds pressing in, touching Jesus unintentionally. Yet Jesus continues to search for the woman. The Greek text says that Jesus already knew who had touched Him. He didn’t look for just anybody, but the woman who had touched Him (verse 32). Why is Jesus so persistent? The woman was healed the very moment she touched Jesus. Jesus could have simply moved on and healed Jairus’ dying girl. But Jesus had much


Gospel Wellness By Eike Mueller

The miracle of a touch and the wonder of a word

What prompted this woman to use this exceptional strategy? Was she self-conscious or perhaps superstitious? Maybe it was desperation that drove her? Or was it possibly deep faith? The reason is not explicitly mentioned. Jesus Ends Suffering

The text says that she had suffered from a “flow of blood” (verse 25) for 12 long years and that she “had suffered much” (verse 26, ESV). This suffering certainly entailed humiliation from so-called doctors using outlandish remedies. It included the loss of “all that she had” (verse 26). But more significant was the unbearable stigma: she was unclean for the duration of her affliction. In the eyes of her family and society this made her contagious. Anyone who came too close to her, or her house, would also become unclean and contagious. The woman must have felt isolated. She was even kept from attending Sabbath services. More important, Mark records how Jesus responded to this woman. He stops the procession rushing to Jairus’ house and begins a lengthy dialogue trying to determine who touched Him. This even includes a little squabble with His disciples: “And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you,


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more than physical healing in mind. He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (verse 34). Jesus’ proclamation is not just “your faith has healed you”; it’s much more. Jesus refers to “wellness” in the comprehensive sense of the word. The underlying Greek word is not “healing” (or Greek therapeuo, from which we get the English word “therapy” and “therapeutic”), but instead “salvation” (Greek sozo). Jesus saved the woman from her physical affliction. Even more important, he saved her from her dehumanizing place in society. He saved her emotionally, mentally, and spiritually! The second gift was even greater than the first one. Jesus Offers Peace

Jesus reinforces the concept by adding: “Go in peace” (verse 34). In Jesus’ time this peace was not simply the absence of war. Since the Romans occupied Palestine, there was open and veiled conflict and military activity all the time. Instead, this peace, or shalom, that Jesus talks about has a multifaceted meaning. It refers to the complete well-being of an individual physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. It’s the result of the reconciliation that only the good news of Jesus can bring (Acts 10:36). It reconciles people to God and to one another. This is the reconciliation the woman receives through her interaction with

Jesus. She received physical healing by simply touching Jesus, but she received complete restoration when she talked with Jesus. This complete well-being is what the woman secretly longed for. When she originally conceived of her plan to touch Jesus, she had said to herself: “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well [sozo]” (Mark 5:28, ESV). Her original hope was well-being. Contrary to her idea that a simple touch could bring well-being, Jesus insists that this restoration cannot take place without a personal encounter with Him. It cannot be snatched in secret, but instead it has to be experienced through a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. Restoration is a deeply relational event, not abstract action. The woman has to face her greatest fear by revealing the secret act. So she approaches Jesus with fear and trembling (verse 33). Perhaps she was afraid that Jesus might retract His healing, expect a hefty payment, or humiliate her in front of people. Of course Jesus does none of these things. He hears her testimony, commends her for her faith, and restores her fully. She is now no longer a marginalized outcast, but an exalted member of society. The formerly ostracized untouchable is now the restored woman. Jesus Re-creates

Jesus came to earth for this very reason: to restore humanity. Remember the angel appearing to Joseph in a vision to verify what Mary had already told him: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save [sozo] his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21, ESV). That’s Jesus’ purpose: to save [sozo] humanity; to restore people to God and to one another. In the Gospels, demons intimidate and cause great fear. Religious leaders ostracize and exclude those they consider unworthy. Jesus counters this fear and rejection

Restoration is a deeply relational event, not abstract action. by healing and restoring humans into the image of God. Essentially, this is God re-creating humanity into the well-being for which they were created. Jesus accomplishes this mission through words about the kingdom of God (Matt. 5-7), through many healings, and ultimately, through His own death. We are all at different points in our journeys with Jesus. Some need emotional restoration; others long for physical healing; and still others look for spiritual reconciliation. Like the unnamed woman, we all need restoration. Her story shows us that only Jesus can truly restore. But not only should we be recipients of Jesus’ sozo—we are called to be ambassadors of Jesus’ mission. Not all of us are called to restore physically, but all of us can share Jesus’ emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. As Jesus sent out the disciples to spread the good news and heal people (Matt. 10:1, 7, 8), so we are called to be His agents of restoration for this generation. n * Scripture quotations marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Eike Mueller is assistant professor of New

Testament Studies at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang, Philippines. He is married to Lubica and has two young daughters.

Christian Behavior We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with biblical principles in all aspects of personal and social life. For the Spirit to re-create in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things that will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Gen. 7:2; Ex. 20:15; Lev. 11:1-47; Ps. 106:3; Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 10:5; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 2:4; 4:8; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10; Titus 2:11, 12; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 John 2:6; 3 John 2.)

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Patients, staff, and friends enjoy nature on a Sabbath afternoon.



octor, would you mind sharing with the group your ideas to help the community?” asked the deputy mayor of Penela, a small town in Portugal. The Adventist doctor was caught by surprise. He had not expected to be asked such a question during the high-level meeting with prominent community leaders representing businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations, including several large Catholic charities. The group welcomed the doctor’s proposal, including health expos, cooking classes for the district school’s cooks, health programs at retirement homes, personal home visits, exercise programs for all ages, health initiatives on diabetes, depression, heart disease, and addictions, as well as a very intensive media campaign highlighting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The three-year project is to begin this year, with funding from private businesses.


By Viriato Ferreira

Desiring Their


How Adventists impact the community of Penela, Portugal




Making Connections

But how did Seventh-day Adventists gain such acceptance in this community? A few years back a group of Adventist lay members and pastors searched for a property on which they could establish a lifestyle center and clinic. It would be the first lifestyle center in southwestern Europe.1 God led them to a large property with old, derelict buildings, owned by the Penela municipality, a county with more than 5,000 people. Negotiations took longer than expected, but this did not stop the small team from ministering to people’s needs even before they secured use of the land. Health expos for adults and children, health seminars, and other programs were organized, attracting much attention from local leaders. It took five years for an agreement to be reached regarding the use of the property. During this time a strong relationship with the community was built, based on mutual trust and


Sabbath service at VitaSalus

respect. This helped dispel much prejudice against the newcomers, who in the beginning were labeled as a “sect” by some members of the community. Community leaders realized that Adventists’ primary aim was to help them. Villagers began coming to Adventist doctors for medical help.

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Volunteers working at the project started visiting homes of the most needy, offering help where needed. In 2013 Adventists were invited to teach at the local “Senior University,” a project organized by the municipality in which a group of retirees meet weekly for classes on health and other

topics. As a result, health principles were being carried to many homes by eager grandparents who wished to help their children and grandchildren enjoy better health. As time passed, attitudes continued to change. A villager confessed that years ago she had been advised by a local religious leader not to come too close to Adventists. Recently that same

Children´s health expo at the local school. leader said publicly that in spite of professing a different religion, the newcomers were led by the Spirit of God. What a wonderful testimony of God’s power at work in the hearts of people. Desiring Their Good

A woman from the community started attending services at the lifestyle center. When asked by a visitor if she was an Adventist, she answered: “No, but I belong here. This is my family.” She feels at home among Adventists. Others are following her steps. Forty to 60 people meet regularly on Sabbaths at the center. But the story does not end here. Just a few months ago the mayor invited the Adventist doctors to provide medical services for those who are

frail and aged living in one of the local retirement homes. He also invited the team to offer medical services at the local town hall health center. What would have happened if these Adventists had excluded themselves from the community and had kept to themselves, waiting for people to come to them? What would it have been like if they had criticized the local community





for their unhealthy practices instead of mingling with them and gently offering help where it was needed most? We often ask how we can reach our communities. It’s a fair question. The answer depends largely on how we view others, those who do not belong to our faith community. Are they mere outsiders, with whom we have little in common? Or do we consider them as part of us, fellow children of the living God, who created us all? Do we genuinely care for them? We know one of the most quoted texts from Ellen White: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ ”2

Some put an emphasis on the “mingling” while others prefer the acts of “ministering” or focus on how to “gain their confidence.” But isn’t the center of this statement the “why”? Why did Christ do what He did? He “desired” their good! We have all been the object of someone’s generosity or altruistic efforts. But how have we felt when we discovered that at times, such benevolent acts or attitudes were moved by motives other than a genuine love and concern for us? To desire someone’s good comes from within and is a gift from God. Mingling, ministering, and winning someone’s confidence are natural outcomes of “desiring” someone’s good. It’s not time-sensitive, nor is it limited to circumstances. People around us know when we desire their good. They are touched when we empathize with them and get out of our comfort zones to lend a hand, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a listening ear. The experience of the Adventist team at the VitaSalus Lifestyle Center in Penela, Portugal, has proved this right. The community has felt their care and is now responding to it in many wonderful ways. What are you doing in your own family and community? Are you mingling as one who desires their good? n 1

The story has been told in Gerald A. Klingbeil and Chantal J. Klingbeil, “For People by People: A Vision for Medical Evangelism,” Adventist World, October 2012, pp. 14-19. 2 Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 143.

Viriato Ferreira, M.D. (M.B.Ch.B.), serves as

president of VitaSalus (Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine), an Adventistoperated Lifestyle Center in Portugal, and as honorary assistant director of Health Ministries, General Conference of Seventhday Adventists. He can be reached at info@

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad




therosclerosis does tremendous damage to the wonderfully designed system in our bodies known as the vascular tree. A crucial part of that tree are the arteries, and they are attacked by this disease. An overwhelming amount of heart and blood-vessel disease is the result of atherosclerosis. It is one of the very common “noncommunicable diseases� on the rise everywhere, particularly in emerging economies. Though prevalent in the developed world, it is not a new condition. It’s been found in the mummies of the ancient Egyptians.

Matters of the

What Is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis gets its name from the Greek term for porridge, because it looks like porridge. The condition is defined as a patchy thickening of the inner lining of the artery, the intima. The specialized cells of the intima are crucially important in the control of blood pressure and regulation of arterial function. These and other cells in the lining of the artery are damaged by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic thickenings formed along arteries are composed of fat, of collagen-like fibers, and of macrophages. Macrophages are specialized white blood cells that ingest bacteria, foreign bodies, and other substances, including fats such as cholesterol. The Buildup

The first stage of plaque buildup in the lining of the artery is termed the fatty streak and may be present from childhood. With the current pandemic of obesity and lack of exercise among children and young people, plaque buildup is beginning at an earlier age. Small lipoprotein particles accumulate in the inner lining of the artery and enlarge the collection of material building up in the intima. White


By Peter N. Landless


Risks and prevention of coronary heart disease blood cells, or macrophages, then stick to the intima and accumulate more and more lipids. The white blood cells then begin to enlarge and become foam cells. More narrowing of the artery takes place as the plaque gets thicker. Eventually the plaque breaks off and a blood clot is formed, often causing total obstruction of the blood vessel. This can lead to either a heart attack or a stroke, depending on where the affected blood vessel is located. Causes and Risk Factors

The process of atherosclerosis is caused by various factors, including genetics and heredity. Another crucial promoting factor is diet, particularly diets rich in cholesterol and saturated fats. This is especially a problem where junk foods fuel obesity. Such a diet is becoming more prevalent worldwide, contributing significantly to the non-

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communicable diseases (NCDs) of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. With obesity reaching pandemic proportions, type 2 diabetes is afflicting even young people and teenagers. Lack of exercise is also a growing problem. Regular exercise is a very important factor in the fight against atherosclerosis. Age and gender also play roles. Males tend to have a greater tendency toward atherosclerosis than do females, and tend to develop it earlier. When over the age of 55, however, females catch up with males in their risk profile for the disease. Lipoproteins

An important changeable risk factor is related to the blood lipids, or blood fats. These blood lipids include I M A G E :



cholesterol, triglycerides, and transport lipoproteins—LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, cholesterol; and HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is a transport protein carrying cholesterol to the tissues. The more LDL present, the more cholesterol may be transported to areas where it can cause damage, such as to the intima. Elevated LDL is dangerous and should be kept low through diet and exercise. In those cases in which LDL does not respond to lifestyle change, it can be treated with medication. On the other hand, HDL transports cholesterol to the liver, where it is metabolized and removed from the body. The more elevated the HDL is, the better. HDL is kept high mainly through regular exercise and by maintaining an ideal body weight. How Much to Eat?

In managing your lipid profile, total fat intake should not exceed 25 to 30 percent of the total daily calories. Unfortunately, the average American diet consists of 35 to 40 percent of calories from fat. No wonder, then, that the United States and many other parts of the world are facing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Less than 7 percent of the total calorie intake should be saturated fat. It’s essential to ingest healthful fats for energy and for the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins (vita-

mins A, D, E, and K). It’s equally essential to avoid the dangerous saturated fats, because they are key agents in the cause of atherosclerosis. It’s safe to consume monounsaturated fats, which should contribute up to 20 percent of total calories. Healthful sources of monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils, almonds and nuts in general, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are also healthful; they are found in safflower, sunflower, flaxseed, and corn oils. Trans fats should be avoided entirely. These fats are found in hard margarines and prepared foods made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. They are known to raise the lethal low-density lipoprotein, and also to lower healthy high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Good Foods

Some foods help fight heart disease. For instance, foods rich in complex carbohydrates tend to be low in fat and high in fiber. Soluble fiber helps to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. Complex, or unrefined, carbohydrates are much more metabolically friendly and lead to much smoother levels of blood sugar control. Foods rich in beneficial soluble fiber include oats and oat bran, barley, legumes such as beans and peas, prunes, apples, carrots, grapefruit, and avocados. Know Your Numbers

To help maintain good health, know your numbers: blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipid profile numbers. Total blood cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL (4.5-5 mmol/L) in a healthy individual who has never had any cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/ dL (1.7 mmol/L).

For individuals who have established coronary artery disease or diabetes, the LDL cholesterol level should optimally be less than 70 mg/dL (2.64.1 mmol/L), and most certainly not above 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L). Treatments

The cornerstone of lipid control is lifestyle, which includes a healthful diet, weight control, and exercise. If these do not bring the lipids into the desired target range, medications may also be required. The group of medications called statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor), is the most effective. They may, however, have side effects, including liver and muscle damage. These are not common findings, but they need to be monitored through routine blood tests in order to ascertain normal liver function. The presence of muscle pain and discomfort needs to be reported immediately to the treating physician. These side effects usually reverse once the medications are discontinued. We Have Help

Atherosclerosis is a real and very common problem, especially in the Western and developing worlds. But through lifestyle changes its prevalence can be greatly reduced. Lifestyle changes are difficult to make, but there is help: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Make the choice for better health! n

Peter N. Landless, M.B., B.Ch., M.Fam.Med., MFGP(SA), FCP(SA), FACC, FASNC, is a board-

certified nuclear cardiologist and director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad



Hope in a By Katia Reinert


nhealthy relationships can influence one’s health both physically and emotionally. Changes in brain structure, for instance, and negative psychological consequences, have been documented in multiple studies of people exposed to violence and abuse in the home. In fact, among children and adults exposed to childhood abuse, there is evidence of smaller frontal lobes as well as poor mental health. These effects seem to influence the body’s stress load, producing cortisol and other powerful chemicals that negatively impact the physical health and quality of life of family trauma survivors. Besides these structural changes in the brain, both children and adult victims of family violence often experience fear, shame, guilt, and stigma. These negative emotions contribute to such mental and emotional problems as depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in both men and women.

Broken World Finding emotional healing from childhood trauma

The Story of Esther

I met Esther when she was 24 following a lecture on depression and emotional health at a women’s congress. She described how she had been severely beaten by both her parents since age 3 because she wet her bed. As she grew older the incontinent episodes continued, and so did the beatings. Her fear of being hurt for something beyond her control intensified. In adolescence Esther continued to have problems controlling her bladder, but she also experienced unpleasant dreams and feelings of poor self-worth. “I felt ashamed and thought no one would ever want to marry me,” she said in her timid voice. “But I thank God I married a wonderful man.” Once Esther left the home of her parents and went to live with her supportive husband at 18 years of


age, her incontinence became less frequent, but the nightmares and headaches continued. She also had panic attacks. Some days she felt deeply sad for no apparent reason; sometimes the sadness lasted several weeks. She never told her husband about her childhood experiences because of the shame she felt. At 24 she longed for healing. Esther’s symptoms are often seen in PTSD, an illness common in people who have experienced trauma. Like her, many struggle quietly with poor health resulting from abuse that may have started early in life.

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Mental Health Consequences of Childhood Trauma

Studies show that women who experience abuse in adulthood report higher levels of depression and anxiety, panic attacks, sleep difficulty, PTSD, and suicidal ideation than those who do not. In addition, adult women who also have experienced abuse as a child are even more likely to have PTSD and depression than those who don’t. These conditions often continue even after physical injuries have healed. Without appropriate intervention they may last a lifetime. People of faith are not immune to these negative health I M A G E :




consequences. In fact, studies demonstrate that child abuse has profound consequences for Adventists as well as for those in the general population.1 Prevalence of Childhood Trauma Among Adventists

Adventist Risk Management (ARM) in North America reported that between 1992–2011 more than 400 child-abuse claims were made, involving more than 525 cases. They routinely handled “15 to 20 reported claims” annually.2 These numbers do not take into account those who suffered in silence. In addition, in a subgroup of the Adventist Health Study 23—the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study (BRHS)—researchers examined self-reported rates of early child abuse among 10,283 Adventist adults in North America (32 percent male, 68 percent female; 36 percent Blacks, 64 percent Whites). Among them, 67 percent of Adventist adults ages 39-103 experienced one or more of five types of child trauma before age 18 (physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect, and/or witnessed parental abuse). Surprisingly, the child-abuse rate among Adventists in this sample was higher compared to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study rates in the general population in North America (52 percent).4 In fact, compared to the prevalence of child abuse in the ACE study, the prevalence of child abuse among Adventists in the BRHS study was higher for each type as well.5 These results provide evidence that Adventists are not immune from this critical problem. Some argue that childhood trauma seems to be more prevalent in religious groups, possibly as a result of misinterpretation of various biblical texts, among other factors. Impact on Health

The impact on emotional health is significant for survivors. In the Adven-

tist study, despite the fact that the Adventist population had healthier lifestyles, more education, and higher incomes than the general population, those who were exposed to child abuse still experienced significantly worse physical and mental health in adulthood compared to those who were not exposed to child abuse. Negative Spiritual Outcomes

A major negative outcome from experiencing child abuse, especially sexual abuse, among people of faith is the shame, guilt, doubt, and distorted view of God that often result. Researchers studying this phenomenon call it the use of negative religious coping.6 This term refers to the way victims of abuse may respond to the abusive experience by feeling punished or forsaken by God, or by harboring inappropriate guilt and shame. These feelings make it difficult for the survivor to relate to God as a loving Father and to feel loved and embraced by God’s grace. Negative religious coping was linked to worse mental and physical health outcomes in the Adventist study as well. Protective Factors

The high prevalence of child abuse and the negative health outcomes that can result may be discouraging. One may think that there is no hope. The Bible reminds us, however, that there is hope! We can be “hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; . . . perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8, 9). Many benefit from psychological therapy, and seeking assistance from a counselor is critical in finding healing. Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop mental or physical health problems. Studies suggest that a set of individual characteristics may interact dynamically to enable survivors to bounce back and become

resilient. Positive coping factors can be protective and help people heal from their pain. For instance, gratitude and forgiveness can contribute to psychological resilience in the face of trauma and abuse. These coping mechanisms may help child abuse and trauma survivors make sense of their adversity and manage their psychological distress. Among Adventist survivors of childhood trauma, those who forgave others more readily, and cultivated gratitude daily, reported better mental and emotional health.7 Thus, the biblical use of forgiveness and gratitude can be a healing balm and a protective factor in helping survivors of childhood trauma deal with the negative emotional consequences. As individuals and as a church we must continue to grow in our understanding of Christ’s mission (Isa. 61:2, 3), and thereby do more in prevention strategies and in facilitating healing and salvation for both perpetrators and survivors of trauma and abuse. We are called to lead those who are hurting to Jesus, who tells us, “I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. . . . Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live.”8 n 1 See also PMC4486635/#SD2. 2 sda-preventing-and-dealing-with-child-abuse.pdf.
 3 Adventist Health Study 2; adventist-health-studies/about. 4 5 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 483.

Katia Reinert, Ph.D.,

is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad



By Fred Hardinge

Nutrition A Balanced Approach A

n interesting question recently landed on my desk. The inquirer stated that she had been a vegetarian for 22 years, then “overnight” became a vegan. After that change, she said, all her health issues went away. She was able to discontinue her medications, has more energy, and looks younger. She is now cooking vegan meals in her home, and as a result her daughter has fewer colds and flu. “Why,” she asked, “does the Adventist Church and its schools talk about dairy being healthy when it’s ‘a killer’?” It’s always wonderful to hear from those who have made meaningful changes in their diet and lifestyle and have significantly improved their health. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, however, promotes a balanced vegetarian diet. In the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . , it reads: “The diet God ordained in the Garden of Eden—the vegetarian diet—is the ideal, but sometimes we cannot have the ideal. In A S those circumstances, N I M A S N I M in any given situation or


locale, those who wish to stay in optimum health will eat the best food that they can obtain.”1 A Practical Approach

The best foods and diet vary depending on many factors, including geographic location, economics, specific health/medical conditions, knowledge, and food availability. We are a global church. If the church were to specify a particular type of vegetarian diet, this could create an impossible hardship on many of our brothers and sisters in some parts of the world. For example, in a country I recently visited I saw only a few liters of fortified soy milk on a grocery store shelf in the capital city. Each liter cost more than the average monthly wage earned by citizens of that country. Even supplements of vitamin B12 may not be available, and if they are, they may be unaffordable for most members. There are different types of vegetarian diets, including total, or vegan (no meat, eggs, or dairy are consumed); ovo-lacto (no meat but eggs and dairy are part of the diet; this is the type most widely followed in the Adventist Church around the globe); and even pesco (no meat except for fish). Accumulating scientific data suggest these diets have clear and

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important effects on the risk of chronic disease. The study of diets is very complex, and dissecting the active components is difficult. The question “Which specific type of vegetarian diet is the very best?” will probably not have a simple answer, because one diet is unlikely to be the best for all disease outcomes. The Loma Linda University Adventist Health Study-2 is seeking to shed light on some of these questions.2 Preliminary data so far suggests that total vegetarians look very good, but not yet convincingly superior to ovo-lacto vegetarians. As these data grow more robust we may see a clearer picture. The evidence is certainly strong to support a diet that is based largely on plant products (plant-based) or trends strongly in that direction. If a ovo-lacto type of vegetarian diet is chosen, then we recommend that milk and egg products be used as condiments, not as the main portion or foundation of the diet. Diet Considerations

For those who live where there is an abundance and variety of wholesome, natural, and fortified food products, a healthful total vegetarian diet may be the ideal, with the following considerations:







We must never forget that diet is not the only component of the health message. It also includes behaviors that are equally important, such as physical activity; sleep; adequate hydration; the avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine; balanced choices in all of life; and a trusting faith in God and service to others. I have never seen or heard of a church that fought over exercise or sleep! Yet far too many of our churches experience food wars. Several years ago I was in a fellowship lunch line when the host pointed to one of the dishes on the table and said










More Than Diet

with disdain, “This dish is made with r-e-a-l cheese.” Everyone in the room heard it. The dish that was now the center of attention was one I would normally have passed by, as it was not one of my favorites. Not knowing who had prepared it, I offered a silent prayer for wisdom and took one spoonful. There was a surprised gasp from the host! There were many delicious dishes to choose from, and I filled my plate with healthful food and went to sit down. As I later left the fellowship hall I noticed a woman standing along the hallway wall silently crying. Walking over to her, I asked if I could help. Her next words jolted me from any lethargy following my meal that I may have been feeling. “I am the one who made the dish with ‘r-e-a-l cheese,’ ” she replied, “and I have been waiting to talk to you. Thank you for taking and eating one spoonful!” I had been carefully observed! She then told me she was a new member of the church, having joined just a couple of months prior, and that this was the third time a similar comment had been made about a dish she had brought to potluck. How tragic!



Choose ample grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and berries. Avoid replacing animal foods with refined, sweet, fatty commercial products, even if from plant sources. Take a supplement of vitamin B12 regularly (remember, deficiency symptoms may take four to six years to appear). Obtain adequate sunlight, emphasize high-calcium vegetables, and/or supplement with calcium and vitamin D. (Those living in the northern or southern parts of the globe should supplement regularly.) Consider the use of ground flax and/or chia seeds or supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids. This is more important during reproductive years. Be sure you’re including adequate dietary zinc (beans, nuts, seeds) in the diet, especially for young and adolescent boys.



Remember, one diet does not necessarily fit everyone.

total vegetarian one, we as a church recognize that lifestyle choices that do not violate biblical imperatives are left to the discretion of the individual. We all need to heed the words of Paul: “Those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do. . . . Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat” (Rom. 14:3-20, NLT).3 n 1

Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . : A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines (Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1988), p. 285. 2 findings-ahs-2 3 Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

One Diet Doesn’t Fit All

Remember, one diet does not necessarily fit everyone. The Seventhday Adventist Church encourages the avoidance of flesh foods wherever possible—but doesn’t make diet a test of fellowship. Even if a person chooses to follow a diet other than a

Fred Hardinge, Dr.P.H., R.D., is an associate di-

rector of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


DIABETES & HEALTH By Zeno Charles-Marcel


e all know somebody with prediabetes or diabetes. With 29 million people in the United States with diabetes and 86 million with prediabetes, knowing somebody with one of these conditions is not surprising. Indeed, one in every 10 adults in the U.S. has diabetes, and one in every three has prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases the affected person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications. The situation worldwide is just as worrisome; the numbers and trends are staggering (see table). Even more alarming, 50 percent of people with diabetes and 90 percent of those with prediabetes don’t know they have the condition. Untamed, diabetes will strip its victims of much of the God-given ability to enjoy life. It produces blindness; nerve pain and numbness in the hands and feet; sexual dysfunction; atherosclerosis with poor blood supply to the limbs and vital organs, leading to amputations, hypertension, stroke, dementia, heart attack, and heart failure; and kidney disease, requiring dialysis or transplantation. Diabetes is also costly. In the U.S. in 2013 health-care costs averaged $10,600 more in persons with diabetes, and spending on diabetes drugs alone was expected to increase 18 percent in 2016, then stabilize in the midto high teens in 2017 and 2018. What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a cluster of disorders of metabolism, the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. It involves many hormones, especially insulin, produced in the pancreas. Insulin helps our bodies store and use the sugar and fat from the food we eat. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin (type 1); when, regardless of the amount of insulin produced, the body does not respond


Why All the Fuss About


What to do about it appropriately (type 2); and when the blood sugar is abnormally high because of pregnancy (gestational). In type 1 diabetes the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes—accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases—is caused by a combination of factors, including malfunctioning pancreatic cells and insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond to insulin appropriately. Risk Factors ■■ family history of diabetes ■■ prediabetes ■■ physical inactivity ■■ excess weight, especially around

the waist (your waist should not measure more than half your height) ■■ gestational diabetes or the offspring of mother with gestational diabetes ■■ cesarean birth ■■ victim of neglect, abuse, household dysfunction because of parents’ chronic illness, domestic violence, separation, or divorce ■■ heart disease, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, “good” cholesterol level (HDL) less than 35 mg/dL or triglyceride level greater than 250 mg/dL ■■ tobacco use ■■ age over 44 ■■ Pacific Islander, Hispanic, African American, Native American, or Asian American ethnicity

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Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms indicate underlying health problems and help in the diagnosis of a disease. With prediabetes and diabetes there are no characteristic symptoms in most instances. A gradual development of the following raise concern: inordinate tiredness; unusual thirst; slow-healing sores or cuts; groin or vaginal itching; yeast infection; unexplained weight gain or loss; numbness or tingling of hands, feet, or both; erectile dysfunction; blurred or decreased vision; shortness of breath; or chest discomfort with exertion. To know if you have prediabetes or any one of the three major types of diabetes, you must have your blood specifically checked; there is no other consistently reliable way of knowing. What if You Have Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes?

Having prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is not a death sentence! Appropriate lifestyle changes can render diabetes preventable, even reversible. Many people benefit from articles and books dealing with diabetes. Health education classes and community- or church-sponsored programs provide information and know-how in dealing with these conditions. Doctors’ offices and hospitals have dietitians, diabetes educators, and wellness coaches who help people make necessary lifestyle changes. Lifestyle centers and intensive intervention programs assist individuals and

Global Diabetes Burden

2 0 1 5 E S T I M AT E D A N D 2 0 4 0 P R O J E C T E D T O TA L S I N M I L L I O N S America (North) and Caribbean 2015 2040

44.3 60.5

Europe 2015


71.1 2015

America (South and Central) 2015 2040


153.2 214.8

Middle East 2040

35.4 29.6

Asia (Western) and Australia 2015 2040


Asia (Southeast) 2015 2040


78.3 140.2

Africa 2015



34.2 World – Global Burden 2015 2040



Source: IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edition (2015), International Diabetes Federation

groups to make substantive changes in medically supervised settings and even follow up their attendees over time to assist in their consolidation of healthy life habits in everyday living. Here are some high-yield lifestyle habits that will make a difference: ■■ Use scales and tape measures. Excess abdominal overfat may indicate fat accumulation in the pancreas and liver, key factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. ■■ Get your blood sugar checked before breakfast and two hours after breakfast, and know your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). ■■ Know your numbers: blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, urine protein, in addition to your weight and HbA1c. Don’t forget to check your eyes, teeth, and feet. ■■ Get active (safely). Walk more, walk farther. Walk after each meal for 10 to 15 minutes. Get up and move every hour. Accumulate one hour per day of physical activity, about 10,000 steps. ■■ If you smoke, stop; if you don’t smoke, don’t start. ■■ Eat better. More vegetables and fruits, more natural food fiber,

fewer sugary and fatty foods, less animal protein, fewer high-calorie drinks, and more pure water. ■■ Sleep better. Seven to eight hours per night improves metabolism, weight-loss efforts, and blood-sugar control. ■■ Develop set meal times to reduce insulin demand and improve weight control. ■■ Develop a two-meals-per-day eating plan. E.g., breakfast and a late lunch or early dinner produces better results than three or more meals per day of the same total amount of food. ■■ Eat a wholesome, hearty breakfast. Breakfast with adequate protein improves metabolism all day long. ■■ Let the sunshine in. Inadequate vitamin D levels predispose to type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In temperate zones, take vitamin D3 supplements. ■■ Lose fat and increase muscle. ■■ Rest, don’t stress. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Physical and emotional stress relief result in better metabolism; spiritual rest results in a better life! The Serenity Prayer should become a way of life. God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things that I can, And wisdom to know the difference. If lifestyle intervention alone does not give optimal results, then medications (herbs, supplements, and pharmaceuticals) or surgery for those morbidly obese may be advised. Consult with a knowledgeable practitioner. So Why All the Fuss?

Diabetes is a huge problem. It saps people, families, and communities of viable, productive, enjoyable life and other resources. Most people don’t know their risk, don’t know they have it, and don’t know what to do about it. Most people don’t know it can be easily prevented and don’t know it can be reversed in many people, even in those who have had diabetes for up to 10 years! But now you know. What are you going to do? n

Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, M.D., is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad





By Darren Morton



Exercise has more benefits than you might think.


t has been estimated that people living in developed countries are, on average, 60 to 70 percent less active today than a century ago, which equates to walking about 16 kilometers (10 miles) fewer every day. This is a huge downturn in our activity levels, and most of it has occurred in the past 40 years. Even more alarming, it shows no sign of turning around. We are facing an inactivity crisis, and it’s hardly surprising that it has been suggested that physical inactivity may be the most important public health problem of the twenty-first century. This inactivity crisis presents such a health problem because we are made to move. The human body is designed to be active, and things go wrong when it is not operated according to its design brief. From the beginning God intended us to be physically active, evidenced by Adam and Eve being placed in a garden to “work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15, NIV). It is also fitting that “exercise” was included in the list of the “true remedies” penned by Ellen White in 1905 that have become the foundation of the Adventist health message.1 Today, more than ever, we need to


get moving. This does not mean we all need to start running marathons. But it does mean we need to go against the grain of our increasingly sedentary world and become more physically active by sitting less (God never intended for us to be “bottom dwellers”!), stepping more (a good goal is 10,000 steps per day), and strengthening our muscles (by using them). Countless studies show that when we live an active lifestyle in this way, many benefits follow. Live Longer

Active people tend to live longer. This has been shown through studies of the longest-lived people on the planet—the Okinawans, Sardinians, and, of course, Seventh-day Adventists.2 Historically, these people all “moved naturally,” or, in other words, engaged in plenty of physical activity as part of their daily living. So why does being physically active enable us to live longer? In short, physical activity can prevent, manage, and even treat 35 common ailments, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and osteoporosis, to name a few. Consider diabetes, which is one of

Adventist World - nad | January 2017

the greatest health challenges of our time. Exercise has been described by the American Dietetic Association as a “cornerstone” in the management of type 2 diabetes. A single bout of aerobic physical activity can make insulin work better (and hence improve blood sugar control) for up to three days! Furthermore, performing regular strengthening exercises has been shown to improve blood sugar control in ways that match and sometimes exceed that typically produced by conventional drug treatments. If you could develop a pill that packaged the benefits that come from regular physical activity, it would be a major medical breakthrough. The great news is that everyone can take this pill—and it’s free! Appropriately, there is a growing acceptance within the medical establishment that “exercise is medicine.” Those who take it tend to live longer. Live Livelier

Not only can regular physical activity add years to our lives—it can also add life to our years. It achieves this in several ways. First, regular exercise boosts energy levels. When I teach under-


graduate students about energy metabolism, I love to show them a large poster covered with tiny writing that details the complex chemical pathways within our bodies that are involved in generating energy. It highlights that we are indeed a remarkable creation and that the “simple” act of harnessing energy from the foods we eat is not simple at all! What’s more amazing, however, is to learn that these chemical pathways improve in their ability to generate energy the more we use them, as occurs during physically activity. In this way regular physical activity greatly boosts our energy levels. Who doesn’t want that? Second, exercise is one of the best things we can do to improve our mood. In fact, exercise has been referred to as the most underutilized antidepressant. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have fewer depressive symptoms and are less likely to develop major depressive disorders. And for those with major depression, exercise has been shown to be as effective in treating the condition as antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive therapy. Indeed, positive motion creates positive emotion.

What this shows is that physical activity is great for our brains as well as our bodies, and there are several reasons for it. Exercise can stimulate the release of mood-enhancing chemicals—called endorphins—in our brains that give us a mood lift. Indeed, the “runner’s high” is real! Exercise also increases blood flow to our brains. As the organs of our bodies function best with a good blood supply, it is not surprising that exercise enhances cognitive and brain function. This may explain why scholars of the ancient world, including Aristotle, walked with their students as they taught. In fact, the school of philosophy in ancient Greece founded by Aristotle was called the “Peripatetic school,” which translates as “given to walking about.” Jesus was partial to a similar practice. In summary, regular physical activity can help us live more—in both quantity and quality.

than being underweight.3 Numerous studies point to regular physical activity being an integral part of the solution to the obesity epidemic, especially for keeping lost weight off. The importance of physical activity for long-term weight loss is highlighted by the findings of the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 10,000 individuals who have lost about 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and have kept it off for longer than five years.4 Researchers discovered that these “success stories” tend to have four things in common, and engaging in daily physical activity is one of them. The takeaway message is that exercise is vital for long-term weight loss. Conclusion

Being physically active can help us live longer, livelier, and leaner. God wants us to live our best lives, and moving more can help us achieve this. Make an effort to sit less, step more, and try some strengthening exercises—it will be worth it! It can truly help us to live more! n 1 Ellen

G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 127. 2 Dan Buettner, The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who Have Lived the Longest (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2008), p. 231. 3 World Health Organization, “Obesity and Overweight” (2016), 4 Rena R. Wing and Suzanne Phelan, “Long-Term Weight-Loss Maintenance,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82, no. 1 (2005): 222S–225S; see also

Darren Morton, Ph.D.,

Live Leaner

Worldwide, obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, and today most of the world’s population lives in countries in which more people die as a result of being overweight

is the course convener for Postgraduate Studies in Lifestyle Medicine at Avondale College of Higher Education in Australia. This article is adapted from his book Live More: Active.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


By Daniel R. Jackson



Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, shares the story of Elisha and his servant during his sermon at the 2016 NAD Year-End Meeting.

Trusting God’s vision and leading 34

Adventist World - nad | January 2017

N A D F E AT U R E Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, begins his October 29, 2016, sermon with a welcome and introduction: “My name is Dan Jackson, and I am a broken human being.”


his article is based on Daniel R. Jackson’s sermon during the 2016 North American Division year-end meeting Sabbath worship service on October 29, 2016. Jackson related the story of Elisha and the Arameans (2 Kings 6:8-23).—Editors.

in times of trouble P H O T O S :



Elisha was holed up in a place called Dothan. The prophet of God was there primarily because his enemies had become aware of the fact that he knew everything they were doing; and that he told the king of Israel exactly where not to go, where not to be, and what not to do. The situation was becoming egregious in the mind of the king of Aram. He was furious that every time he made a move, he could not capture the enemy. The Bible says: “This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, ‘Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?’ ” (2 Kings 6:11).1 Sheepishly, one of them responded by saying: “None of us, my lord the king, but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom” (verse 12). Elisha was concealed in Dothan. His enemies were in pursuit; they wanted to annihilate the people of God. The Bible reads: “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city” (verse 15). The servant runs to Elisha and cries out: “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” (verse 15). Elisha looked at him as one who has confidence in God, and said: “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (verse 16). Then Elisha prayed the first of three prayers. The first prayer: “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (verse 17). The Lord opened the servant’s eyes. He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire. There’s an army surrounding the city, and Elisha’s bold enough to go to the city gates and open them. Elisha then goes right out to the army, praying the second prayer: “Strike this army with blindness” (verse 18). He speaks to them: “You’re in the wrong place. You better come with me.” And he leads them from Dothan to Samaria. Can you imagine leading people, suddenly blind, through rugged territory? carrying their burdens? He takes them eight miles from Dothan to inside the city of Samaria. Once they are in the city, with the army of Israel all around them, Elisha offers the third prayer: “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see” (verse 20). January 2017 | Adventist World - nad




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Delegates and guests sing a hymn of praise during the worship service on October 29, 2016.

Aram’s men opened their eyes and saw the sun gleaming off the armor of the armies of Israel. Israel’s king rushed to Elisha and asked if he should kill their foes. “No way!” Elisha replied. “Feed them a potluck.” And the end of the story is this: the armies of Aram never came back. I want to make three observations about this story. God’s Gracious Intervention

Observation one: Only a miracle of God’s powerful and gracious intervention in our lives enables us to see into the spiritual world. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The natural mind is not subject to the law of God, and it can’t be. We don’t earn righteousness. We don’t earn the ability to see what is going on by our own strength and our own ingenuity, even if we’re a number-one, grade-A Seventh-day Adventist from a line of 17 pastors. Only God’s power and intervention in our lives gives us any spiritual insight. Elisha prays, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (verse 17). Of note here is simply that the servant would have given up and resigned himself to death had it not been for the direct and gracious intervention of God. Elisha’s servant did not understand the process. He saw with his own physical sight. Only when the Spirit of God was infused into the situation and into his mind did he see the power of God and that he was not in danger. Whose Reality?

Observation two: God’s realities are different from ours. “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (verse 17). Before that moment, all the servant could see were soldiers and horses and spears and chariots—obstacles, barriers, impossibilities. His reality, as I’ve said, was confined to what he could see. But God’s reality demonstrated an opportunity not only through new vision, but also as an opportunity to exercise grace and salvation. P H O T O :



Only a miracle of God’s powerful and gracious intervention in our lives enables us to see into the spiritual world. Here’s a quote from Ellen G. White’s book Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing: “Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him and be overwhelmed with temptation, but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief. . . . We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing, as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from Heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.”2 What God is committed to doing for individuals He can do for you, for me, and for His church. Somehow, in our self-focus we have determined that maybe we should fix the problem; that perhaps God is not big enough to do the job; that somehow He may need our assistance. That’s what Abraham, father of the faithful, thought. That’s what Moses thought. That’s what Peter thought. These leaders in God’s cause decided to take their problems into their own hands, January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


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to deal with them according to their experience and their background and their understanding. They were going to fix the problem God had. God is exceedingly, abundantly able to do way more than we ask of Him. My mind goes back to chapter 1 of Ellen G. White’s book The Acts of the Apostles; this has to be our obsession: “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of [men and women]. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. . . . The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.”3 Young people, we’re relying on you. We need every one of you. We need you to be able to fulfill this dream, God’s dream for the church. We need every church member. “The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.” That’s what all this is about, to prepare us for the final and full display of the love of God.

In His Power

Observation number three: When we submit to God’s reality, and place ourselves in the center of that reality, we spiritually place ourselves into the place of power. Elisha’s servant thought the only ally he had was Elisha. However, the Spirit of God came into his mind, his eyes were opened, and he discovered the truth that Elisha had proclaimed: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” When we think in terms of our present experience, those with us can often be counted on one hand. When we rely upon our vision, our training, our experience, or our position, we rely upon that which is not only transient but weak. When caught in a crisis, we turn to our own ingenuity and cry out in our anguish, “What shall we do?” That’s the wrong place to start. When we don’t enter God’s reality, we wind up creating mechanical, superficial, and unspiritual solutions to our challenges. And when we do, we often confuse ourselves and others. Listen to Jeremiah 17:5-8: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,

Delegates and guests from throughoiut the North American Division filled the auditorium at the world church headquarters for the Sabbath morning worship service during Year-End Meetings.

P H O T O :


God is exceedingly, abundantly able to do way more than we ask of Him.


January 2017 | Adventist World - nad





During his sermon, Daniel R. Jackson shares an experience he had with former NAD president, Don Schneider, while whale watching in Newfoundland.

in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” When it comes to the work of God in our lives—and in the life of our church—as we submit our lives to Him, as we enter into His reality, into His space, here is a truth we need to understand: No matter how daunting the circumstance, regardless of how overwhelming the odds, whether outnumbered, outmaneuvered, outplanned, outclassed, or outstrategized, those who are with us are more than those who are with them. When we allow ourselves to focus our eyes on God, to put our faith in Him, He will surprise us with joy. This Is God’s Church

A few years ago I had the privilege of speaking at the Newfoundland camp meeting. I was there on the same weekend as Don Schneider, then president of the North American Division. The wonderful people in Newfoundland took a group of us on a whale-watching tour. We had a spectacular view that day. We saw 16 whales come right up out of the ocean and splash down. During a rainy trip back to port, Don Schneider came over and asked if he could stand with me by the rail. He and I stood there on deck in silence, enjoying the rain. P H O T O :



We are God’s family all around the world. As broken, as enfeebled, and as defective as we are, we’re still His family.

I looked at him and noticed that it wasn’t just rain that wet his face. Tears streamed out of his eyes; this man of God was weeping. He told me, “Only a few weeks ago I was going blind. I never thought that, for the rest of my life, I would ever be able to see such a beautiful sight as I’ve seen today.” When we put our lives in the hands of God, He will surprise us by joy. We ought not despair. This is God’s church. It always has been, and it always will be. Enfeebled and defective as it may be, the church is still the object of God’s supreme regard, His sole regard on Planet Earth. I do not need to despair, though I would like to, because God is committed to surprising us with joy. We are God’s family all around the world. As broken, as enfeebled, and as defective as we are, we’re still His family. We are called upon to focus on Him, not on each other. In this economy of God’s salvation, we all win because of whom we—or to whom—we are related. Elisha, his servant, surrounded in the city of Dothan, discovered that when God puts on eye salve, even those who are blind can see. n 1 Bible

texts in this article are from the New International Version. G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1956), pp. 118, 119. 3 Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 9. 2 Ellen

Daniel R. Jackson is president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. January 2017 | Adventist World - nad





For Your Are the laws of uncleanliness, found in Leviticus and other books of the Bible, health laws?


This question has been debated among scholars, and most of them would answer your question in the negative. Adventists would probably be more cautious in answering it because we don’t separate spiritual from physical aspects of human life. Besides, quite a bit of biblical evidence indicates a clear concern for health within the laws of impurity. Let’s examine some of this evidence. 1. Holiness and Impurity: These two terms are important in Leviticus, and point to two opposite spheres of human existence. The impure belongs to the sphere of death and was not to come into contact with God. People became unclean by, among other things, touching a corpse (Num. 19:11), the carcass of an animal (Lev. 5:2), or blood (Lev. 15:19, 20). Such persons were separated from the sanctuary and from others. Holiness designated the sphere of God as the very source of life. Contact with the Holy One was a gift of grace and provided opportunities for the Israelites to enjoy spiritual, social, and physical life. The biblical, wholistic understanding of human life does not allow us to separate spiritual health from physical health. 2. Dietary Laws: The laws regarding clean or unclean animals legislate what God’s people should and should not eat. In a sense it is a case of preventive medicine, like any good diet. While the unclean pull people to the sphere of death, the consumption of clean animals would help them enjoy life as much as possible in a world of uncleanliness. Strictly speaking, these are not ritual laws, because the impurity of the animals is permanent and is transferred only by eating their flesh and not through contact. However, the explicit biblical motivation for obedience provided by the text is God’s holiness (Lev. 11:44). God is holy, and He wants His people to be holy. In a world characterized by impurity/death God remains holy/the source of life. He calls His people to distance themselves from the unclean/death. This is not only about spiritual life, but about enjoying life now by practicing proper health principles.


Adventist World - nad | January 2017

3. Principles of Hygiene: We also find, embedded in the ritual laws, principles of hygiene. A few examples may suffice. We already mentioned the prohibition of touching a corpse or the carcass of an animal (cf. Lev. 17:15). Water played an important role after a person came into contact with the unclean, even in cases in which a sick person spat on someone else (Lev. 15:7, 8). Water removed the contagion. Isolation or quarantine was also practiced to prevent the spread of the unclean (e.g., Num. 31:21-24), which in some cases included particular diseases (e.g., Lev. 15:26, 27). The proper disposition of human excrement was legislated to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and probably to eliminate odors (Deut. 23:12-14). 4. Mental Health: God is interested not only in our spiritual and physical health but also in our mental health. Very few actions upset our internal peace more than actions that damage our relationship with God and with others. We are left with a deep sense of guilt, and perhaps shame, that rob us of our inner well-being, or shalom. The Lord provided for the restoration of mental peace through the sacrificial system. Israelites who committed a sin against God or other Israelites were expected to bring a guilt or sin offering to the Lord in order for the priest to make atonement for them (Lev. 4:1-12; 6:14-16). Even in cases where individuals lacked inner peace and suspected that they may have committed a sin they could not recall or identify, the Lord invited them to bring a sacrifice to restore their inner peace (Lev. 6:17-19). Divine forgiveness is the best medicine for a sense of unworthiness, regret, and guilt. Provision has already been made for us through Christ. We still live in a world of sin, sickness, and death, making it impossible for us now to totally escape them. We look forward to when God will restore full and permanent health to the human race. For now we follow His instructions and hope for His coming. n

Angel Manuel Rodríguez is retired after serving as a pastor, professor, and theologian.




By Mark A. Finley


Total Health


t may surprise some people to discover that Jesus spent as much time healing those who were sick as He did preaching the gospel. Yet even that statement doesn’t go far enough. For Jesus, healing those who were sick was an essential part of His gospel message. Throughout the story of Jesus’ life as recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus touched blind eyes and made them see, unstopped deaf ears, healed palsied limbs, stopped raging fevers, and made lame legs whole. Why? What made this healing ministry such a priority for Jesus? And why does He care so much about our physical health today? In this month’s lesson we shall explore some answers.

1 What amazing truth about Jesus is revealed in Colossians 1:16 and Ephesians 3:9? How do these two passages explain Christ’s interest in our physical health? One of the most important truths of the entire Bible is that Christ created us. We are not merely genetic accidents produced by chance, or some random selection of molecules in the far distant past. The human race was created by God. We did not evolve over endless ages. Understanding that we were created by a God who loves us and desires only the best for us is the basis of caring for our bodies. The One who made us longs for us to be in the best possible health.


How did Jesus contrast the purpose of His coming to earth with Satan’s purpose? Consider Jesus’ statement in John 10:10. Simply put, Jesus came to provide us with principles for living an abundant life now and throughout eternity. In contrast, the devil, the thief, came to rob our joy, destroy our health, and ruin our peace.


Matters to Jesus 4 Read Mark 5:29. What happened when she touched Christ’s garment? 5 What does Christ’s response to this woman reveal about His care for each human being’s physical, mental, and emotional health? Find the answer in Mark 5:34. Jesus’ response to this desperate woman who now rejoiced in His healing grace speaks to us powerfully about why our total health matters to Him. Notice Jesus’ words: He called this woman “daughter,” revealing her individual worth. He encouraged her to “go in peace,” to have a sense of mental calm and wholeness. He delivered her from her affliction, and new life flowed through her body. He shared that her faith made her whole. In this brief exchange Christ reveals that we are whole human beings and that health is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This is why our health matters so much to Him: it involves our total being.

6 What do the descriptions of Jesus’ ministry in Matthew 4:23, 24, and 9:35 reveal about Christ’s interest in our total well-being? 7

When will we experience complete, total healing? Read Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5. Our total health matters to Jesus because we matter to Jesus. He longs for us to live life to the fullest, even while we live in this world of sin and decay. We will never be free of the effects of sin in this world, but following His principles in every area of our life empowers us to live life to the fullest here and now. We can also look forward to the day when sickness, disease, and death will be no more, when we can live in His life-giving presence forever. n


Read Mark 5:25-28 and imagine the condition of this woman who reached out to touch Christ’s garment. What emotions might she have felt? January 2017 | Adventist World - nad



Letters Prescription Drugs

I’m so grateful for “Adventists and Prescription Drugs” (October 2016). In an age when medication is so helpful in allowing people to live symptom-free despite their physical maladies, it would be tragic if we emphasized “faith” or “clean-living” as the antidote to every ailment. Diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, depression, and a host of other disorders can be treated with prescription medications when diet and exercise alone are inadequate. Thank you for the balanced treatment this topic received. It’s another reason I enjoy reading Adventist World. Roger Bergman D aly City, California, United States


A Heart for Mission

A Safe Place

I enjoyed reading the Week of Prayer readings in “A Heart for Mission” (September 2016). I was struck by the theme of practical spirituality that most of the authors emphasized. Sometimes it seems as though Adventists are more concerned with doctrinal purity than we are with meeting people where they are and addressing their physical and material needs before we approach them with the claims of the gospel. Jesus’ method was a good one, and it’s good enough for me. Nina Sanchez Arlington, Texas, United States

Thank you for the article “A Safe Place,” by Angel Manuel Rodríguez (June 2016). For years I have appreciated the principles of the cities of refuge, for both the grace and justice they reveal. It often struck me how incredibly generous it was of the Lord to locate them in Levitical cities. Very few other events could be as traumatic as accidentally murdering someone, and in this way constant counseling would be available. Praise God’s gracious heart! Cheri Schroeder via e-mail

Justice for All

Thank you for the article “Blessing of Tithing Cows” (May 2016). This challenged me to ask myself, How many times have I tithed to the fullest? How much have I been giving to God? I need to check my faithfulness to Him. Namugere Eva Uganda

I enjoyed reading the article “Justice for All” (June 2016), by Stefan Höschele. He wrote, “Loving your neighbor isn’t always easy, and you can’t choose all your neighbors. But a minimum standard is valid always and for everyone.” The refugee crisis is not the only crisis Europe has to face, but it is the most pressing. All the pieces need to fit together. John Lawrence R. Valorozo London, United Kingdom

Checking Faithfulness

Further Explanation Appreciated

In response to what Angel Manuel Rodríguez wrote in the November 2015 issue of Adventist World: “The Son is not the natural, literal Son of the Father. . . . The term ‘Son’ is used metaphorically when applied to the


Please don’t become tired of interceding for us. We need your prayers. Pray for our country. B yaya, Democratic Republic of Congo

Please pray for my daughter Mylene and son Gans, who are going through difficult times, that God will give them strength. Germe, France

I am suffering from a disease that brings severe pain in my back. Please pray that I can continue to serve the Lord. Vanlalpeka, Myanmar Please pray for my husband to become a better money manager. Adja, Cameroon


Adventist World - nad | January 2017

Secrets to Reach Your Godhead.” If this is true, how do we make sense of John 3:16? Ronal Purviance via e-mail

Fitness Goals Being physically fit is about being disciplined, but it’s also about making simple decisions that, over time, yield significant, permanent results.

In our human experience, a son is someone who is born and has a beginning. In the Godhead the Son existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit from eternity. The metaphor helps us understand— even if we cannot fully comprehend—the intimate relationship between the members of the Godhead.—Editors. Spiritual Growth

Thanks for the great work at Adventist World. May God keep renewing your strength as you serve Him. The magazine inspires spiritual growth. Robert Onsare University of Eastern Africa, Baraton

Find a workout buddy.

A 2012 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise discovered that participants who were challenged by a workout buddy performed better.

Order smart.

When eating out, order two healthy appetizer options instead of one entrée. Stay away from anything fried and dial down your calorie intake.

Track your progress.

Keeping a log—virtual or handwritten—helps you set clear goals and tracks your progress.

Thank You

Thank you for the great work you are doing in sharing Jesus with the world. May God continue strengthening you in His vineyard. Kevin Otieno Kisumu, Kenya

Cook more, eat out less.

Nutritionists almost always recommend preparing meals at home to avoid overeating and unhealthy fare.

Letters Policy: Please send to: Letters must be clearly written, 100-word maximum. Include the name of the article and the date of publication with your letter. Also include your name, the town/city, state, and country from which you are writing. Letters will be edited for space and clarity. Not all letters submitted will be published.

More protein means more muscle.

Proteins such as nuts, legumes, and beans provide fuel and lean muscle. Source:

My friend from China began studying the Bible and visited an Adventist church. Now he has returned home and hopes there will be someone who will talk to him about God and study the Bible with Him. Ruth, Indonesia

I have a debt to pay and feel miles away from my Savior. We have two children, and we look after three orphans. Please pray for my family. Lillian, Zimbabwe I finished high school and would like to continue my education in music.

My dream university is Andrews University. Please pray for me. Deborah, Kenya The Place of Prayer: Send prayer requests and praise (thanks for answered prayer) to Keep entries short and concise, 50-words or less. Items will be edited for space and clarity. Not all submissions will be printed. Please include your name and your country’s name. You may also fax requests to: 1-301-680-6638; or mail them to Adventist World, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.

January 2017 | Adventist World - nad


IDEA EXCHANGE “Behold, I come quickly…” Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ, uniting Seventh-day Adventists everywhere in beliefs, mission, life, and hope.

Heart Health

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(a cup a day, fresh or frozen) produce inflammation-fighting antioxidants.


contain heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. A handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) five or more times a week made people 29 percent less likely to die of heart disease.

Publisher The Adventist World, an international periodical of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The General Conference, Northern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists®, is the publisher. Adventist Review Ministries Board Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Guillermo Biaggi, vice chair, Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Williams Costa, Daniel R. Jackson, Peter Landless, Robert Lemon, Geoffrey Mbwana, G. T. Ng, Daisy Orion, Juan Prestol-Puesán, Ella Simmons, Artur Stele, Ray Wahlen, Karnik Doukmetzian, legal advisor Executive Editor/Director of Adventist Review Ministries Bill Knott Associate Director of Adventist Review Ministries International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist World Coordinating Committee Jairyong Lee, chair; Yukata Inada; German Lust; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee; Lyu, Dong Jin Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA André Brink, Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil (associate editors), Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Wilona Karimabadi Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Park, Jae Man; Kim, Hyo-Jun Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editors-at-large Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Management Board Jairyong Lee, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Chun, Pyung Duk; Karnik Doukmetzian; Han, Suk Hee; Yutaka Inada; German Lust; Ray Wahlen; Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán; G. T. Ng; Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Jeff Dever, Brett Meliti Consultants Ted N. C. Wilson, Juan Prestol-Puesán, G. T. Ng, Guillermo E. Biaggi, Mario Brito, Abner De Los Santos, Dan Jackson, Raafat A. Kamal, Michael F. Kaminskiy, Erton C. Köhler, Ezras Lakra, Jairyong Lee, Israel Leito, Thomas L. Lemon, Solomon Maphosa, Geoffrey G. Mbwana, Blasious M. Ruguri, Saw Samuel, Ella Simmons, Artur A. Stele, Glenn Townend, Elie Weick-Dido To Writers: We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. Address all editorial correspondence to 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, U.S.A. Editorial office fax number: (301) 680-6638

Legumes and beans

are loaded with soluble fiber that binds to cholesterol-laden bile acids and carries them out of the body. A normal diet should contain five to 10 grams of fiber a day; a cup of legumes provides two to six grams.

E-mail: Web site: Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible references are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States.

Source: Men’s Health

Vol. 13, No. 1


Adventist World - nad | January 2017






PAID Bolingbrook, IL Permit No. 2351

NAD English - January 2017  

Shalom. Wholeness in mind, body and soul.

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