Who Are You?

Click here to download for print distribution. 

In a Berlin Park the security guard challenged a scruffy figure slouching on a park bench: "Who Are You?" 

The scruffy man was the philosopher Schopenhauer, and he sadly replied, “I wish to God I knew.” Secular thought doesn’t help us much with understanding our identity. “The universe is nothing but a collection of atoms in motion, human beings are simply machines for propagating DNA,” says atheist professor Richard Dawkins, straying outside his specialty area of biology.

Funny, I feel I’m more than just a machine.

“You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells,” said Francis Crick of DNA fame.[2] No more? But our deepest intuitions go beyond our bodies. We feel we matter. We look for purpose in our lives. We love soul-deep. We dream of an afterlife—even people who have been told that they don’t have a spirit.

The Bible describes being human in a way that makes sense of our experience. Here is a quick summary:

1. You Are Wanted
You are no accident. God made you for relationships and enjoyment—yours and His (Rev. 4:11). Love and joy—what better reason for God to make everything? “In [God’s] presence is fullness of joy; … [and] pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

 2. You Are Multilayered
You are not a soul trapped in a weak body; you’re a whole person. Like the compound terms in a German car manual, you are a bodymindspirit. You can thinkfeelsense that truth if you learn to listen to the FatherSonSpirit of God.

Your body is created for good. Your senses were designed for pleasure and relationship. Contrary to Dark Ages church dogma and Plato, your sexuality is God-given, intended for love and joy in marriage—and for creating people, a Godlike power. Both male and female are in the “image of God” (Gen. 1:27). We needn’t feel guilty about bodily love, but only for selfish, loveless attitudes and the actions they produce.

So develop every aspect of yourself: “Jesus grew in wisdom [mind] and stature [body], and in favor with God [spiritual] and men [social]” (Luke 2:52, NIV).

3. You Are Free
The all-powerful God is such a generous Sovereign that He leaves space for you to have a free will. God likes your individuality—He could have made you a remote-controlled cyborg, but would have seen in your dull eyes that you did not love Him freely or cooperate intelligently. So He gave you freedom, and a status just below heavenly beings (Ps. 8:5).

God is in ultimate control of what will happen to the universe but cannot be blamed for what people do with their free will. He chooses to limit evil at times (Job 2:1-10) and is such a good strategist that His overall plans will succeed whatever you or I individually do. Your choices matter. Life is not just a video game that can be reset at the end without real damage. You can hurt yourself and others, even with eternal consequences.

I am free, but I am not free. I am naturally enslaved to my misguided grabs for happiness, my ignorance, selfishness and brokenness. Only when God’s Spirit reaches my mind—like oil penetrating a rusty lock—can my will really operate. Then I’m free to control myself, to say no to parts of myself (a great feeling), and to be most myself.

Because the bad news is …

 4. You Are Faulty
We can try to suppress this with alcohol or fame or busyness, but don’t we all have moments of humbling clarity when we see selfishness and foolish choices?

Look at us, rushing through our work, wired for electronic entertainment but disconnected from the human next to us, disconnected from nature and our bodies—and even from our own feelings and consciences at times. How well have we done in caring for the natural world (Gen. 2:15)? And we can be closed to God, barely missing the company of the most interesting being. We are relationally dead in the presence of the great life-giver.

We love to blame our parents for our weaknesses. We vow to do better, only to find ourselves flawed, discovering our faults in our children. Fallenness runs through the entire human family (Ps. 51:5), right back to the first parents.

I have an inner shabbiness no designer clothes can cover. I need kindness, and regular, heavy-duty cycles in God’s big gospel washing machine.

If I understand this, I will not demand perfection from people. I may even find grace for my wife, children, friends, workmates—even enemies?—the same grace I need.

At least it’s not just me that’s fallen; it’s all of creation (Rom. 8:19-23). Jesus died to restore everything that is broken—DNA, ecology, cosmology …

5. You Are Mortal
People die.
You can “rage against the dying of the light,”[3] curse at the sky because you were not healed, but eventually everyone dies—until Jesus returns. You have about 3,400 weekends, total. But this can sober us and drive us urgently toward wisdom (Ps. 90:12; Eccl. 7:2).

There’s one upside to human mortality: nobody will spend an eternity in hell, writhing in pain as flames lick their body, screaming in regret and agony forever. What would that achieve?

Wouldn’t that make God morally worse than brutal dictators, whose victims screamed only for hours rather than centuries? The Bible gives two options: one, “the wages of sin is death”—not eternal life in torment. The second option is “eternal life in Christ Jesus”—and that’s a “gift of God,” which means I don’t naturally have immortality (Rom. 6:23).

If I reject God, I will become ashes (Mal. 4:3).

6. You Are Loved—And Called
Jesus died for you to restore a relationship broken by rebellion (2 Cor. 5:19), and because of the “joy that was set before Him”—eternity with you (Heb. 12:2). The goal is relationship and joy again. Why does He want us to serve people and teach the gospel? So they can know His love and joy forever.

Jesus became human and died to take our guilt and repair all of us. We are everything to Him, and He wants to “forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). That is the most important idea I have ever heard, so perhaps you’d please read this short paragraph again until it sinks in.

“Check out the love God has lavished on us, calling us His children. What will we be in the future? That’s beyond us now, but we do know that, when He appears, we will be like Him … ” (1 John 3:1, 2, paraphrased by author).

“Who are you? Who, who?”
Thank God—we know.

--Adventist.org - July 9, 2013 - This article originally appeared in Adventist World magazine, December 2010

4 - ‘Let’s Move to Live’ Virtual Fun Run Walk at 6:00a.m
9 - 11 SOAR/Solution to Obstacles Adventist Retreat
16 - 18 The Gathering: “Pandemic births Prayer and Praise”
17 - 31 Let’s Talk About Him (LTAH) Virtual Campaign – “The Cure, Are You Ready?”
25 - 31 CHAM Week of Prayer ‘Jesus Covers Me’
31 Climax to CHAM Week of Prayer Joint (Via Zoom)
30 Celebrating 25 Years of Women’s Ministries

Please be advised that the South Bahamas Conference headquarters will be closed for sanitization until Monday October 5, 2020. We thank you for your attention to this notice. 

--Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Executive Secretary

Celebrating 25th Anniversary
In conjunction with the General Conference’s Children’s Ministries Department we are celebrating 25 years of ministry to children and adolescents! To commemorate this event, we are calling all children and teens to join us in showcasing their talents and gifts in a competition called Kids Talents for Jesus. The theme is, ‘Jesus is My Best Friend’. Submissions deadline: October 16, 2020 (submit to your CHAM leaders). For more information please contact your local leader. Details, including rules and criteria for the competition can also be found on the Conference Website via the CHAM page.

Please note: CHAM leaders are asked to email the entrants’ submission forms to cham@sbcadventist.org.bs by October 4, 2020 in advance of the submission deadline.

–Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Children & Adolescent Ministries Director

Job Opening 
The Communication Department of the South Bahamas Conference is in need of an Audio-visual Technician.

Position Specifications:
1. Personal: Has a close relationship with Jesus Christ and sets a good example for others.
2. Church: Is a member in good standing of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
3. Education: A bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcasting, communications or credentialing such as Certified Technology Specialist (CTS).
4. Experience: Minimum of two years in the specified field.
5. Competencies

Qualifications, Scope and Complexity of Duties:
The Audio-visual technician should be able to:
1. Install and maintain audio visual equipment including display devices, projectors, televisions, camera systems for productions, video teleconferencing systems (VTC), microphones, speakers and LIVE radio broadcasts.
2. Setup and operate audio visual equipment for broadcasts, productions, meetings and conferences.
3. Perform inventory management of equipment, wirings, and accessories to avoid any shortages.
4. Perform equipment additions, removals, repairs, replacements, inspections and identify and resolve equipment malfunctions.
5. Assemble and disassemble audio visual equipment as needed for production/broadcasts.
6. Provide technical assistance to other Technicians when required.
7. Maintain equipment in the radio station and television studio and store equipment in a clean, safe and organized manner.
8. Be familiar with Marsis Playout & Simian (Broadcast Automation Software) and Blackmagic & ATEM Production systems.
9. Knowledge of camera and lighting techniques is essential, and of Audition and Final Cut editing software is required.

To apply for this full-time position, please email your resume to lsturrup@sbcadventist.org.bs

--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Communication Director

Upcoming Events
October 4 - ‘Let’s Move to Live’ Virtual Fun Run Walk at 6:00a.m – 7:00p.m.  Come join in the fun and get moving!  Walk in your yard, house or your neighborhood (if permitted).  Once you complete your walk/run take a screenshot and upload it to Health Ministries Facebook Page. Churches are encouraged to wear their church colours when walking.  For more information, please contact your local Health Leader. Official opening via zoom.

--Mrs. Nathelyn Lacroix, Health Ministries Director

Health Tip
Back to School in a Virtual COVID-19 Environment
It is Back to School in a virtual Covid-19 environment.  One of our biggest concern has to do with the safety of the nation’s children.  Certainly, we cannot over emphasize the importance of washing our hands and wearing protective masks in order to prevent the spread of this highly infectious virus.

Here are a few simple tips to strengthen your children’s immune system.

1. Encourage your child to drink 6-8 cups of water each day crowding out sweet drinks and sodas. A small amount of 100% juice as in a 6.7 ounce pouch is good.
2. Make sure your child gets at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day within balanced meals. If in a virtual classroom do not allow your child to eat anytime they desire. Keep them on an eating schedule that mimics their regular school schedule.
3. Parents need to make the time to get outside with their children. Sunlight, fresh air and exercise is good for everyone.
4. Last but not least, cover your children with prayer asking God for wisdom guidance and protection. Have a safe school year!

–Ms. Idamae Hanna, Dietitian

S.O.A.R / Solution to Obstacles Adventist Retreat 2020
If you want to improve the way you do online or media ministry, the SOAR International Conference is for you. This year’s theme is VIRTUAL MINISTRY- A Strategic Approach.

This gathering is for Pastors, Church Leaders, Church officers and Members who are eager to get involved and to play a role in moving ministry in your church to the next level…

SOAR 2020 begins Friday October 9, at 7:00 p.m., continues on Saturday afternoon from 3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m., and climaxes on Sunday morning from 9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. Registration begins on Monday September 28, 2020.

Registration can be done right here on the Conferences website, click on the SOAR flyer, or call 1-242-341-4021 and register by phone. You are asked to include which church you attend on the second line with your last name. Registration is free!

Save The Date
October is the month of our annual Women’s Ministries conclave, and this year is no exception but with just a little bit more innovation.

From October 16th to 18th, you are invited to a virtual weekend of events under the theme, “The Gathering: Pandemic Births Prayer and Praise.” Our guest Speaker will be Pastor Kay White from the South Leeward Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

On Friday Evening we begin our exciting weekend with our Prayer & Praise Vesper Service where we will hear powerful testimonies from sisters who have tried and proven God in the midst of this pandemic.

Sabbath Morning we will meet again for another Dynamic Service and on Sunday afternoon ..we are inviting each of you to “pull up a comfortable chair” for our empowerment segment. With us will be:

An HR Specialist, who will share tools on how to become more marketable professionals and even use our skills to pivot into new careers.

A Psychologist will teach us coping mechanisms, to combat stress and anxiety due to the loss of a job or a business, or because of growing tension in the home.

Also, with us will be a Guidance Counselor, who will come to the aid of mothers, sharing tips on how to properly structure and navigate the virtual learning environment.

During this weekend gathering, we will hear nuggets on how to love ourselves enough to self-care and other exciting ways to renew our mind, body and soul.

Sisters, for this gathering, you will not need to wait in line or wear a facemask. Find a space in your home, with a tablet, headphones, candle, and a cup of tea, if you wish, and tune in via zoom.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at, The Gathering.

Upcoming Events
The Gathering: “Pandemic births Prayer and Praise” - October16-18th, 2020. Zoom ID: 963 7343 9842 Passcode: 013810

ATCU Vesper Service 
Celebrating 25 years of Women’s Ministries - Friday, October 30th, 2020. Details to follow.

Pause and Pray Wednesday
Don’t forget our weekly Pause and Pray appointment on Wednesdays at noon.

Donation Request: Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals
Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects this year.

--Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director

New Show Coming Soon!

A new show will debut on 88.3FM on October 5, 2020 at 6:00p.m called ‘Life & Finances – With Sacrifice & Service’ with host Mr. Anthony Burrows (Grant’s Town Church).

“Proverbs 13:11 states that dishonest money dwindles away but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed our lack of financial knowledge and the need for each Adventist to have a daily personal relationship with Jesus to seek his guidance in the handling of their personal finances. The radio program Life and Finances through the Holy Spirit can serve as a flickering light to assist in accomplishing those financial goals” (Quote from Mr. Anthony Burrows).

This show will air on Mondays & Wednesdays at 6:00p.m. on WORD SBC 88.3FM. Also listen on TUNEIN Radio @ WORD SBC 88.3FM.

Please Email Weekly Announcements
To: sbclogos@gmail.com
Or logos@sbcadventist.org.bs
By Tuesday at 3:00p.m.

CALL 341-4021
October 10, 2020 - 6:46p.m.

Happy Sabbath!