Family, friends and colleagues have celebrated the Australian book launch of As Light Lingers and dedicated it to deepening engagement with the Bible by church members, young people, children and families around the world. The new book by Nina Atcheson was launched on December 16 at Better Books and Foods, the Adventist bookshop in Cooranbong.
Currently based in Cooranbong, Mrs Atcheson is the Adventist Identity Officer for Adventist Schools Australia and was a key author of the “Encounter” Bible curriculum used in Adventist schools around Australia. It was while she was working on this project that As Light Lingers grew.
“Through conversations with people of all ages in different countries, I was struck with how apathy and life’s busyness too often rob us of meaningful time in God’s Word,” she explained. “I’ve felt it myself, and I believe this breaks God’s heart because He wants to connect with us.”
Drawing on her background as an educator, Mrs Atcheson wrote a practical and simple guide to better Bible study, as an everyday spiritual practice for individuals and families. At the book launch, she demonstrated aspects of using the book with her husband and children.
“As an educator, I know that we are more likely to be impacted by something when we reflect, write, discuss and share our discoveries with others,” said Mrs Atcheson. “Writing slows down our thinking and allows us to better process what God’s Word is speaking into our lives.”
Speaking at the book launch, Bev Christian, Head of Education at Avondale College of Higher Education, cited recent research that identified the habit of regular personal Bible reading as the greatest predictor of whether young people will maintain their faith in later life. “I believe this book will help everyone who reads it to develop meaningful Bible-reading habits,” she commented. “And this is how a quiet revolution can begin.”
As Light Lingers was published by Editorial Safeliz, the Adventist Church’s publishing house in Spain, and launched at the worldwide Adventist Church’s Annual Council in the United States in October. The book includes pull-out Bible-study bookmarks and POP cards to assist in the practical discussion of Bible texts.
Pastor Tom Evans, president of the North New South Wales Conference, led a prayer of dedication and invited Pastor and Mrs Atcheson’s ministry colleagues to join him in surrounding them and the book with their prayers.
“God is really blessing the message and distribution of this book beyond what I ever imagined,” said Mrs Atcheson. “More than 20,000 copies have already been shared around the world, and the second print run is planned for the near future, which will include a Spanish translation. It is also currently being translated into French.”
As Light Lingers is available from Adventist Book Centres in Australia and New Zealand.