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S T R E N G T H F O R T H E F A M I LY , H O P E F O R T H E C I T Y FREE March 2011

The Magdalene Project Unconditional Love

COR:6 FITNESS MINISTRY Injecting Fitness into Church

Coupo

n Inside

Crown Healthcare Negotiators Saving YOU Money

Altrua

Healthshare & Ministries

Randy & Robbi Sluder

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March 2011 Meet

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Help Stop Child Trafficking

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Is God in the Details of Your Life?

Randy & Robbi Sluder from Altrua Healthshare & the Magdelene Project

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contents

You

Faith

Matters: 40 Health 8 Body Life: Who Made You God? Where Do YOU Exercise? 9 Moments of Obedience: The Concert & Nutrition: 41 Diet Cholesterol and Natural Support for 10 Spiritual Coffee Cardiovascular Health Few Good Men: 11 AReal 42 Head to Heart: Overcoming Shame Men Are...Well, Real! 12 Along the Way: God Is In the Details 43 The Real Stuff: Just Truth It!

Fa mily

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Making a Dinner Plan

14 Practical Parenting: What's For Dinner?

15 Journey for Two:

The Space Between Us

16 Helpful Hints:

Gardening & Godly Lessons

17 Dear Dads: Dads & Dialogue 18 Mom's Tips & Tricks

Life

Beautifying Your Patio

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28 Ladies Top 10: Patio Pleasure 29 Out & About: On the Health Trail 30 Erin's Cooking: Fruits of Our Labor

Money

& Wisdom: 36 Wealth Taking the Stress Out of College Planning

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Are You Harming Your Kids? www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

44 The Real Me: Who Am I?

37 Dave Says 38 Spend Life Well:

Starting a Financial Revolution in Your Family

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Special This Month Grace Academy: Transcendence of Joy

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Where Does the Sun Get Its Energy?

24 26 27 31

Randy & Robbi Sluder: A Duo of Support

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Attic Film Festival: Changing the Landscape of Austin

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Breaking the Press

Transformation Opportunity: In the City...for the City COR:6 Fitness: Dedicated to Change Crown Heathcare Negotiators Studio Kitchen: The Harmful Drugging of Children

Monthly Favorites

13 The Source Directory 21 Austin Community Calendar Words: 22 20 Fight Trafficking 5K Unites Students 45 Rave Reviews 46 The Back Pew

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Editor's Note

Publisher 1633 Ministries 501 (c) (3) Info@1633ministries.com 512.584.6888

Lucky You!

Editor Marcy Lytle Marcy@AustinFaithandFamily.com

M

Art Director Abby Pound Abby@AustinFaithandFamily.com Advertising Sales Lee Eddins | 512.689.2717 Lee@AustinFaithandFamily.com Contributing Writers Lee Eddins, Marcy Lytle, Al Jones, Jack Hammans, Trent Peng, Kie Bowman, Ginny Hurley, Mark Trice, Dave Ramsey, Richard Landry, Lauren Lacy, Joe Elliott, Joshua Myers, Maria Arreola, Scottie Moore, John Pound, Erin Osborn, Georganne Schuch, David & Lynn Cherry, Vicki Lancaster, Don Spann, Amy Dillon, Sylvia Neusch, Pieper Stewart, Gary Sinclair, Barry Tripp, Laura Bezden, Alicia Lowery, Hannah Thoms, Michele Zink Harris, Sue Boss, Carrie Hoover, and Amanda May COVER PHOTO Taylor Made Portrait Studio www.taylormadeportraitstudio.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Taylor Made Portrait Studio Everest Road Photography Breaking the Press photos courtesy of Mustard Seed Entertainment, LLC Kate Mullaney Austin Faith and Family is committed to encouraging individuals in their daily lives by presenting the faith stories of others and providing information that will point every person, at every stage of life, to a deeper, authentic, personal and lifechanging encounter with Jesus Christ. Views expressed in Austin Faith & Family do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by the Austin Faith & Family staff to ensure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information, nor the absences of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be, or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2010 by 1633 Ministries 501 (c) (3). Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

arch, already? The luck of the Irish, hey? A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? I think we all wish at times that we could be “lucky,” and always find that desired good fortune at the end of every road we travel. However, my experience with life has been that sometimes the pot of gold is found at the end of the desert, after a huge drought, or in the very middle of a rainstorm, so to speak. The hard times make us strong, right? We don’t like to hear that. However, it’s in the middle of the refiner’s fire that pure gold comes forth, not in following a rainbow of pretty colors. This month we bring you some great articles that identify the hard times and the gold thread running through the fabric of those experiences. “Wealth & Wisdom” addresses the stress that comes with college planning, but offers hope with a great reminder at the end of the article. Maybe you find yourself in the middle of a long arduous journey through the desert, deep in a pit of doubt. “The Real Stuff,” written by The Word Radio Station’s own Amy Dillon reminds us of how believing The Truth can effect change that’s pure gold! And “Head to Heart” is starting an ongoing series on Shame, one of the most crippling emotions found among many Christians. However, as stated in the article, “…liberation is possible, through the power of God.” “Journey for Two” speaks to couples in danger of letting too much space linger between them, and offers hope to marriages in jeopardy. Whether you’re Irish or not, March can be a month that has good things in store for you, your family, and your business. Take time to make your journey through the pages of our magazine this month, and see if you don’t spot a nugget or two of gold at the end of your reading. You just might want to click your heels in delight at the good fortune that is yours! Enjoy…

Austin Faith & Family is published monthly and is available at high traffic locations throughout the metropolitan area. Copies are also available by subscription, $35 for one year. Single issues available for $3 an issue.

Volume 2, Issue 10

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Letters AFF, I saw the cover of your last issue with Ryan Rush on it. What a great article! Cyndi G. Dear Ms. Lytle, A member of our congregation brought me a copy of your magazine to me and shared a request for me to inquire about the possibility of it being distributed to our church for pick-up by our membership… I will encourage our interested members to subscribe or to pick them up in the community. Thank you for your service to the Lord and the local Austin area. Patrick W. Marcy, I love the article on the characterization of “Prince Charming” in your February issue. I really enjoyed reading it. Jo Ann H. Marcy Thanks for running this article (Attic Film Fest.) I cannot tell you how much this helps us and helps further the kingdom of God. Bless you all. Jamee K. AFF, Thank you for all your work on this. I’ve seen two editions of the AFF magazine and it is a beautiful magazine. I was very impressed. Robbi S. Marcy, I just finished reading this edition of AFF…I was just about to fire off an email to tell you how much I enjoyed this issue. The articles tied together beautifully – you are such a blessing. Cindi V.

Attention Writers! We are looking for feature length articles for our magazine that are interesting, thought-provoking, stirring, or life-changing (fiction/ non-fiction). If you are an established writer, and have an idea for such an article, please pitch me your idea, and some examples of your writing. We are looking for long, "meaty" articles 2000-3000 words in length. Email marcy@austinfaithandfamily.com Join our growing online community at www.facebook.com/austinfaithandfamily www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

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Faith

Body Life Moments of Obedience Spiritual Coffee A Few Good Men Along the Way

Body Life:

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Who Made You God ? ! Turning from Judgment to Love

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’m warning you now. Some of you may be offended by what I have to say. Especially the members of the old church crowd (I know, I’m one, too). Too many of us have gotten into God’s business. I don’t mean the business of rescuing people, strengthening them, healing them, or empowering them. I mean His other business – being the Judge. It is so easy to do! The other day I had a thought – I really have no ability to accurately judge any person. I mean, given what we are learning about DNA, what we know about how bad experiences and traumas may affect us, and about the effect of negligent or abusive parenting, is anyone really qualified to make moral judgments of others? I think there is only One who sees it all and really knows how well someone is doing with the life they have been dealt. It’s a problem that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden; back to the two trees. When

the Deceiver convinced the first couple to eat of that Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he was opening the way for every person to be “like God” or at least to think they are. The Bible says their eyes were opened and they began to see good and evil. We have been taking that limited ability and have been trying to be like God ever since. But God never created us to live that way. He created us to live in communion with Him, trusting Him to take care of the judgment business.

Bible scholars around, and Jesus said though they were washed and bright on the outside, they were full of dead men’s bones on the inside. Strong words. The Pharisees lived off of the fruit of that Tree!

I know we like it. It makes us feel good. You know, to put someone else down makes us feel better about ourselves. Or to elevate those we deem as being good. (It is the Tree of the Knowledge of Evil and Good.) Usually these are the ones who are successful at being good at the things we value, or succeed at ourselves. It may even be something “good” like Bible knowledge. But the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the greatest

So how should we live? Certainly we can see things we deem as good and other things that are evil. God has given us discernment to know the difference. Shouldn’t we use that wisdom? A couple of things to keep in mind: First, it’s not the discerning that gets us into trouble. It is releasing judgment upon people; speaking things against them, or predicting their doom. It is when we set ourselves above them. The scripture says, “There is none righteous.” There is no one who can stand before God. We all need His mercy and grace. God has given us discernment for our benefit, to protect us and our families from the traps and pitfalls of this life, never to put someone else down. Second, we need to know that judgment cuts off the flow of God’s love through us. It is rooted in pride which is never a good motivator for loving others. I believe that God evaluates people based on how they respond to His light. Jesus said, “And this is the judgment, that light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) Only God knows how much light a person has received; only He can judge. Perhaps our job is just to keep showing them the light of God’s love. That’s what Jesus did. He didn’t come to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 3:17) To the measure we forgive, we will be forgiven. To the measure we love, we will enjoy His love. Let’s let God be God, and let Him do the job that only He can do. John Pound Pastor, New Hope Community Church

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The Concert

t was the dreaded phone call. My brother called to say that our 82-year old mother was in the hospital. My elderly parents had lived for over 50 years in Pickens, South Carolina, and my husband and I had made our home in Texas. We had learned to deal with the distance because we felt that God had called us to stay in Austin, but it became harder as my parents aged. We had received a similar phone call just a few years earlier; that time my mother calling to tell us that my dad had passed away. She was taking him to the barber shop and after buckling him in, she walked around the car, only to find him unresponsive. He was gone......just like that. How I wish my mother's passing could have gone so gracefully. It seemed surreal that this courageous woman would have the unthinkable happen, but cancer had returned again, this time in her lung lining. As I packed my suitcase for a visit, I felt God nudge me to take piano music along. My mother, a music lover, would be quite indignant if I did not give her a private concert at least once during my visit. This time, taking the music along did not make sense. My mother was in the hospital, and chances were slim that she would be going home any time soon. However, I obeyed His voice and tossed the music (hymn arrangements were her favorite) in my suitcase and headed for the Carolinas.

Moments of Obedience

I was in SC about a week when the doctors released Mom from the hospital to go to a nearby nursing home for “rehabilitation.” She began chemo treatments which alternated with repeated trips back to the hospital to drain fluid around her lungs. The day I admitted her into the nursing home, I cried and could not imagine having to leave her there and go back to my life in Texas. After further examination, the doctors told us that she might live as long as a year and it became evident that I could not stay indefinitely. She would have to stay in the nursing home, and the chances of her getting stronger instead of weaker were not good. I was sitting with her in the nursing home and decided to take a walk when I came across a large meeting room. In the corner of the room sat a beautiful piano! I knew what I must do. Hiding the music from her sight, I got Mom situated in her wheelchair, and said we were “going for a walk.” She always was one for adventure, but the return of her cancer had taken the wind out of her sails. She still smiled at the nurses and never ever complained, but the sparkle had gone out of her eyes. I could not help but think of how different this seemed from all the times I had felt so reluctant to play for her. Now, I was ready to do anything to distract her from the cold reality that had so rudely come into all our lives.

Faith

As the piano music drifted through the hallways, it wasn't long before others wheeled their way into the room. After hearing her favorites, my mother began taking “requests” from those who called out their favorite hymns for me to play. I loved watching her face, as well as the faces of others, as she drew strength from the familiar words and melodies. Voices, weakened by age and disease, determined and triumphant, sang out: “When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun. We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we've first begun.” The sparkle was back on my mother’s face, if only for that brief hour. I was back again just a little over a month later to spend the last five days of her life with her. I regret I can no longer play for her, but I am so grateful that I was obedient that day to place the music in my suitcase, and by doing so opened the door to a memory with my mother that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Sylvia Neusch Assistant Pastor, True Life Church

Help Fight Child Trafficking It seems like a random enough number, right? I could tell you that Starbucks expects to sell 146 tall skinny hazelnut lattes in the next 2 minutes within a 3 mile radius of where you are standing right now. Or that within the next 146 seconds you can expect your mind to wander a dozen times. Or I could tell that 146 was the number pinned to a little girl wearing a red dress in a brothel in Southeast Asia who stared with fire and fight into the eyes of her potential perpetrators from within her glass walled prison. That is the answer that co-founders of the Love146 organization would tell you from their time undercover in an attempt to witness first-hand the atrocity of child sex slavery; and if at all possible, to rescue and restore the lives of these hopeless children. 146. A number that has rallied a nation to no longer be content with indignation regarding the world's second largest criminal enterprise. Love146 is an organization focusing on the aftercare of victims of child trafficking. They build and design Round Homes that facilitate the restoration and holistic health of every child that enters their doors. So, here we are. Just average people who are tired of wondering if there is more that we can do. Join us in the run...come put your faith into action. All profits from the event go directly to Love146.

What: Fight Trafficking 5k benefiting Love146 When: Saturday, April 2, 2011, 8am Kid 1k, 8:30am Adult 5k run/walk Where: Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, Texas To register or to donate go to www.fighttrafficking.com.

Saturday, April 2nd Old Settlers Park Round Rock

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march

Need a morning boost? How about a drink from the Word that's full of powerful energy for your day? Take a daily sip with these short devotionals that you can read and swallow, as quick as you drink your morning coffee.

Eat the right bread - John 6:47-48 "Jesus said. 13 Silence is golden...speak when you must - 22 Jesus is the way - John 16:33 "...you may have 1 Truly, peace. In this world you will have trouble. But Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words sin is truly, I say to you, whoever believes has not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." Don’t be quick to respond…sometimes the wisest responses are those things left unsaid.

eternal life. I am the bread of life." Fill your soul each day with a visit to His word.

Pray and thank...let God know - James 5:13 "Is 2 any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is

anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise." Lift a joyful noise unto the Lord today!

will make you whole and give you direction 3 God - Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul. He guides

me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." May our paths be directed as His spirit leads us.

Who do you really love...Jesus says everyone all you can -2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each man 14 Give should give what he has decided in his heart to 23John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, give, not reluctantly...for God loves a cheerful giver" When you give, give like Christ would give. Give more than someone asks you for.

hour to his life?" If God loves the sparrow and provides for him, why should we worry? God will supply our needs.

we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise." Trust in the Lord and let His promises be our hope for tomorrow.

God and nothing else...He is all we need 5 Want Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not

be prepared for Christ return...it will be 26 Always worth it - Mark 13:33 "Take heed, watch and

be in want." His pastures are green, His waters are quiet and He’ll refresh your soul!

pray; for you do not know when the time is." Live each day out loud and each minute like it could be your last!

is greater than God...relax -2 Kings 6:16 6 None "He said, Do not be afraid, for those who are

with us are more than those who are with them." Greater is He that is in us, than anyone else… anywhere.

it for the right reason - 1 Corinthians 13:3 27 Do "and though I bestow all my goods to feed the

Get right with God - Romans 3:22 "We are 7 made God forgives us fully...let the past go - Psalm right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. & this is true for everyone who 16 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so

far does He remove our transgressions from us." How far is the east from the west? Exactly!

believes..." Trust the Lord and be confident that God hears you, loves you, forgives you and wants a relationship with you.

God has a plan...it will all work out - Romans peace...please God - Proverbs 16:7 "When 17 8:28 "And we know that all things work together 8 aWant for good to those who love God..." Love God, man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his

seek His will and see what He will do in your life.

enemies to be at peace with him." What a God we serve! Even our enemies are under His command.

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Take time to know God...focus solely on Him Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..." Sometimes we just need to stop and listen to God and seek His direction, portion and supply.

Be good citizens - 1 Peter 2:17 "Show proper 18 respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of

believers, fear God, honor the king." Honoring those around us, being nice, smiling to a stranger, and showing kindness, honors God.

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Humble yourself to stay close to God - Psalm 138:6 "Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar." The Lord hates the prideful and the arrogant.

Give it all to the Lord...He can handle it - Psalm on God...He can do anything - Luke 1:37 11 Rely "For with God, nothing shall be impossible." 20 120:1 "I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried Faith can move mountains, change lives, heal the sick and restore the broken.

out to him, and he answered my prayer." Take everything to Him in all situations and all needs.

Relax and honor God...people notice - 2 on God and let Him change you - Romans 12 Focus 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be 21 Chronicles 30:8 "Now do not be stiff-necked, transformed by the renewal of your mind..." Fill your heart, soul and mind with things that are positive and uplifting.

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see whether they are from God..." Test everything that comes our way from a biblical worldview.

tightly to God - Hebrews 10:23 "Let 25 Hold us hold tightly without wavering to the hope

on the day of testing in the wilderness." Show love and kindness to someone who may not be expecting it.

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than to lay down one's life for his friends." We should show the love of the father to everyone we come in contact with.

Be wise and look for God - 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, on the moment...it is all we have - Luke 15 Focus 12:25 "Who of you by worrying can add a single 24 do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to

a pure heart full of love for all - Hebrews 3:8 4 Keep "Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

God loves the humble...His people - Proverbs 16:19 "Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." Humility is the beginning of wisdom.

take heart! I have overcome the world." Christ’s death on the cross has overcome anything you or I could ever do or ever conceive.

as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD." The world looks at our every move… honor Him with our daily actions and reactions.

poor... but have not love, it profits me nothing." Let our actions toward others be guided by our love.

Good news...Jesus will return - James 5:8 "You 28 also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." We do not know the time nor the day, so be ready.

house...don't wait for the spring - 1 Peter 29 Clean 2:1 "Rid yourselves of all malice & all deceit,

hypocrisy, envy, & slander of every kind." Focus on the good in life…don’t concentrate on negativity. Be satisfied with what you have, without envy for what your neighbor has.

faith...God is real - Hebrews 11:1 "Now 30 Have faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain

of what we do not see." It pleases him SO much when we believe what he says!

give up...hope - Hebrews 10:36 "You need 31Never to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Tired of it all? Be encouraged. As faithful as the rising sun, so are His promises.

NOTES: _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________

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A Few Good Men

H

ave you ever put your finger on the scale, so to speak, when telling a life experience to someone just to make it sound a little bigger, extra daring, or a bit less convicting? Most of us guys have. What we say: “Yeah, John, I crushed my three wood from 260 yards over the creek in front of the green and landed it two feet from the pin.” If we had been real: “I shanked my shot into the trees, hit a branch and then thankfully it rolled back toward the green. I’m lucky it didn’t land up in a cactus next to a snake.” What we say: “Honey, I’d just like to get an extra TV for the study, nothing big or very expensive, just something to watch when the other TV is being used.” If we had been real: “I plan to buy something with a screen the size of the garage door.” So maybe not all of our exaggerations are quite that dramatic, but they exemplify how tempting it is for us men to not be real, honest, and authentic. We are so worried about our image, how together we are, how strong we can pretend to be, that we fudge on the truth in even the smallest of ways.

We also must be as honest as possible with our spouses. Yes, there are things from work that they may not need to know or worry about. But intimacy in a marriage means that we learn to expose our whole selves to one another – body, soul and spirit. Growth means that we admit our blind spots, and confess that we do not have all the answers. Learning to share these things is part of maturing and embracing real intimacy.

Faith

So what does this look like? First, say you’re sorry more. Let your spouse and kids know it when you blow it, when you’ve reacted too harshly, or made an unhealthy decision. You can even teach them something significant through your mistake. Second, share your feelings more. Yes, guys, I know that this is about as appealing as a root canal, but go for it. It’s okay to say you’re anxious, angry, confused, or overwhelmed. Practice living with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Start simple, but start somewhere. Finally, be accountable to several people who will hold you to truth telling. Someone in your world needs to know the whole truth. As Jesus said in John, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Be a real man by being a man who is real. Gary Sinclair Director of Pastoral Care Austin Christian Fellowship

It’s been happening since the Garden of Eden when in Genesis 3 Adam responded to God’s question, “Where are you?,” with “We were afraid because we were naked, so we hid.” People fear exposure so they tend to hide, and often it’s by stretching the truth. However, in reality, truth-telling men are stronger, healthier, and godlier. They are confident in who they are in Christ. And that confidence frees them to be all they were intended to be, not who they will never be. Men who are accountable to others and free to tell all of the truth to someone in their world are better dads, husbands, friends, and leaders. I remember times when I made an obvious mistake while teaching in front of an audience or shared a significant error from my personal life. Without fail, someone came up to me and said, “Gary, when we hear those kinds of stories or see you mess up it just reminds us how human you are. We need that.” The same kind of response can come from your family. There are times when I go to my kids and say I’m sorry, and that’s never easy. Nonetheless, I know now that it models for them that husbands, wives, and parents aren’t perfect, and it frees them to know that sharing their own mistakes isn’t fatal, but rather a positive thing. www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

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Faith

Along the Way

H

ave you ever heard the old expression “The devil is in the details?” It seems to be true that great ideas can get bogged down in the minutia. Anyone who has ever signed a legal contract knows what that means. For instance, last night I wanted to buy a $.69 song from iTunes, but I had to agree (again) to a multi-page legal agreement written by Apple’s legal team. What can seem simple from a distance can get complicated fast in the closeup scrutiny of the details. But it’s not just the “devil in the details.” The truth is - God is in the details of life in ways that sometimes astound us! In Psalm 139, King David praised God for His ability to “perceive my thoughts from afar” and he observed that “before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” (Psalm 139:2, 4) Clearly, the King of Israel believed and taught that God knows even our thoughts as they are being formed and our words before we speak them. In other words, God is in the details. Almost 20 years ago, a small church in the Deep South closed after its members got old and the last few could not keep the church open. A lady who had grown up in that church went back to clean the deserted building and found old hymnals, Sunday School quarterlies, kids’ drawings with color pictures of Bible

God is In the Details

characters, and two abandoned, forgotten Bibles. The lady, whom I know well, picked up the Bibles with the hope that she might return them to their owners. One of the Bibles had a name on it. Almost 20 years passed. Last month my friend was back in her hometown to attend a funeral. She took the Bible – the one with the name. After the small funeral, she made eye contact with a smiling young lady she did not know. The young lady introduced herself as Stacey, Shannon’s girlfriend. Shannon, along with a last name, was the name on the Bible. When my friend was introduced to Stacey’s boyfriend, a young man in his thirties, he told her his name – it was the same. My friend said, “I think I have something that belongs to you.” When Shannon saw the Bible his grandmother had given him 20 years ago, tears filled his eyes. He opened the Bible and saw something he had written in it as a child. He was visibly shaken. Life is filled with “What ifs.” What if my friend had not gone to clean the abandoned church? What if she had not kept the Bible? What if she had not carried it this time? What if she had not met the young woman? What if? The only thing we can ever know for sure is this - God is in the details. Even the smallest, and seemingly unimportant things we do, may be a big thing to someone else.

The choir at Westside Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska all discovered together the simple truth that God is in the details. One night, March 1, 1950, for the first time ever, every member of the choir was late to choir practice. Even Mrs. Paul, the choir director, and Marilyn, the church pianist, were frustrated when they couldn’t get to rehearsal on time. Ladonna Vangegrift was only a sophomore in high school and she had to finish her homework. Royene Estes had a car that wouldn’t start so Sadie was late too because she had to go by and pick up Mrs. Estes for rehearsal. Mrs. Schuster was detained at her mother’s house. Herb Kipt had to finish writing a letter. Joyce Black wanted to stay warm until the last minute, so she was late that night too. They were all late. The list goes on – Harvey’s wife was out of town so he had to feed his sons. Lucille and Dorothy were at a high school program that didn’t end until after 7:00pm. They couldn’t leave early, so they were late to choir practice. For some reason, even the pastor’s watch was running five minutes slow, so he and his wife were late. Not one of them was there at 7:30pm. And it turned out to be a good thing. That night at 7:30pm, a natural gas leak ignited near the furnace beneath the choir loft and blew the choir loft to pieces. No one was hurt because no one was there – they were all late. God is in the details. How many times, every day, do life’s little interruptions seem like nothing but distractions? How often have we done something for someone else that at the time seemed insignificant – nothing more than a gesture or an afterthought - only to discover later how big an impact that small gesture made? Today, in life’s actions big and small, you can be certain, God is in the details. Dr. Kie Bowman Pastor, Hyde Park Baptist Church

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C

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Pornography Addiction? A

If you are addicted to pornography Austin Faith & Family can help. We will sponsor you with Internet Filtering Software and be your accountability partner. Please visit our website or call 512-689-2717 for details. Complete anonymity guaranteed.

B

-Adoption Services Caring Family Network

877.719.3222 www.cfntexas.org Connecting children, families & communities

Family Link Kids 512.947.7306 www.FamilyLinkKids.org

Get involved & make a difference

-Community Services Capital Area Food Bank of Texas www.AustinFoodBank.org Hunger is Unacceptable

A neighbor's independence depends on YOU! Round Rock................................................512.310.1060 Pflugerville.............................................512.538.1152 West Austin................................................512.472.6339 South Austin...............................................512.445.5552 NW/Cedar Park/Leander...................512.250.5021

D

Hope Street 512.236.1718

Transforming our city one life at a time...

churches

-Fellowship A

-Baptist C

Main Street Baptist Church 1001 South Main Street Georgetown, TX 78626 512.869-7854 www.msbchurch.com

Hyde Park Baptist Church 3901 Speedway, 78751 www.hpbc.org Solid Rock Baptist Church

B

New Hope Community Church 2330 Dry Creek Dr. Round Rock, TX 78681 512.255.0064 www.newhope-roundrock.org

-Lutheran

Our Savior Lutheran 1513 E. Yager Lane, 78753 512.836.9600

D 608 Ralph Ablanedo Dr., 78748 512.410.7458 pastorsrbc@gmail.com

A Church for the Deaf and Hearing

bible studies

Men's Studies: First Baptist Church Round RockThursdays, 6am in the Fellowship Hall Call 512- 255-3454 Troy George

Main Street Baptist GeorgetownThursdays, 6:30am in the Fellowship Hall Call 512- 869-7854 Einstein Brothers BaglesWednesdays, 6am at Braker & 183 Consumed Bible Study Tuesday 7-9 p.m. Come be a part of a Band of Brothers that are Building Men for Generations! Shoreline North Campus Children’s Bldg mr.asandoval@gmail.com Women's Studies: LoveWalk Young Women's Bible Study New Hope Community Church Fridays, 7pm lauren_cloud@yahoo.com Lioness Arising Study by Lisa Bevere Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. 3/10 – 5/25 Childcare and workbooks available Alex Shimanek @ 512-699-8138

Round Rock Area Serving Center 512.244.2431 www.ServingCenter.org

-Counseling Head to Heart Restoration Ministry 512.496.8938 www.HeadtoHeart.org

-Safety/Awareness

-School

Colin's Hope 512.524.6737 www.ColinsHope.org

Grace Academy 512.864.9500 www.GraceAcademy-GT.org

To have your church or non-profit listed for as little as $12 a month, please call 512.584.6888

Lee & Amanda To Advertise with Austin Faith & Family, Call 512-584-6888. Eddins In June of 2009, Lee and Amanda founded Austin Faith & Family magazine, seeking to bring to Austin a faith-based publication that would be a resource for the church, the family, and Austin's faith-based community. As parents of four children under the age of six, they value family time, in addition to their ministry through this magazine. In January 2011, they launched 1633 Ministries, which includes this magazine for families, and two shoe ministries--one for kids, and another for the homeless. Please visit www.1633ministries.com for more information. www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

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Fa mily

Practical Parenting Journey for Two Helpful Hints Dear Dads Mom's Tips & Tricks

14 15 16 17 18

Practical Parenting:

F

What's For Dinner?

ood makes the world go around. Or is it love? Well, not much difference, really. It's hard to keep up with a busy family. It's best to have a plan – a meal plan. Otherwise, you'll face the 4:00 panic attack and start dialing for takeout. That's hard on the budget and the waistline. So, before you cry over the credit card bill or buy a new wardrobe, let's talk turkey.

First, what do you have in your pantry? Freezer? Refrigerator? “Food,” you say. Are you sure? Too many (myself included) cram a lot of stuff on our shelves without any plan to actually use it in a meal. Then, before you know it, you have a lot of unidentified, inedible, petrified junk. So, throw all that out and start fresh. I have to do this a few times a year. If you can't identify it and don't remember when you put it in there, chuck it. I'm not a fan of mystery meals, and neither are my kids. Second, list all the meals your family likes to eat. Include simple meals. Fun meals. Fancy meals. Casseroles. Grilled meats. Slow cooker meals. Variety is the key here. Poll your constituents (kids and spouse) and include their favorites. Sometimes (okay most of the time), you will get unhealthy options from them, so you'll have to veto a few and override with healthier alternatives. I believe that some dishes are an acquired taste, which means that you have to taste them numerous times before you start liking them. Yes, I make my kids clear their plate. Except for turnip greens, which I won't even cook. So, that doesn't count! Next, get the family calendar. On nights where everyone is going different directions, pencil in a slow cooker meal. Set it up in the morning, and it's ready for whenever the troops start

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straggling home. On family nights when everyone is home, by some miracle, plan to grill or cook a fun meal that everyone enjoys. And on the even rarer occasion when the kids are gone or in bed early, have a fancy meal for just you and your spouse. Don't go too far out here because “life comes at you fast,” just like the insurance commercial reminds us. Things change, and your plan has to change with them. Finally, make your grocery list. Don't despair if you can't get all the groceries in one run. I have a grocery app on my phone, and still something always gets left off. Or, I have an ingredient, like cheese, that gets used before I can cook the meal for which it was planned. But my wonderful husband (who is usually the one that re-allocated the missing ingredient) always comes to my rescue and stops at the store on his way home. If you don't have a knight in shining armor, buy two of popular items, like cheese. Or learn how to substitute. All is not lost if the recipe isn't followed to the tee… unless you forget the main ingredient, like the meat. Then, you have a problem. I understand that the best laid plans can still come to naught, so I keep ingredients for a fast meal, like tacos, on hand. I freeze the meat (clearly labeled) and keep chips or taco shells in the pantry. It's not elegant, but is cheap and easy, which is priceless. Soup ingredients are another nice thing to keep stocked. A can of broth, some mixed vegetables, and leftover meat makes for easy comfort food.

dinners, and snacks are expensive and usually not healthy. While I occasionally pick up a convenience item, I typically steer toward old-fashioned oatmeal or homemade frozen waffles for breakfast. If you have time to make breakfast on the weekend, like waffles or pancakes, it's not hard to make extra and freeze them. Sandwiches are our standby for lunch, but I rotate homemade mac and cheese, mini pizzas, and homemade ham and cheese rolls, as well. Fruit and yogurt are our favorites for snacks. My daughter loves to bake, so we could have cookies every day of the week. I didn't think I would ever say I am tired of cookies, but I’ve had to limit baking to once a week. It all sounds so simple when you break it down, but the wheels are always coming off my wagon, if you know what I mean. So, when the pizza guy starts knowing me by name, I take a step back and start over with a new meal plan. My bank account and jeans both breathe sighs of relief.

I've camped on dinner because it tends to be the meal busy moms stress over the most. However, breakfasts, lunches, and snacks bear consideration. Boxed cereals, frozen

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Georganne Schuch www.blog.coffedogz.net

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Journey for Two

The

Space

Between

I

could tell by the steady rhythm of his breathing that David was fast asleep when I came to bed. There were only inches separating our bodies as I quietly slipped under the covers, but the space between us was cavernous. We were fighting or to put it politely – having a disagreement an issue, a conflict. That sounds so much nicer.

Two Conflict(ing) Approaches We’ve been married nearly 20 years, so we’ve had our share of arguments. Conflict visits every marriage, like a salesperson at dinner time – an unwelcome interloper. How do we handle it? One thing we’ve discovered is we each take a completely different approach. I hate conflict and avoid it all costs. I call on my faithful coping companions, denial and pretending, and I clam up. It seems perfectly sensible to me. David, on the other hand, rather enjoys conflict. He rolls up his sleeves with a let’s-hit-this-headon kind of courage. He bonds. He can have an issue with a co-worker and after they work through it, they’re best friends. Years ago we hosted a small group for young couples called Resolving Conflict. At the end of the course, we all summarized what we had learned. David learned we had conflict he knew nothing about. (I want to take a minute right now to publicly apologize for that. I’m so sorry Babe!)

The Setting Sun Early on, we got stuck on Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” At face value this seemed to mean you better not go to sleep unless your issues are resolved. I don’t know how many times we stayed up into the wee hours of the

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Fa mily

Us the anger Paul teaches us to attend to. Don’t hold on to bitterness. Don’t fuel the fight with volatile language. Don’t nurture the negativity. Don’t hold on tight to the need to be right.

morning trying to fix our problems. Instead, they exploded like an atomic mushroom cloud over our emotionally-charged, physically-exhausted, sleep-deprived, but wellintentioned selves. I don’t think that’s what the apostle Paul envisioned. But it seems to be the most commonly given marriage advice. I prefer Psalm 4:4 “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” We thought that “search your heart and be silent” part might prove more helpful! If we could just hold our tongue and pause for introspection, we might avoid some quarrels altogether!

Agree to Disagree In our newlywed naïveté we were certain all disagreements could be solved and tied up with a pretty bow. Now, we seem to have landed on the thought that there will always be things we don’t agree on, and that’s okay. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman says “Most marital arguments (like 69%) cannot be resolved. Couples spend year after year trying to change each other’s mind – but it can’t be done. This is because most of their disagreements are rooted in fundamental differences of lifestyle, personality, or values.” We can’t stop the sun from going down on our differences, but we can disarm the bomb. Gottman goes on to identify four common responses that dismantle relationships: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. We see these as offspring of

Back in bed, I say a prayer for us. I know David loves me. He knows I love him. We both know we’ve got to keep talking, keep growing, and keep learning how to accept each other for who we are. When we focus our attention on all we share in common, the disagreements don’t define our life together and hope shrinks the space between us. Try this: Read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. Work through the marriage building/problem solving exercises together. When you start to see that anger cloud mushrooming in your attempts to solve a conflict, don’t be afraid to take a break. Do some deep breathing. Agree to take another look at the issue after you’ve both calmed down. Celebrate your common ground. Make a list of the things you enjoy together: favorite foods, movies and activities. Plan to do two this month.

David & Lynn Cherry Staff, Shoreline Church

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Fa mily

Helpful Hints

Gardening& Godly Lessons B

Begin by visiting a local garden center with your kids to select various plants or seed packets. Since kids have a shorter attention span than most adults, you should select vegetables, fruits, and flowers that grow rapidly. Children can plant and notice growth within a few days of planting vegetables such as green beans, radishes, Using kid-size tools, teach your children to work lettuce, and tomatoes. Flowering plants that the soil and plant the seeds and plants. While Gardening with your kids can be adapted to are easy to grow from seeds include bachelor’s working, take the opportunity to talk about various topics such as the Creation, the parable most any space. If you live in an apartment you buttons, zinnias and sunflowers. of the sower, and the Fruits of the Spirit. The soil, can create a container garden or become part of a community garden co-op. If you have a yard, (If you are gardening with young children, keep seeds, plants, and fruits can all be used to teach you can create a garden of any size to fit the in mind that some plants, vegetables, fruits, and many principles about God and his love and care space. Since most kids love digging in the dirt, flowers may be harmful if eaten before they for us. getting them involved from the start can be an are ripe. You also want to avoid using certain chemicals that could make your children ill if The spring garden also provides opportunity to easy task. talk about the discipline of taking responsibility ingested.) for routine tasks and reaping the benefits of the work. Allowing children to take responsibility for the garden also gives them a sense of accomplishment when they harvest the fruits of their work. They can also help prepare the fruits and vegetables for family meals. y the beginning of March in Austin, we start seeing signs of spring popping up all around us. This is a great time of year to teach your kids about God’s ability to transform small things into kingdom impacting treasures. A great activity that you can easily do to demonstrate this teaching is creating a family garden.

Jesus often taught life lessons and godly principles by using common objects found in nature. Now that March is here and most of the cold weather has left us for another year, let’s get outside and see what God has to teach us and our kids. Al H. Jones, Ph.D.

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Dear Dads

Fa mily

Dads & Dialogue The Perfect Pair

research World War II for a test via Google and Wikipedia, and instant message four different friends in three different states via Facebook. All without leaving my couch! Sadly, none of this is lost on our children. We now have teens attempting to communicate and influence anyone that will listen. They post YouTube clips by the thousands trying to “make it big” online. They find companionship online through virtual relationships while playing video games. Teenagers send lewd photos of themselves through “sexts.” And we have cyberbullying that is one of the fastest growing teen cruelties, contributing to a quite a few teen suicides as of late.

W

ho remembers black and white television? Three channels must have been maddening! What about transistor radios, Technicolor movies, long play albums or 45s? Ahh, the 1960’s. I know there is a nostalgic tear in every 50-plus dad reading this article. In the 1970’s cable TV, eight tracks, and the Atari were introduced. The 80’s gave us Nintendo, home video recorders, cassette tapes and the ability to rent VHS players to play Back to the Future at home. However, the 1990’s changed everything: Al Gore gave us the Internet! Media is defined as the means of communication that reaches or influences people widely. Broadly speaking, media can be movies, magazines, blogs, songs, websites, social networking sites, cell phones, television, etc. Any avenue in which a person can communicate, or be communicated to, and influence, or be influenced by, is considered media. Thanks to the Internet, the ability to communicate and influence others is easier than ever. We now have what’s been termed “Internet Superstars” such as Susan Boyle, “Obama Girl” Amber Lee Ettinger, and Justin Bieber. All three of these individuals were regular people until their skills were discovered online. Now they have the ability to communicate and influence millions. Also, due to media, we now can have anything we want at any given time, day or night. I can tell someone to come over and hang out via text, as I order Papa Johns on my cell, talk smack to someone in England over my Wii console, and download an album released that very day, all while watching live, updated football scores of 15 different games on ESPN,

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The irony is that media was supposed to make things easier. Being able to text a question without having to walk downstairs to ask your parents is so simple and innocent, right? The answer in regards to our teens is an emphatic, “Absolutely not!” It turns out that if left unchecked, media can, and most of the time does, have the opposite effect. To be clear, the internet and all that comes with it is not inherently evil. I do not have a vendetta against Facebook, the Iphone or video games. In fact, I believe that God calls each of us to communicate and connect (Gen 2:18) as well as to influence others (Matt 5:13). In other words, God desires us to be involved in media, but dads must have an open dialogue with their teens about these mediums and boundaries must be set. As children grow and mature into teens they begin to stretch their relational wings for the very first time. They begin to set up their own play dates, sleepovers and after school hangout sessions…. They receive their first cell phone or Facebook account… Then finally the day comes where they are able to have relationships with peers outside of the watchful eye of their parents and they relish this newfound freedom. This is all part of the healthy maturation process a child goes through that culminates in adulthood. However, during this development they begin to interact within adult mediums without processing the consequences through the filter of an adult mind. For instance, what are the consequences of sexting? It’s just a picture! Or, what if I make fun of someone online, it’s not real life! What if the person who knows the most about me is my World of Warcraft buddy from Ireland! There are consequences to all of these decisions and it is paramount that we process them with our teens.

It boils down to power, control and acceptance. Lets say that a teen is feeling controlled by an over-protective parent, so he desperately searches for something to call his own, something he can control. Online gaming is a simple solution. Not only can he control his make-believe character, but he makes the decisions that also cause this character to prevail, making the teen feel powerful. Couple all of this with the ability to make friends and receive peer acceptance and you have a teen being controlled by media. Let’s say that a teenage girl has never been loved by her parents. She feels unloved, does not feel like she has worth, and feels trapped in a family where she is not accepted. What can she control? She feels incredibly powerful, as well as accepted, when she trades inappropriate photos with boys that typically refuse to talk to her at school. Sadly, to a teen, these activities seem benign with no lasting consequences. So what are the best actions to take as dads? Talk to your kids, teaching them that life is about balance. It is important for our kids to know that playing video games for four hours a day is not healthy. Our teens need to know that eating dinner, spending time with family, talking to real life friends and exercising are important aspects of a healthy life. This can only be gleaned if our kids hear and see this from us. Also, take interest in their media outlets. Learn from them. Know what they listen to and watch. Help them cognitively process their media usage and allow them to make the decision whether or not negative media decisions are appropriate or not. However, the single most important thing for you to do is have a relationship with them. They will then desire your opinion and (most of the time) take it to heart. Media is not the bad guy! However, its messages manipulate our kids. Make sure you are relaying positive messages to your own kids regarding their media usage. Joshua Myers, M.A., LPC The Timothy Center

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Fa mily

Mom's Tips & Tricks

Mom's

Tips & Tricks

Eating Out, or Takeout It’s hopefully a little warmer now, so try to find a nice patio to have your lunch. How about finding one where you and the family can even take your dog? Opal Divine’s has a family (and dog) friendly porch and great food – especially the brownie sundae! There is a location south, central, and north.

Weekend Fun

Why not try out a new park you and your family have never visited before? There’s a small park in Pflugerville, called Bohls Park (200 Immanuel Road), where you all can work out together (at the exercise stations), the kids can have fun (on the playscape), you can take a walk (on the trail), and then eat your picnic lunch together. Even if the days are still cool, you’ll be nice and warmed up after a family outing here!

At the Store

Need a birthday gift for a friend but you don’t have much to spend? Check out the home aisles in Ross. Recently I found a ceramic pot for plants and a stand, total $10 – very cute – for my friend who loves to garden. Also I was happy to purchase a pasta cookbook and a recipe book stand for another young mom, for her birthday as well, and you guessed it - $10 total. No need to break the pocketbook to buy a friend a gift.

in Rhyme

Eating In, Under $10 Ground meat gets a bad rap these days, but when some vegetables are added in, a tasty, healthy meal can result. Brown 1 pound of ground meat, stir in a can of rinsed and drained black beans, and a cup of frozen corn, along with your choice of Mexican seasonings and salt. Serve with taco shells and grated cheese and avocado, or own your choice of toppings. Add a bowl of fruit, and you’ve got a meal!

On the Run

Did you get one of those yellow phone books left on your porch earlier this year? Take it and stash it under the seat in your car. You’ll be glad you have it when you’re out looking for a specific place to eat, the nearest Old Navy, or the closest car repair shop. Sometimes those yellow books are life savers!

...and Even More!

Are you getting the “itch” to start a garden? Why not consider an herb garden this year. Check out this cool way to stack pots and plants your favorite herbs. It’s a great way to save money too, so you can just snip and cook, instead of spending your dollars at the store for costly herbs. Just copy the photo by stacking pots, and planting your array of herbs for a beautiful display! Marcy Lytle

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Transcendence of Joy

I

eye;” also, “invidus: having hatred or ill will,” is that which writhed in the hearts of the crowd as they shouted, “Crucify Him!”(Mark 15:13). Concerning Christ, John 1:11 says, “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” Fallen humanity hates the Truth, seeking to blot out any goodness that would expose its depraved state; resenting the excellence that flows from the Sovereign Lord. Because joy is a witness to the The Scottish poet and playwright, James Thomson, Righteousness of God, envy hates it and it is stirred once wrote, “Base Envy withers at another’s joy, with discontentment and resentment. and hates that excellence it cannot reach.” Of what nature is joy that it would provoke such strong Joy streams forth, and in a rapturous splendor Christ and His Work resound. A celestial Kingdom volition, that it would render itself unattainable? rises and proclaims the Joy of the Lord. Great There exists a horribly fathomless and eternal Depths swallow up Base Envy. In Paradise Lost, chasm. The fate of one side is eternal anguish. The Milton portrays Satan as overcome with envy of promise of the other side is to live in eternal bliss the glory and majesty which the Father bestows with the Father in paradise. When man realized upon the Son. his just penalty in disobeying God, he shuddered in terror and stooped from the weight of his He of the first, if not the first Archangel, great in formidable sin in the holy gaze of his sovereign power, in favor and pre-eminence, yet fraught with Creator. Suddenly, he knew his separated envy against the Son of God, that day honored by condition: of his own will, hope was unreachable- His great Father, and proclaimed Messiah King -and at that point paradise grew endlessly anointed, and could not bear through pride that sweeter and his wretched state overwhelmingly sight, and thought himself impaired (Book 5:659unendurable. Man knew joy when the rich mercy 665). and overflowing love of the Father declared that the blameless Son would become the propitiation Incensed with malice, he wages a terrible for man’s sin, through Him would spring life war against the heavenly realm. So driven by everlasting. Man bounded in joy to the throne corruption, he resolves to ensnare man and by of the Father and tasted forgiveness. Joy is the causing him to stumble, thus seeking to hurl insult at God and detract from His joy. Joy illuminates knowledge of the gift of the blessed life to come. the despicableness and destructiveness of Base Rotting at the opposite end of the spectrum from Envy, and so envy withers in the midst of it and joy is envy. Mark 15:9-10 relates, “‘Do you want me resents a transcendent part of God’s nature which to release to you the King of the Jews?’ asked Pilate, it will never understand. knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests Hannah Thoms had handed Jesus over to him.” Envy, derived Senior, Grace Academy from the Latin “invideō: to look upon with the evil f anything were so transcendent—perhaps angelic voices streaming out their heavenly symphony beyond the spires of a cathedral; if anything were so peaceful—perhaps a soft breeze whispering its cooling life as a youthful brook trickles along; if anything were so passionate— perhaps overflowing bravery pulsing, trembling and heightening into a victorious warrior…it is joy.

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How Does the Sun Get Its Energy?

O

ne day, Little Albert wondered about the source of the sun’s energy. That night when Little Albert laid his How does this big, hot ball in the sky keep burning day after day head down on his pillow he thanked God for the cool way the sun fuses atoms after day? So, he decided to research the sun. in order to produce the energy that keeps Little Albert learned the sun is powered by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen the plants, oceans, and all the animals alive. atoms at its core. Little Albert knew the atom is the smallest piece of an In the quiet, Little Albert heard God say, “It element. He also knew hydrogen is one of those elements. Hydrogen is a is no different for any of those made in my image. gas, but what in the world is nuclear fusion? Little Albert continued to There is infinitely more power when my people are unified than when search, and he found there are two types of nuclear reactions: fission and they are divided.” fusion. Fission is the splitting apart of a big atom like plutonium or uranium into People may feel they can produce force when they divide and exclude smaller atoms. Fission, or the division of an atom, is known to us here on others, but this is tiny compared to the enormous power possessed when earth because this is the way nuclear power plants work, even though fission they choose to gather together. Remember Little Albert, unity will always does not normally occur in nature. OK. So, what about fusion? Fusion is the out-perform and out power division, whether it be the energy released from combining of two tiny atoms, like hydrogen, into a larger atom like helium. an atom or the love released from a human heart. This is done naturally, and it is the process by which the sun provides energy Jesus tells us: for all life on the planet earth. “For where two or more come together in my name, there I am with them.” When humans split atoms and cause a chain reaction, it releases a lot more Matthew 18:20 energy than any of the other ways we currently produce power for our day to day lives. But Little Albert learned it is nothing compared to the energy "Make every effort to keep the unity of Spirit through the bond of peace." released when the sun naturally combines its hydrogen atoms to make Ephesians 4:3 helium. The nuclear power plants here on earth produce a ton of energy by dividing the atom, but the sun produces many more times as much power Michele Zink Harris by unifying them. Little Albert learned there is much more energy released www.nextgenerationhearts.org through merging atoms together than from dividing them. The sun’s energy is enormous!

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Submit calendar entries to Amanda@AustinFaithandFamily.com by the 15th of the preceding month.

March 2011 March 17 Thursday

March 2 Wednesday

Austin Toros vs. Texas Legends – Israel Houghton Love Resolution Tour – Cedar Park Center starting at 7:30pm. Shoreline starting at 7pm. Featuring Eric Moore & Resonate. March 3 Thursday March 19 Saturday Austin Toros vs. Texas Legends – Cedar Park Center starting at 7:30pm. Senior Adult Retreat – Lakeway Church from 9:30am – 2:30pm. Join the senior adults at The Lakeway Church March 4 Friday as they study excerpts from Lucado’s book Family Fun Night: Dino-Mite – Austin Nature throughout the day. Registration deadlines and Science Center from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. March 14th at 5pm. Dig into the past and uncover evidence left behind by the animals that once roamed the March 23 Wednesday hill country. Become a paleontologist for the Austin Toros vs. Iowa – Cedar Park evening and learn how to find clues about the Center starting at 7:30pm. history of Central Texas. Ignite Men’s Conference 2011 – Shoreline This is a unique once a year men’s event in Central Texas hosted by Shoreline, so make plans to attend now. You don’t want to miss FULLY ALIVE! Online registration is available now. Guest speaker Casey Treat and Shoreline’s Pastor Rob Koke and Sam Mata.

March 25 Friday

March 5 Saturday

March 26 Saturday

Abiding Love Churchwide Garage Sale – Abiding Love Lutheran Church from 8am – 2pm. Save, Save, Save and have fun too! Come and find clothes, household items, furniture, office and school items, toys, and more. To give you that extra energy to keep shopping, we’ll have a concession stand with drinks, breakfast and home – baked goods.

The ATTIC FILM Fest Austin Stone Community Church at various times. This event showcases several ministries focused on helping African communities in the name of Christ.

March

Student of the Month

Grace Crowhurst is in third grade

and is homeschooled. She loves Reading and Math, and her favorite book series is Ramona the Pest. What does Grace love about school? “I love to learn about Jesus and I am excited to read through the Bible this year,” she answers.

Outside the home, Grace is in a Classical Conversations program, as well as Keepers at Home – where young girls are taught and prepared for the wonderful job of taking care of the home as an adult. Grace also wants to be an inventor. Grace has two heroes, and both are women. One is her late Grandma Honey Crowhurst, “cause she is my grandma and I love her,” and the other is Mom, “cause she is AWESOME and she is there for me all the time,” shares Grace. Other cool things about Grace include the fact that she has a little sister Joy, she loves to make crafts and invent new things to play with, and her favorite TV show is Little House on the Prairie. Grace also enjoys sewing and doing science experiments with her dad. With her great desire to create, invent, and experiment, we look forward to finding Grace Crowhurst’s name on a list of patents, in the credits of a science book, or in a great Hall of Fame one day in the not so distant future! Marcy Lytle

Austin Toros vs. Idaho – Cedar Park Center starting at 12pm. March 27 Sunday

Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Festival – Austin Toros vs. Idaho – Cedar Park Bethany Lutheran Church at 7:30pm. Center starting at 5pm. Three extraordinary young musicians from Central Texas will perform with the Austin Civic March 31 Thursday Orchestra as part of winning the prestigious Pearl Amster Competition. In addition to the Austin Toros vs. Texas Legends – Austin Toros vs. Sioux Falls – Cedar three concertos, Dr. Lois Ferrari will conduct Cedar Park Center starting at 7:30pm. the orchestra in a performance of Ferde Grofe’s Park Center starting at 12pm. Grand Canyon Suite. Ignite Men’s Conference 2011 – Shoreline This is a unique once a year men’s event in Shine! Fest 2011 – Elgin Memorial Park from Central Texas hosted by Shoreline, so make 12pm – 4pm. plans to attend now. You don’t want to miss Our purpose for the event is to impact our April 2- Stop Trafficking 5K, Old FULLY ALIVE! Online registration is available community by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. now. Guest speaker Casey Treat and There will be free food, activities for the kids Settlers Park, Round Rock and live musical performances. Shoreline’s Pastor Rob Koke and Sam Mata.

Looking Forward:

March 10 Thursday

St. James Missions 5K/1K Run and Walk – St. James Missionary Baptist Church from 9am – 11am. This race highlights a challenging course in the heart of East Austin and the Hill Country. Proceeds from this event will benefit ongoing research for the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter.

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion – Cedar Park Center starting at 7:30pm. Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with its own central theme and storyline. They draw the audience into the performance through continuous live music, with performers rather than stagehands The ATTIC FILM Fest – Austin Stone Community Church For the City Center at changing the props. various times. www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

April 2- 1st Annual Round Rock Empty Bowls Festival sponsored by the Round Rock Area Arts Council in partnership with RRISD to benefit the Round Rock Area Serving Center, 11am-3pm

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20 Words:

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he Barna Institute recently combed through all of their 2010 research on religion and American culture and found six mega themes that stood out.1 The one of most interest to me was specifically related to college students and young adults. Barna said that there is an increasing appetite for justice in this generation as it appeals to their desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It was also stated in other reports that students and young adults today desire to give themselves fully and faithfully to a worthy cause. Interesting. I’ll admit that I often scratch my head at this generation of students because they can be about as unreliable as an HEB plastic bag at times, but put a just cause in front of them and they do respond. I witnessed this very thing take place over the past few months when the planning for the Fight Trafficking 5k was under

way. Students who couldn’t run to their mailbox without panting caught wind of what was brewing and decided this was something worth their time and attention, even if the exercise didn’t appeal to them. Chris Adams, President of the ACC student club Austin Lit, said “This generation has seen in history that each person has a part to play; no matter how small it seems, it is very significant to the big picture. We are able to see the pain and struggle from other people’s shoes and are motivated by that compassion.” It’s the unthinkable pain and suffering of these children being sold as sex slaves right here in Texas that has the compassionate attention of many students. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, evil is evil, and this is something a growing percentage of this young population will not stand by and watch prosper. The reality when it comes to this specific injustice is that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys in the U.S. are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood. Child trafficking, child pornography, and international sex tourism, because of the increasing market for it, now generates billions of dollars a year worldwide. Shockingly, the FBI says that there are 127 active brothels in Houston alone, with two new ones opening each month. So it’s no surprise to find out that Texas is a major hub for human trafficking, ranking second only to California. Interstate 10 has even been designated as the main route for traffickers by the Department of Justice, and Houston is considered a main trafficking hub city.

What is also inspiring about this specific 5k is that its organizers are relying heavily on faith. There are no big marketing budgets here, no professional coordinators behind the scenes, and no hookups with some student’s rich uncle. It’s as grass roots as it gets. These are people who are in over their heads and trusting that God will provide through His people – and He has! In fact, the first planning meeting which took place at a Double Dave’s pizza buffet must have had an angel in disguise sitting in the booth next to the students who were gathered. As they began discussing where to start on the planning of this even; which they felt so ill-equipped to take on, an older man in his mid-40s was listening in and couldn’t help but be dealt into the conversation. As it turned out, he was from Huntsville and had experience putting together races like this. He spent the next 10 minutes providing resources and advice that saved the group some significant time and money. It’s amazing what God can do when we just trust him for help. He unites people together for His purposes that would never naturally connect on their own. With the increased intolerance towards evil and compassion of this generation continuing to grow, we should expect that more people who speak the common language of justice will be drawn together in unlikely ways to see God’s will done on earth. What exciting times we now live in!

If you would like to show your support for love146.org and take part in the Fight In light of the darkness that surrounds Trafficking 5k April 2nd at Old Settlers this injustice, students are eager to unite around Park in Round Rock, you can register organizations such as love146.org which is online at www.fighttrafficking.com. the primary beneficiary of next month’s 5k. Organizations like this are supported by many Joe Elliott 20-somethings because of the way that they are aggressively educating, rescuing and providing rehabilitation homes for the victims of [1] http://www.barna.org/ modern day slavery. And they are doing it in 20 Words both speaks to 20-something-year-olds a contemporary way, using art, videos, and music highlights 20 words that send a message. to appeal to the feelings and intellect of this younger generation. 22

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Transformation Opportunity In the City...for the City

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ow exciting it is to see the Body of Christ . . . be the Body of Christ!! On November 13, 2010 a group of 60 plus volunteers joined together to totally transform a home in the St. John’s area of our great city!! Not only was a “Home Makeover” completed within one day’s time but a family and lives were transformed for now and all eternity. That is the Body of Christ being the Body of Christ to those in need. Here is a quote from the dad: “It was really rough to make everything sustainable”. The mother had died in a car accident. The children are ages 10, 9, 8, and 5. As the dad shared, “It was the last thing I expected to happen. The children are a 24 hour a day job. It got real hard but each day you start to learn what Gloria (the 5 year old) likes, what Carlos (the 8 year old) can have and what Julie (the 9 year old) can play with. It is definitely hard.” There is a picture of the children’s mother on the wall in the girls’ room. They share their reading scores, test scores, projects by leaving them under the picture.

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But dad took hold of the situation and is raising the children and doing a good job. There were 50-60 volunteers that day and we prayed and invaded. We redid every room in the entire house. When the children returned they were running from room to room very excited. It is what Jesus would do if He was here! The dad shared, “Thank you for doing over our house. From the bottom of my heart . . . thank you! You have helped us so much! I don’t know what to say, “thank you!” I’d like to share with you a letter received from the children of this “Home Makeover”: “Dear Church, Thank you . .. you are very kind. What you gave us is so wonderful – our new house. God Bless you! This is the best way. I love church! This is so cool. Everything we could imagine. You are the most awesome people to meet.”

We have another unique opportunity to transform our city once again. On Saturday, March 19, 2011 from 8:30-5:00 we will gather once again to completely transform 2 more homes in the St. John’s area of our city. Transformation . . . . change . . . . conversation . . . . renovation. . . . makeover . . . .That is living out Matthew 25: 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

From Pastor Sue Boss to Victory Christian Center, “Thank you for being Jesus People!”

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Sue Boss

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Randy & Robbi

Sluder A Duo of Support

Randy’s story may be shorter and simpler, but he accepted Jesus at his Savior at age 5, and states he has “truly experienced His call on my life from that time and throughout my life.” He was raised in a “committed” Christian home and was shown much love, even through times of difficulty. He states, “Through many failures and setbacks, I have found Jesus to be my source of grace, forgiveness and salvation from my sin nature that I deal with. He is my only hope for whom I trust.” So what motivates these two? Randy states that when they got married, their vision turned from “one of individuality to the two of us becoming as one to the ministries that God has called us to as husband and wife.” He states that they support each other and know that the grace they have been shown is something they are to show others. “We both are called to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and set the captives free.” He further states, “We operate as one as we minister as two.” He states that they see open doors they could not open on their own, and they witness miracles that show God cares. Robbi states that she is motivated by “passion and compassion.” She says they were youth leaders when they were first married and adopted a teenage girl and boy, who lived with them for almost ten years. Robbi and Randy also took in pregnant women and had “an incredible experience that taught us much.” During this time, they were also a part of starting the March for Jesus movement in Austin, TX that quickly expanded to involve thousands of people across North and South America. Through these ministries, the Sluders were privileged to meet hundreds of pastors, leaders, and servants from many churches around the city, state, and nation. Their own children, Joshua (now 21), and Alyssa (now 17), were very young at that time, and they too learned to give and to serve others. Robbi shares, “Many people have just not had anyone love them with the unconditional love of Christ and when that happens, usually a person will transform and eventually become Christ-like themselves. They just need someone to demonstrate that Christ-like love to them. Isn’t that what we all need?” Both Randy and Robbi credit their families for the gift of motivation to serve. Randy says that his parents showed him and his siblings “how to tend to the needs of others.” He went to prisons to visit inmates his parents’ sponsored, he saw his dad he was running a juice bar at a health club, he worked out at the same center, give to those in financial need, and he remembers grace and love being poured and Randy states, “When I first met her, I knew that she would one day be my out on people going through difficult times. “This is what has inspired me,” he wife.” The year was 1986, and Robbi states that Randy’s relationship with God shares. As an adult, he watches his wife show others the hands and feet of Jesus, and his willingness to share Christ was “a place where other people had not met me.” and this encourages Randy. “God has allowed the both of us to have unbelievable God then began working in the life of this duo, in many areas of ministry (locally and relationships with those that share the same interest in life and ministry that we can abroad), and they have supported one another in His work now for many years. turn to when we need an extra dose of encouragement to go the next mile, run the next race, or face the next battle or trial that is before us.” Robbi too shares that she Robbi grew up in a family where many were involved in leadership. She recalls her is blessed with a loving family and faithful friends. Having received the grace and grandparents reading the Bible and praying, and yet “letting me see the normal mercy of God herself, she is motivated to “pour into others what has been poured struggles that a person endured in everyday life.” Robbi remembers a VBS teacher into me.” She states that there have been “many attacks” that have affected their telling her about Jesus, using the analogy of a butterfly, and Robbi understood the marriage, but God has brought healing in this area.” Robbi believes He is preparing simple message and “easily” accepted the Lord into her heart. “This kept me going them for the next season of ministry, which she believes “will be even greater.” “I for years,” she states. However, when she was 12, Robbi heard God speak directly to think it’s important that as ministry leaders, we are transparent so that others may her, and she accepted the challenge to serve Him. In later years, as happens to many be encouraged to be truthful and get help as they experience 'life' through ministry.” teenagers, Robbi felt she “let the world define some of my morals,” and realized her life was not going as she had planned. On September 24, 1987, she cried out to God, Randy and Robbi are now both involved in the medical field, and we were curious grabbed her Bible and opened to Haggai 2:18 which read (paraphrased) “From this how they became interested and what led them down this path. Randy was day forward – the 24th day of the 9th month (the exact date) I will bless you. I’ve involved in the printing industry for years, but due to a situation that took him out planted much seed in your barn, yet there has been no fruit; however, from this day of that occupation, he prayed hard to see how to further his business and ministry. forward I will bless you.” Robbi states she then had a “born-again experience” and He was offered a job negotiating medical claims. “I fell in love with my job and hasn’t looked back since. “My life has been sanctified at huge levels and continues quickly became one of the top negotiators within his company,” states Randy. The to be as my relationship with Jesus grows. He filled me with the power of his Holy same friend who hired him mentored Randy through the process of opening a new Spirit and that’s how I’ve been able to accomplish the many wonderful things that business called Crown Healthcare Negotiators. In 2005 Randy took over a National God has chosen to involve us in.” Faith-based health sharing organization, of which he is the Executive Director.

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“Being able to offer a non-insurance faith-based health sharing opportunity to those who can abide by the guidelines is something that has allowed many to experience the true meaning of what the Bible says in regards to caring for one another.” “Randy and I have been without health coverage before when we had severe car wrecks.” This statement comes from Robbi, who also says, “It is a horrible thing to not have health coverage.” She has empathy for those who cannot afford health coverage, and for those who suffer financial and emotional devastation when tragedy occurs.

Mary Magdalene. She states, “The life of Mary Magdalene is a beautiful picture of hope for all of us.” Robbi wanted to show this love of Jesus in a practical way, to many who might otherwise never know of His love for them. Robbi , Randy, and a small group of volunteers went to the streets of Austin, TX in 2000 to ladies on the street on Easter Eve. The outreaches were then expanded year round to the homeless, prison inmates, those in transition homes, and employees of men’s clubs. “It was the first ministry that we know of that went into men’s clubs to show the love and acceptance of Jesus in today’s world. We show that unconditional love by developing meaningful relationships with those employees in the men’s clubs. Many have come to know the Lord through this ministry and their lives and families have been transformed.”

Since beginning Altrua HealthShare, many Other ministries currently operating in testimonies have come from this faithAustin have been birthed out of The based organization of caring for the health Magdalene Project - First Love , Packed needs of others. Phillip D. Jacobs shares, for Life, and Yarns of Love. In 2007 Robbi “Without Altrua HealthShare in my life, I handed over the outreaches to those was not able to afford private personal who had been trained for years by The insurance premium costs as they are today… Magdalene Project and “sent them out.” it pays to live your life in a manner as the This enabled Robbi to spend more time membership qualifications calls for in the with her own children and work on their Statement of Standards. You get blessed marriage. “I knew I had to be obedient for it.” J. Max Haderlie states, “The folks of and let God do what He needed to Altrua HealthShare are allies instead of our do in our family.” She states God has enemies. When a medical situation arises, been faithful to do just that. Robbi is they bend over backwards to not only help still working in an advisory role with their members, but also to make the entire the Magdalene men’s club outreaches situation equitable for everyone so that all come out satisfied.” And one other member Magdelene Project Austin Men's Club Prayer & Outreach Team going on all over the United States. One particular lady helped by the Magdalene writes, “Not only does the membership Project calls the Sluders her “adopted share in my medical bills according to the guidelines set forth before the membership, but the personal touch that the entire parents,” and states that they lead her in the “right path to God and a healthy staff gave us as we were working through medical issues is that of great relief to me lifestyle.” Melissa Watts is now a physical therapist assistant and is pursuing her doctorate, all because “I had two amazing, God-sent people come into my life.” and my family.” The Sluders explain that Altrua HealthShare allows people, who “live by biblical standards” and “who believe that caring for one another is what we’re called to do as Christians” and who know “that we can share each other’s medical needs,” to come together through the ministry of caring and sharing. Altrua HealthShare also has a ministry side of the organization which is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Randy states that the monies that come from the members of Altrua and other contributors are tax deductible. Altrua Ministries provides food for the hungry, and helps further research for cures with Duchene muscular dystrophy, cancer, and helps people who need assistance with medical issues. Anyone and everyone are welcome to check out this faith-based medical organization, as all members “love the fact that their monthly contributions do not go to help those who live an unhealthy lifestyle.” The Sluders encourage all believers to “experience the body of Christ” by seeing their needs cared for through contributions given by others to help them meet their medical needs. Being a part of Altrua HealthShare gives their members this experience.

Randy & Robbi stay busy with their ministry, which has been in both of their hearts from the beginning of their relationship with God, and with each other. Their desire is for others to find a “core group” of faithful Christian people who know the word of God, love them unconditionally; yet hold them accountable. “This will allow those in ministry to be transparent, yet feel safe, so there may be continued growth of one’s strengths and gifts.” Robbi shared that this “saving grace,” as she puts it, is what has sustained this dynamic duo and truly sums up the why, the how, and the Who of all they do to help and bless the people they serve. To get involved with the men’s club outreaches currently operating in Austin or other ministries birthed from The Magdalene Project, visit www.themagdaleneproject.org. For more information on Altrua HealthShare or how to become a member, visit www.altruahealthshare.org. Turn to page 26 for an article on another ministry that Randy & Robbi Sluder would like to introduce - COR:6 Fitness. Marcy Lytle

Robbi is also the Founder of The Magdalene Project, Inc. On Easter Eve, 1999, through a song; the Lord impressed on Robbi’s heart about how Jesus celebrated that first Easter – His resurrection. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus could have chosen to appear first to His disciples, his mother Mary, the Roman soldiers, Pontius Pilate, or the religious leaders. Instead, He chose to appear first to www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

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COR:6 FITNESS D e d i c a t e d

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OR:6 Fitness was created as a “collaboration effort between COR:6 founders and its affiliate partners” to serve a wide range of clientele who need to change their physical and psychological outlook within a “faith-based” setting. COR:6 believes “when you feel and look good it will positively change your mental outlook…with a strong focus on spiritual awakening and understanding of how our bodies were made and how we are to honor God with them.”

t o

C h a n g e

others to see this as well, they can “build God’s Kingdom like never before.”

The COR:6 Fitness is a team of professionals of the Health &Wellness fields who have come together to provide good health, which will then lead to a better spiritual journey, as well. One participant in one of their meetings shares, “I can do exercises I couldn’t do 20 years ago, when I was 50 pounds thinner….This program fed my faith, hope, and desire to take care of myself while I lost weight, inches, shame and the phrase Ron & Felicia Bruno, founders of COR:6, state ‘I can’t do that.’” She further states, “I have a they have “been into fitness” most of their lives. bounce in my step and a gleam in my eye. I am Last summer, Pastor Randy Phillips of Promise beautiful and successful.” Land West, asked for their help in launching a sixweek program to help people throughout Austin COR:6 focuses on these principles: spiritual lose both physical and spiritual weight. The transformation reaching those hindrances and program was highly successful, and the Brunos soul wounds preventing health and wellness; knew this was the direction they were to go. proper diagnoses and treatment guidelines; proper biomechanics; They love seeing what “true mobility/flexibility; and effective health can do,” and nutritional know that if they can get

Executive Director Ron Bruno & wife Felicia

supplementation; strength and cardiovascular support. Ron states that “obesity is a huge problem within the church” and the Bible clearly tells us to take care of our bodies. Therefore COR:6 desires to “inject fitness programs into every church in America, staring here in Austin.” They provide 3-day seminars on their fitness “message” and mix their training with faith-based beliefs to bring non-believers to Christ. So, why check out COR:6? It is a biblical and scientific formula for developing true fat loss, according to Ron. He encourages everyone to “listen to God’s call and then react…Stop the excuses and get help and let’s start this change where it needs to be started…” COR:6 is launching a City of Austin VS the City of San Antonio church-wide fitness challenge this summer for 100 days to bring awareness to the health issues in churches and communities. Ron states that 500 people per city will be competing to see what city is “dedicated enough to bring change,” and the winning church will receive $10,000 cash prize to start a health and wellness program in their own church and community, with the help of COR:6 Fitness. Marcy Lytle

For more information, check out www.cor6fitness.com, email Ron Bruno at info@cor6fitness.com, or call 512-644-8591.

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Crown Healthcare Negotiators Crown Healthcare Negotiators uses negotiating skills, knowledge and experience to obtain the absolute best discounts and adjustments on medical bills, whether the claim is small, catastrophic or part of an in-network or out-of-network claim. Crown Healthcare Negotiators is your solution for obtaining the deepest discounts possible. There are many examples of savings that have taken place through Crown Healthcare Negotiators. One family had medical bills exceeding $31,000 and Crown Healthcare was able to secure a complete write-off of the bill. Another client, who was part of a Medical Sharing Organization, had to be treated for an extended stay at a hospital. His bills were $73,000 and Crown Healthcare Negotiators was able to secure a 50% discount, saving the sharing organization $36,500 on his medical bills. And another individual, due to pre-existing medical conditions, was not covered by her policy for treatment, so her hospital bills were over $20,000 that she was responsible to pay. She contacted Crown Healthcare and they were able to secure a 50% discount on the bill. Another gentleman had incurred $215,000 in medical claims at a local hospital and after negotiations and settlements; this individual only had to pay $18,000 to settle his claims. Many more reports of great reductions in medical bills are available, all as a result of Crown Healthcare Negotiators. Please contact Crown Healthcare Negotiators to discuss your medical claims and visit www.crownhealthcarenegotiators.com for more information. Marcy Lytle


Life

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Patio Pleasure

Ladies Top 10:

I

s your patio less than a place of pleasure? Maybe all of your plants died in the winter, and now your pots are sad and pitiful. Perhaps your outdoor furniture needs a makeover, and the colors that were bright last year are now faded and dull. How can you spruce up your patio without breaking the bank? Here are ten ideas to make your patio an inviting place to read a book, enjoy the cool breeze, or sip tea with a friend:

1.

Take a pad and a pen and step outside to study your patio area and make a list of what you need. What plants worked well last year? But them again. What color scheme would look nice? Which pots are cracked and need to be replaced? Using this list will help you organize, plan, and save, as you prepare your patio for spring and summer.

2.

Try refreshing your patio chair cushions, or adding a tablecloth to a naked table. If you watch the ads, you can get something new for a great price. Make this purchase first, choosing your color (solid or stripe or floral) and then finish decorating with these new items as your base.

3.

The table outside needs a centerpiece – a colorful pot of herbs set in the center. Pick three herbs you use most often in cooking (parsley, cilantro, basil, for example) and plant them all in the same pot for a lovely array, or in three small separate pots.

4.

Garden lighting is fairly inexpensive, and solar lights are the way to go. Choose a couple of tall lights to place by your bench or chairs, and some low lights for the walkway or garden. These make the outdoor area romantic and inviting after dark.

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Ladies Top 10 Out & About Erin's Cooking

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BY MARCY LYTLE

5.

Fill your pots. Clean out the old plants, dig up the dirt, add some nutrients and plant some color. Geraniums are great flowers, easy to grow, and come in a variety of color. Buy small plants to save money, and in just a few weeks, your plants will be big, blooming and beautiful.

6.

Arrange your potted beauties at different heights. Turn an empty put upside down and place a potted plant on top. Arrange pots in threes: one tall, one medium, and one short. Purchase inexpensive plants stands, or be creative with outdoor “junk” (stools, cement blocks, etc.) to place underneath your pots to give them height.

7.

Is there a fence behind your patio, or a wall? Try hanging an outdoor decoration, either a group of ladybugs (or your favorite insect), an outdoor clock or thermometer, or a modern metal decoration.

9.

What about the floor? If your patio area is concrete, try adding an outside rug. If it’s mostly dirt, try spreading large bags of inexpensive river gravel, to create a floor. Or just strategically place a few stepping stones to create a short walkway from the door to the sitting area.

10.

Create a basket of paper goods, plastic forks and spoons, tealights, etc. to be used for each outdoor event or dinner. Make one file in your recipe box/notebook just for picnic food ideas. Now you’re ready for company!

Patios are great places to invite a friend, without having to clean the entire house, and often they are just the place for intimate conversation, devotion time alone, or family time outside.

8.

Garden incense creates atmosphere and keeps the bugs away. Just place a couple in your potted plants, light, and enjoy these fragrant sticks. For $16 these are worth the money.

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Out & About

On the Health Trail I

n bygone days, people were daily connected to the food they ate and were more aware of exactly where their food came from and how it was made, down to the most intricate detail. Today our connection with the food we eat is an entirely different story. We consume fast food almost on a daily basis. Even if we purchase it from the grocery store, it is still fast food! Recently, in the last 10 years or so, sections of society are becoming more aware of the failures of fast food to produce good health and maintenance of a proper weight. Austin is probably more aware of this than some cities its size. After all, we are the home of Whole Foods and have had a variety of health food stores in our area for many years. With that idea, I propose that we hit the HEALTH TRAIL If you enjoy that adventure, why not visit as we are out and about in Austin! Alexander Family Farm in Garfield, just about 30 minutes from Austin? They are a working farm Since my kids were little I have been fascinated and ranch and are willing to escort and teach with visiting working farms and experiencing your family or group about raising chickens fresh food. Our “health trail” will be to take a day and turkeys, and they grow their own produce. trip or two to local area farms and ranches! You Contact Kim Alexander 512/247-4455 if you are could make it a long day trip or several short half- interested in visiting. There are many, many more day trips if you like! Usually the family farms are more than willing to show you and your family around, especially if you let them know ahead of your arrival.

Life

opportunities to visit working farms and ranches in the Austin area, besides just these two! I would encourage you to explore the opportunities in and around Austin if you enjoy learning about eating, cooking or even growing organically, or just developing healthy eating habits. Check out www.eatwild.com for more information on local farms/ranches. Even if you want to stick with convenience food, learning about other options is still interesting and kids really enjoy visiting such a different lifestyle, even if they only eat pizza, like my grandkids! They still love the goat’s milk ice cream and watching the chickens, goats and roosters! Have a great time and take some friends with you! Vicki Lancaster

Boggy Creek Farms, which is located on Lyons Road in east Austin, is open to the public on Wednesday and Saturday from 9-1. They sell everything from fresh, seasonal produce, most of which is picked right there where you purchase it, to eggs, meat, cheese and ice cream, all locally produced. The owners, Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler, are usually around to visit and explain the produce and how to cook/eat it, if necessary. They have a hen house, beautiful flowers, and rows and rows of vegetables. You can take a lunch, let the kids play, and treat them to goat’s milk ice cream (which is delicious, by the way). In the summer it is shady and nice. They are open year round, but winters are a bit chilly! The meat and cheese and some eggs are sold by local vendors at this market. Many upscale restaurants purchase produce from Boggy Creek Farms. They are a certified organic farm. www.AustinFaithandFamily.com

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Life

Erin's Cooking

SALE PRICED $5.00/each! Jonah DVD

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Fruits of Our Labor

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s some of you may remember from a previous article, I am a part of the internship this school year. A good chunk of my life as an intern has passed, but I know the Lord will not soon let me forget the lessons learned in a season He has specifically set aside for me to draw nearer to Him. The sting of long hours is gone and in its place He has set an appreciation for the time I get to spend with my fellow interns, even if it is doing some pretty mundane things. I can specifically remember the events of one Wednesday not so long ago that turned out to be an eventful 20-hour day. In preparation for a church-wide campaign, the interns were called upon to assemble and label 3,000 flags that would represent each family involved in the advancement of the Kingdom through our church. What started as a somewhat unorganized system to accomplish the task, ended in a four hour, late night intern “party” to play catch-up from events of the day. Yes, I was exhausted and at the time did not have the best attitude about the situation, but looking back on it now, it was an investment into the lives of many families. That same week I was offered a babysitting job at one of our pastor’s houses for a few hours at night. It had come to my attention that his daughter was a Girl Scout. ‘Tis the season for Girl Scout cookies! I agreed to babysit on the grounds that I got “paid” in Girl Scout cookies; he agreed. I had been craving these little nuggets of goodness for about a month and I was itching to rip them open and experiment a bit. The inspiration for this brownie recipe came from a show on the Food Network where the cook was making brownies with fun-sized candy bars. Swap the candy bars for cookies and we’ve got a winner! I had to test this recipe twice. Needless to say, my roommates are pretty happy with me right about now. Whether it is eternal treasure or a simple pleasure in life, I want to be a bearer of good fruit for my labor in life. This simple chicken dish is an example of good fruit in the lives of my cousins. They invited me over for a home cooked meal one night when I would have otherwise settled for a bowl of cereal for dinner. Because of their fruit, it is simply in their nature to be thinking of me and wanting to invest into my life either through food or relationship. It all ties together! Erin Osborne Studio Kitchen

Scout's Honor 19.9 oz. box pre-measured Brownie mix 10 Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies Baking Oil spray Directions: Prepare Brownies as directed. Crush cookies in a plastic zipper bag. Spray baking oil to cover 8in. x 8in. glass baking dish. Pour crumbs in dish and spread evenly on bottom. Spoon brownie batter over cookie crumbs making sure the crumbs do not push out to the sides. Bake as directed on brownie box.

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch & Pasta 12 Slices Pre-cooked bacon, prepared as directed, broken into bits 2 T. Olive Oil 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces 2 T. All-Purpose Flour 2 T. Ranch Dip mix 1 ½ cups Milk 8 oz. package whole wheat pasta, cooked Garnish: Grated Parmesan Cheese

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Directions: Heat oil in skillet and sauté chicken until tender and slightly browned on all sides. Sprinkle flour and ranch mix over chicken in skillet. Stir in milk. Cook until thick and bubbly. Stir in cooked bacon. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked noodles and sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4. Chef’s note: For some added flare, stir in cleaned, sliced, fresh mushrooms when bacon is added.

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The Harmful Drugging of Children I

People are not robots. However, it seems we can make them so. I recently met a mom who very proudly told me how her girl now gets straight A’s since she’s been on an ADHD medication. “She just sits at her desk and does her work,” she smilingly told me. Then I spoke to another mom whose sister had two boys on Ritalin and BOTH ended up in jail in their mid-twenties. Yet, this mom was thinking of putting her own son on the drug. Yikes!

know this can be a touchy subject, but it’s definitely one worth talking about.

Thomas Edison was 12 when he burned down his family barn, “to see how long it will take.” He was a wild one. But, he went on to become a very prolific and famous inventor. Some of our brightest minds are also our most active. So why would one want to squash that? Did you know that fidgeting with your pencil and looking out the window is a “symptom” of ADHD? Says who? Did you know there are “diseases” such as “Math Anxiety Disorder” and “Caffeine Consumption Disorder?” Google those and you get to these very scholarly looking websites that make it all seem very official and true. But consider this. Say my child has a strep throat infection. I can take him to the doctor who can TEST him for it. Yes, they stick that little cotton swab down his throat to get a saliva sample. Then they run it through a lab test that either shows negative or positive for Strep. It’s not based on opinion, it’s based on a medical test that will show the Strep or not. Now THAT is medical science. Psychiatric “disorders” are voted into existence. I’m not kidding. A group of psychiatrists meet, a “disease” is presented because a psychiatrist has written a scholarly opinion on the subject, and then it is voted into existence as a disease – no lab tests here. It is all opinion. So if someone says “your child may be Bipolar,” ask them “Can we do a blood test to verify?” The truth is - there is no such test. In South Africa (where I lived for 13 years), Antibiotics is a schedule 4 drug – requiring a doctor’s subscription. Ritalin is a schedule 7 drug – so is Morphine. Yet, in Texas, we had to pass a law to prevent teachers from suggesting a child take a psychiatric drug. And the consequences of kids taking these drugs are so tragic. It took years of work from pressure groups like The Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights (cchr. org), to get the FDA to put a Black Label Warning on these drugs. That is the most severe warning that can be issued concerning the risk of suicide.

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Our parents’ parents had the same troubles in life we have today. There were marriage problems, worries about income – you name it. Yet, they did not try to pop a pill to make the problem go away. Because when you do that; the problem is still there, you are simply not looking at it any more. So what is the solution? Well, for one, let children be children. Yes, our patience may be tested sometimes. But remember – we were children once too. Diet is another major, major factor. A kid who goes to school on a breakfast of candy bars is going to be trouble. A good protein breakfast is simply essential: yogurt, bacon or sausage and eggs. A really good breakfast is essential for helping your child start the day right. Finally, there is the family dinner. The benefits are plenty. Better communication, school performance and adjustment are just a few. I’m proud of the role we play at The Studio Kitchen to help families accomplish healthy meals. For more about the harmful drugging of children, please visit www.cchr.org.

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Laura Bezden The Studio Kitchen

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Attic Film

Festival

I

Changing the Landscape of Austin

think I speak for many believers in the Austin area when I say that we need a presence evident in the film industry; not “cheesy” religious films, but well-made, thought provoking, and life-changing movies that stir hearts, speak to current issues, and change lives. After attending last year’s Attic Film Festival, I can say I came away encouraged and hopeful that this is happening right here in our city. So what exactly is the Attic Film Festival? The 2011 Attic Film Festival is a “Christian independent film fest featuring the best in Christian and redemptive film,” shares Jamee Kennedy, Executive Director. The filmmakers who submit their films are folks who want to tell stories that promote Christ's message, uplift the Lord, depict sacrificial living, depict living missionally, and stories of how one person living for the eternal can affect those around them and consequently the world.” The festival this year begins at 7:00pm on March 25 and continues at 10:00am and throughout the day on March 26 at Austin Stone's For the City Center at 500 East St John 78752. There is no charge for admission, and donations are appreciated. So we wondered, and asked, “How are the films submitted and who submits them?” Jamee responded, “Filmmakers can submit films for the FEST from Sept 1 to our deadline Feb 1st. We have submission procedures on our website at www.atticfilmfest.org. It's very simple and straightforward.” Jamee states that films are filtered for appropriateness, where the message of the “Gospel, redemption, missional living, etc. is strong and clear.” Content is also examined and then passed on to the Judges Selection Committee. That committee then watches, and through standardized criteria recommends or declines admission to the FEST. Nominations are also made for an award for Best Performance. The judges are anonymous to the filmmakers, to each other, the audience, etc. and a handwritten envelope delivery system is used, so that when

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submitted, there is no knowledge of who submitted what. The judges are also experts in the performance world, and there is always an odd number for tiebreaker situations, according to Jamee. “It can get really crazy with critique sheets coming in and going out and films coming in and going out via our envelope system. But it’s fun,” she shares. This film festival started four years ago, when a suggestion was made GRACE ARTS PROJECT (the ministry that oversees the FEST) host a film fest for Grace Covenant’s youth, as a way for the kids to “express their faith.” Jamee states, “The fest just sort of morphed into a larger, broader, deal from there. God is moving so many mountains, sometimes, I just feel like I'm watching Him relandscape Austin. It's been incredible.” TAFF (The Attic Film Festival) is the signature event of GAP (Grace Arts Project). As the Fest has grown, so has the need for organizers. This year there are five or six dedicated, talented people in the group who have “such a heart for the City of Austin,” and Jamee states she can’t believe she gets to do this and work with them! Grace Covenant Church and Austin Stone have been instrumental in helping out with the fest and getting the word out, as well as in running the FEST trailer. Jamee states, “We would really like this event to be a unifying force in bringing churches, congregations, individual ministries, and nonchurched folks together. This year more churches such as Hope Chapel, St John's Methodist. Red River Community Church, etc. have committed to running the trailer and support the FEST. It's really a cool, cool deal.” Any cool deal usually comes through hard times, and over huge mountains, and TAFF is no exception. However, Jamee shares, “God has been so faithful. He sent you all here to do this story. Austin Stone has just about moved Heaven and Earth in allowing us to use their new beautiful

space. Pastor Ray Anderson at Grace Covenant has been a constant unwavering support for us, and then God has moved an incredible group of Christian filmmakers to Austin all in the span of four years. Coincidence? I think not.” At last year’s film festival, we stayed to see several of the movies. Snacks were available, the seating was comfortable, and the atmosphere was inviting. The winner Forgive Me was a moving film depicting the powerful love of God for the broken, and the acting was superb. According to Jamee, A Mysterious Way was another film that stood out. “It tells the story of a man who is trying to put God in a box. He is daring God to try to stop him from doing something horrible. And by doing so this guy feels if God does not stop him then of course God does not exist or does not care. The way in which God responds to this man is really cool.” Both of these favorite films from last year will be screened Friday night. Jamee openly shared how last year she was whining about the lack of attendance at one of the screenings. The AV guy came up to her afterwards and stated that the films were “really nice” and “really worthwhile.” Jamee got the feeling that this young man perhaps had just seen Christ, for the first time in his life. She states that the FEST isn’t about anything more than “God revealing himself to the folks he chooses. And if 500 people show up or just 1, God is God and that is all I need to know.”

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While the above is true, TAFF hopes many attend and support the festival this year. “We are looking for churches to partner with us in this endeavor. We need churches in Austin and Central Texas to show our trailer, advertise to their congregations, attend the FEST and most importantly invite their non-churched friends and family to the event. Like that AV guy, these films can make a huge impact for Christ. They can start conversations and can plant seeds in folks’ hearts. “ Jamee shared that one film this year is The Butterfly Circus, “a story of how a person who is so broken and different can actually make the biggest impact on others because of this. It's a beautiful allegory. Wonderful story, wonderfully told.” There is a rating system for the films, one more stringent than the regular MPAA rating system used in local theaters. Forgive Me is a bloody, violent film and not for kids, but the message is strong, not your typical “neat, tidy” Christian film, according to Jamee. It actually won Best Film, Best Short, and Audience Favorite-an award that the audience determines by voting. “So there you have it,” she declares. There are films appropriate for kids, but kids are not the target audience. “Older kids, 10 and up, will do fine,” Jamee says, “But please be informed and pay attention to the ratings on each film.” So what’s in store for us this year at the Attic Film Festival? There will be a ministry fair included called ATTIC AFRICA (idea came from Third Day’s concert tour.) Visitors will be educated about ministries that serve Africa and will help support them. On Saturday, several films about Africa will be screened, and these will be amazing to watch. TAFF is also screening the Academy Award nominated film MOST (the Bridge). Jamee states, “It is a wonderful parable and a teaching tool for church leaders, small groups, youth groups etc. This film is a beautiful depiction of how God has saved the world through Christ and how much he loves us. It will soon become a feature, so watch for it.” Jamee shared that coming to a Christian film fest is a “unique” experience, and I personally would like to add that it’s a great way to spend a weekend. The films depict the human condition with and without God’s grace in our lives, and they can be a bridge to friends and family who are uncomfortable attending church. Movies are “communal,” and we need them to connect with those in our city. To check out the schedule, see the trailer of films, read a synopsis of the films, and for more information, go to www.atticfilmfest.org. Marcy Lytle


Breaking the Press All photos courtesy of Mustard Seed Entertainment LLC

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ndrew Stevens has mastered almost every area of the film industry, from creative production to distribution. In addition to being a Golden Globe-nominated actor, he is a prolific writer and director, and the executive producer behind The Whole Nine Yards and The Boondock Saints. Stevens is accustomed to the world of high-profile film festivals such as Cannes and Sundance, but the Hollywood veteran appeared at the 2010 USA Film Festival, held annually in Dallas, for the world premiere of Breaking the Press.

“This is a very atypical film to be included in a secular film festival,” Stevens acknowledges of his latest project, which is based on the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son. The inspiration came to Stevens when his pastor, who was giving a sermon on the parable, veered into his experiences as a basketball coach. Stevens quickly arrived at the idea of retelling the Prodigal Son story within the world of Texas high school basketball. He presented the concept to his longtime friend, Dallas financial manager Charles McKinney, who came on board as executive producer.

Breaking the Press centers on the struggles of the fictional Conaghey family. Joe Conaghey’s high school basketball team hasn’t come through with a winning season, which throws the young coach’s job into jeopardy. Joe’s problems are worsened by the fierce on-andoff-court rivalry between his two sons, hardworking older son Matt, and gifted but arrogant younger son Josh. When Josh is offered a spot on the team at a prestigious Dallas high school, Joe and his kind-hearted wife Laura reluctantly give their permission. Josh quickly falls in with a fast, image-driven crowd, not realizing that his newfound popularity—and his position on the team—is both fragile and costly. Veteran coach Tex Summer, who arrives in town to assist Joe and his struggling team, narrates the story. Stevens built his cast with some of the state’s best-known actors. Drew Waters, of NBC’s Friday Night Lights, plays Joe Conaghey. Farah White plays his wife Laura, while Tom Maden and Chad Halbrook portray their teenage sons. Austin-based actor Richard Dillard rounds out the lead cast as Coach Tex Summer. Dillard is perhaps best known for his role in Dazed and Confused, but newer audiences will recognize him from HBO’s award-winning drama Temple Grandin. He also recently played in Paradise Recovered, another faith-based film (directed by UT alum Storme Wood) that was shot locally and screened at the 2010 Austin Film Festival. His character in Breaking the Press is a reference to basketball legend Tex Winter. Dillard recalls his first meeting with Stevens about the film: “Andrew Stevens just called me up…and said ‘I want you to play this part. I don’t see anybody else playing it.’ And when I read [the script] I really liked it.” The large acting ensemble also included Juli Erickson, Bryan Massey, and Burton Gilliam. With the cast and creative team in place, the production moved quickly. Principal photography was completed in fifteen days, using local churches and high school gyms as set locations.

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chance to interact with a number of young athletes. Breaking the Press partnered with the Heroes Foundation, a charitable organization that allows at-risk children in Dallas to become involved in athletics. McKinney co-founded the charity with two of the most recognizable faces in sports, his friends Mark Cuban and Mike Modano. Six years after its establishment, the Heroes Foundation has grown into one of the most prominent inner-city sports programs in the nation. Almost all the young athletes who appear in the film are Heroes’ players, many of whom are being recruited by topranking college programs. The basketball plot was essential in keeping the film accessible to mainstream audiences. The producers had no intention of slacking when it came to the on-court action, and the cast appreciated the commitment to realism. “It’s not easy to do a faith-based movie that the average population can relate to,” said Drew Waters. Farah White explained further, “The whole point of [the

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film] is forgiveness…but so much of it is about “Anybody can watch and everybody can learn sports. I think it’ll be a nice picture for varying something.” audiences.” Interested viewers can look forward to the For all the focus on athletics, Breaking the Press DVD release of Breaking the Press, due out is a story of grace that follows the Biblical from Fox in the fourth quarter of 2011. More text closely. Maden and Halbrook, who information is available by emailing info@ play brothers onscreen, are both the sons astevensent.com. of ordained ministers and were already very Carrie Hoover familiar with the parable. Maden, in his role as the iconic Prodigal Son, believes that the message of forgiveness makes the film more universal. “The Prodigal Son is one of the most well-known [parables] because everybody screws up,” he says, “it relates to everyone.” Halbrook grew up playing basketball on select teams around Dallas and relates to the story on a personal level. “People get caught up in themselves—especially in high school,” says Halbrook, recalling his own experience. “It’s very easy for young, talented players to get so wrapped up in themselves that they forget everyone around them.” At the USA Film Festival, the film played to a packed house that included cast, crew, family, and hundreds of excited viewers. Stevens’ post-screening Q & A inspired a deluge of compliments; one audience member stood up to declare that she would love to see more movies like Breaking the Press. It appears movie fans are ready for more films that they can, without any qualms, recommend to friends and family. “The country is really in the mood for films that anybody can go to,” said Dillard, reflecting on the film’s family-oriented message.

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Money

Wealth & Wisdom 36 Dave Says 37 Spend Life Well 38

Wealth & Wisdom:

Taking the Stress Out of College Planning

T

he following is a letter a co-ed wrote to her parents while away at college:

Dear Mom and Dad, Just thought I'd drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I've fallen in love with a guy named Jim. He quit high school after the 11th grade to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce. We've been going steady for about two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I've decided to move into his apartment (I think I might be pregnant). On the next page she wrote: Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I've written so far in this letter is false. None of it is true! But it IS true that I got a "C" in French and I flunked Math. It is also true that I'm going to need some more money for tuition. I just wanted you to see how lucky you are!

student loans in excess of $25,000 to $50,000. 65% of all graduates from Northwestern University recently quit their “Dream Job” within one year because they couldn’t take it any longer.1

College is a Business

Have you ever gotten on an airplane, looked around, and wondered what the guy next to you paid for his seat? Most likely, everyone paid a different price for each seat. Sad to say, paying for college is much the same way. Everyone seems to pay a different price for the same diploma, and probably paid more than they should have. Most of the free financial aid goes to the ones who know the most about the process, not the ones who need it the most.

All My Love, Jessica No doubt about it, planning and paying for college can be stressful for everyone involved. I remember when my two boys went off to college. It wasn’t just the tuition, room and board, fees, etc. It was also automobiles, car repairs, and astronomical car insurance rates all at the same time. Then there’s also the emotional and psychological adjustments everyone has to make. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.

College is Essential

A college education today is a necessity for any young adult. While it’s no longer a guarantee of employment, it is still a fact that a college graduate will earn nearly twice as much throughout their lifetime as compared to someone with only a high school diploma.

College is Expensive

Derek Bok once said, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” While I would agree with Mr. Bok, one should plan between $50,000 and $200,000 for a four-year college education today. College costs continue to increase year after year, well above current average inflation rates. 47% of new freshmen never graduate and their #1 reason is lack of funds. 57% take up to six years to graduate (change of majors, schools, work schedules, etc). Many new graduates find themselves burdened with 36

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The goal of the College is to get the best students for the least money (free financial aid). The goal of the school’s financial aid office is to protect the interests of the school. And the goal of the admissions office is to find the best students who have worked hard (good grades), challenged themselves (AP classes), scored well (ACT/SAT), and given back to their communities. Hopefully, these students will have successful careers and “give back” to their universities throughout their lifetimes.

An Alternative Solution

Assuming you have a child or grandchild that is already in middle school or high school and you haven’t gotten around to saving for college yet, I’ll forgo the discussion on 529 plans and other investment strategies. It’s a little too late for that approach.

An alternative solution would be to maximize the financial aid process. There is so much confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation about the financial aid process and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that many families don’t even apply. They incorrectly assume that if they own a home or have a six-figure income they won’t qualify for any financial aid. Last year, millions of dollars of free federal and campus-based aid went unclaimed. Completing the FAFSA correctly, filing it on time, the correct positioning of assets, applying to multiple schools, appealing any gift aid offers, etc. are just a few of the critical steps necessary to qualify for the most free aid. Similar to having a CPA complete your tax return, applying for financial aid can be handled on your own, or there are several Educational Consultant Service companies that do this for a fee. In addition to the financial aid application process, many of these companies offer career planning and SAT/ ACT preparation software, personal coaching, college search and application assistance, private sector scholarship resources, and more. If their service saves you travel expenses from one unnecessary campus visit, or the wasted tuition costs of making one change of major decision, it would be worth it. Sometimes paying someone else who is an “expert” on the process may be the most cost effective and least stressful way to go. To find out more, including websites to several of the top companies that provide these services, drop me an email or give me a call, and remember, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” – Phil. 4:6-7. Barry A. Tripp Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (512) 258-1860 btripp@tfamail.com www.wealth-and-wisdom.net 1 – “College Funding”, Vanguard Magazine, February, 2009, Page 11

Investment Advisor Representative with securities and investment advisory services offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Member FINRA/ SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor.

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Dear Dave, I’m a recent college graduate, and I’m determined to follow your plan and get out of debt. My biggest problem is when it comes to dating. Things aren’t cheap today, so aside from not dating, how do you handle this area of your life when you’re trying to get your finances in order? Dear Dave, Roland We currently pay to have our lawn mowed each week. This expense is figured into our monthly budget, but we’re not quite out of Dear Roland, debt yet. My wife says this is a luxury at this First of all, you definitely need to date people. point, and I should cut the grass myself until I couldn’t have gone without dating, especially at your age. So, I’m not going to tell you to do we’re out of debt. What do you think? Ty something I couldn’t do. Dear Ty, I think it depends a lot on your income. If you’re a surgeon making $350,000 a year, then making lawn care part of your monthly budget is probably pretty reasonable. Now, if you’re only making $26,000 a year, you probably need to get behind the mower and start pushing it yourself! Is this a snobbish attitude? I don’t think so. It’s a simple matter of mathematics. What is your personal time worth in the marketplace, and should you be plying your trade out in the world rather than mowing the lawn?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with dating inexpensively if you’re thoughtful. Just don’t be so cheap that you’re freakish about things. There are plenty of nice, stylish places that don’t cost an arm and a leg. A picnic and a Frisbee will go a long way on a pretty day! Your efforts to be a gentleman and make things happen in creative ways will be a lot more charming to any lady worth dating than throwing down an extra $100 at a snooty restaurant you can’t afford.

The other thing is to make dating part of your monthly budget. In your situation, it’s a legitimate expense, and you need to make it part of your financial game plan. Then, if you’re Let’s say you’re an attorney who charges $400 seeing someone on a regular basis, and the an hour. In that case, you’re probably going to money in the “dating” envelope is getting low, be better off out there lawyering—especially you can explain to her that you’re working hard if you’re trying to get out of debt—than you to manage your money properly so you’ll be would pushing a mower. But if you make $12 an wealthy one day. hour, it’s a good idea for you to be cutting your This will make you even more attractive to the own grass, isn’t it? right kind of person, because it shows that Whether or not something is a “luxury” depends you’re mature enough and responsible enough on your own personal income and financial to be thinking toward and planning for the future! situation. That’s how I look at it. —Dave —Dave

Dear Dave, I don’t hide debt from my spouse, but I do hide money from her. I’ve been squirreling away money for emergencies without her knowledge. She’s not terrible with money, but she always finds something to spend it on. We were never able to save anything before I started doing this. After hearing you talk about “financial infidelity,” I began to worry about her reaction when she finds out I’ve been doing this. What’s your advice? Paul Dear Paul, I think you have every reason to worry. Not just about her reaction, but what this represents in your marriage. I believe in saving up for emergencies. I mean, I’m Mr. Emergency Fund. I talk all the time about saving up three to six months of expenses. But deception is never a positive thing in a relationship. You’ve got to man up and tell her. I know this won’t be easy, and you have to make sure you tell her in the right way. Don’t try to blame this on her. Basically, you’ve deceived her about this, and your lying isn’t her fault. Let her know that you’re sorry for not being honest with her, but you also need to explain that the reason you hid the money was you were afraid to speak up and disagree. Ask for her forgiveness, and let her know you’re committed to never letting it happen again. At the same time, you’ve got to grow a backbone so you can let her know when you’ve got a problem. Managing money in a marriage is a “we” thing. Decisions should always be made together. It means you each have a vote, but it also means you have to stand up and vote no if she wants to spend money on something silly when you guys haven’t taken care of business! —Dave

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Money

Spend Life Well

Starting a Financial Revolution in Your Family

Raising children with good money habits

“D

o as I say, not as I do.” Even if you as a parent have not uttered this phrase to your children, there is a good chance you heard it from someone in the past. But ask yourself, “Is my handling of our family’s finances shouting the same message to my children?” I often get asked about how to talk with children about money. There are a number of step-bystep experts out there with endless opinions on the correct way to teach your children about personal finance. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but regardless of what guru you decide to follow, your children will most likely glean most of their knowledge about personal finance from watching you. Have you started sweating yet? It is easier than you think to start a financial revolution in your family; one that will transcend generations. But, it all starts with you. You have to be the example for your children. In the September issue of Austin Faith & Family, we talked about God’s simple plan for your finances. I encourage you to go online and read that article if you missed it.

Where to Begin?

It all begins with the acknowledgement that everything we have, possess, or earn belongs to and is provided by God. We are expected to be faithful stewards of God’s resources. Once we accept that, we can earnestly instruct our children about God’s plan for their finances. Matthew 6:19-21 holds the foundation for passing on wisdom about money to your children: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

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Encourage Giving

with a $500 spending limit which resets to $0 when she runs out of money. I have a hard enough time explaining my way out of getting money from the ATM, let alone how Barbie stays solvent.

My church is leading a campaign to build new children and youth facilities. Children at church had lessons on giving and stewardship. One evening at dinner, we started a conversation about giving when my 4-year-old son announced that he wanted to give all of his money to help build the new building. Of course, I was proud but I also had to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out my reflex reaction….which was to not give away all of his money. That’s how adults think. That day I learned a lesson from my son. Maybe that was why Jesus instructed us to become like little children.

The fact of the matter is that our children will most likely adopt the debt philosophy of the parents. Our family’s goal is to live debt-free and I hope to instill that in our children.

I am always amazed at the generosity of children. But do we adults unknowingly dampen or snuff out our children’s enthusiasm for giving to others?

Create a safe environment for giving in your home. Encourage your children to give back to the Lord and to those in need first. Help empower them to give back with the limited means they have as children.

Encourage Saving

Recently, I met a young man in his early 20s who had accumulated quite a significant amount of savings for someone his age. He said he learned most about money from his grandfather when he was very young. He started early and kept at it. Saving is a discipline best learned early in life. If your child starts strong saving habits before they are over-exposed to our materialistic culture, they will have a better chance of carrying those good habits throughout life.

Lifestyle Comes Last

When we adopt an attitude of stewardship, what we have left over to fund our lifestyle is a blessing for our enjoyment. For children, I recommend establishing goals for savings. Most kids respond well to an object-oriented goal such as that toy they have been wanting. For young children, set up a few mason jars labeled Giving, Saving, and Spending. If they are earning money or receive gifts, have a plan for how much they should set aside for each of those categories starting with Giving first. As they mature, you may want to think about opening up a savings account at a local credit union, which have programs designed to encourage your child to save even more. Children who are grounded in God’s wisdom for their finances become adults that live out those principles in practice. Talk with your children about being a good steward and revolutionize your family’s finances. Mark Trice

Discourage Use of Debt

It is unlikely that your toddler is asking for a second lien on their tricycle but the concept of debt is exposed to children at an early age. Have you seen the Shopping Spree Barbie doll? She comes equipped with her own credit card

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You

Health Matters Diet & Nutrition Head to Heart The Real Stuff The Real Me

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Health Matters:

Where Do YOU Exercise?

T

here are many reasons why we exercise. These may include; trying to lose weight, controlling or lowering high cholesterol, to live longer,and maybe just because it makes us feel better. One very important benefit of working out is the effect is has on our bones. Bones are living tissue that becomes stronger with exercise. Just the same, without exercise they will weaken. There are two types of exercise that help strengthen bones. They are Weight Bearing Impact Exercises and Resistance and Strength Training Exercises.

the impact and strength exercises listed above.

training

The Chasco Family YMCA in Round Rock is a full facility that will meet all of your workout needs. We have a beautiful fitness center and offer a wide range of group exercise classes, weight lifting classes, water classes, a flexible schedule

for lap swimming, and a fun pool where you can exercise with your kids. Come check us out! Lauren Lacy Fitness Coordinator Chasco Family YMCA

Weight bearing impact exercises are done in an upright position while working against gravity. They come in two forms: low and high impact. For those who are frail, have osteoporosis, or can’t handle high impact, the best choice is low impact. Examples of low impact exercise include: walking, low impact aerobics, elliptical or stair-step machines. High impact exercises are for those not at risk and for those who can handle the more intense contact against gravity. High impact exercises include: running/jogging, jumping rope, high impact aerobics, tennis, stair climbing and dancing. The other type of exercise to help strengthen bones is resistance and strength training. This includes activities where you move your body, a weight, or some other resistance against gravity. Examples include: lifting weights, using weight machines, using elastic exercise bands,and lifting your own body weight. Increasing muscle strength can decrease the risk of falls and broken bones. Non-impact and non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming, biking, water aerobics and stretching are excellent forms of exercise and very beneficial to the body as well. It is very important to have a well rounded balance of exercise incorporated in your routine, including 40

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Diet & Nutrition

Y ou

Cholesterol and Natural Support for Cardiovascular Health

Q

uick, if I ask you, what is the best-selling pharmaceutical drug in the world, what would you guess (hint is in the title)? Yes, the #1 selling drug is Atorvastatin, commonly known as Lipitor. Sales in 2010 were 11.7 billion dollars, followed closely by Plavix. It is interesting to note that on the table listing the top selling drugs it also mentions what condition they are for. Advair will be used to prevent Asthma, for example. When it comes to our top-selling drug, however, the condition listed is cholesterol. What are we really trying to prevent here? Cholesterol is NOT a disease; but fats necessary for cell building, brain development, and hormone production.

Another interesting recent discovery is that inflammation on the surface of the arteries can be the trigger in atherosclerosis. The integrity of arteries is compromised, and cholesterol is basically used as repair material (to prevent leaks). Recent research on Lipitor states that it prevents CAD not because of its cholesterol lowering power, but its effectiveness in reducing arterial inflammation. Essentially, people are admitting or finding that it is not an issue of just cholesterol.

We need not forget why we are concerned about cholesterol. Cholesterol is indicated in atherosclerotic plaque, essentially fatty deposits on the blood vessel walls, causing coronary heart disease (CHD), the top cause of death in the US. Decades ago, cholesterol was the sole cause of atherosclerosis. With time and further research, however, different fractions of cholesterol like LDL and HDL were discovered. LDL and HDL are transport vehicles for fats (cholesterol, triglyceride), with LDL as having more sticking potential in the arteries, and HDL being capable of transport cholesterol to liver for removal (hence the nickname “bad” and “good” fat, respectively). So, our focus changed from looking at cholesterol level alone to monitoring HDL and LDL.

(Disclaimer: the following suggestions are not to treat any diseases, but general reference material aimed to improve health. Please always consult your physician and do not use the recommendations below to replace your medications).

Recent research goes into even more detail, indicating that watching LDL, HDL, and cholesterol for risk of CHD might not be that accurate. Potential of these fatty particles to stick depend on the amount and type of surface proteins attached to the LDL and HDL (named “apolipoprotein”). For example, apolipoprotein (a) is the surface protein that most likely results in coagulating and causing inflammation in the arteries, and is a predictor of coronary artery disease.

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So, equipped with all this information, are there any nutritional considerations that can aid in improving our cardiovascular health?

Vitamin C: if there are no weakened vessels in the heart, plaques will not need to form. Vitamin C was found a century ago exactly for this purpose: to stop scurvy, bleeding from weakened vessels. Collagen is the tissue cement that strengthens vessels, and Vitamin C is the necessary material to build collagen. Daily vitamin C intake can be guard against arterial inflammation and plaque buildup. Dietary fiber: studies have found two things about dietary fiber: 1) fiber can decrease the number of LDL (“bad fat”); and 2) fiber in some studies actually outperforms statin drugs (i.e. Lipitor) in reducing LDL. Good sources of fiber include psyllium, oats and flax. Niacin: part of the Vitamin B family, it is found to reduce the surface proteins (apolipoprotein a mentioned above) that stick to arteries, and increase the level of apoliprotein A-1, another surface protein

strictly found on HDLs (“good” fats), thus increasing the level of HDLs. Dietary Considerations: drug ads always say “when diet and exercise are not enough…” Actually, they should say “when diet and exercise are not adequate…” We should consider a low-fat, low glycemicindex lifestyle to adequately manage blood lipid levels. Low-fat lifestyle does not mean hating all fats, but rather limiting the man-made trans-fats that plaque our arteries and are produced solely for the manufacturer’s profits. Also, a low glycemic diet promotes proper blood sugar balance, reducing storage of excessive blood sugars into triglycerides (a topic we talked about in last month’s issue). Omega-3 fats: we need not only to reduce the intake of bad fats (transfats), but also increase the amount of good Omega-3 fats, typically found in fish oils and flax seed oil. Omega-3 fats help produce antiinflammatory proteins in the body, and are known to increase the level of HDLs.

There are many more beneficial nutrients to consider, but I’ll stop due to article size. Also note that since cholesterol is removed by the liver, a good liver detox program can assist in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, a topic we will cover later. Dr. Trent Peng Chiropractor & Nutritionist

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You

Head to Heart

Overcoming Shame Part 1 S

hame is an emotion that is often felt by Christians but is little talked about and little understood in the church. What is shame? Webster’s dictionary defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” Lewis Smedes, in his excellent book, Shame and Grace, defines shame as “a very heavy feeling…a feeling that we do not measure up and maybe never will measure up to the sort of persons we were meant to be.” From the Christian perspective, there are two main experiences of shame: healthy shame and unhealthy shame (often described as “toxic” shame). Healthy shame reminds us that we are flawed human beings, that we are not God, that we do make mistakes and do sin. Healthy shame is a painful signal that there is something wrong in our lives. It motivates us to change. It draws us back to God through confession and repentance. It helps us maintain healthy relationships by leading us to admit our failures and to make amends. Healthy shame is always focused on some specific character flaw or act of wrongdoing, and it is temporary. Unhealthy or toxic shame, by contrast, makes us feel that we are incurably defective and helplessly disconnected from God, other people, and ourselves. It is unfocused, leaving us feeling, as Smedes put, it “like undefined, undifferentiated, free-floating failures.” According to University of Alberta shame researcher Jessica Van Vliet, people who suffer toxic shame say to themselves “I’m to blame, it’s all my fault, all of me is bad, and there’s nothing I can do to change the situation.” They identify so much with shame that it takes over their entire view of themselves. That leads to an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness.

“Don’t talk to anyone about the family,” “Don’t trust anyone.” What are the signs that a person is shamebound? There are several common defense mechanisms that shame-bound people employ to protect themselves from exposure. A false identity—a “glittering image” that is created by a shame-bound person to make himself lovable, acceptable, and valuable to others. Perfectionism—trying to earn love and approval by doing everything right. This has been referred to as becoming a human doing rather than a human being. Control—becoming a “control freak,” trying to avoid being vulnerable by controlling everyone and everything. Avoidance of intimate relationships—never becoming open or transparent with others because of the assumption, “If other people really knew me, they couldn’t possibly love me.” Caretaking—working constantly to meet the needs of others, not out of genuine compassion, but in order to feel good about oneself.

buried consumes vast amounts of emotional and mental energy. And it doesn’t work. The success rate is ZERO. It is not possible for shame-bound people to protect themselves completely from the inner torment of toxic shame. This of course makes them highly prone to addictive and compulsive behaviors. Addiction has been defined as “any process used to avoid or take any intolerable reality.” A shame-bound person falls into some form of addiction to escape the “intolerable reality” of their shame, but the addiction causes him to feel more shame, and he finds himself trapped in a vicious cycle. In my ministry as a pastoral counselor, on an almost daily basis, I meet with shame-bound Christians who suffer the hidden torment of toxic shame. In every case, I am able to share with them the good news that they don’t have to continue to live in their prison of shame because liberation is possible, through the power of God. Lewis Smedes says, “The healing of our shame begins…with a spiritual experience, to be more specific, a spiritual experience of grace.” In my next article, I will address the topic of a how a shame-bound person can enter into the shame-healing experience of the grace of Christ.

Criticism/blaming—becoming overly critical of others in order to compensate for one’s own feeling of being a total failure.

Jack Hammans Head to Heart Ministries www.headtoheart.org

All of the methods that shame-bound people use to cover and control their shame are exhausting and ineffective. The effort required to keep all their shameful feelings

Where does toxic shame come from? John Bradshaw in Healing the Shame that Binds You identifies several sources of toxic shame: family systems, social systems, cultural systems, and religious systems. Of these, the most common source of unhealthy shame is a dysfunctional family of origin. Children who are raised in dysfunctional families can be deeply shamed by experiences of abandonment and neglect (physical and/or emotional), extreme parental control and domination, and abuse (emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual). Shame-making families have an unwritten set of rules that bind children to shame, such as: “Dad/Mom is always right,” “No mistakes allowed,” “Keep your feelings to yourself,” “Family loyalty comes first,” 42

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The Real Stuff

Y ou

For Women:

Just Truth It! T

here is a new declaration in town and I want to introduce it to you. It radically changed my life last year and will radically change yours if put into practice.

This declaration resembles a familiar saying that at some point in time you may have heard, which is “Just Faith It.” “Just Faith It” became popular to apply to a multitude of situations. For example, when someone asks “How’s it going?” they might get an answer such as “I am faithing it man.” In another instance, someone may have told you to “faith it” through a particular situation that you were facing in life. In fact, it is possible you live your life this way, rooted and grounded in faith, no matter what comes along. You “Just Faith It.” Proverbs 3:3 instructs to never let faith leave you. But what happens when we grow weak in faith after life wears us down? May I introduce to you this life changing declaration which is “Just Truth It!” This means applying specific scripture to your specific situation and praying into that situation the word of God. This advice was given to me many times in life. It sounded good. I saw it work for others. But still I did not apply it purposefully to my life until 2009. Yes, I prayed scripture, read and wrote scripture, but “truthing it” calls for direct application! Locate, and then apply, scripture that through the Holy Spirit directs promise, provision and power towards your current condition.

Allow me to give you some examples. Does your marriage seem dead? Maybe a business seems to be dying. Even your life can seem dead and dry at times. Begin daily praying Ezekiel 37: 1-14. This scripture prophesies life back into that situation. Do you have health issues that can not be specifically detected or diagnosed? Pray Luke 12: 2 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Apply Psalms 139: 12 “..for darkness is as light to you” Lord. My experience has been that life returns and health issues begin to reveal themselves! If you need help locating applicable scripture to the situation you are facing in life; then head to the back of your bible right now. Most bibles contain a concordance that lists key words pertaining to your situation (fear, anxiety, doubt) with a scripture reference. Matthew 4 describes Jesus “Just Truthing It” as he faced off with the enemy in the desert. This poignant story confirms to us the power and importance of applying specific scripture to the dilemma at hand. Here Jesus is applying scripture to his tired, hungry, and tempting situation. I believe it was not only to rebuke the words of the enemy but also to strengthen his own self in the face of adversity. Please make note that this declaration is not to “name it and claim it.” No! “Just Truthing It” is meant to accomplish three things: to disengage the enemy, usher in the power of the Holy Spirit into our lives, and to strengthen us for the journey! But I must make note that we are told in Isaiah 55: 11-12 “…so is my word that goes out of my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” As you stand on God’s promises for your life, remember “God is not a man, that he should lie nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.”(Numbers 23:18-19) God’s word over our lives prevails! Why on earth would we not “Just Truth It” in every situation in life? Over our children and their future, over our marriage and it’s healing, and over our financial future! I challenge you to “Just Truth It” this month and watch the word of God accomplish its purposes in your life!

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You

Who Am I? For Students:

The Real Me

“I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean Vapor in the wind”

W

ho am I? That is a question everyone asks themselves at least once. I have asked myself that question so many times I began to wonder if I would ever really know who I was. Whenever I did something bad, I would ask myself “Who am I? Why did I do that?” Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I did not know who I was. I am sure many teenagers, young adults, and adults have felt and asked that question to themselves many times, without knowing the answer.

About a year ago, I left my parents’ house. I started college and felt like I was ready for freedom and to do whatever I wanted, without having to get home and explain to anyone where I had been. What I did not know was that I would also have to discover who I really was. When I was living with my parents, I had to be who they wanted me to be. I had to go to the church of their choice. I had to do what they wanted me to do. I had to follow their rules. They had plans and rules for me and I had to follow them. I was not allowed to dream. So, I was really excited when finally I graduated high school and could start to make my own life. I have made many mistakes along the way. On my own, I got too distracted and forgot the things that are really important in this life. I had no one telling me that I had to go to church, so I didn’t. My family, even though they were only an hour away, became so distant from me that I only talked to them whenever I needed something. I started loving money, and loving things that are only temporary. I became this selfish, depressed, college student. I did not know the person I had become. I felt like I was falling each day in a hole I had created myself. One day I realized that who I was, was not who I wanted to be, nor who God had created me to be. It was a hard U-turn to make. I knew I was going down the wrong road and that I had to turn back to the truth, to the road I knew was right. I started going to church, started hanging out with people who were going to help me become a better person, and I set goals. I found out I love to run. I felt free when I ran. I found out I loved to write. I started taking more English courses and got a journal. However, all the passions and everything I found out I was good at did not assure me of who I was. I still looked at the mirror and wondered. It was not until I asked God to tell me who I was that I found out who I am. I am His, and that is all that matters. If you don’t know who you are every time you look in the mirror; if you have gone through many of the things I went through, please know that you are not alone. Ask God to tell you who you are. He will tell you the same thing He told me. You are His. "Still you hear me when I’m calling Lord, you catch me when I’m falling And you’ve told me who I am. I am yours” -Casting Crowns Maria Arreola

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Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

The Heavenly Man

The remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

With Paul Hattaway

The Heavenly Man is the incredible story of one Chinese radical hero who chose his love for the Lord over safety in the provinces of China. Brother Yun was a young, impoverished boy when he came to know Jesus, and has been used by God ever since to literally shake the world. In a time when the Chinese Church is actually accepted because it is powerless and run by the government, the underground church of China is amassing millions of radical believers ready to die and receive torture, rather than compromise with the government. This bold Christian has come through the most difficult situations imaginable with power and courage unseen in the western world. Imprisoned, beaten almost to death several times, Brother Yun was told if he renounced Jesus and quit preaching, he could be released. With the truth that God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise, this hero encourages other prisoners and friends to wait for the power of God and trust in Him alone.

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Yun first received the name, “Heavenly Man”, when he refused to tell his real name to authorities because he knew his true identity could endanger local Christians. When they asked for his name, he shouted, “I am a heavenly man! My home is in heaven!” He shouted so loud that the local believers heard him, fled, and avoided arrest. Today, Brother Yun travels throughout the world sharing miracles and the power of God. His life is one of the reasons the Underground Church of China is the largest growing church in the world. This church is hundreds of millions strong and currently sending out more missionaries across the globe than any other. The Heavenly Man is encouraging, hopeful, and victorious! Ginny Hurley Teacher, Shoreline Academy

My favorite fiction book often changes to whatever I’m currently reading - which is Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer. I read this today and it really made me think… “It was high time she let go of her girlish fancies anyway. She’d waited years for a hero to walk out of the well-worn pages of the books she read by lantern light and capture her heart. But he never came. He always seemed to find someone prettier, or more biddable, or with better bloodlines. Well, she was tired of waiting. Tired of being passed over. She would shape her own destiny. She might not have found Mr. Heroic, but Mr. Satisfactory would do just fine.” How often do we settle for “satisfactory” when God SO wants us to have HIS best? How often do I get tired of waiting and forge ahead to change my own situation without considering God’s will or His desires for my life? This is what I love about Christian fiction… not only do we get a good story, but lessons are taught through the story, and God uses them to prompt our thinking about how we live. Alicia Lowery LifeWay Christian Stores Check out more reviews at http://blogs.lifeway.com/christianfiction/

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The Ba ck Pew C.H.A.N.G.E.

Christ Has Arranged New Growth Everyday Most of us have reached that point where a certain aspect of our life needs a complete overhaul. Setting your sights on making that change can have a daunting effect. For example, our intentions are to save for retirement on a regular basis. Maybe, the alarm is set for that new early morning workout. Or, we plan to be faithful in our daily prayer and meditation time. But alas, we don’t reach the desired goal as we thought we would. One of my favorite songs is "Changed" by Walter Hawkins. One line states, “He changed my life complete.” The change guided by Christ will create the best transformation. When the naysayers come along (whether they be outside or inside your head), remember the greatest change is the one based in your heart. Let the Christ within you be the driving force for change. Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (NIV) Scottie Moore

In February, The Power Team stopped by Main Street Baptist in Georgetown for five nights. There were over 200 decisions for Christ!

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Austin Faith & Family March 2011  

Austin's only faith-based magazine!