Christian Living Magazine September October 2022

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Three previous Christian Living Magazine “cover girls,” from left to right, Kelly McMurray, Ashley Sears and Nataliya Barbin FREE September / October 2022 RISING WingsON Boise Airport chapel PremierMOVIE A dream comes true DARKNESS & UnveiledSTORIESLightAtunnelperspective3amazingwomenunite Christian Living | September / October 2022 3 Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2022 by Christian Living Ministries Inc. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout southern Idaho, including grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at Annualchristianlivingmag@gmail.comsubscriptionsavailable for $13/year. To start your subscription or give one as a gift send your check or money order, along with complete address information, including which issue to begin with and a phone number to call in case there’s questions about your subscription to Christian Living Magazine, PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680. Contents September / October 2022 Volume 11, Number 5 Publisher Sandy christianlivingmag@gmail.comJones208-703-7860 Editor Gaye submissionsSubmiteditorgaye@gmail.comBundersonstoryideas,article&pressreleases General Info christianlivingmag@gmail.com208-703-7860 Advertising & Sales Kimberly katy.bcliving@gmail.comkim.bcliving@gmail.comMcMullen208-703-7509•KatyNelson503-816-3042 Cover Photo Isabel isabel_erinblackwellstudioWright Graphic Design Denice www.greentreedkdesign.comKing208-918-5190 Contributors Steve Bertel, Daniel Bobinski, Rick Chromey, Ryan De Amicis, Roxanne Drury, Joan Endicott, Terry Frisk, Tom Greco, Greg Grotewold, Leo Hellyer, Jason Herring, Vincent Kituku, Rosie Main, Gary Moore, Steve Nelson, Bethany Riehl, Ed Rybarczyk, Ashley Sears, Paul Sheppard, Bradley Shotts and Angela Ruth Strong Website Design SEO Idaho Distribution D&S Distribution • 208-985-6904 Need Prayer? Call Idaho TalkAssociationChaplainsidahoca.orgtoaChaplain208-968-1991IN EDITIONEACH “God’s love is like an ocean. You can see its beginning, but not its end.” — Rick Warren, author & pastor Real Man’s Toolbox: Serve outside your circle30Choosing to Love: Always endures10 History, Culture & Faith: Education and religion28 Destined For Victory: ‘To die is gain’47Wednesday’s Child: Meet Adrian21 Relationships:Understanding Sleep on it? 12 Biblically Investing:Responsible Financial balance 20 Maximum Health: Healthy back-to-school days32 Your Daily Bread: Break bread, don’t go brokeDEPARTMENTSCOLUMNS31 Publisher’s Corner: Grace, mercy, unity 4 “I Get To!”®: Grow forward22 The Road Less Traveled: Great thoughts16FEATURES24PurseswithaPurpose: More than empty bags 6 Boise Airport chapel: Ministering to many 8 Jesus’ resolve: Some examples 34 Movie premier: A dream comes true 40 Stuck in hurt?: Pray immediately 45 School curriculum: ‘Natural’ and ‘spiritual’ 42 Count on me: Notice others’ needs 46 Your faith story: Sharing your testimony 36 A dark tunnel: A perspective on light 38 The best response: Lord, help me 44 Unite Nampa in Prayer: Prayers for protection 26 Ratio Christi: Defenders of the faith 14 The untold story: A father’s influence 18 Bible Blanks 17 Benefit concert for Rescue Mission set 11 Fall prayer walk planned for October 8 17 Cover Unveiled:StoriesStory 3 womenamazingunite

Our grandmother was a lovely Southern Baptist lady who did her best to ensure that all of her grandchildren knew Who Jesus was, and how much He loved us. What she couldn’t prepare us for was coming to the realization of just how valuable His grace and mercy are to each and every one of us. That you have to figure out for yourself.

Who is in this week’s

Basically saying, and I’m paraphrasing, that by walking as the united Body of Christ, we would be living out Jesus’s message for all the world to see.

A friend and I were recently chatting and the question came up on how can we “set ourselves apart” as Christians and yet act so un-Christlike, after all that’s not very uniting. To be honest, somedays I feel like I am the very worst at this. I could cite time after time when I’ve fallen far short of how I’m called to behave. I know that I know that I’m supposed to show the love of Christ by being His Hands and Feet – even on the tough days. I continually remind myself to show grace to others. The same grace that I expect Christ to give me. Yes, “expect” –isn’t that presumptuous of me? But I don’t think I’m alone in this. I say a quick “oh Lord I’ve messed up again, please forgive me” and go on, sure that’s all it takes to receive His grace and mercy. I sometimes have to remind myself that I need to apologize to others when I’ve “messed up again,” and I have to accept when they aren’t as quick to forgive as Jesus, and rejoice when they do. Reminding myself of one of my favorite sayings: Grace is getting something you don’t deserve, while Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.

I’ve been doing Francis Chan’s study called Jesus’s Farewell Message, and in the last ses sion, Francis speaks to the fact that one of Jesus’ final prayers for His disciples AND us was for Pastorunity.

By the time I was 34 I was a divorced mom with two beau tiful sons, and getting married for the second time. What I didn’t anticipate was the Lord moving Steve, my then fiancé, in a mighty way. A month before we were to tie the knot Steve shared with me that we both knew better than how we’d chosen to live, and he strongly suggested that we find a church, and get our lives together. This is really where it all began. Fast forward 26 years, and today I look back on so many memories and wonder who that other person was, she was so lost. Not to sound cliché but today, yes, I am found. I am found in His Love, and blessed by His Grace and Mercy.NoIam not deserving, or worthy, but I am His because Jesus gave His life for me. I am a part of His family. If you’re reading this – I hope you are too.

PUBLISHER’S Corner Thoughts on grace, mercy, and unity

Join us each week as we take a deeper, more personal dive into people and ministries we’ve covered in Christian Living Magazine Saturdays at Noon MST on 94.1 FM The Voice Listen “live” at or catch the replay under “Program Archives” ?

As I have shared in this column before, I ac cepted Christ as my Savior at Vacation Bible School at the ripe old age of 7. When I was 19 Billy Graham brought his crusade to Boise, Idaho, and I renewed my commitment to God, and got baptized at the church I was attending. And then life happened. I didn’t stay focused on Jesus, and much like the missionary dating we warn our teens about, I slid into a more secular lifestyle.

– Author unknown

Chan quotes John 17:21-23 KJV, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent.”

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By Sandy Jones

Sandy Jones

Call or Text: 208 880-5039 For the best place to find homes for sale, Or to sign up for automatic updates, go to… “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” ~Psalms 100:5 16201 Idaho Center Blvd. Nampa, ID 83687 Realtor, GRI, APR, CRS Email: wi xy m

Won’t you join me? Let’s make it happen! Until next time… God Bless! n Could you please do me a favor? Please shop and support our advertisers; thanking them for supporting Christian Liv ing Magazine. Without them we simply couldn’t do what we do – they cover our print bill, and most everything it takes to share the hope and promise of God’s love, grace and mercy with you in each and every issue. Thank You!

1 Corinthians

Love never fails. 13:4-8a NIV

The conversation with my friend has stuck with me. I remind myself more often that we never know what another person may be going through; and that employees don’t make policy if and when someone gives me an answer I don’t agree with, or the outcome is not what I had desired. I have to remind my self that as a Christian, others look to me as an example of what Christlike living is supposed to look like. In my family, in my placeactivities,extra-curricularinthework–bothasthebusiness and the customer, literally every where I go. It is one of my prayers that my actions bring glory and honor to God, and don’t ever cause another person to fall. I’m still unable to walk on water. I have many shortcomings. I’m far from perfect, and I certainly can’t wear the big “SC” t-shirt (super Christian). I’m just trying to do my best to not let situations in life keep me from doing what God has called me to do when He command ed that I love my neighbor asIfmyself.youfollow me on social media then you already know I promote “be the change you want to see in the world” frequently. I think that’s the only way it’s going to happen – is if each of us accepts that challenge every day, even the bad ones.

Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Christian Living | September / October 2022 5

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The purses Wolverton donates are given to her by people in the community; however, the purses don’t go out empty to women who need them. They are filled with things that women want and need most. Wolverton and her husband be gan by using their own money to fill the purses with products, but now businesses, organizations, and individuals are donat ing as Also,well.Wolverton originally started out by walking up to homeless women on the street and asking if they’d like a hand bag filled with useful items. Later, she was advised by others that there were better ways to encounter women in need than to walk up to them alone on the streets. She then started going to women’s shelters, halfway houses, and other places where she’d meet with women in the presence of others. Now, she partners with roughly 14 organizations to help get the purses where they’re needed most. She used to spend at last two days distributing purses to organizations using her own vehicle; but now, the organizations come to her.

That was the pivotal moment for her present ministry. “I lit erally woke up with the belief that this was something I should do.” God wanted her to collect purses for women in need and fill them with essential items.

Wolverton’s mother died in a car accident at the age of 48, but her example as a mom set her daughter on her own course for parenting. At this point in her life, Wolverton is a full-time mother of grown children and a grandmother of five; a fulltime non-profit director; and a full-time realtor.

Launee Wolverton hands out free handbags to women in need. She fills them with items women want and need most, as well as the message they are not alone in their struggles. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)

“I grew up in Parma in a family of eight kids,” Wolverton explained. Brought up by a mother who waitressed for a living and grandparents who lived close by, as the oldest girl, Wol verton helped raise her siblings and did things necessary to run a household full of kids with a working mom. She was not raised in a Christian home, but when she was in sixth grade, her neighbors invited her to go to church with them in Nyssa. She went – and she never stopped going. “I searched out churches to attend everywhere I went,” she said. She taught Bible studies when she was young but admits she hadn’t read the Bible completely because, “I don’t read – I can’t read long stories.” She was capable of reading the shorter stories of the Bible and seemed to have a knack for teaching. She ultimately became a member of the Bible Study Fellowship.Something that served her well in life were the examples set by her mother and grandmother. She learned strength from them, she said. Though her mother was often away at work, her grandparents lived just “two fields down,” Wolverton said, demonstrating how distance is sometimes measured in farm country. “My grandma was a huge influence on me. She was a strong, beautiful woman.”

A woman’s purse may sometimes seem to others that it’s full of ‘worthless items’ like eyeliner and lipstick tubes, but Launee Wolverton knows there’s more to a purse than a collection of meaningless girl stuff. “To me,” said Wolverton, “the impor tance of a purse to a woman is mind-blowing. It is deeply personal.”Wolverton started and runs a non-profit called Purses with a Purpose. Make no mistake, the purses may be filled with hairbrushes, bobby pins, cotton swabs, and Q-tips, but each handbag holds a special message for the woman carrying it: You are not alone. Purses with a Purpose launched a year prior to Covid inside Wolverton’s Boise home, where she lives with her husband and three grandchildren. Nothing slowed down during the pandemic outbreak in 2020 – Wolverton and her family were as busy as ever with the purse project during lockdowns, vari ant surges, and whatever else presented itself; and the purse project did not diminish in size but grew.

Wolverton admitted, “I don’t even carry a purse!” But the seeming contradiction of launching a purse project when she isn’t a carrier of handbags herself fits into her life like useful things fit well into the perfect purse.

PURSES with a Purpose

By Gaye Bunderson

“Last year, we bumped up to 300 purses a month,” Wolver tonWolvertonsaid. started the purse project after she felt a strong leading from the Lord. She said she would frequently ask her self, “What’s my purpose?” She stopped asking one morning when she woke up and thought, “Purses! That’s my purpose.”

Project provides more than empty bags

Wolverton needs more people to sign up to pitch in. “I need volunteers to help with social media; I need volunteers to reach out to corporations,” she said. “I need help because I can’t do it all anymore.”Ineachpurse given to a woman in need, no matter what her circumstance, a small card is inserted. It reads in part: “This purse has been filled with love by a team of people who love and believe inBesidesyou.” all that great girl stuff that goes into every purse, there’s some wonderful God stuff too. And it’s all because Launee Wolver ton found her purpose. n For more information, go to To do nate, go to

She is a disciplinarian to her grandchildren as her mother and grandmother were disciplinarians to her; and she knows that with out love, discipline alone can be ineffective. “I discipline them, but I love them. I hug them, and I pray with them at night.” She gets all five grandkids on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thurs day during the summer and has all five of them again every other weekend during the school year. Along with the assistance and donations she gets from local groups, Amazon donates boxes of stuff it cannot use to Purses with a Purpose three times a year. Wolverton was contacted by the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Nampa, and said, “Out of all the non-profits, they found me.” But then, she doesn’t believe in mere coincidence.Theneedfor purses and products continues to grow, and orga nizations are now contacting Wolverton to see if she can help out. She was approached by Tidwell Social Work Services in Boise, which offers trauma-informed mental health services to refugees and immigrants. “They asked for 50 bags for their girls to be able to go to church camp,” Wolverton said. A surprising segment now in need of help are homeless girls. “During the past school year, we were donating purses for home less teens to Meridian and Caldwell schools; and this school year, we’re helping Garfield Elementary and Borah High.” Christian Living | September / October 2022 7 KETO HEATING & ServingCOOLINGIdahoSince1957 Call 208-375-1100 To Schedule A ppointment For a complete list of our services go to Make your space, comfortable!”“your @CarrierAtHomeDuctlessSolutionscanfitinnearlyanyspace. Call us today to lear n mor e! Proudly Serving all of the Treasure Valley Since 1957 12 financingnomonthsinterest Be inHERtheOever y ROOM!

She’s taken ‘the grands’ to places like The Interfaith Sanctuary and told them, “We need to pray for these people, and you need to make sure you do what is right in your lives.”

She also stopped using her own home to store the items that went into the purses – from hygiene articles to beauty products – and to fill the purses for distribution. She rented a small space where she, her husband, and her grandkids could store purses and goods, fill the purses, and have them ready for pick up and distribution. “We stuff the purses the first week of every month,” Wolverton said. In early July, she found out the space she had been renting had mold, and she was forced to find another. Tim Flaherty of Astegos, an outreach to the homeless, has a 14,000-square-foot warehouse in Garden City and offered to let Wolverton rent an area there. “It’s perfect,” Wolverton said. “The warehouse is huge. We have eight shelving units for products, and it’s a good space for us. I’m soFlahertythankful.”is charging only $300/month – the same amount as Purses with a Purpose’s original unit – so despite having to cancel July’s purse distribution, everything was quickly back on track.

Wolverton’s grandchildren pitch in on the purse project each month because their grandmother taught them the value of work and the importance of helping others. “I brought [my] kids up in church; I brought the grandkids up in church. I taught them to pray and told them, ‘Without God, you have nothing’,” she said. “They’re amazing children; they’re really involved, good kids.”

RISING on the wings

Eighteen months later, after achieving Field Staff status with the organization, “ … God started me thinking about doing something else with my life,” Milanowski recalls. “I really believe He laid it on my heart to start the chapel.” So he discussed the plans with his pastor at the time, Orvil Stiles of Second Baptist Church in Boise (now Summit Church). And, as Milanowski puts it, “He actually said, ‘You need to have a chapel in the Airport and you need to be the chaplain.’ At first, I resisted that idea because I didn’t have any formal training – I didn’t finish college. But then, I started talking with businessmen and pastors who were involved in other lo cal ministries and got very positive feedback.”

Milanowski works three days a week, roughly six hours a day

By Steve Bertel

Boise Airport Communication and Marketing Manager Shawna Samuelson is quick to “sing the praises”, as she put it, of the Airport’s chapel. “We value their partnership and great ly appreciate the support they provide passengers, employees and tenants. The chapel has assisted those impacted by illness and has been supportive of employees who have experienced financial hardships – including during the 2018 federal gov ernment shutdown when employees at the TSA and FAA were not paid for multiple pay periods, and the chapel was able to help provide assistance to those who needed it,” she points out.Working with the United Way and the Boise Police Depart ment (which has a security office at the terminal), the chapel also provides emergency items – gift cards, personal care items, and the like – for travelers in need, particularly those who find themselves stranded at the Airport due to long lay overs or cancelled flights. They even recently helped a woman and her several children who were escaping an abusive rela tionship. “She had missed her flight. She had no money, no one to call, so we helped her out,” Milanowski says. The chapel itself is open 24/7. But it’s not always staffed.

8 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

On August 1, 2007, the chapel opened its doors, backed with support from FCAP, various funding avenues and, of course, Boise Airport administrators. Today, as the Airport’s chaplain, Milanowski is quick to point out that, “A lot of people, especially those coming here from the West Coast, are very surprised to see not only a cha pel at the airport – although the Portland and Seattle airports both have chapels – but to come in and see one that’s obvi ously Christian. We’re unique in that sense. Plus, some of the other airport chapels in the country are pretty stark; there’s nothing to indicate any particular faith.”

Boise Airport chapel ministers to many

Though primarily Christian, the chapel is officially inter faith/non-denominational, evidenced by the Book of Mormon and the Koran also being available among all of its Christianbased literature. The chapel is open to – and used by – people of all faiths; even Muslim travelers have been known to come in, roll out their prayer rugs, and pray facing Mecca. “We welcome everybody,” Milanowski states. “We’re happy to have conversations with anyone, believers and non-believers.”

Entering the chapel, one immediately senses the combined quietness of a reading room and the tranquility of a doctor’s office lobby: comfortable chairs, bookcases filled with life-af firming reading materials, a video monitor offering an array of serene scenes … along with, of course, a Ten Commandments tapestry, open Bibles, Our Daily Bread devotionals, a figurine display depicting the Last Supper, and an apropos wall poster that reminds everyone of Psalm 139:9-10, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” “I like those verses because, reading the term ‘wings of the dawn’, you could picture an airplane … and as for ‘if I settle on the far side of the sea’, well, people could leave Boise in the morning and be on the opposite side of the world in a day or less. So it’s a good reminder that God is with them, wherever they go,” Milanowski points out.

“I was really hurting. … struggling inside. I felt like a failure. I wanted to give up my life. I wanted to commit suicide. … In fact, I was thinking about it. A lot,” the woman says. She sits in front a video camera, addressing an off-screen interviewer. Soft-spoken, but her words are coming hard. For privacy reasons, we don’t know her last name or her back ground. We know only that she’s young, attractive … And that her life was in turmoil. “People look at you and you have a smile. But they don’t know who you are inside. Or what troubles you,” she says. Fortunately, the woman’s life recently changed for the better when she walked through a certain chapel door. “When I first walked in, it was quiet. The pastor was there to greet me. And I felt a quiet grace … and love. (At that particular time in my life), I felt lost and alone. So I needed that love. I really needed that.”But this isn’t just any chapel she’s talking about. This chapel is an unobtrusive little room, some 10 x 18 feet … tucked away between the Avis and Dollar Rent-a-Car cus tomer service counters on the lower level of the Boise Airport.

The woman is one of countless people who have come through the doors of the chapel looking for solace, peace, or simply wanting to spend a quiet moment or two with God … and finding an understanding pastor graciously willing to sit down, talk, and pray with them.

For the past 15 years, that understanding pastor has been Warren Milanowski – “Ski”, to his friends – a man well famil iar with the often-fast-paced airport and travel environments. He worked for Delta Airlines for 39 years and the Transporta tion Security Administration (TSA) for another five. Then, shortly after he retired in 2002, he attended Workplace Min istry Training at the Fellowship of Christian Airline Personnel (FCAP) headquarters in Fayetteville, Georgia. Founded in the early-’70s, FCAP is national non-profit group encouraging Christians in the airlines/aviation industry to help use their unique workplace as a mission field.

In fact, one traveler commented, “Every time I come to Boise, I come to this chapel to grieve and celebrate. I’m so grateful for your prayers. You have gotten me through so much.” Another added, “The first time I walked (into the cha pel), I felt somebody patting me on the back, going ‘I’m glad you came in.’ And it was Jesus.” And still another was grateful for “… the beauty and peaceful feeling in this place. Surely it is Holy ground.”

Over the years since the chapel first opened, the Airport has been under the leadership of three directors and two interim directors. And, as Milanowski emphasizes, “We’ve been really blessed in that we have not had any negative input from any of the airport administrators about what we do in the chapel. We’ve had no push-back at all.” Christian Living | September / October 2022 9 (from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.); his six-year chapel partner, retired pastor and fellow Airport Chaplain Doug Human, fills in other hours, as do a handful of volunteers. The chapel is also staffed for a short time every Sunday morning, for focused prayer time. “On those days, the Airport (administra tion) allows us to make PA announcements to everyone in the building, inviting them to come,” Milanowski says. Of course, as the Treasure Valley grows, so does the Boise Airport. Currently, some 4,000 people work at the terminal, including those employed by airlines, car rental agen cies, concessions, parking providers, and the TSA. What’s more, the Airport sees about 10,000 passengers arriving and departing each day – jumping to some 12,000 during peak travel seasons. So that means a lot of people to minister to. But Milanowski is not content with simply sitting in the chapel, reading his Bible, and hoping someone will eventually walk in, especially since the chapel is sort of off the beaten path. So, for about two hours every shift, he and other chapel volunteers – each wearing their authorized Airport ID and a big yel low button that reads “Need Prayer? Ask Me” – simply stroll through the concourse, the baggage claim area, employee break rooms, and even outside where taxis are waiting to pick up passengers, casually approaching those who appear to be in need, be they travelers, flight crews, or airport personnel. “We don’t interrupt workers who are in the middle of their jobs, of course, but we walk around talking with folks, encourag ing them, passing out Scriptures (for those willing to take one), even praying with them on occasion,” Milanowski explains.

A Marketplace Ministry We believe your work is your mission field You’re invited to be a prayerful “gatekeeper” for the airport & community Come visit us Call or email regarding volunteer opportunities email: www.BoiseAirportChapel.orgfcapboi@gmail.com208-371-8569 The chapel is located on the ground floor next to Avis Car Rental 3201 W. Airport Way #1000 Boise, ID 83705 Warren Milanowski, Boise Airport Chapel Famil y is why we do itChelseaall.Stutzman,MBAOwner-Agent 600 S. Rivershore Lane Ste. 140 Eagle, Idaho 83616 Bus: chelsea@chelsinsures.comLic.208-908-6500ID693162 1001390.1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL We all feel the same commitment to care for our families. Helping you meet your insurance needs is part of my commitment to you. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CONTACT AN AGENT TODAY. MiyauchiAgencInsurancey,Inc Garrett Miyauchi, President 2024 Blaine St Caldwell, ID 83605 Bus: 208-455-9717 statefar®

Continued on page 11

The chapel team also hosts annual bar beques or breakfasts specifically for airport workers “… which gives us more of a chance to meet with and build relationships with them,” he points out. But working in a fastpaced, ever-changing travel environment like the Boise Airport – where most of the people you see are striding along, pulling their spin ner luggage behind them – often makes it difficult to establish long-term relationships, especially with new believers. Shifts change every six months, workers transfer, retire, move on. So regretfully, Milanowski says, “We sometimes don’t get a chance to disciple with them over time as much as we would like.”


If you would like to read previous installments in this series, visit and then enter my name in the search bar. The Greek word in this final installment is about “hanging in there.” The word is hypomenõ (phonetic: hoop-om-en’-o), and every popular biblical translation except the NIV assigns the word “endures” here. The NIV uses “perseveres.” The word means, “To remain, to tarry (stay) behind.” It also means to persevere and endure, to bear ill treatments bravely and calmly.

I have no doubt some will want to debate this point, so just know my answer is, “Every situation is unique, and should be taken to the Lord.”

CHOOSING to Love God-like love always endures all things

10 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

By Daniel Bobinski

This column brings an end to my series on agape love. Over the past 2.5 years I’ve used this space to explore the four powerful verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. With this installment, we are completing the series. The reason I took so long to explore a mere four verses is because they are not just four mere verses. In this passage of Scripture, Paul elaborates on the verb agape used by Jesus in Matthew 22 when He was asked to identify the greatest commandment. Jesus answered the question by saying, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” And then our Lord said, “All the law and all the prophets hang on these two commands.”

As much as some folks don’t like to believe it, this means we need to love ourselves! For this we can also turn to Ephesians 5:29: “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.”

All of this requires introspection on our parts. Each of us must think how we want to be treated, and then we should strive to treat others the same way.

In the case of hypomenõ (love always endures), I think this includes considering our own sin nature. When we make mistakes, don’t we want those around us to remain? To tarry behind? To stick with us, even if we’ve said or done something that hurt them? And if we look at this from the other direction, having Godly relationships means we need to “hang in there” with people who hurt us unintentionally. People’s sin natures will influence their words and actions, but if we are striving to live a life of agape love, we endure ill treatments bravely and calmly.

Daniel Bobinski

God Is Our Example. When we remember that God is love (agape), it’s easy to see this aspect of God’s love in His behavior toward us. Most certainly, He “hangs in there,” re maining and persevering to draw us back toward Him despite our ill treatment of Him – not to mention all the grief Satan gives Him. After Adam and Eve disobeyed the one command they were given, it would have been easy for God to say, “Well, you messed up. I warned that you would die if you ate that fruit, and now you’re going to die. Too bad, so sad.” Instead, God has been demonstrating His love by enduring. Love the Lord. There are days when I want my time on earth to be done. So much sin surrounds us – not only the crimes we see occurring between and among the other people who inhabit this planet, but also the corruption and injustices perpetrated by those working in our government. Some days I say, “God, you can take me home today and I won’t mind a bit.” But I also then say, “Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.” The simple fact that I’m still here tells me that God has a purpose for me being here – that He has things He wants me to do. And so, despite all the bad things happening to people all around me, and despite the ill treatment I receive from others, I remain behind, holding fast to my faith in Christ. I love the Lord, and I trust that He knows better than me regarding what I’m supposed to be doing and the optimal time for my departure.

God doesn’t treat me poorly, but this sinfilled planet in which He has me is not my first choice. Still, I choose to endure for Him as calmly and as bravely as possible. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. As I wrap up this series on agape love, I wish to remind the reader that “love your neighbor as yourself” is better understood as, “Love your neighbor in the same way as you love yourself.”

In closing this series, let me say this: I truly believe that if every Christian regularly studies these attributes of agape love and asks the Holy Spirit to manifest these traits into our daily lives, we will have a much easier time living a life of agape love.Until next time – be blessed. n Daniel Bobinski, Th.D., is an award-winning and bestselling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at or (208) 375-7606.

Interestingly, the passage in which Jesus lays out the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) aligns with “the golden rule” which is found in Matthew 7:12. That verse reads, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In both places Jesus says the actions sum up the Law and the Prophets, and in both places He says we should treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated.

Does this mean we should become doormats to those who continue to walk on us, despite our best efforts to communi cate the problem? My answer is, “No.” In my opinion, people who continue to mistreat us and show no genuine remorse for doing so despite being informed of the problem should not be given carte blanche to continue their abuse. Christian Living | September / October 2022 11 FRESH DILL FRESH PRODUCE Enjoy Our Dine-In Café or Or der-To-Go Hot & Cold DELI - Ready to EAT Soups, Salads, Sandw hiches & More MEAT - SAUSAGES - CHEESE Produce • Seafood • Deli • Bakery 950 E. Fair view Ave., Meridian, ID 83642 • 208.807.2962 Open Mon.-Fri. 10AM - 8PM • Sat. 10AM - 7PM • Sun. 10AM - 6PM Great NumberSelections6;24-27“I’ve always loved different European foods and love to try new foods as well... so many fresh, frozen, and even mixed European favorites... an amazing trip to a foodie’s Disneyland!” Baker y Cof&fee cakesofSelectionLargepastries,cookies,&over250+kindsofcandies Groceries from Over 15+ Countries: Germany, Italy, Poland, Israel, Turkey, Romania, France, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus & more

Benefit concert for Rescue Mission set

no government or airport funds;

n Steve Bertel is a multi-award-winning professional radio, television, print media, and social media journalist who recently retired after a 30-year broadcasting career. Now a busy freelance writer, he recently released his debut suspense novel “Dolphins of an Unjust Sea”, available on both Ama zon and Kindle. Steve and his wife of 40 years live in Merid ian, Idaho. He can be reached at

Admission is free, but an offering will be taken during the con cert.Rev. Bill Roscoe and Jean Lockhart of the Boise Rescue Mission will be on hand, as well as other BRM staff. One hundred percent of the offering taken that night will go directly to Boise Rescue Mission Ministries. For more information, contact Linnie Doyle at or (208) 861-8530. n

local churches,

en tirely supported by donations from

The chapel receives it’s the Boise community and including Boise’s Summit Church, the Clover dale Church of God, and the Eagle Nazarene Church, among Additional grant money has come from the Harold E. and Phyllis S. Thomas Foundation, established in 1995 by Harold Thomas, a Christian businessman and former CEO of Trus Joist International, a billion-dollar engineering and manufacturing firm headquartered in Boise. The Foundation awards grants for Christian evangelical work. “They’ve really been instrumental in keeping the chapel open,” Milanowski pointsToday, 79, Milanowski has no immediate plans to slow down. But he’s been entertaining the idea. “I know there will come a time when I’ll have to retire – again,” he says. “So I’ve really been praying about it. And while I’m letting God decide the timing of that, I realize the wisdom of having someone lined up if something would happen that would cause me to be unable to continue. As for now, though, I have no sense of God saying it is time to leave the ministry.”


Boise Airport chapel Continued from page 9

Linnie Doyle Ministries will present the 22nd Annual Benefit Concert for the Boise Rescue Mission from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 17, at Living Hope Bible Church, 14301 W. McMillan Rd. in Boise. A free dinner will be served at 3 p.m., and a concert willThefollow.two-hour concert program will feature a variety of Chris tian, southern gospel, and 1950s-style music. Scheduled perform ers include Linnie Doyle, Obadiah Neasham, Sister’s Promise (a trio), Sharon Rekward, Noah Davis, and others.

You can learn more about the chapel … and watch the video testimony of the woman we profiled at the beginning of this article … at its website: Or, if you feel led by the Lord to volunteer your time and min isterial talents at the chapel, you can contact Milanowski at (208) 371-8569 or at

12 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Shaunti says that she frequently sees young couples unin tentionally hurting each other or their relationship because they’ve been told it is so dangerous to go to bed mad. So, when it gets late and the argument isn’t resolved, one or both spouses feel panicky about needing to resolve it right now. Or, the next morning they feel so guilty that they didn’t. The most noteworthy finding by far in her data is the differ ences among those who said that they go to bed with it unre solved, and it remains unresolved. Her data shows that when the struggling couples go to bed mad (and nearly 94 percent of them do), 41 percent don’t resolve it later. In other words, struggling couples are eight times more likely to say, “Once we go to bed with it unresolved, we tend to just not deal with it later, and it remains unresolved.”

By Gary Moore

The habits of highly happy couples were clear: When there is conflict and anger that cannot be easily resolved, the think-about-itovernight option is quite common – and it doesn’t seem to lessen the strength of their marriages at all. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute.” What about Ephe sians 4:26: In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (NIV)? If you’re a regular church attender, you’ve probably heard that verse quoted more than once. And in your own marriage relationship you may try to practice it. However, as we look at this topic, there’s another verse that I also want us to look at. Psalms 4:4 says, In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent (NIV). Say what? Each admonition has the same first half but a different second half. One seems to say don’t wait. The other seems to say waiting might be a good idea. All three categories of couples agreed that resolving anger before bed is a good idea. Yet more than half the time, they go to bed with the conflict unresolved. Why? Because they have found that not trying to fully resolve conflict at bedtime sometimes allowed them needed emotional space and actually helped boost marital happiness. As one spouse put it, “Trying to force it can make it worse when you have two upset, tired people trying to hash something out at three o’clock in the morning.”Remember the first rule of communication: Until the emo tions of the situation are dealt with, the facts don’t matter.

The bottom line seems to be instead of stick ing to a rule about anger having to be resolved before a given time of night, the rule the happy couples stuck to was to not let stuff build up that would ultimately make them unhappy with each other later. And, this is another reason to make sure that you are meeting daily to review each other’s day and at least weekly to review your marriage relationship.Thisisalso directly related to the differences in the way men and women handle stress. By definition, when I’m angry I’m stressed out. As we’ve said before, in general, women handle stress by talking about it. For it’s in talking about it that they figure out how they feel about it. Once they know how they feel about it, they can deal with it. Men on the other hand, in general, withdraw when under stress and don’t talk about it until they’ve had a chance to decompress and process the issue mentally.Shaunti says that in all these conversations about processing anger according to biblical guidelines, an important distinc tion surfaced. Happy couples had discovered the difference between resolving their anger and resolving the issue. In practice, they would try especially hard to talk through or deal with their anger or hurt feelings before bed, even if the issue itself wasn’t resolved. It wasn’t always possible, of course, but even a little bit of forgiveness or reconnection sometimes made a difference.

“There’s a difference between resolving your conflict and having anger about it,” one experienced marriage mentor told her. “The biblical principle of ‘do not let the sun go down on your anger’ doesn’t mean we always agree or reach agree ment. It’s that we try to not have anger about it – if we can. Because that is where the devil will try to get you.” So, hash it out or sleep on it? As you consider this in your own relationship, take into account your different individual person ality types and the male/female differences in handling stress. n

Gary Moore served as associate pastor at Cloverdale Church of God for 15 years. He does couples’ coaching and leads couples’ workshops and retreats called MUM’s the Word. He does a weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 a.m. on Fridays. Monday mornings at 10 a.m. he does live relationship teaching called MUM Live on his Facebook page Mutual Understanding Method. He may be contacted at


Shaunti concludes that the difference then is not in what couples believe or even do on the evening of the conflict. The difference is what happens later. Just 5% of highly happy couples let a conflict go unresolved. Yes, they were okay with sleeping on it; but if the dis agreement still seemed important the next day, they dealt with it. Said another way, highly happy couples find that when they can’t resolve conflict and anger before bedtime, they choose to sleep on it. If anger remains in the morning, they don’t let it go unresolved; they deal with it.


Anger: hash it out or sleep on it?

Gary Moore

I’ve been re-reading Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

One of the areas of research she pursued was what highly happy couples said they did about conflict at bedtime. Shaunti made this state ment and asked three categories of couples – highly happy, mostly happy, and struggling with a question: “Many couples have heard that it’s important to not go to bed mad. When you and your spouse get into an emotional con flict and at bedtime it is still unresolved, how do you actually handle it?” Bring in this ad for 15% OFF* Your Nex t Purchase! *Expires 10/31/22 See store for details. 3175 E. Copper Point Dr.•Meridian, ID 83642 10-5 Mon-Sat or by appointment | (208) 855-9885 Rated #1 in Furniture & Decor • Amish Made Furniture, “Built as unto God!” • Heirloom Furniture at an Exceptional Price! • Come In & Explore Our New Fall Decor!

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“We create a safe space for people to come and talk about that. They are actually allowed to come and talk about anything –from whatever.”transgenderism,homosexuality, -Michael Oswold

Michael Oswold is director of Ratio Christi on the Boise State campus and was pivotal in getting the BSU chapter started. (Courtesy photo)

“He went from a mean-spirited skeptic to earning a semi nary degree,” Oswold said of his apologetics mentor.

RATIO Focusing on solid apologetics for students

The senior Oswold was captivated by the book and applied to receive advanced training at the Cross Examined Instruc tor Academy in Dallas in 2018. There, he met some trainers who had a profound effect on his understanding of an intel lectual defense of the Christian religion. Two of those trainers were Sean McDowell, Ph.D., and J. Warner Wallace. Wallace was especially engaging, as he had been a cold case homicide detective – and an atheist – for 35 years. He literally used his law enforcement skills to come to a belief in Jesus, His death, and His resurrection. He said he ferreted out compelling evidence through Bible study, including evaluation of the New Testament and its many separate eyewitness accounts of the Man from Galilee, to bolster a belief in the Savior.


By Gaye Bunderson Are intellectualism and faith two mutually exclusive con cepts? Not according to Ratio Christi, a faith-based group that launched a chapter on the Boise State University campus inThe2021.term is Latin for “The Reason of Christ.” Ratio Christi began in Lincoln, Neb., in 2018 on the University of Nebras ka campus, with the goal of equipping students to respond with intellectual skill to questions posed to them by other students about their belief in God. Ratio Christi is primarily about two things: apologetics and evangelism. With college campuses being hot spots of thought, learning, discourse, and exploration, it seemed fitting to the founders of Ratio Christi to approach the topic of faith with historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ, and, with that, to draw people to a personal relationship with Him.Michael Oswold was pivotal in starting the local chapter of Ratio Christi – the first in the Gem State – and has been crucial to its growth on the BSU campus. He explained: “A year and a half ago, I was sitting quietly, asking God what He wanted me to do; I’ve spent 40 years as a lawyer. … I was kind of like Noah, waiting 40 years to figure out what I should beHedoing.”wasraised in a Christian home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and moved around a bit throughout his years in the Golden State. Five years ago, his son Ryan came to Boise and called his father to share that apologetics was “making an in tellectual case for [Christian theology].” Ryan sent his father a book by Frank Turek titled, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” Turek is an author, speaker, and radio host well known as a source for Christian apologetics. Christian Living | September / October 2022 15

Both are part of the Campus Ministers Association at the Biblical Studies Center at 1025 Belmont St. near the Boise State campus. Bill Pubols is executive director at the center. “Bill does a wonderful job of helping us see ourselves as colaborers in the vineyard,” Oswold said. Some of the tough topics Ratio Christi takes on are such ideas as the notion God is not actually good or loving because He allows so much wickedness to flourish in the world. “Peo ple say, ‘God is evil’, and we offer counter-arguments to that view. … We create a safe space for people to come and talk about that. They are actually allowed to come and talk about anything – from homosexuality, transgenderism, whatever,” said Oswold.

Why does Ratio Christi emphasize evangelism as well as de fense of the faith? Another statement from its website answers that question: “Winning an argument with apologetics is use less without being able to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Our team members have a heart to share the gospel. We want to live out the Great Commission.”

All things campus-related were up and running again by mid-August following the summer break, and that includes Ratio Christi meetings. Oswold hosts “friendly discussions” on apologetics and related subjects from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays at the Biblical Studies Center. He may be reached at or (208) 914-3086. For more information, go n

Following training, Oswold felt called to campus ministry. He applied to open a Ratio Christi chapter at BSU in the month of January, and by April, he was taking support-raising training to reach out to people who could help make the vi sion a reality. The chapter formed, and Oswold was named to serve as its director. Roughly 6-12 students are currently involved with the BSU Ratio Christi chapter. It takes nothing away from other campus ministries such as CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). “There’s a lot of good campus ministries doing evangelism,” Oswold said. “We’re filling a niche. CRU and us get along fabulously.”

Turn Your Beautiful God-Given Brains on uncensoredunprofessor@uncensoredunprofessorEverybody!.com

The organization encourages its members to be well in formed and highly educated. For the current school year, the chapter president is a pre-law student; the vice president is a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering; and the secretary is a biology major. This helps the organization meet the chal lenge of what Oswold referred to as “credential skeptics.”

A statement on the Ratio Christi website at www.ratiochristi. org reads: “On the university campus, the person with the most credentials is seen as the most credible. A Ph.D. philoso phy student tends to ignore the wisdom of anyone who has less education than they do. To effectively evangelize on the col lege campus, the Church needs to send people with advanced education and advanced compassion. Only Ratio Christi team members are specially trained to evangelize and minister to these difficult cases.”

A Podcast for Deeper Christianity

“For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart. Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.”

THE ROAD Less Traveled Great thoughts of the heart Jason Herring

By Jason Herring

–Judges 5:15-16, KJV I can imagine the Reubenites thinking about glory on the battlefield and the righteous cause of their brethren. They had great thoughts of heart. They knew what they should do. They knew what must be done. They wanted to do the right thing. But they didn’t. They remained with their sheep, watching over their herds, while their brothers “jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.” Would it have made a difference in the outcome of the battle? No. Israel won a complete and total victory over Sisera and the army of Canaan. But it would have made a difference for the men of Reuben. Did Barak and Deborah need Reuben to be there? In hindsight, no. But Reuben needed to be there. It was their duty. So here’s a few thoughts on Reuben’s great thoughts of heart.

Be understanding of the times and seasons. The men of Issachar had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, and there is a time and season for everything. What do shepherds do? They abide in their field and keep watch over their flocks. That’s what shepherds do. Except when there is a national crisis. Except when it is a time for battle. Except when there is a giant standing in the Valley of Elah, defying the living God of Israel. Except then. Then you leave your flocks and go meet the crisis. Know the times and seasons. It’s not the thought that counts. Maybe you can say, “It’s the thought that counts” to your co-worker who forgot to re member your birthday, but you won’t be able to say that when you stand before your Creator. When Ebenezer Scrooge tells the Ghost of Christmas Past how he almost went after Belle, the one great love of his life, the Ghost tells him: “‘Almost’ car ries no weight. Especially in matters of the heart.” How very true. And great thoughts of heart carry no weight – especially in matters of eternity.

The great thoughts of today become the great regrets of tomorrow if they are never put into action. What are you called to do that every single child of God is called to do? Are you doing your duty before God as a Christian? What are you uniquely called to do as an individual? What is this season of life asking of you? Are you fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? What would you most like to do for God? For your family? For your church? For your community? What are you waiting for?

16 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

The time of the Judges were dark days for the children of Israel. Moses and Joshua were dead. The Exodus from Egypt and the Conquest of Canaan were distant legends of a bygone generation. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had been replaced or at best supplemented with the false gods of the Amori tes. Pagan groves and idols dotted the land scape of the once monotheistic tribes. And thus began a cycle. God would allow them to be subjugated by a Canaanite nation. Israel would eventually repent and cry out to God, and God would raise up a judge to deliver them from their oppression. And as long as the judge was alive and presided, the children of Israel would remain faithful to their covenant with God. But with the death of the deliverer the nation would plunge into apostasy, and the cycle would repeat itself all over again.

In the Song of Deborah there is an interesting footnote concerning the tribe of Reuben when the call to arms was issued:

One of most spectacular stories in the Book of Judges is the story of Deborah and Barak. For 20 years the Israelites had been “harshly oppressed” by the king of Canaan and his com mander Sisera. With 900 chariots of iron, Sisera easily cow ered the tribes into submission. From the Song of Deborah, we learn that there wasn’t a shield or spear to be found among 40,000 in Israel. One of the ways that Sisera terrorized the Israelites was to position archers around the watering places. By controlling the water supply, he controlled Israel. Chapters four and five of Judges give us the Cliff’s Notes ver sion of this epic moment in the history of the chosen people, but there are enough clues left for us to get a bigger picture than what might be noticed by the casual reader. We know that Sisera’s mother was waiting on him to return back from the battle with the spoils of war that would certainly include women for his harem or sex slaves. If this was to be expected after the battle, we can only imagine how this had played out over the course of two decades. In fact, it is interesting that this is the only time in the Book of Judges that they were said to be “harshly oppressed,” which indicates that this was the worst of the times of bondage.

Deliverance finally comes when God sends word through the prophetess, Deborah, to raise an army and fight against Sisera and his invincible chariots of iron. Deborah summons Barak to lead an army of 10,000 men to Mount Tabor to draw Sisera into a fight. Barak agrees to command the suicide mission but only if Deborah will be there in person. Deborah agrees to go, but tells Barak that the glory of victory will go to a woman and not himself. The call to arms goes out to the tribes and 10,000 men from Zebulun and Naphtali assemble on the slopes of Mount Tabor to face the mounted forces of Canaan. An unseason able storm rolled in that made the Valley of Jezreel a mud bog, incapacitating the armor-plated chariots of the Canaan ite army. As the army tried to retreat back across the Kishon River that was now swollen over its banks, they were swept away in the current. Those who weren’t slain in the muck of the battlefield, drowned in the river. Sisera seems to have been the sole survivor who fled on foot until he came to the tent of Heber the Kenite where he was received by Jael – the woman of the house. Jael gave him a jug of milk and a place to rest where he quickly passed out from fatigue. Seeing that the fugitive was fast asleep, Jael took a tent spike and drove it through his temple, thus ending the twenty-year reign of terror on Israel.


Fall prayer walk planned for October 8

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A potluck dinner will be held following the walk, and those who attend are invited to bring a favorite dish to share. For more information, contact Robinett at (208) 391-8516. n

The Caldwell Fall Prayer Walk is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sat urday, October 8, at the Caldwell Memorial Park Bandshell at 619 Irving St. Those who attend will walk around down town Caldwell, praying at the gazebo at Indian Creek Plaza, at the police station, at city hall and the fire station.

4. Philippians says, “Do not be anxious about ___, but in ever y sit uat ion, by prayer and petit ion, with t hanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

3. Elisha’s traveling companion -- who told him, “Stay here, for t he Lord has told me to go to Bethel.”

“We also pray for all schools and colleges and the teach ers, and that the students will receive a good education and that everyone will be safe, also,” said walk organizer Arlene Robinett.Theywill pray for a day shelter for the homeless people's needs to be taken care of, for food insecure people, human trafficking victims, and the elimination of gangs, illegal drugs, and violence. And for all Caldwell businesses to do well.This is a family event and is for both younger and older people, adults and children. All are invited to come and pray together. “We have a wonderful time of being together and praying for our wonderful city,” Robinett said.

And t he OLD TE STAMEN T SON’S name is … AN OLD TE STAMEN T SON ANSWERS:1.CAPERNAUM(John6:17)2.JEREMIAH(Jeremiah1)29:1 3.ELIJAH(2Kings:1,2)4.ANYTHING(Philippians4:6-7)

By Vincent Kituku My father, Johnson Kituku, was forced to drop out of school in second grade after his mother died so that he could take care of his two young siblings, a brother and sister. He later joined Kings African Rifles (KAR) when Kenya was still colo nized by the British. He left the military soon after the coun try became independent in 1963. We lived in a two-bedroom mud structure (one bedroom for my parents and one for my two sisters) that had a living space as well as a cooking place. That living space sheltered goats and chickens at night. It was also where the bed of us five boys was. I recall many nights when my parents would let mentally ill people come spend nights with us, especially when it was raining. We also shared whatever little we had for dinner with them.Iwas in class six when I learned that one of my classmates was orphaned. He slept anywhere he could find. I brought him to my parents and told them about his vulnerability. My dad and mom took that boy as their own son. They not only fed and clothed him but also paid his tuition until he gradu ated from high school and joined the army. My father believed in the power of education more than any other person that I have ever met. Space and time limit what I can write about the most intelligent second grade dropout that I have ever known. He encouraged us with both rewards and spanking. He spanked me for being in position six in a class of 120 pupils. When he sensed that I might wait for some time before starting a Ph.D. program after I graduated with a mas ter’s degree, he wrote me a six-page letter on the importance of obtaining a doctorate degree. One of his life’s highlights was my involvement in not only educating my own family members (and my in-law’s families) but also other vulnerable children. On January 24, 2013 at a gathering with guardians and the students we were sponsor ing, my dad said, “My son is doing what God created him to do.” Then he shared the story of my youth. How I brought an orphaned boy home for him to be helped. That statement was so empowering that three months later, I started working full time on this mission, even without pay. My dad died on May 16. I had gone to Kenya for our mis sion’s work without knowledge of his terminal illness. In God’s plans there are no coincidences. I was able to organize and coordinate a befitting farewell service that was attended by more than 2,000 people. His last public appearance was in July 2021 when he blessed our boys’ school and had lunch in the dormitory that is named in his honor.

To learn more about Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and how you can help, visit or contact me at

Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope is today transforming lives because a caring second grade dropout valued education. The impact of his passion and kindness could not have been foretold, just as the generosity of our supporters will ripple throughout time. n

18 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Vincent Kituku, founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope, is shown with his parents in Kenya. His mother is Margarita Kasiva Kituku, and his father is Johnson Kituku. The senior Kituku passed away earlier this year. (Courtesy photo)

A father’s influence on his son’s non-profit


Caring Hear ts and Hands of Hope TRANSFORMING LIVES2011 2017 Pictured in 2011 and 2017: Dominic (who is blind), Pauline, Patrick and Naomi were living in poverty without hope, but now three are teachers and one is an electrical technician. They pay-it-forward to others in need. W hen you contribute to Caring Hear ts & Hands of Hope • Orphans & Vulnerable Children’s’ lives are transformed • They are saved from child labor, forced marriage, drugs, abuse or life of crime • Provide education, nutritious food & safe living conditions EDUCATION IS THEIR LIFELINE! What can we provide with your generous donation? • $25 for hygienic supplies keeping a girl in class all year long • $725 ($1.99/day) for annual high school tuition and expenses including boarding, meals, uniform and educational expenses • $1,000 ($2.74/day) for annual university tuition and expenses And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~Mark 10:16 For more infor mation or to donate visit www.caringhear tsandhandsofhope.or g or call (208) 376-8724 CHHH oper ates separ ate two separ ate Christian boar ding schools for boys & gir ls in Machakos, Kenya. 501-C3 Non-ProfitWould you please consider helping us to tr ansform mor e young peoples’ lives?

Ryan De Amicis is an investment advisor with Christian Wealth Management in Boise, providing biblically respon sible investment advice to Christians. For more informa tion, visit or contact him at or (408) 758-6413. Investment advisory services provided by Creative Fi nancial Designs, Inc. Securities are offered through CFD Investments, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC. 2704 South Goyer Road, Kokomo, IN 46902, 795-453-9600. Christian Wealth Management, LLC is not affiliated with CFD Investments, Inc. or Creative Financial Designs, Inc.

Saving. Valuing our future. By saving second, we place value on our future. We are learning discipline as we construct a healthy image of consumption. We place significance on the visions and dreams God has put in our heart, saving little by little. As Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”

Scripture instructs us in Matthew 7:13 to, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” May I pose the gate is narrow and the road is even narrower. On this road, balance is required. Attentiveness is demanded. It would be nice for the gate leading to human flourishing to be wide and the road wider. The work required to enter the nar row gate is intimidating. Yet, it’s an invitation. Not for perfor mance, but to trust. Whether you are balancing a banana or a checkbook, it’s vital those tasks earn our attention and, like the man balancing the banana, our eyes remain upward. n

Spending. Appreciating our present. Enjoying our money is a priority, and after giving and saving, this is where it falls. For some of us, this is our strength and for others (like me) this is our weakness. Regardless, it’s important to intentionally set aside money to spend on ourselves. We are reinforcing our value and worth. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 5:19, “Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God.” I believe putting this as the last of three priorities puts wealth in perspective, allowing us to recognize we are wealthy regardless of how much money we have. Giving, Saving, and Spending. For us to work on having a healthy relationship with money, we need to practice all three. Like the man balancing a banana, each season demands a shift in weight from one side to the other. This contradicts our human nature to look for a quick fix. You know, the job that finally pays enough. The investment strat egy that provides for all of our needs and meets our expecta tions. The perfect house. The perfect spouse (come on, now I’m preaching). Our human nature is constantly looking for external factors to be the solution.

20 September / October 2022 | Christian Living 1327 W Beacon St. • Boise • 208-384-9504 www .pathpr eg .o rg No one wa lk s al on e. TwoWaystoSubscribe: Online:“Shop”Tab $1Just3.0 0 A year Get Christian Living Magazine delivered to your mailbox! Mail: Name, Info & Payment Christian Living Magazine PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680 - orHope, Inspiration & a New Perspective

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By Ryan De Amicis

“Get me a banana, some Super Glue, and a rod” Andrey persisted. “I’ll show you how he’s doing it.”

Balance: 3 ways to handle your money well

Ryan De Amicis

Let me take a step back. The Boise Christian Faith Center worship team and I made our trek to Santa Cruz, Calif. Our plan? To watch our favorite worship team, Maverick City Music, perform in a nearby city. On our day off, we ventured to downtown Santa Cruz for break fast and stumbled across something I’ve never seen before. There was a man staring straight up to heaven with concentration so thick you could cut it with a knife. Managing to balance a banana, by simply using the tip of his nose to hold up this awkwardly shaped fruit, this gentleman had finesse I could only dream of. In life, balance is helpful. It allows us to ride bikes and go for walks with loved ones. It provides safety as we walk up flights of stairs. Balance is also necessary for our bodies to run prop erly. In fact, inhaling too much oxygen causes an imbalance in our bodies and leads to increased anxiety levels. Balance is important in all areas of our lives, including how we spend our money. See what I did there? There are three main things we can do with each dollar earned, and I recommend budgeting them in this order: Giv ing, Saving, and Spending. Giving. Breaking the power of money. By giving first, we are training our mind to understand we are contributors over consumers. This facilitates the dying of our flesh. We are los ing our life, and in turn finding it. We are trading a rat race and monotony for significance and meaning. We experience freedom as we partner with Heaven by following the words of Paul in Acts 20:35: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remem bering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


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“I finally feel like I could confront him about this—but he’s dead. What do I do with all of this now? I feel like there’s no hope for healing. It’s too late. I waited too long. He’s dead— my father’s dead!” Her crying turned to sobs from the depths of her soul. I held her tight—crying with her. When she was able to speak again, I asked her if she wanted me to guide her through something that had really helped me and my clients. Catching her breath she said, “Yes, please, I’m ready to try anything!” I asked her to close her eyes and imagine I was her father and to tell me whatever she needed/wanted to say to him if he were sitting there. “Please, hold nothing back!” I encour aged her. “It’s important you say anything and everything you would want to say to him, okay?” At first, she wasn’t sure she could do it—which is very natural. Talking to an abuser about the damage he/she caused is very hard. Even if you’re speak ing to a surrogate, you’re still experiencing the pain of it.

“Can you please come talk to my friend?” The anxious young lady pleaded as she pointed to the back corner of the conference room where a distraught grey-haired woman sat bent over, rocking back and forth. This faithful friend had waited to be last in line to talk to me, letting others go ahead of her so she could be last. By now the conference room was almost empty. “We know you’re probably exhausted…It’s just... she’s having such a hard time trying to process some things that came up from her past.”

Remember the research I shared in my last article that dem onstrated how rejection piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain? Since our natural survival instincts kick in and want to help us avoid experiencing that same pain again, we must dig deep and push through with courage, confident that a positive outcome is on the other side.

“I GET TO!”® Go back to grow forward

For Nancy, the more she opened up, the more empowered she felt to say whatever she needed to say to her abuser. Nancy made a brave choice and found her voice!

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No matter where you might be on the childhood challenges spectrum—whether you enjoyed a loving, safe and secure home with minor bumps n’ bruises along the way; had a hor rifically abusive home like Nancy or somewhere in between— it’s important to give yourself the grace, place and space to process anything that feels hurtful, shameful or painful. For you to acknowledge it gives you a voice and a choice of what

22 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Listen, my friend, I know someone is really needing to let this sink into their soul right now, just as I needed to many years ago. You will never find freedom by running from un resolved issues in your life. It’s not possible to outrun the pain of your past—it’s part of you and it’s always there with you. If something is unresolved, it means it’s not solved. Imagine you have an infection on your arm that continued to grow and get bigger. Finally, you go to the doctor, and they confirm, “Yes, that is a bad infection.” They put a huge bandage on it and say, “Well, there you go. Now you won’t even see it. That will be $150 please.” You would run out the door without paying because there was no resolution, right? Any infection we have—physical or emotional—will continue to grow and spread until we address it and get rid of it completely.

If you have found this or another ar ticle valuable, please consider helping us bring stories like this to our community by suppor ting Christian Living Magazine, a 501(c)3 ministr y, at

By Joan Endicott

Since I shared some of the challenges from my childhood in the retreat’s prior session, predictably, it brought up heart aches for some attendees—especially those with unresolved traumas.For“Nancy” it was a lifetime of hurt that she had never even spoken of, much less had someone to help her navigate. As I sat down and put my hand on her shoulder, slowly and shyly she looked up at me with tear-stained face. Then, look ing at her supportive friend, mouthed thank you Her voice timid and trembling, she began, “Ohhh, Joan, I’ve never spoken of this to anyone before. I can’t… I can’t… believe I’m saying anything now. I’m 67 years old and… I guess I just feel I must talk to someone. The shame has eaten away at me every day. My husband doesn’t even know—no oneNancydoes!”then shared summations of abuse she suffered as a child—violent and sexual. Periodically she would take a deep breath, sigh, look around and ask rhetorical questions such as: “Why wasn’t I enough to be loved?” “I tried but I didn’t know how to be a better girl—why not?” “So it was my fault—that’s what he always told me?!” “Why didn’t I just run away—but where would I go?” “What was so wrong with me that he did such horrible things?” and “Will I ever be enough?” It was heartbreaking enough to hear about Nancy’s years of abuse, but having never received help, she spent subsequent years flailing all alone in the suffocating quicksand of shame. I prayed I could at least be a lifeline to help her get started on a healingNancypath.hadn’t said who her abuser was, nor did I ask. I listened, offered compassion, expressed my sorrow with her and for her at the horrific things that had happened to her. I also assured her there was nothing that was wrong or broken in her that could bring any of that about—it was all due to her abuser’s sickness and brokenness.

4. Be loving and patient with yourself! Life happened in lay ers—so does healing.

Grab your FREE copy of Joan Endicott’s “I Get To!”® book and videos at Joan is an AwardWinning Keynote Speaker, Author and Coach who’s coach ing has reached over 30 countries. Meet her and enjoy her encouraging messages on Facebook and Instagram.

5. Continually give yourself the compassion you crave. You’re the only one who knows how you feel. I pray God’s abundant blessing over you as you learn to feel and deal, so you can heal! n

1. Stay in God’s Word and memorize Scrip ture about your TRUE worth and value.

Joan Endicott

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3. Find someone you can trust implicitly who is qualified to help you navigate this journey.

2. Give yourself the grace, space and place to journal about anything you want to process, no matter how ancient or trivial it seems. If you’re still thinking about it, it’s time to process it!

As a little girl, I didn’t have a voice or choice regarding the neglect or abuse I endured. But by God’s grace I’ve been able to go back and counteract all the negative mes sages with the Truth of God’s Word and what He says about my value and worth. Also, I’ve learned to give myself the love and compassion I so craved from the adults in my life who were ill-equipped to provide it. The reality is, unlike Nancy’s abuser, most parents did the best they could with the tools they had at the time, so this is not about blam ing. Instead, it's about understanding yourself so you can feel, deal, and heal. In my research over the years, I’ve heard numerous doctors share how childhood dysfunction, hurts and traumas have left the greatest invisible scars on their patients’ souls and how different those individuals' physical health would be if they’d had the tools to help them heal that pain. This is one of the reasons I believe so strongly in the power of self-compassion. It gives back what was withheld or taken from us as a child. It empowers us to go back and meet our sad, suffering soul in that exact place where we felt alone, abandoned or abused. We can then acknowledge that pain and give ourselves the love, compassion and nurturing we deeply and desperately desired at the time. Combined with the unending blessings God gives us for love, power and a sound mind, when we go back for personal restoration, we are able to give ourselves the gift of going forward in peace and freedom.

24 September / October 2022 | Christian Living Stories Unveiled 3 CLM ‘cover girls’ team

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Partnering for this year’s Stories Unveiled conference are, from left to right, Nataliya Barbin, Kelly McMurray, and Ashley Sears. On the cover of this issue, the women are all wearing T-shirts created by Nataliya. (photo by Isabel Wright; isabel_erinblackwellstudio)

“We believe that stories are what connect us. Everyone’s story matters and we know the importance of sharing our own story,” Ashley said. n For tickets, or more information, please go to or

By Ashley Sears & Sandy Jones

The Stories Unveiled Conference is a women’s conference that combines personal stories from women in all seasons of life, as well as biblical teaching and incredible worship. Six women will share the story God is writing in their lives through personal experiences. This year’s conference will be covering various topics such as mental health, forgiveness, trauma, marriage and the negative effects of pornography.

When asked ‘how does attending this conference help attendees?’ Ashley Sears answered, “We believe that no one was meant to do life alone and part of being in community is feeling seen and heard. Sharing our story and giving God the glory in our mess is one of the most powerful ways to find freedom. This event has helped women connect with others and help build community. When we partner with churches, we are able to direct women to a church community if they are not al ready connected somewhere. We also have vendor tables that offer helpful resources such as Christian coaching, marriage resources, porn and sex addiction recovery resources, etc. Women leave Sto ries Unveiled encouraged, uplifted, challenged and free.”

When she was asked about the partnership between these 3 dy namic ladies and their ministries, Ashley was quick to say, “Stories Unveiled and Hello Beauty Full first connected after both of our stories were featured on the cover of Christian Living Magazine just a few months apart. We began partnering by combining Nataliya’s love for apparel with a purpose and my own desire to help women live a more authentic life. For almost two years we have been working together to bring biblical messages to women around the Treasure Valley. I later met Kelly, from The Closet, through Hello Beauty Full. When I heard that Nataliya had been helping support The Closet with her t-shirts, I knew I wanted to help as well. It was the stories of the impact The Closet is having on the Treasure Valley that were

This year

Ashley Sears, founder of Stories Unveiled, Nataliya Barbin of Hello Beauty Full & Co. and Kelly McMurry with The Closet Inc. have partnered to bring you an amazing women’s event that will change lives for women of all ages. Christian Living | September / October 2022 25 COVER STORY

The 2022 Stories Unveiled conference will be held Saturday, September 24, at Bridgepoint Church, which is located at 2530 S. Broadway Avenue in Boise, Idaho. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

During this year’s Stories Unveiled conference there will be a silent auction for those attending in person, with various items and in a broad price range. All money raised by this silent auction will go directly to The Closet Inc. Today, thousands of teens in the Treasure Valley are connected with The Closet through their school counselors, juvenile corrections case managers, homeless shelters and other local agencies. These teens are able to make a one-on-one appointment for personalized shop ping, in addition to support and unparalleled compassion.

The original stories about these ministries may be found on our own website,, under our Past Issues tab: Ashley Sears – Stories Unveiled, published Sept/Oct 2020; Nataliya Barbin – Hello Beauty Full and Co, May/June 2021; Kelly McMurry – The Closet, March/April 2017.

team up for conference

The meetings originally started at the Nampa police sta tion at 820 2nd St. S. Then the group prayed in a house near Lakeview Park when winter came. Eventually, Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling invited the group to city hall to pray in the Nampa City Council chambers, where Unite Nampa in Prayer members still meet every Tuesday from noon to 1. When asked what prompted him to launch the prayer meet ings, the pastor said, “A little bit of everything” – the kinds of things that made up the nightly newscasts at the time. He wanted to keep Nampa a safe and positive place to reside. “My responsibility first is to the city I live in,” he said. He continued: “We've prayed for many things: our homes, our churches. We've prayed for the protection of God around the city, and for a city where people obey and live by God's standards.”Hesaidhe witnessed “all the radicalism so prevalent in ma jor cities” and didn't want that for Nampa.

By Gaye Bunderson Craig Hanson, pastor of Valley Springs Assembly of God Church in Nampa, felt motivated on June 16, 2020 to start a community-wide prayer event, where non-denominational Christians could come together to lift up the Treasure Valley town of just over 100,000 people in supplication to God. He named the faith-based gatherings Unite Nampa in Prayer.

They pray for both the physical and spiritual needs of Nam pans.Pastor Hanson graduated from Bible college in 1986 in Des Moines, Iowa. He has been in Nampa for roughly 20 years and considers himself “a representative of the believers of the churches of Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible.” He also worked as a deputy sheriff for 20 years, first in Colorado and then in Caldwell. Later, he was a Canyon County commis sioner from 2013 to 2017. He holds many opinions on current topics and the state of the modern church. As an example, he thinks biblical literacy in America is not in good health, and he'd like to see that change.“Thechurch has lost its power,” he said. “We as a people need to repent of our sins. Apostasy is apathy towards God, who should be our first love. We pray to get back to God. People do good works, such as contributing to the food bank, but they have no repentance. The church must repent. We worship God through our obedience.”

Pastor Hanson acknowledges his is not the only prayer group in the valley. “Our group is doing our part,” he said. “There are multiple groups throughout the valley doing the same things.”Hesees the success in Unite Nampa in Prayer in many ways and includes in that some of the leadership in the city, includ ing the mayor; Nampa City Council President Randy Haver field; and Chief of Police Joe Huff. All of them are believers in Christ.AllChristians are welcomed at the prayer event. For more information, go to Unite Nampa in Prayer on Facebook. n

He continued: “People have misconceptions about God's love – we must love people, but that doesn't mean we need to approve of what they do. The Bible is my first standard of how I live my life.”

Prayer themes continue to touch on the idea of protection for the city and its citizens. For instance, according to Hanson, “We pray for the protection of God for our police, and that they abide by the moral values of the Bible and have integrity to do the jobs they're required to do.”

UNITE Nampa in Prayer

Seeking God’s protection for the community

-Craig Hanson

Pastor Craig Hanson started a prayer group called Unite Nampa in Prayer in 2020. He still oversees the group, which continues to meet regularly in Nampa City Hall’s council chambers. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson) People aboutmisconceptionshaveGod’slove –we must love people, but that doesn’t mean we need to approve of what they do. The Bible is my first standard of how I live my life.”

The prayer meetings continue to this day and are generally attended by 15 to 20 townsfolk, with about 12-15 people mak ing up the core group. Attendees come from all walks of life in terms of employment, financial status, personal history, and other things that comprise the diversity of Nampa's citizens.

26 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Dr. Rush, who also founded the Sunday School movement in America, argued: “We waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans*, and yet we neglect the only means of estab lishing and perpetuating our republican forms of govern ment, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this Divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”

28 September / October 2022 | Christian Living Gi on a l & Cloverdale Event Center Our F amily Serving Your F amily Dave Salove Managing Partner Jacob Garn Funeral Home Manager Tim T. Gibson Consultant Bob Ross Sr. Funeral Director (208) 375-2212

American education originated in the mid-1600s in the Puritan colonies with the “Four R’s”: reading, ‘riting, ‘rith metic and religion. American children were schooled through biblical principles. The purpose wasn’t to evangelize (a task for church and home) but to inculcate general Christian virtues of civility, temperance, respect, compassion, industry, self-reli ance, frugality, self-restraint, fortitude and modesty. This was the philosophy and work of American education for three centuries, although not without occasional challenges.

“...if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all State schools–if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program–if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools–then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.”

History, Culture & Faith Public


In 1844, for example, a Deist Frenchman named Stephen Girard attempted to establish a secular school (in Phila delphia) that prohibited Christian teaching. The resulting lawsuit against Girard went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The famous lawyer Daniel Webster argued America was founded on Christian education and religious prin ciples, and Girard’s request was “repugnant to the law.” In the unanimous Supreme Court decision against the estab lishment of a secular school, justice Joseph Story penned: “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testa ment, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in the (school)–it’s general precepts expounded...and its glorious principles of morality incul cated? ...Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testa ment?”

By Dr. Rick Chromey

The “good of the state”? Absolutely. These teachers knew that without a virtuous education (based upon biblical principles), a secular America, and all her social institutions, was doomed to descend into chaos, anarchy, violence and other evil. education, America and



Fifty years later, at the 1892 Columbian Exposition, Kansas teachers issued a national historical review of public education. They were concerned with a public education divorced from church control, noting in the 19th century how “the church reluctantly relinquished her claim upon the elementary schools.” Then these public educators made this stunning conclusion (and request):

American schools are a mess. Teacher morale is low. Student disrespect is high. Today’s kids are more profane, angry, hurt ing, confused, violent...and ignorant. But it’s not a situation our Founding Fathers didn’t foresee.


In a rather inconvenient quote about American education, Dr. Benjamin Rush penned: “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments....” 1 Dr. Rush fully knew the destructive nature of secular edu cation. In his day, the French Revolution had removed God from its cultural institutions...and French society collapsed as a result. Our Founders observed how a secular state produced societal dysfunction, disobedience, crime, disrespect, division and ignorance.

3 Mr. Webster’s Speech in Defence of the Christian Ministry and in Favor of the Religious Instruction of the Young Delivered to the Supreme Court of the United States (Febru ary 10, 1844). Download available at Google Books. “Columbian History of Education in Kansas” (Topeka: Hamilton Printing Company, 1893): 82. Download available at Google Books.

Sources: 1 Benjamin Rush quoted in “Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1893-1894”; Washington Printing Office, 1896: p. 721. Download available at Google 2Books.“ACentury of Gospel Work: A History of the Growth of Evangelical Religion in the United States” by the Rev. W.F.P. Noble (Philadelphia: H.C. Watts and Co., 1876): 184. Download available at Google Books.

*Note: “republicans” in this context refers to a form of government – i.e., republican government – and not a political party.


Dr. Rick Chromey helps people interpret history, navi gate culture, and explore faith. He’s an author, historian, professor, and founder/president of MANNA! Educational Services International. Rick and his wife Linda live in Star. Rick is available to speak and train for your next event. Readers are invited to subscribe to the Morning MANNA! inspirational and educational email (M-F). Visit

Founding educator Noah Webster argued only in our Ameri can school system: [T]he Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free govern ment ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.6

Where does this “good order and preservation” originate?

It’s why 20th century progressives, socialists and secularists worked for decades to remove religion from public schools (and finally suc ceeded in 1962). A secular American culture is not only more profane, disrespectful, angry, divisive and narcissistic, but it’s also easier to manipulate for state control. The Italian Marx ist Antonio Gramsci wrote in the 1920s: Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity...In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society. Back in 1892, another Supreme Court ruled on the central ity of Christianity in shaping America’s political institutions (Church of the Holy Trinity vs. U.S.). The conclusion of that Court: “The happiness of a people and the good order and pres ervation of civil government depend upon piety, religion and morality.”


Similarly, Abraham Lincoln noted the con nection between education and government. He reportedly said: “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philoso phy of government in the next.” And that’s proven true. We now know why American schools (as well as her institutions and culture) are a mess. It’s the fruit of 60 years of secular education. n

6 Noah Webster, A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects (New York: Webster and Clark, 1843), p. 291. Download available at Google Books. Dr. Rick Chromey


“The United States: A Christian Nation” by David J. Brewer (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Company, 1905). Download available at Google Books. Christian Living | September / October 2022 29

In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul speaks to us by saying, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humil ity of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Choosing to serve outside your circle

A part of our group are men (and women) who are U.S. vet erans, some from the Great State of Idaho, who have already served but are serving again, totally on their own. This group of veterans is serving in Ukraine under extremely dangerous conditions without any monetary support from the U.S. or Ukraine. These individuals are serving in training, support, and operational areas for Ukrainians needing their services.

In Matthew 20:26-28 Christ says, “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Please pray that you and your brothers will be receptive to serving others wherever God calls you to do so. If you ask God how and where He wants you to serve those in need, He will answer your prayer. I prayed this prayer in 2000 and my life has never been the same. My plan for my life has not always been the same as God’s plan for my life. When I have been obedient to God’s direction in my life and ministry I have experienced His blessings abundantly.

My prayer is that God will be your Commander in Chief and that you will obediently follow Him in a valiant manner wherever He leads.

As we live our lives in this conflicted and confusing world, it is easy to block the world out and only focus on ourselves and our close co-workers, friends, and family. We become what I call “Country Club Christians.” These are people who are only concerned with the members in their group and not those outside the group. This is not how Jesus acted to strangers and those outside of His immediate circle of people. Jesus associated with the poor, the handicapped, or the disenfranchised. If you have never stepped out in faith and cared for people outside of your normal associates, you are really missing out on blessings from the Lord. It is a great thing to live where we do. Most of us feel that the majority of the society around us is fairly well off financially, physically, emotionally and, yes, even spiritually. This evalu ation can be greatly skewed if we aren’t really looking for, or aren’t very concerned about, people who aren’t in our circle.

REAL Man’s Toolbox

With all respect, Christian men, we need to become a part of a “Band of Brothers.” Each of us needs to seek where God wants us to serve, and how He wants us to serve. We need to be open, willing, courageous and obedient to God’s urgings on the area of service He has prepared for us. Of course, this may be here in our own com munity, it may be across the country, or it may be in another country – even in China, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, or even Russia or Ukraine. Maybe we will be called to serve refugees from one of these countries who arrive here seeking peace, safety, security and true love.

As we look around us, we can see a world that is in turmoil, disorganization, chaos, and selfcenteredness. Much of the so-called “truths” which we see and hear seem to be colored by some divergent politically charged extreme. Long gone are the days when the news was presented as true presentation of facts by trust worthy people like Walter Cronkite. Many of the heroes of that time in history were people who cared about others more than themselves. Servanthood was a well known and highly sought-after trait of pure-hearted leaders, fol lowers, mentors and heroes. As Christian men, Christ is, or should be, our template to follow in living our lives in a man ner that will bring glory and pleasure to God Almighty.Christdidn’t live His life to bring glory upon Himself but to bring glory to God the Father. Christ did not live His life as a king, but as a servant. Christ did not live by the world’s standards.Inhisbook, Alpha Christians, Bill Giovannetti states that, “Alpha Christians are not intimidated by the giants on the horizon. We won’t back down. We won’t give in. We won’t wimp out. We won’t compromise. We are marching from faith to faith, from victory to victory, and from glory to glory. … We take our marching orders from God above; and He alone – not the tyrants of the earth – tells us who we are.” Jesus had a special place in His heart for those less fortunate. Jesus served the less fortunate, the widows, the hungry, the homeless. None of us have to look far to see someone in need.

If we will really take the blinders off and will seek to serve “all,” we will find plenty of people who could benefit greatly from our authentic concern, servanthood, and love. In our communities we have the widows, sick, homeless, working poor, drug addicts, prosti tutes, felons, and sex offenders, to name a few. Oh yes, we also have liberals, conservatives, left-wingers, right-wingers, complacent people and radicals. All of these groups of people need servants of the Lord to help them in their need and show the truth and love of God Almighty to each of them.


30 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

By Leo Hellyer

Leo Hellyer

Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for 50 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. Leo has also been serving with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries for 20 years and is currently serving at the River of Life Rescue Mission. He is president and chief firearms instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at or (208) 340-5544.

What a financial roller coaster this year has been! We have had to make several revisions to the budget we meticulously prepared at the beginning of the year in response to seemingly nonstop price increases. While the overall annual inflation rate was reported as 9.1% in June of this year, the food price index increased 12.2% over the past year. How do we feed our families a healthy diet and stay within our budget? Here are some tips to control your food costs.

5. Preserve fresh foods when they are available. Sep tember is a time when many fresh fruits and vegetables are available in abundance at a low cost. Research the best ways to preserve these items and recruit the family to participate in the process. It is a good way to store foods now for use during the winter months when their price in the store is higher.

Terry Frisk

4. Participate in store loyalty programs. I recently checked out at a local supermarket and the register total was $20 higher than I had calculated. When I questioned it, the clerk asked if I was using the loyalty program pricing. Of course, I was and I had simply forgotten to present my card before checking out. The clerk was gracious enough to re-ring my items to get the discount. It not only saved me about 15% of the total bill, it also provided a discount on fuel purchased at the store’s fuel center.

1. Set a budget and track your spend ing. Determine the maximum amount you can spend on groceries. The standard rule of thumb is your food cost should not exceed 15% of your income. If you earn $1,000 per week, your food budget should not exceed $150. To ensure you do not exceed your budget, use the calculator function on your smartphone to keep a running total of the items you put in your cart.

If you are experiencing difficulty providing food for your family, there are many resources available to help. If you have access to the Internet, search “food assistance programs near me” for a list of available food assistance programs. You can also call your local office of the Department of Health and Welfare for assistance.Itdoesn’t appear that we will see relief from inflation anytime soon. However, you can mitigate the impact on your grocery bill by fol lowing these tips to control costs. Also, please support those less fortunate who experience the hardship that the spiraling food costs cause through giving to food assistance programs. Your generosity will be rewarded. Take care and may God bless! n Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing fi nancial advisory services to small businesses. He also coun sels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at

2. Plan your weekly menu and make a list of items you need. Studies show that people spend less when they go to the store with a list. Purchasing only what is needed to complete the weekly menu guards against buying excess items that may spoil or accumulate in the pantry. Reducing excess purchasing also helps keep store shelves stocked so items are available to others who may need them.

YOUR Daily Bread Break bread but don’t break the bank

3. Shop for sales and use coupons. As you plan your menu and make your shopping list, check your store’s sales ads. You no longer have to purchase the local newspaper to find the sales ads. Most stores post their savings ads online. Likewise, discount coupons are available through various online and social media sites such as and

I also want to encourage those of you who have been blessed with an abundance and spend less than 15% of your income on food to give generously to your local food pantry to help those who are experiencing food insecurity. For Jesus said: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14) Christian Living | September / October 2022 31

By Terry Frisk

1. Pack grab-and-go bags. You can pack nuts, seeds, healthy trail mix, and apple slices with almond butter in baggies that kids can conveniently grab whenever they want something to munch on. A little prep work

2. Ensure the right fit. Make sure the back pack has equally distributed weight. Encourage children to use both straps, properly positioned. Remember that different thicknesses of clothing might require your child to readjust the straps.

Editor’s note: If you’re still trying to play catch-up for the new school year, this article is for you, with helpful hints for all things school-related – from a healthy perspective for both body and mind.

Transitions can feel like a challenge for everyone. One min ute, you’re relaxing by the pool or returning from a stress-free vacation. The next, you’re stocking up on the upcoming year’s school supplies and registering your child for classes.

And then, before you know it, the first school day begins.

Read reviews online to ensure you’re buying a well-designed, built-to-last bag.

3. Support good posture. Being mindful about posture goes beyond just finding the right back pack. Standing up straight and avoiding slouching can mean less back pain, reducing the potential for injury, and fostering a healthier spine. Plus, remind your child they look a lot better when they stand up straight.

2. Foster mindfulness. Studies show children eat lunch too quickly. Time constraints and peer pressure contribute to this, but so do the habits kids learn at home. Encouraging kids to eat slowly and mindfully at breakfast and dinner can carry over into their potentially rushed school lunchtime. Remind them to chew slowly. It helps with digestion.

Research shows lunch programs that include fruits and vegetables help reinforce a child’s preferences for these foods. They have healthy options to choose from, and their peers eat those same healthy foods. Unfortunately, not every school presents that option. Some offer less-than-stellar food options, while other schools might not provide lunch at all. These four tips can make lunchtime healthier for your children and less stressful for you.

Packing a healthy lunch or eating one at school should keep your kid full and focused all afternoon. But everyone gets the munch ies, and a healthy snack can provide an energy boost and mid-afternoon satisfaction.

Unfortunately, snacking is where children – and adults – get in trouble. You know the scenario: You send your kid a healthy lunch, but they visit their friend’s home after school, where they serve homemade brownies or potato

1. Buy the right one. A good backpack helps properly carry gear while preventing injury. Invest in quality and spend the time to find the right one. A waist strap can add extra support. Alternately, consider a rolling backpack.

3. Create a lunch co-op, and share in the work. If you’re among health-minded moms and dads, you might consider designating lunch duties to one person in the group every week. This takes some financial planning and commitment, but it can also make healthy lunches easier while saving you

32 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Try these four ways to avoid unhealthy foods from entering your kids’ pathway.

4. Encourage an as-needed basis. Backpacks weren’t intended to be worn for hours on end. Whenever they can, encourage your child to take off the backpack. They’ll feel more comfortable and their spine will appreciate their effort.

Whether your child prefers a fashion-forward or fitnessforward backpack, weight matters. Many professionals recom mend children carry no more than 10-15 percent of their body weight in their backpacks, but many carry a bag above that weight. How your child wears a backpack matters too. Wearing one incorrectly – on only one shoulder, or straps too tight or loose – or lugging a poorly designed backpack can lead to spinal compression, and create shoulder, neck, and back pain. Poorly designed backpacks or backpacks carried incorrectly can also create bad posture and potential injury. You and your child can feel better with the right backpack using these four tips.

A new school year means back to basics and a renewed mindset toward focus and functionality. Life becomes a lot more structured come late August or early September. Shift ing gears might feel challenging, but transitioning from sum mer bliss to fall’s formality shouldn’t feel very difficult. These strategies can help as your child – and you! – make that pivotal transition from relaxed, carefree summer days to the structure of fall and a new school year.

1. Get your kids involved. Packing lunches makes a great opportunity to establish healthy habits your kids will use for life. Be creative and make healthier versions of their favorites. You can always use a lettuce wrap or gluten-free tortilla to replace bread. Sliced carrots or apples with little servings of almond butter also pack well. So do little bags of healthy trail mix or raw nuts.

Pack a Healthy Lunch

By Rosie Main

Get the Right Backpack

4. Teach kids to do the best they can. Even the most well-organized parent forgets to pack lunch or finds their kids having to choose unhealthy school lunches. Teach your child to make the healthiest option. That might mean pulling the grilled chicken breast off the bun or eating sweet potato fries rather than regular fries. Every little effort counts towards a healthier lifestyle and fosters the right attitude for life.

Eat Healthy Snacks


Some healthy tips for back-to-school days

Discover what

3. Find ways to make learning more en joyable. “Do your homework.” If that elicits a groan or sigh from your child, you’ll want to find ways to make the work less cumbersome or frustrating. Consider rewarding effort rather than the outcome, and allow them to make mistakes. For older kids, encourage seeing the big picture. You can find something interesting in even the most seemingly boring subject, and even if that feels like a struggle, everybody has to do things they don’t like sometimes. Tell them that making the effort to achieve a goal can create a sense of satisfaction.

2. Cultivate community. Some children thrive in social situations. Others need en couragement. Even the most introverted child needs some sort of social outlet. That might be volunteering, creating a book club, or finding an age-appropriate Meetup group with likeminded people.

back ! M H C  . “Helping People Do Hard ings Well ” Take control of YO UR life: • Life Pur pose • Personal Development • Tr ansfor mation • Motivation • Inspiration • Relationship • freeCallEntrepreneurshiptodayforyourdiscoverysession! 128 South Eagle Road Eagle, ID 805-556-5844 Christian Living | September / October 2022 33 will save you money while ensuring your kids aren’t reaching for candy bars or corn chips for snacks.

4. Be aware of underlying feelings. Some children have trouble expressing the anxiety, depression, or stress they feel at school, home, or otherwise. You can’t take away these emo tions, but you can identify them and help children cope with them. If your child feels stressed out, for instance, you can help them learn to better manage their time and take better care of themselves. Getting good sleep and not over-scheduling can also alleviate those feelings. Remember to be the example you want them to learn. With the right mindset and these strategies, you can create a healthy school year for your kids. n

2. Upgrade their favorite foods to healthy ones. Healthy snacking doesn’t mean deprivation or eating boring foods. Nearly any food can be “healthified.” Take crackers: Our Gluten-free, Grainless Crackers provide the perfect munch without junky ingredients in boxed crackers.

If you have questions or need more information, text Rosie Main at (208) 859-6170 or email her at

Image by ambermb from Pixabay Rosie Main obstac self-limiting you


b ehaviors & false belief s are holding

Become Engaged Socially, Academically, and Creatively Kids deal with a lot of stress these days: They may feel the stress to excel academically, they undergo peer pressure, and they experience the stress of our fast-paced life. As adults, that probably feels like a lot of pressure. Imagine what it might feel like for your child. The answer involves taking things gradually, mindfully, and cultivating a routine they can use for life. Being involved –with academics, with family and friends, and in extracurricu lar activities – plays an important role in a child’s upbringing. These four tips can help.

3. Make a protein shake. This fast, fill ing snack or mini-meal also provides you the opportunity to slip in healthy ingredients like leafy greens and freshly ground flaxseed that your kids wouldn’t normally eat. Blend healthy fats like coconut milk and avocado with grass-fed whey protein and frozen berries. Play around with consistency and texture until your child finds a shake they love.

1. Identify, but don’t label. Calling a child “shy,” “anx ious,” or other terms can reinforce labels and amplify those

4. Make healthy popsicles. Nothing quite satisfies on a hot day like a popsicle. Blend grass-fed whey protein with unsweetened coconut milk and berries, pour into molds, and freeze. These will go quickly so make several batches.

labels. Encourage children to develop their own personality, teach them that it’s okay to feel socially awkward sometimes, and foster the encouragement to develop socially rather than isolate themselves.

Truth be told, Jesus transcends all neat and tidy descriptions. For instance, all of the following are biblically true about Je sus: He was an establishment-outsider Galilean from up north in Nazareth but He could speak Hebrew; He both deeply loved Judaism and was regularly critical of it; He was brilliant but had never had a formal education; in a way that embar rassed normal social convention He spoke in public with women, even lewd prostitutes; He could hold huge crowds spellbound but He also practiced regular prayerful solitude; He ate and slept like a normal man yet He spoke with an au thority that many understood to ring of God Himself; and, He tenderly embraced social outcasts but could drive out money grubbers in the Temple. Across all of those two-fold tensions, Jesus exhibited an astonishing amount of determination. Me? For several decades now – reading the Gospels and watching how Jesus moved through His ministry – I’ve been gripped by the tenacity of Jesus. Yes, I’ll admit my own psy chology here: my recognition of His resolve stems from my own experience of Him. In my life Jesus has been tenacious. He doesn’t easily let me go. He continually convicts me of my sins. He constantly calls me to walk in His new life, to choose grace. He prods me toward abiding righteousness. Praise the Lord, He has been a fixed presence in my life. But here I’m thinking more historically and textually than personally. The Jesus of the Gospels was fierce. Or, perhaps fierce is too strong. Better, He was fix-ed. He exhibited a con tinual resolve. Let me offer a few examples. One day while He was speaking to the crowds, Jesus’ mother and brothers were on the edge of the crowd, trying to get near Him. Seeing them, a man said to Jesus, “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside. They’d like to speak with you.” Jesus responded, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And then motion ing toward his disciples He added, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Mt. 12:46-50). That’s an odd response, right? What does it reveal? That Jesus was more fixed on His mission –proclaiming the Kingdom of God – than He was on his family. Another time He had His hand on a little child and proceeded to talk about how the Kingdom of God is open to those who are like children. But then He warned, “If any one of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be bet ter for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea,” (Mt. 18:1-7). Today? We would find such strong words off-putting. But clearly, again, we see something of Jesus’ resolve to warn of the razor-sharp nature of the Kingdom of God. Jesus never apologized for His harsh tone, never said, “Hey, I know what I said just there was hard to swal low, but really, I’m just saying it out of love.” No, He left his poignant words awkwardly hanging so they’d have full effect. He intended to jolt people. And that intent stemmed from His resolve. He knew what He was doing, knew who He was. One more. After feeding the 5,000, Jesus questioned Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah of God.” Immediately Jesus revealed to the disciples that He was constrained, He said, “to endure great suffering, rejection by the Jewish elders, and be killed and on the third day be raised” (Lk. 9:18-27). Near that chapter’s end Luke tells us, “Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem” (9:51). We realize that Jesus knew full well He would be murdered in the holy city. Nevertheless, Jesus determined – setting His face – to make it to the city of David. Why? It was what God the Father had for Him. And we know that nothing could deter Jesus from obeying his Father. What amazing determination! Even in the face of suffering, such resolve! All made evident by His actions.Herein

Western culture where integrity is fleeting, I find Jesus’ own fix-ed nature mesmerizing. He did as He taught. He let His “yes be yes,” and His “no be no” (Mt. 5:37). He knew who He was and what God had for him to do. Indeed, in significant ways, I am saved by the faith of Jesus Christ. He remained faithful, even when I am not. Yes, I do confess, I am projecting something of my own psychology to admit that I am enthralled by Jesus’ resolve. And so I pray, “Lord, help me to remain fixed to You. Em power me to walk in the kind of resolve that You exhibited on every page of the Gospels.” n Ed Rybarczyk, Ph.D., is both an ordained minister and a retired History of Theology professor. He now produces and hosts the Uncensored Unprofessor podcast @uncenso He can be reached at uncensoredun

Who was Jesus? An out-of-the-box charis matic Mediterranean figure? A free-spirited cultural iconoclast? A wandering anti-religious prophet? A staunch defender of the underdog? Honestly, today we are presented with as many Jesuses as there are opinions. Right? It’s kind of like the old saying, “There are as many opin ions as there are people.”

34 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Ed Rybarczyk

Back in seminary our professors warned us against psychologizing Jesus. Too often, said the profs, psychologies merely turn into pro jections of the very one trying to psychologize the Man from Nazareth. “He was a thrilling and exuberant extrovert,” claims the outgoing extrovert. “Jesus was a pensive introvert,” says the nervous introverted Gospel reader. “He exhibited traits of a middle child: peacemak ing, bridge-building, and the building of close relationships with those outside of the family unit,” argues the over-looked middle child. Each “Jesus” is an affirmation of the one psy chologizing him. But the truth is? The notion of psychologically profil ing someone’s personality was non-existent in the ancient world. Far better to assess someone’s character by what they did. Actions were more apparent than thoughts or motives. Someone’s identity shone through their deeds. Maybe that’s why James (2:17) wrote, “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead”?

THE RESOLVE of Jesus Some amazing examples from Scripture

By Ed Rybarczyk

Sh e the St y Night Waters Edge Event Center October 20TH at 6:00 PM Leave your wallet at home! This evening is for sharing in fellowship with each other – not asking for donations. The Bucket Ministry is comprised of a passionate group of individuals dedicated to one mission: Sharing God’s love through the gift of clean, safe, drinking water. New to or unfamiliar with this mission? Join us to learn about our ministry and how you might become more engaged and involved! Space is limited – Reserve Your Seat Today! Reservations Close October 10TH If you have ever felt called to mission work or simple volunteerism, then we invite you to join us. Waters Edge Event Center • 287 E Shore Drive, Eagle, ID October 20TH at 6:00 PM We can’t wait to see you there! Call (208) 991-2411 or email us at The evening will be full of: • Spiritually encouraging stories from the mission field • Networking oppor tunities • Light snacks and refreshments • Information on how YOU can champion the Great Commission with The Bucket Ministry!

THIS is my testimony Some advice for sharing your story Roxanne

Recently, our church pastor, Keith Harrington, spoke on Bold Purpose/Bold Sharing from Acts 21. After listening to his sermon, a couple of times actually, I was compelled to share some thoughts from his message as well as some thoughts of my own. Sometimes we know we should be sharing our story, but we just don’t know where to begin. In this case, as in so many others, Scripture gives us the example we should follow.

Pastor Harrington reminded us that, “People can argue lots of things, but they can’t argue with your story. People may doubt your theology, but they can’t doubt the personal life change they see in you.” Your story is your story. It is the truth. Sharing your story speaks volumes to the listener, and the Holy Spirit can use it. We have to remember though that God does the saving, not us, and not our words. So, how do we begin?

I am a firm believer that getting prepared is always the best way to begin anything. I have found that the best way to prepare for this is to write your story down, for a few reasons. Drury

I can remember being 7 years old and sitting in a huge Catholic church all by myself and looking up at the cross behind the altar. Jesus was still on that cross. I remember thinking that there must be ‘more’ to the story about Jesus. I was right. Fast forward – the year was 1975. I was 23 years old and lost in sin. One Sunday morning, my two young boys and I visited a small Baptist church that was within walking distance of our home. I had been away from the church and God and felt the need, the desire, the nudge, the inspiration, whatever you want to call it to get back to church, to get back to God. The following day, a Monday, October 13, 1975, Bob and Betty Wallace knocked on my door. I didn’t know them, but they said they were from the Baptist church, so I invited them in and they walked me through the Romans Road [to salvation] in the Bible. I finally learned what the ‘more’ was. That day I knelt down next to my gold plastic-covered couch in tears and asked the Lord to forgive me for my bad choices, the sin that was in my life, and He did. He saved me from a life that was headed in a very wrong direction.Iknowwho and what I was before October 13, 1975, and I know how I was changed, made new, after that date. I know without a shadow of a doubt what my life would look like today if Bob and Betty Wallace had not come to my home that day to share the gospel with me. As I think about it, even now, after all these years, I am wracked with emotion. I am liter ally, eternally grateful to my Lord and Savior and to Bob and Betty, who saw a young woman, wife, and mom that needed Jesus and acted upon it. This is my testimony. What is yours? As a Christian, you have a story, too. We are commanded to share it. It is called the Great Commission (Matthew 28:1620). We are commissioned as God’s messengers to tell our story of salvation. We are to go and make disciples, baptize them, and teach them. Who though? Who are we to tell? Acts 1:8 says pretty much ‘everyone’. It reads, “Be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” A witness has knowledge of an event or change from personal observation or experience (Webster’s Dictionary). So Acts 1:8 is saying: Tell folks what you have personally experi enced about the saving grace of Jesus. Maybe you were very young when you were saved so you had not had time to make a whole lot of big bad choices in your life. Perhaps your story is not as clear-cut as mine, or per haps it is even more dramatic than mine; but nonetheless, it is YOUR story. Your story is made up of all the things God has done in your life. How God saved you through His extension of grace, what He saved you from and when He saved you. All of that information makes up your story. Whether you have a simple story or God has made an extraordinary life change in you, that is your testimony and God can and will use it.

The disciple Paul is a perfect illustration. He was a hater of Christians, persecuting them, chasing them down, and then he met the Lord on a road as he traveled along, and Paul was a changed man. The words, “I once was lost but now I’m found” come to mind. Paul boldly and regularly shared what he was before meeting the Lord and how his life was changed after meeting Him (Acts 21:18). Paul gave an ac count not of what he had done, but what the Lord had done in him and through him. Some of the following points are excerpts from Pastor Har rington’s message and they give insight into how we can also boldly and regularly share our testimony. At this time in Acts 21, Paul was arrested and taken to the barracks and he asked to speak to everyone. Vs. 39 – “I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.” Paul asked for permission to speak. Acts 22:1 – Paul addresses the people familiarly – “Brothers and fathers” (1 Peter 3:15). Paul was ready to share his faith and he was gentle and respectful. Paul removed barriers by telling people in Corinth, “To the Jews I became as a Jew in order to win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Then in Acts 22:3 he starts to tell the story of what he did in the past to persecute Chris tians – he identifies himself with what they are doing to him now. Paul finds common ground and shares his story Vs. 5-15 – Paul tells them about what happened to him on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus. He tells them about the bright light. He tells them about the voice he heard that was the Lord. He tells them that he was blind. He tells them all that Ananias said and did. He tells them how he received his sight back. He tells them of the mission he was given – to go and be a witness to everyone and tell what he has experienced, seen, and heard.

By Roxanne Drury

Paul has told his story to his accusers. And then, he asks his accusers the all-important question. Vs. 16 – “Why do you wait?” And Paul invites them to call on the name of the Lord. Paul did what he was to do in sharing his faith and then he trusted God with the response (Vs. 23-24). We have to accept that not all will respond to the invitation to believe and accept God’s gift of eternal life. We are required to do our part and share, and trust God with the outcome.

36 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching cer tificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in children’s ministry for over 40 years and is cur rently on staff at Rockharbor Church.

1 Peter 3:15 NIV says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Al ways be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Show that you belong to Christ through your actions and be ready to give the “why” when people ask about it.

First, if you write it down it will cause you to think about it, reflect on it and remember the facts. I have also found that writing it down brings back all the emotions, all the gratitude, and all the zeal you felt for Christ after He came into your life. Lastly, writing it down gives you an opportunity to reread it so it becomes second nature and easy to repeat or explain when the opportunity presents itself.

1. Ask permission 2. Be gentle and respectful 3. Remove barriers 4. Find common ground 5. Share your story 6. Trust God with the response STEPS TO SHARING YOUR FAITH Christian Living | September / October 2022 37

Pastor Harrington said, “Your faith is personal, but it is not meant to be private.” Your faith, your story, is a one-of-a-kind story. It is personal to you, yes, but it is meant to be shared so that others can experience God’s saving grace as you have. In closing, let’s do a recap. As a Christian, we are called to share our faith, “the reason for the hope we have.” We don’t always know how to do that. Follow ing are the steps the apostle Paul took in boldly sharing his faith as Pastor Harrington pointed out in his mes sage. I think we find the ‘How To’ in theseManypoints.thanks to Pastor Keith Har rington for granting permission to share ideas from his message. If you would like to listen/watch the entire message, head to and watch the message dated June 5, 2022, called Bold Sharing. “Go and make disciples.” Let’s go! n

he Riehl family trekked through a dark tunnel at the Hiawatha Bike Trail, with only headlamps to help them see. But when they came to the light, it was all the more wonderful for having traveled through the pitch-dark. (Photo provided by Bethany Riehl)

Happy September, friends! How are you doing? If your life is connected to the school calendar in some way (stu dent, parent, faculty, or all of the above), have you found your groove yet?

Although I’m writing this to you while still in the throes of summer, I can tell you for certain that at the moment you’re reading this I have most certainly not found my groove in this new school year. In fact, I’m probably looking back at pictures of our summer adven tures as I was this morning and dreaming about camp ing.In July my husband and I were able to take the kids camping in Northern Idaho and while there we hit the Hiawatha Bike Trail. If you haven’t heard of the Hi awatha, here is a brief description from their website: “a bike or hike trail is 15 miles long with 10 train tunnels and 7 sky-high trestles.” Before you get too impressed with our athletic abilities, let me tell you it’s mostly downhill and at the end you take a shuttle right back to the top where your car is parked.

By Bethany Riehl

38 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

On the morning of our scheduled ride, I only had a collection of facts gathered from the website and friends to give me an idea of what we were heading into. We had borrowed headlamps from friends for the tunnels, but still I didn’t quite grasp what that meant until the woman checking us in let us know that the first tunnel was at the very beginning of the trail and was the longest – measuring 1.66 miles. As we entered that tunnel, our family of five in a line – Mr. Riehl in front, myself in the back, our not-so-littleanymore-ducklings in between – I experienced dark unlike I’ve ever known. Our headlamps barely cut into the thick, black mist that enveloped us. We had arrived when the trail opened, so for most of that first trek, it was just us, our seemingly insufficient headlamps, and the cold, dark, drippy echoes of the old train passage.

Do you know how long it takes to bike 1.66 miles? For a passenger in the trains that used to run this trail it’s a blur. One minute passing from light to dark then back to the light again. Just enough to look up from your book to ponder a thought or two before going right back to reading. But for me that morning it was a fascinating, and okay I admit it, slightly terrifying if I let myself think about it, stretch that seemed like it would never end. We stayed quiet for the most part. The echo of the tunnel distorted our words, so talking was out. Feeling confident we were alone I tested the acoustics and sang for a while, mostly to embarrass my kids. Sometime after the halfway point, I heard echoes behind me. A large group was making its way toward us, and as they gained speed, the tunnel brightened. Suddenly I could see much more of my surroundings. I gazed in awe at the arch of the vaulted ceiling, full of chisel marks and divots where rocks had been removed or blown out well over a century ago. I saw the trenches on either side of us, carrying water out of the tunnel, and the cold, drippy walls. But then they passed, and we were in our mostly-dark world again.

A DARK tunnel Blackness makes the light more wonderful Christian Living | September / October 2022 39 We Are HERE to HELP SPECIALTIES: 208-466-0030 • SkaugL Se Habl a Español•WorkersCompensation•Caraccidents

We have over 120 years of collective legal experience winning injury cases for Idahoans We pedaled on, shaking our hands every so often to warm them up, not seeing the light, but knowing it must be close because the echoes of the large group were gone. We felt the light before we saw it. The air turned warmer; the fog became palpable, more humid than vapor. And then – light! Glorious, wondrous, dappled light. We exited that first tunnel to the beauty that Montana and Northern Idaho are famous for. Pine and mountains and waterfalls and creeks. Deer and chipmunks, hawks and…well, praise God we didn’t see the bears, but of course they were out there. Somewhere for God alone to enjoy. Endless views of a world so much bigger than we realize; created by a God that is much, much bigger than we could everWegrasp.biked the next 14ish miles in awe – of the crisp mountain air, the mountain peaks layered one after another, the impres sive trestles that are indeed sky-high – going through more tunnels – some short and sweet, a few long and intimidating, but none like the first. Hours later we climbed on the shuttle and marveled as our charming driver played tour guide and entertained us with the history of the world we had just enjoyed and took us back to the top in less than 30 minutes. She stopped at the base of the first tunnel and told us we would be going back through to finish the trail. This time, however, traffic was heavier and going both ways. It was much brighter and louder. In no time at all we were loaded up and headed to picturesque Wallace, Idaho for lunch.Sowhy

Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:6 that, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I didn’t hesitate in that tunnel because I had faith in what was coming. And when we finally emerged? Oh, friends, what beauty! What warmth and joy and awe. Continued on page


am I telling you about this, dear Reader, and what does it have to do with Christian living? Sometimes in our walk it can feel like we’re in a long, dark tunnel. We have the Light of the Word, but it just seems like it’s not penetrating our hearts as it should. It’s cold and dank and quiet and lonely. We’re doing the work, reading the Word, praying, living as best we can on this foreign soil, but the Light and Hope feels…far.“Howlong, O LORD?” we may cry. “Will You forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1) I don’t have an easy answer for that one. But looking back on that time in the tunnel brings to mind something my dad said to me in the midst of a dry season: “Keep praying, keep reading His Word. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).” We keep on pedaling, so to speak, through the dark, relying on the light He provides, knowing who He is and that our feelings are not the most reliable source of our true state.Iknew that, as long as we kept on, we would not be stuck in that tunnel forever because friends that had done the trail before and the experts that checked us in told me so. In the same way, the Bible assures us of God’s faithfulness to His people. Over and over we are reminded that He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145). Our feelings may say the Light isn’t enough in the darkness, but it’s not true. Our feelings may say that we’re alone or He’s left us, but it’s notDavidtrue.said with full confidence in Psalm 40:11, “You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”

Bethany Riehl

On the first day of my chemotherapy, I just wanted to go home and watch a feel-good movie to take my mind off my own troubles. One year later, I was an extra on the set of a feel-good movie I’d written. This month, I get to premiere that movie in Boise to raise money for fighting cancer. I hope you’ll join me at Overland Park Cinemas at 7 p.m. on September 9 to watch my dream come true. This is your chance to see a theater screening of Finding Love in Big Sky, based on my book by the same name. Tickets are $9, and 100% of ticket cost will be donated to Camp Rainbow Gold for supporting children who are fighting cancer. I’m looking forward to hosting the event with a red carpet, photo ops, live music, giveaways, and book-signing. This film has been a long time in the making. It started with my debut novel back in 2010. Love Finds You in Sun Valley was a part of a Christian series written by a variety of authors. Though nobody knew who I was, my book got swept away in the current of readers who’d picked up all the books in the line. It was sold at the airport, Walmart, and Costco. It had a hardback edition. It was even optioned for film. This was a great way to start a writing career, but it was also a tough time for the publishing industry. Books were going digital and bookstores were closing. My publishing company shut down and my novel went out of print. On top of that, my marriage ended, and I didn’t want to write romance anymore. Thus I split ways with my agent. My book was dead, dead, dead.But then God did what He wants to do for all of us. He re deemed me. As an encore, He brought my book back to life. First of all, I met Mr. Jim Strong, who proposed at Overland Park Cinema, the very cinema where my movie will be shown. Through my second chance at romance, I learned what true love is, and there is nothing else I’d rather write about. Secondly, God opened the door with a new publisher who rereleased the book as the first in the Resort to Love Series as well as a producer who optioned one of the sequels.

Now as my movie is about to release, my producer’s husband is recovering from his cancer. This season of life has been hard for many people for many reasons, but through it, we’ve seen God work miracles, and we want to share our blessing with others. I selected Camp Rainbow Gold because the heroine in the movie is also raising money for a camp, and I’ve been working on a picture book about childhood cancer.

By Angela Ruth Strong

Like all good book/movie characters, we are each going to go through dark times. We will experience pain. But our challenges give us opportunities to grow, along with personal stories of overcoming to share.

40 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Editor’s note: Angela Ruth Strong is a former contributor to Christian Living Magazine.

RED carpet premiere

Local author sees her dream come true

The book Finding Love in Big Sky released in 2016. With every year that passed, I figured the chance of my book actu ally getting made into a movie was growing slimmer and slim mer. I went through my battle with breast cancer then CO VID-19 happened. When I found out my producer’s husband had also been diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t even consider production a possibility anymore.

Angela Ruth Strong (center, in cowboy hat) is shown here with, left to right, her husband Jim Strong and actors Jonathan Stoddard, Hedy Nasser, and Nathan Kehn. The actors were all cast members in a movie made from one of Strong’s books. (Courtesy photo)

Imagine my surprise when I got the call from my publisher while in line at Walmart last spring. “They start filming to morrow,” she said. I ran home to tell my husband, and we drove up to Montana to dance in the cowboy ball. We watched both kisses and the mentor scene be filmed, and though Jim didn’t get to play an extra in the mechanic shop the way he’d wanted, the actress who plays the mechanic calls out to a “Jim” in his honor. The actors all made us feel like VIPs, and we went to breakfast with the director and cinematographer on the last day. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

Let’s fight our battles together. And let’s always remember that we serve a God who is in the business of redemption. To order movie tickets, stop by my website at, and sign up for my newsletter or send me an email while you’re there. If you miss watching Finding Love in Big Sky on the big screen, it will air on UPtv on (my parents’ anniversary) 9/11. We can all use a feel-good movie now and then. n

A dark tunnel Continued from page 39

So too, the hope the redeemed have, if not in this life, for certain in the one to come. An eternity with our Creator in a land with “no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22). Would the trail have been beautiful and enjoyable without the tunnels? Sure. But those times of darkness emphasized the times in the light and brought such a delightful adventure to the whole experience. Don’t get me wrong, friends. There are some “dark tun nels” in our lives that we could most certainly do without thankyouverymuch, and I don’t mean to trivialize the ones in yours. This is an imperfect analogy. However, in the same way, these dark days will emphasize the Light that is to come. And He is coming. “He who testi fies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). I want to add one more imperfect analogy to the experi ence. That tunnel? It was much less intimidating on the way back when it was full of people. Our tiny headlamps all joined with one another to create nearly full illumination, as opposed to when the five of us trekked through on our own. You need the Church, Christian. We all do. The good, the bad, the imperfect, the messy, and the wonderful. We are not meant to do this life alone and because our God loves to purify and shape us, we need to do this life with the imperfect Church. He created us this way. Alone, we’re a small, weak light in a pitch-black world. But together? Pressing into His Word, collectively learning and growing and living out the one-anothers and praising and making much of our big and wonderful God? By His strength and for His glory?

Bethany Riehl lives in the Treasure Valley with her husband, three kids, and one super chill dog. She writes articles and fictional novels when she can, and her one desire is to point others to the love and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Her books can be found on Amazon or at your local library…after you request them to be in stock, of course.

Oh, what a mighty blaze we shall make. n Christian Living | September / October 2022 41 CHURCHES IN YOUR AREA BOISE MIDDLETONNAMPA 600 N. Ten Mile Rd. Meridian, ••centralvalleybaptist.comIDJoinusonSundays:OnYouTube-11:00amLookforCentralValleyMeridianOnCampus•8:00am,9:30amand11:00am Sunday Morning Adult Only Service 9:30 Commongroundbikerchurch.coAM m 208-286-9438 A ll Bikes & Hot Rods Welcom e 62 E Fairview Ave. Ste 62, Meridian Thursday Bible Study 7PM Sunday Ser vices at 10:30AM Lead Pastor: Rob Wright Following Jesus Together www.sunn yr idgec hu sunn yr idgec hu rch@g 2121 Sunnyr idge Rd. Nampa, ID 83686 The NEWSundayCowboySanctuaryChurchService10AMHighDesertStation6780WillisRoad,Star,ID83669208-329-8246Scowboychurch.comLOCATION: MERIDIAN For information on adding your church to this directory, please call 208-703-7509 or boisechristianliving@gmail.comemail:For more info call: Ka ty Nelson 503-816-3042 www.kat “I t’s not ab t shpreaching,it’sabtinglife.” anotherencourage“Thereforeoneandbuildeachotherup,justasinfactyouaredoing.”—Thessalonians5:11NIV

GOD’S curriculum

42 September / October 2022 | Christian Living OU TDOORS WITH DOUGHERT Y Dan’s Memorable Advent ures This tribute to our friend & colleague is a compilation of all his articles; Dan’s personal photos & art, even some that were never published. You’ll thoroughly enjoy this walk down memory lane. Order Your Copy Today 503.8 16 .30421 6.3042 www.Kat KATY NELSON COACHING.NET, LLC Cer tified Professional Life Coach Author • Speaker • Certified DISC Facilitator “Disc ing HOPE in Y r Seas of Life”

2. Is the Bible part of education in America today? Har vard began in 1636 with the motto “Truth for Christ and the Church.” Yale began in 1701, founded by ten ministers who noticed Harvard was digressing from the Bible. Congress ap proved the purchase and printing of Bibles for schools in 1781. In 1844, the Supreme Court ruled that schools are authorized to teach Christianity from the Bible. The first primary schools had the Bible as their primary text. So yes, initially the United States had an emphasis of learning from the Bible, even in colleges. Sadly, those were the glory days of education. Now in our culture, due to evil influence, God and the Bible have been nearly completely banned from all public schools. It’s the op posite of how our country started. Teachers today, instead of quoting Scripture as the best evidence to prove certain points, now refer to things like popular television shows to gather references. Seriously, we allow the twisted ideas of violence and sex found on “Game of Thrones” to teach culture to kids instead of the truths in Genesis? Yes, posters on classroom walls in our high schools (where minors under 18 learn) show this most popular TV show (rated for “mature audiences” – those over 18 only). You may say the Bible has the most intense graphic content ever recorded and you would be cor rect. What’s the difference? Evil actions recorded in the Bible are accompanied by ample instruction on how to identify and choose good over evil. So yes, the Bible is an acceptable resource to refer to as much as you like. As for nefarious con tent from the world, it is rarely helpful and does not include clarifying instruction.

To include the Bible in education curriculums, private Christian schools and home schooling families have grown in number, yet this doesn’t guarantee they’re getting a better spiritual education necessarily. It only guarantees the poten tial to learn the Bible during school hours. Not every child has that chance to be in such a school environment. In 2014, “Bring Your Bible to School Day” was started. This year, the date for that activity is October 6, 2022 FYI. This is just one small example of how to counter this trend in our godless society of excluding the Bible from education. Sadly

While in Ephesus, Paul originally offered the truth to anyone who would listen, when he taught publicly for three months. Eventually, due to many people having hard hearts and not believing, Paul became more selective in choosing his audi ence. That’s when he began teaching at the school of Tyran nus. Perhaps other things were taught at this school, but isn’t it interesting that the only subject we know for sure that was taught there was the Word of God?

What the Bible can add to learning

By Steve Nelson

1. What does the Bible say about school? God values education very highly and this truth is recorded in many ways. Gaining knowledge then taking meaningful action is a basic part of life. Learning is a lifetime adventure that doesn’t stop upon graduating high school, so even without kids you can still gain from this article. Yet to answer the question, the most fa mous “school” in the Bible, and for that matter technically the only “school” mentioned, is the school of Tyrannus. Located in Ephesus, Paul taught there DAILY for two years to a certain type of Christian student, disciples (Acts 19:9). Disciples are an elite group of learners who are committed followers of their teacher. In John 8:31, 13:35 and 15:8, in Jesus Christ’s own words, His disciples had these amazing qualities: they contin ued in the Word of God, loved one another and bore much fruit. (Note: any person today can choose to be a disciple too.)

Steve Nelson

3. How do we get the Bible into our DAILY education?

Image by Steve Nelson

Robin was a pioneer in the development of early childhood peritoneal dialysis and the youngest successful recipient of a kidney transplant. Her stor y is how we walked with our sovereign God through difficult and tr ying days. In Robin’s Song we share how God is always available to help us when we tr ust and walk with Him in faith. Christian Living | September / October 2022 43

however, one superintendent of a local school district, in explain ing their reasoning, said they will never have a regular school day on “Bring Your Bible to School Day” since they want to avoid the controversy. Instead, each year on the calendar they purposely plan teacher meetings and other non-classroom events. Wow, I was stunned to hear that. It was done to please certain re ligious and non-religious groups who favor other texts instead of thePsalmBible.119:99 makes even more sense, right? “I have more un derstanding than all my teach ers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”

What does a student do if he or she can’t learn the Bible during school hours? According to the Idaho state instruction guidelines, kids must be in school between 450-990 hours each year, depending on their grade. That’s a lot of time but it still leaves children with plenty of opportunity before school and especially after school. Also, summers and breaks and week ends provide much more time for an extended opportunity to get some Bible time in. To maximize the learning during this Bible time, it MUST be spent with parents, or at least under the guidance of parents, DAILY. Parents, it’s your job to make this happen for your kids. No excuse is good enough to justify the lack of Bible time. Life is busy yes, but it’s about choices and priorities. Fifteen minutes a day is only about 1% of a day. You can commit to 1% of your day. As aspiring disciples of Jesus Christ, let’s customize our time and effort, if as an adult or youth, to include instruction from God’s Word. Otherwise we’re wasting our time. Anything without God is done in vain, including learning. See Psalm 127. Don’t be a fool. Stay in school. Learn the Bible to be cool. God bless you! n Steve Nelson has been a Bible teacher for over 25 years. This article comes from “School: God’s Curriculum” Seg ment 93 of “CORE,” a course for families on how to read and understand the Bible. See T4FAMILYCENTER.COM or reach Steve at


Robin’s Song, by Robert D. Petrik is available on Amazon Books and other book seller s.

The best combination of education includes “natural knowl edge” (math, science, language arts, history, music, art, etc.) AND “spiritual knowledge” (the Bible). Most people generally learn the natural stuff with varying levels of success, but leave out the most important part, the “spiritual knowledge.” It’s up to us to include it, one way or another. Make a decision to learn the Bible too.

When I first learned of the issue and its correspond ing price tag, my response was classic Greg. I dug in and exhibited nothing but intractability. The guy from the restoration company was nothing but a hack and just trying to pull one over on us. I wasn’t about to go along with this farce. Even if some of the repair was legitimate, there is a big difference between a need and a want. Failure to distinguish between the two would significantly and unnecessarily impact my cash flow projections. Why the mess wasn’t identified and dealt with prior to us closing on the house only added to my frustration. This was my mental state as I prepared to sit under my pastor’s preaching the following Sunday. And as is typically the case, Jesus had something for me. The text used was 1 Peter 5: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (5-7, ESV). As the sermon unfolded, something was beginning to dawn on me.

By Greg Grotewold I’m nothing if not predictable. Though typically viewed as a helpful trait, in certain scenarios it be comes less than useful. We recently had one of those less-than-useful scenarios present itself. A problem with our basement’s foundation was identified and the cost to fix is high. Like most, I am averse to spending large sums of money; unlike most, my aversion borders on abhorrence. I loathe it.

While I’ve long known that fear drives my visceral reactions, what I hadn’t considered is what drives the fear itself. I’ve always assumed it’s an inevitable outcome of my intense personality. The verse above suggests otherwise and introduces a spiritual explanation as to why I respond to misfortune the way I do; it’s called pride. The revelation was a surprising one. I don’t see myself as haughty, especially in the context of solving financial challenges. I’m not going around telling everyone how great I am at addressing money issues. Quite the contrary. I become reticent (after the initial outburst) and handcuffed with doubt. My thoughts consumed with indecisiveness, I scurry about grasping for a solution. Even my intractability – what some interpret as confidence – is nothing more than a façade and an outward manifestation of an inward insecurity. These are not the signs of an overly proud individual. Or are they? “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4, NIV). Viewed in light of this particular verse, my pride – however inconspicuous the signs may be – becomes apparent. It contains one of the key themes that marks all self-exaltation: a misappropriation of available resources induced by the belief that the best option for the task at hand is always oneself. That’s certainly me. I fly right past Jesus – and all others for that matter – becoming totally oblivious to His presence in my life. I leave Him no room to operate.Thisis no benign act. In fact, it’s quite audacious. I am basically supplanting Jesus’ authority with my own. And the result is not without consequence. Going back to 1 Peter, God opposes those who want to play Him. The Lord will not bless my efforts; He will frustrate them.

THE BEST response … A simple but

Greg Grotewold

For the redeemed, this opposition is not punishment, though. Yes, Jesus wants to reclaim what is rightly His, but I’m learning that there’s an additional purpose behind His methods. It comes in the form of the fear itself. Such angst is a result of my self-reliance but also the means by which I turn from the sin. Refusing to leave me mired in my own worry, He will actually allow it to grow and fester if that’s what’s required to get my attention. Jesus is trying to show me the futility of relying upon anyone but Him. It’s a gracious admonishment from a God who wants me to surrender so I gain access to the incomparable joy He provides.

44 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

The prudent reaction to any concern in life must start with one simple but profound plea: “Lord, help me.” If earnestly offered up, He will pro vide a type of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).

May we humble ourselves and make room for the Lord’s mighty hand. n Greg Grotewold lives in Oakdale, Minn. with his wife, Sandi, and their two sons, Luke and Eli. He is a deacon in his local church and greatly enjoys serving in this capacity. profound plea: ‘Lord, help me’ Christian Living | September / October 2022 45 ForcesArmedU.S.forPray•BiblesFREE FREE Bibles • Pray for U.S. Armed Forces FREE Bibles • Pray for U.S. Armed Forces ForcesArmedU.S.forPray•BiblesFREE • (208) 465-3577 2809 Garrity Blvd. • Nampa, ID 83687 GET READY • BE PREPARED • IT’S TIME! •BiblesEDon’t Be OffCaughtGuard! •BiblesREEP GEE TR E ADY ComeLadies!SeeRoberta Visit our friendly, helpful, experienced sales team. We can find the right fit for you. yFREE Bibles • for U.S. Armed Forces D’ BC h’B C “Our Guns Are More Fun” ayPrCome in for your hunting supplies. yforU.Plenty of primers & Huntingpowder.ammoinstock. dmeArl expperieiencedd Women & youth models available. By Bradley Shotts “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 (I am praying that this article will give the reader encouragement and the knowledge that even though their situation may seem hopeless, there is always great HOPE and deliverance with God – no matter what they are facing!)

Bradley Shotts began his ministry in the funeral industry in 1988 at Lloyd James Funeral Home in Tyler, Texas. He currently serves as a director at Slay Memorial Funeral Center in Aubrey, Texas. He and his wife Amy live in Bedford, Texas. They have two adult children, Blaine and Braylee, and one grandson. Bradley is a member of Rotary International and enjoys serving in his community. As God directs, he enjoys singing and speaking. He is an ordained minister and loves being used of God.

STUCK in hurt?

Don’t let prayer be your last resort

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57 n

There is probably nothing worse than having to endure continual hurt by the hand of another. You feel completely helpless. Nothing you do or say makes it better and it just sits there inside of you to never go away, or so it seems. Noth ing hurts worse than to know that someone has made it their life’s ambition to hurt you any way they possibly can. Sadly, this happens quite often. It is a mys tery to me why some people choose to live their lives to hurt others. I have seen families literally torn apart, lives ruined, and years of resentment that make it impossible to live happy and productive lives. I know several families who have had to endure such pain and loss. No matter what they say or do, nothing gets resolved, and attempts of reconciliation fall on deaf ears and closed, hardened hearts.Wehave all fallen victim to hurt feelings, but for some this is a way of life, day in and day out. Those who have the misfortune to experience this kind of deep hurt go to sleep with this on their minds and it is the first thing they think about when they wake up. What do you do when you have exhausted everything to right a wrong? Let’s take a look at God’s Word and see how those before us handled their anxiety, worries and times of trouble. David is a great example. David faced great peril numerous times in his life. He faced the Philistine’s greatest warrior, Goliath, standing alone with his life hanging in the balance. Later in life he had to run for his life from King Saul, narrowly escaping death on numerous occasions. I think of young Joseph, his brothers hating him so much from jealousy that they did the unthinkable – they sold him into slavery, then telling their father that he had been killed by a wild animal. Poor Joseph’s hardships unfortunately were just beginning, having to spend years in prison after being falsely accused of rape. There are so many other examples in God’s Word: Job, Daniel and, most of all, our Savior and our Lord, Jesus. Jesus did nothing to anyone, yet he was hated by most. In the end, Jesus suffered more than any human in history, and never once raised His hand or voice in retaliation to defend Himself.

All these great men of God and Jesus did one thing that made all the differ ence in their darkest hour. They prayed… So many times, we turn to prayer as the last resort, when in reality, prayer should be the very first thing that we do. Prayer calls upon God to come to our side. Prayer summons the presence of God; it immediately unlocks God’s mighty wisdom to us and His power to infil trate and completely bring calm and control to our chaos. Prayer is our lifeline. Because of prayer, David was able to sling a small stone to bring down the giant, Goliath, and the entire Philistine army. Because of prayer, Joseph was raised as the second in command of all the land, having tremendous power over his enemies. Prayer is how Job and Daniel were blessed and protected. It was the prayers of Jesus to God the Father in the Garden that prepared Him to be able to withstand the weight of the world on His shoulders, bringing salvation to all Prayermankind.isthegame-changer that is going to make the difference for you as well!Often, situations and hardships that we face are humanly impossible for us to resolve. Honestly, I think it is God’s design that we cannot solve all of our prob lems, thus making us realize just how much we do need Him in our lives. It is important to realize that God is not there just to save us when we face difficulty. God desires – and we should all desire – a daily intimate walk with Him. David certainly walked with God daily, along with Job, Daniel, and so many others in God’s Word. They all cultivated and held dear their close relationship with our Lord. The fulfilled, blessed, and prosperous life you desire only comes with a close daily relationship with Jesus Christ. No person or anything of this world will ever give you what your heart desires. Only Jesus can do that. No matter what you are currently facing, nothing is too big or too small for God. Never underestimate God’s power and the power of prayer. If you have been praying and have already given your situation over to God, continue being faithful and know that God is working. Do not become discouraged. Pray for those who have wronged you and begin thanking God for the answers that are coming.

COUNT on me Be sensitive

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, pa tient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

What is stopping you from being that friend?

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46 September / October 2022 | Christian Living

Write a prayer and ask God to give you the courage to take the first step to be that friend. n

We are not designed to go through life alone or without help. God longs to use you and me as His hands and feet to those He has placed in our path. He longs to make you a friend as He is a friend to us. Every day God provides a subtle reminder of how much He loves us, often disguised as a sunrise, a sun set, the smile of a baby, a blowing wind, a snowflake, a cloud formation, or perhaps even in the lyrics of a song. Who do you know who really needs a friend to talk to, a friend who will listen without ridicule or passing judgment?

Tom Greco is lead pastor at Ontario Community Church. He may be reached at to the needs of

“If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea I’ll sail the world to find you If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see I’ll be the light to guide you We’ll find out what we’re made of When we are called to help our friends in need. You can count on me like 1, 2, 3 I’ll be there And I know when I need it, I can count on you like 4, 3, 2 And you’ll be there ‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do.”

Jesus communicated God’s caring love for people in every encounter. We need both truth and grace: the truth about God, the truth about ourselves, and grace at their intersection. Every day, people in our lives are unexpectedly confronted with difficult life situations and need you and me to come alongside them. As they work through their pain and find healing, they are best helped by someone who, like Jesus, is sensitive to what they are feeling and is loving and practical in their caring. In many ways, these divine situations are not a time to ask why or to offer advice or to even try to evangelize. In these times, people are best helped by knowing they are not alone, and that Jesus is with them. I remember the adage, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The teacher shared that her students broke down in tears when they heard this song. These children expressed that they desperately longed for the love, friendship, and companion ship of their parents. The teacher was silent, sat down, and just cried with them. The children could see her love for each of them.

— Ro mans 12:10-15 (NIV)

A great friend and wonderful teacher invited me into her second grade classroom to join her students in class projects, lunch, and recess games. An overwhelming majority of her students either live with one parent, foster parents, or grand parents. Many of the biological parents are incarcerated, drug addicts, or have lost or are in the process of losing custody of theirDuringchildren.oneclass, she played a music video made by Bruno Mars titled, “Count on Me.” The lyrics go like this:

By Tom Greco

In “Count on Me,” Bruno Mars offers these last words to think about: “And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me Every day I will remind you.”

What does Paul mean when he says “to die is 1:21)?

gain” (Philippians

By Pastor Paul E. Sheppard

That’s not heaven! Heaven is infinitely better than your best day on earth. There is no hu man way to describe the greatness of heaven. We will experience unimaginable fullness of joy in the pres ence of the Lord. In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. — Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) In heaven, you won’t be sitting on a hillside napping the time away. Everywhere you look will be amazing beauty and pleasures forevermore. You can’t walk down a boulevard of glory without getting smacked with pleasures. Bam! You get hit with another pleasure. You go to see your friend’s mansion and bam! God keeps hitting you with pleasures. Your Heavenly Father wants to bless you in ways that you can’t even imagine. Eternity will be so much better than anything you can experience here on earth. All comparisons are inadequate.Deathhas become such a gloomy topic today, but in Christ, it is glorious. People who have no hope in Christ fear death, because it’s so uncertain. But not for us who abide in Christ. Like Paul, we may be uncertain about what to morrow might bring, but this simple certainty cannot be shaken: To die is gain n

This is an excerpt from the series “Keeping THE Main Thing the Main Thing” by Pastor Paul Sheppard. You can hear Pastor Paul’s radio show, “Destined for Victory,” weekday mornings at 9 a.m. MST on 94.1 FM or online at For more information, go to An explanation of Paul’s ‘to die is gain’

DESTINED for Victory

The Bible says the world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). Life on earth can come with a good share of happiness, but this world is not what we were created for. We have some better things coming. Paul says that to “depart and be with Christ…is better by far.” The Greek words for “better by far” make it clear that dying and going to heaven is unimaginably bet ter than living here. The problem is, we think heaven will be boring, because of the cheap way it’s portrayed in movies, with white-robed folk strumming harps in the clouds.

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