JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016
L I BERTY
Barrett JEMfriends is thriving REAL MAN’S
Drawing attention to God
‘The greatest commandment’
Its transformative power
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Sharing some laughter with other believers humdrum days once in a while. Does God enjoy it when we laugh? I certainly think so. I’m pretty certain He has a sense of humor. An absolutely perfect being would have to know how to tell an absolutely perfect joke. I googled, “Does God have a sense of humor?” Pretty much everyone who wrote on the topic agreed that indeed He does. One of the best arguments was that, if humans possess a sense of humor and we’re made in His image, then He must have a sense of humor too — otherwise, where did we get our “funny bone” from? All good things come from God, and humor is good. That’s my argument for why I believe He’s got a sense of humor, and a finely tuned one at that. Some of the writers pointed out the humor in the Bible and the frequent exhortations to be joyful. The clearest example would be: “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” — Proverbs 17:22 Beth Moore, in her book “Portraits of Devotion,” said she gets a good laugh out of Acts 20:9, which reads: “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.” Before you think, “What’s so funny about that?” know that the Apostle Paul was able to revive the young man and told those gathered around him, “Don’t be alarmed. He’s alive!” Continued on page 29
By Gaye Bunderson My first exposure to Christian fellowship was when I attended a church youth group that met at the home of Dan Woodworth’s parents. Dan is a regular contributor to Christian Living and was away at seminary when his parents hosted our College & Careers group, as it was called back in the late ‘70s. Prior to going to that youth group, I hadn’t had a lot of exposure to Christians but had formed some unflattering ideas about them. I was surprised when the young people sitting around the Woodworths’ fireplace started making jokes and laughing. “Christians have a sense of humor?” I thought. “Who knew?” Yes, those young people and their adult leader enjoyed themselves. They enjoyed worship; they enjoyed fellowship. They were clearly happy. They were also warm and welcoming to the new girl (me). That was a great time in my life. Being a brand new Christian can be an amazing experience; everything’s got that newChristian smell. You’re discovering just how incredible God is, how much He loves all of us and how personally He knows us. You realize that from then on in life, you’ve got the Creator in your corner. I’m writing this on a day when I could use some humor. It’s not that it’s a particularly bad day or that anything awful happened. You know how you just experience those ho-hum,
Christian Living | January / February 2016
Contents January / February 2016 Features Greatest commandment:
“Always 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.” — 1 Peter 3:152
Stickin’ to his story
Find what’s missing
Staying on track
12 16 17
with 10 Outdoors Dougherty:
Aging, but still hunting
Faith: 14 Challenging Hitting your stride
Cover Story —
Where Are They Now?
Liberty Barrett & JEMfriends
Unplugged: A no-TV zone
Five shared insights
Drawing attention to God
24 30 36
A cold winter hike
38 A wrecked life restored Gary Everhart:
Notes from Home: You’re parenting all wrong
the Gap: 22 Bridging Walk in others’ shoes Health: 25 Maximum Your best year This: 34 Consider The miracle of mentoring
Art Fruition 32
Real Man’s Toolbox: God-sized dreams
Editor’s Intro: Sharing laughter
Daily Bread: 26 Your Take control in 2016 in 33 Creativity the kitchen
In Each Edition 5
Volume 4, Number 1 Publisher Sandy Jones Editor Gaye Bunderson firstname.lastname@example.org 208-639-8301 Sales & Marketing Melva Bade email@example.com 208-631-3779 • Vin Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org 208-989-2097 • Sandy Jones email@example.com 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Drew Brown Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Dan Dougherty, Evelyn Fleenor, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Leo Hellyer, Kirsten Holmberg, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Louis Sheppard, and Dan Woodworth Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services Website Design SEO Idaho Webmaster Liza Morgan 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 2016 by Christian Living Magazine LLC. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 800 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on Facebook Badge
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Publisher’s Corner: Is this the year?
January / February 2016 | Christian Living
In 2016 rise to challenges, get closer to God By Sandy Jones, Publisher Christian Living Magazine
New Year’s Resolutions. Many people make them. So often they have something to do with health and fitness, promising themselves, ‘This is the year! I’m going to lose those unwanted pounds and get fit.’ Perhaps it’s organization, and the promise goes something like this, ‘I’m getting rid of all clutter. This is the year I simplify my life and get organized.’ Don’t get Sandy Jones me wrong, I’m not picking on those people; I’m actually one of them myself, with the exception that I do it all year long. I try to be a constant work in progress. For instance last August I decided I’d packed around 35 extra pounds long enough; I was well known for saying “I’m a Grandma. Grandmas are supposed to be soft.” I contacted a health coach and started my journey. As of the time of this writing, I’m pleased that I’ve lost 32 of those 35 pounds, and so far the holidays haven’t slowed me down much. I’ll be honest – it didn’t originally start as me worrying about my health. It was all vanity. Our oldest son got engaged last spring and will marry this year, and I was simply not “walking down the aisle as the mother of the groom, looking like this!” But as the summer went by I
started doing some soul searching and came to the realization that I was not taking care of God’s house – not at all! As a matter of fact if the church we attend was falling apart the way I was allowing myself to, we would probably chat with the pastor about the lack of maintenance. So I got serious and found someone to hold me accountable. This morning’s devotional reading caused me to once again stop and analyze the health and fitness of my relationship with our Lord Jesus. It was the reading of Philippians 2:5-11, and though it was really meant as an early advent reading, it got me to pause for a health check. Have I, once again, put Jesus in a box? Made Him too small? That Jesus, as part of the Trinity of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, came to earth as a mere man, lived out a human life on this earth, enduring temptations and trials, and suffering an undeserved death on the cross for us should never be taken for granted. This reminds me how small a part of the entire universe I really am, but I also know that as small and unworthy as I may be, God loves me enough to do this for me. He’s done it for you too. I hope you have that peace as well. If you don’t, please find someone – a health coach of sorts – to help you find this peace. We have many Bible believing, Bible teaching churches here in the Treasure Valley, several of which can be found in our church directory in each issue. I encourage you to become one of those resolution making people – and to resolve to make this the year you draw closer to God than ever before. God Bless! n
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 5
— Philippians 2:5-11 NIV
Christian Living | January / February 2016
REAL Man’s Toolbox
Don’t stop pursuing God-sized dreams Leo Hellyer For this first “Real Man’s Toolbox,” we will be examining an area of manhood that many times suffers from the daily attacks of life. Many men are bombarded with unrealistic expectations around them which can lead to exhaustion, depression, mental health issues, physical health issues and sexual performance issues. Many men have been betrayed by friends, supervisors, business or ministry part- Leo Hellyer ners, and others whom they were close to and trusted. As a result of these attacks, many men lose the ability to dream. As the first item for Real Man’s Toolbox, I highly recommend a book by John C. Maxwell called “Put Your Dream to the Test.” In this inspirational book, Dr. Maxwell defines a dream as “an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” It is extremely difficult to dream, and especially difficult to achieve a dream, when you have lost sight of that dream because you have been beat up by life. As Christian men, we have access to armor and weapons more powerful than any attacks that the world can send our way. Many times when we are in the midst of these attacks, we try to repel the attacks in our own power and wisdom, and we fail miserably. It is through a close and constant relationship with Jesus Christ that we have the power and ability to defeat the bombardment from Satan and his cohorts. In his book, Dr. Maxwell also says, “Between the dream’s inspiration and its manifestation, there’s going to be a lot of perspiration.” We will need to work hard to achieve our dreams. With Christ’s inspiration, power, support, courage, and direction, we will achieve the dreams that He gives us. As we search for and examine a dream or dreams, John Maxwell presents “10 Questions That Will Help You See It and Seize It.” Maxwell believes that if we are able to answer the following 10 questions in the affirmative, we will be more successful in achieving our dreams. 1. Is my dream really my dream? 2. Do I clearly see my dream? 3. Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream? 4. Does my dream compel me to follow it? 5. Do I have a strategy to reach my dream? 6. Have I included the people I need to realize my dream? 7. Am I willing to pay the price for my dream? 8. Am I moving closer to my dream? 9. Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction? 10. Does my dream benefit others? Tommy Barnett, a pastor from Phoenix, Arizona, presents a challenge that I feel is a great challenge for all Christian
men: “Dream a dream so big only God can fulfill it.” Barnett says, “How do I know which dreams in my heart are from God?” Here is the answer. You will know it’s God’s dream if: • It is bigger than you. • You can’t let it go. • You would be willing to give everything for it. • It will last forever. • It meets a need nobody else has met. • It brings glory to God. As we seek to dream God-sized dreams, I believe there is another confirmation that our dream is from God and not from ourselves, or others in our lives. When I seek God’s direction in my life, I pray that God will open the doors that He wants me to go through, and that He will close the doors that He doesn’t want me to go through. The hard part of this prayer is following it faithfully and not trying to pry open some of the doors of our life that God has closed. I believe it is a validation that I am following God’s direction in life, that I am following a dream from God, when I encounter more doors God is opening than ones He is closing. God has a divine plan for each of us. I believe that sometimes God places those plans that He has for us in our minds as dreams for us to seek after. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read that the Lord says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God has plans for us; if we call upon Him, He will hear us. Men of God, cast away the hurts and deceptions of life. Seek the only truth there is, seek the direction of your Heavenly Father. Be open to His guidance and direction. Don’t dream man-sized dreams; dream God-sized and Godinspired dreams! God is a miracle-working God today just as He was at creation and during the lives of the prophets, disciples, and others we read about in the Bible. God is alive and well, and is performing miracles right now in 2016, in the United States, right here in the Great State of Idaho. God wants to do a miracle in your life. Seek Him, and be obedient, and see what miracle He does for you, and what miracles He does with you for others. My prayer is that each of you will discover your dream from God, and that you will share that dream with those God brings across your path. It takes courage to dream, especially to dream Godsized dreams. n Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife, Norma, for 42 years. The couple volunteered with FamilyLife on its Boise ministry team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. They may be reached at email@example.com. If you have questions about Marriage Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at (208) 344-1357.
What’s love got to do with it? By Daniel Bobinski When I came to the Lord 30 years ago, my emotions soared. I was simultaneously elated, relieved, joyous, grateful, and astounded that the Creator of the universe was an infinitely good and righteous God who wanted a personal relationship with me — and actually gave Himself up to be executed to provide a pathway for that relationship to occur. His mercy, grace, and love are truly beyond descripDaniel Bobinski tion in human words. But after several years, I was looking to clearly define the path He wanted me to walk. After all, there are 613 laws in the Torah, and Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. I was a relatively new Christian — what did Jesus mean? How was I supposed to live so God would be pleased? I prayed, “God, please boil it all down for me. What is the core of what You want me to know and do?” Very clearly, God led me to Matthew 22:34-40, which says: Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘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.’ All the Law and all the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The first thing that jumped off the page at me was verse 40: “All the Law and all the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Not some. Not most. All the Law, and all the Prophets. In other words, if there were one thesis statement that captured the essence of the entire Bible, Jesus just underlined it for us. The second thing I noticed was that Jesus gave them more than they were looking for. The Pharisee was looking for the greatest commandment, but Jesus gave them two, saying the second was just like the first. I figured if someone asked Jesus to provide one answer and He provided two, and while doing so said the second one was like the first one, I better pay close attention to both. Especially since all the Law and all the Prophets hung on His answers. Well, that led me to another question: “What is love?” Jesus told us the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God,” but in John 14:15, Jesus tells the disciples, “If you love me, keep my commands.” At first glance, it’s almost like circular reasoning — the greatest command is to love Him, but to show that we love Him, we’re supposed to keep His commands.
January / February 2016 | Christian Living
It’s kind of like going to a dictionary, looking up the word “rutabaga,” and finding it says, “See turnip.” So you flip over to “turnip,” and find that it says, “See rutabaga.” Thankfully, the apostle Paul gave us a very clear definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, clarifying what love is, and what love is not. And, because 1 John 4:8 specifically tells us that God is love, a quick read of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 substituting the word “God” in place of the word “love” tells us what God is like. It should also be stated that placing our own name in those verses shows us that we don’t measure up to God’s standard for love. When I pondered that I didn’t have the capacity to love using God’s standard, He reminded me that as a born-again believer, I had the Holy Spirit dwelling within me, and that if I would “nurture the soil of my heart” and yield to the Holy Spirit, God’s love would emerge. That began a years-long study into each of the verbs listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I searched with an ongoing hunger to understand God’s version of love, and, with Him being love, I looked to Him as my example. For instance, because love is patient (v. 4), I looked for and acknowledged God’s patience with me (at least as much as I could). I also consciously took note of when I was being patient with Him. These were examples of how God was loving me, and how I was loving God. I also took note of when I was patient with others, and I also sought to be more patient with myself. I have to say, many people tell me we’re not supposed to love ourselves, that we’re supposed to deny the flesh. I say those are mutually exclusive topics. The reason? I am not my flesh. I am a child of the Living God and a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). That’s the real me, and THAT’s the part I can learn to love by being patient with myself, more kind to myself, etc. Besides, if I know what it’s like to be patient with myself, I can be more confident that I’m extending Godly love (such as patience) to others when I’m exercising patience with them. By the way, if you choose to undertake a similar study, know that when you get to the “love is not” portions, you simply need to find the antonyms to get a clue of what Godly love would be instead. This is a very rich and fulfilling study that I’ve now facilitated dozens of times, and each time I facilitate it, I learn more about what it means to love with God’s kind of love. If anyone ever asks you, “How am I supposed to live so God will be pleased?” you can tell them that God’s love, through God’s Holy Spirit living inside them, can emerge — if they nurture the soil of their heart so His love can grow. n Daniel Bobinski is the director of Family Experience Ministries, and co-author of award-winning book, Becoming a Student of Your Students, written with his wife, Jeralynne. Daniel is currently facilitating “The Love Study” the second Sunday evening each month. Learn more at www.familyexperience.net.
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Staying in shape for the thrill of hunting By Dan Dougherty Well, another year of deer hunting has come and gone. I will have to wait another 10 months before I can do it again. As I age it is one of the big incentives to try to stay somewhat in shape. Those hills just are not as easy to navigate as they once where. My interest in deer hunting all started after I graduated from high school. My grandpa gave me his old 30-30. Up until college I was an avid bird hunter. My sophomore year of college I attended Boise College, just upgraded from Boise Junior College. I met Gary Belliston, a young man from Burley who I had in several of my Education classes. He became a close friend. At his suggestion I bought a Herter’s 30-06 with an adjustable trigger and 2x7 Redfield Wide-field scope. (I still hunt with it!) I joined him the next fall on a draw hunt in the South Hills and got my first deer. I hunted the South Hills for several years. It is an area of large mule deer. I am not a head hunter. I hunt to eat. I do like big bodied deer. Over the next decades I shot mule deer in varied locations in southern Idaho such as the Owhyees, Arrowrock, Rabbit Creek, Jug Handle, Bear Valley, etc. I will never forget when my son David got his first deer on the side of Squaw Butte below the radar station. The fun of the hunt is not so much the tagging of the animal but the camaraderie of being in God’s Great Outdoors with family and friends. My son was told by some friends that they were now hunting whitetail up north because they were much more “tasty.” We had been eating mule deer for years and no one had ever complained. He went to the friends’ home for a barbecue and had whitetail. He came home and raved about it. I told him, “A deer is a deer!” A couple days later he brought over a package of whitetail for us to try. I have not hunted a mule deer since! My family prefers whitetail over almost all other meat. My first hunt up north, I went with my father-in-law, Bob Yelm, and his brother Eldon up above Grangeville. We saw all kinds of deer but shot none. Unlike mule deer, the whitetail deer did not stand around. They “flagged” us and were gone. It is the not the “spot-and-stalk” mule deer hunt. A well known local Nez Pierce Indian elder, Rudy Carter, took us out to show us the “How” and “Where” to hunt. He was the father of one of my wife’s friends. He was in his late 60s and I was amazed how fast he could go up and down the terrain with no sling and his gun in his hand. He taught us well. The meat was great! The next year my wife went to shoot her first deer. She used the old Mauser action .243 that my nephews, sons, and all their
friends used to get their first deer. I put her on a spot where I had shot a deer the day before. I left her to check out another spot nearby. I had hardly left when I heard her shoot. I went running back and found her straddling a deer with her knife, shaking. I said, “What’s wrong?” She answered, “Nothing, I am just so excited!” After many more deer she still gets somewhat excited. Don’t we all? In the past we camped with all our church friends at the South Fork Campground. We have been staying the last several years at Monty and Brenda’s Harpster RV Park on the South Fork of the Clearwater. We like the conveniences and it puts us in the middle of the area we like to hunt. We still hunt nearby and visit our friends. The Tuttles, Christensens, Coopers, friends, and relatives are there every year. Last year I took a picture of the three generations of Tuttle hunters. Leo, the patriarch, was 95. I asked him his secret. He said, “Eat right and just keep moving.” He missed his deer that year but got one at 94. His son Gary and three grandsons Nate, Nick, and Luke were there. Leo’s other son, Earl, who is always there, was having a cornea transplant that time around. Most of the year he is a charter fishing boat captain in Alaska. In an accident, he got a client’s hook in his eye. Earl was hunting this year. He took a picture of his dad, myself, brother Gary, and friend Jimmy — aging hunters. I was sitting at one of our hunting spots looking over a scene that just the day before had been blue skies, crisp and clear. The snow that came that night had made it white, and the mist floating above the trees catching the evening sun was breathtaking. The phrase, “Be still and know that I am God” echoed through my mind. Sometimes we have to just stop, be still, and meditate, seeing the beauty of His handiwork and feeling His presence. He is always there for us! My son Jakoub and I were on the last day of our hunt. He wanted a buck. The new snow was a definite aid in that quest. About 8 a.m. that morning he shot one on a steep hillside. The well-placed shot dropped the buck in its tracks and it slid down the hill about 75 yards. If it wasn’t for a blackberry patch, it would have slid a hundred yards further. Have you ever field dressed a deer on a steep hill in a blackberry patch? I don’t recommend it. (My scrapes and puncture wounds have healed...) Although the 4x5 rack wasn’t massive, the buck had a very big body — too big for the two of us to get it back up the steep, snow-covered hill.
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We decided it would be best for Jakoub to take it to the logging road below and then out to the lower road. I was taking his gun back to the pickup to make the pack out easier. Before he proceeded he asked if he could have my pistol. There were wolf tracks everywhere. I told him I had forgot and left it in the trailer. I said during the day and with all the hunters around, the wolves would not be a problem. On picking him up later he was tired and glad to see me. He said the pack out wasn’t too bad but he did get a little anxious when he came across a wolf kill. There were fresh tracks all around it. He said he had prayed for success and his prayers were answered. He was happy to get the meat for his growing family. Hunting whitetail is not as strenuous as hunting mule deer. You find an area where they are, get a good concealed spot and wait. You still have to get from spot to spot and hopefully pack out after. I pray God will give me the discipline to get in shape to hunt for many more years. You know how hard it is to get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the winter without overindulging! I would like to be like Leo, enjoying my multi-generational family and hunting when I’m 96! n
Don Wixom REALTOR, GRI, ABR, CRS 880-5039Cell
Christian Living | January / February 2016 11
‘That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!’
Chuck Seldon, 84, is founder of an organization called Our Godly American Heritage. (Photo by Sandy Jones)
By Sandy Jones Chuck Seldon has had a very full life. Married to his lovely wife Lois since the early 50’s, they’ve traveled the world together. Imagine how surprised Chuck was one day when after attending church faithfully every week for 12 years, Lois informed him, “Chuck, you’re not a Christian.” There it was, plain and simple. The son of the local auto dealer, Chuck had grown up around all the mechanics in the shop and picked up their favorite “mechanicing words” — he was able to turn the air blue, except when his mother was around… he knew better than to use such language around his mother. Chuck was upset with Lois for her proclamation, but deep down he knew she was right. She invited him to attend a Billy Graham crusade with her. He asked, “Who’s Billy Graham?” It was actually a Youth For Christ event, and upon hearing the salvation story, of how Christ died for our sins, Chuck went forward. “I couldn’t wait to go forward and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior!” At 17, Chuck joined the Minnesota National Guard, just in time for the Korean War. Having enlisted at such a young age, the war was actually over by the time he graduated from his training at Fort Rucker in Alabama. Returning home, his mother insisted that he go to the University of Minnesota. Chuck resisted. Since he had to repeat the 7th grade, he didn’t feel that he was scholar material. His mother reassured him that he’d be fine, and he graduated with his first degree: Associate of Arts. This was just the beginning.
12 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
Chuck would go on to attend St. Cloud Teacher’s College with Lois. Together they went on to attain doctorates from both Long Beach State College (in secular education), and Grace Graduate School (in Christian School Administration). Chuck and Lois felt called to the mission field, so they joined the Lutheran Brotherhood Exchange. For their first year-long assignment, Chuck and Lois went to New Guinea. Chuck’s dad expressed his concern — after all, weren’t the people of New Guinea cannibals? Chuck knew they would be protected, but did have one uneasy night when the rest of the missionaries went to a mission conference, leaving Chuck and Lois alone with the natives. In the middle of the night the natives began to have a “pow wow,” hollering, jumping up and down and crying. Chuck decided to take a stick to bed, for protection. Lois pointed out the natives were proficient when fighting with sticks, and suggested that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea. On a second year-long trip, Chuck and Lois were sent to Africa to set up Christian schools. Throughout this time, both Chuck and Lois taught in public schools in California. Chuck realized that living on teachers’ salaries was not very lucrative. It seemed everyone in California was buying foreclosed property, holding them for 5 years and selling them, doubling their investments. So for a brief period of their lives Chuck and Lois owned a few rental properties, selling them to self-fund most of their expenses when they entered the mission fields. Returning to work in California, Lois developed severe allergies. It was about this time that their daughter, Lori, called
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to suggest that they retire to Boise, Idaho. Lori was a pilot for Alaska Airlines and in the [National] Guard. A single mother, she’d found that her daughter, Emily, was spending more and more time alone. With local grandparents it would be the best of both worlds. Lori could maintain her flight schedules without having to worry about Emily. Lori was right — it worked well. Today Emily is an adult with two children of her own, and according to her grandfather Chuck, she is doing “an excellent job of raising them!” “I’m living in Boise, Idaho and I’m absolutely convinced that this is the Lord’s will for my life... I absolutely love it here...” Chuck was born in Morris, Minnesota in 1932 as Charles Dripps. In the early years after they’d moved to California, Lois and the couple’s 3 children, who were still all at home, expressed their displeasure of carrying that moniker around. Lois even confessed that she almost didn’t marry Chuck, as she wasn’t sure that she wanted to go through life known as Mrs. Dripps. Chuck got to researching their family history when a cousin informed him that the original family name was Seldon, that Dripps was an escape name when the family left Scotland during the war between Scotland and Ireland, a war that continues today after more than 400 years. Celebrating his 84th birthday this January, one might think it’s time for Chuck to retire and simply enjoy life, but no — Chuck continues on, as he has the past 10 years, dedicated to lobbying the state lawmakers to get the Bible back in school through his organization, Our Godly American Heritage. Chuck can often be found at the Boise Public Library, reading copious numbers of books, and encouraging Kevin, the library director, to continue to grow the selection of books on American history in hopes that this and future generations will learn from our nation’s past. And as Chuck would say, “That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!” (You can learn more by visiting ourgodlyamericanheritage.com. You can visit Chuck at Our Godly American Heritage Day at the Idaho State Capitol on Thursday, January 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) n
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 13
10 habits for hitting your stride in 2016 By Joel Lund They’re not what you think: We are funny creatures, when one year ends and another begins. Many of us look for ways to make the next year better than the last one. Intuitively, we know that for us to get a better year, we somehow need to get better ourselves. And that’s OK, since improving ourselves is deeply fulfilling. The better we are, the more impact we have. So how do we get better? By choosing to and then doing something. These steps are actually easy and simple. What’s not to love about that?
What they are 1. Calm down. Does it feel like there’s not enough time to get things done? Most people will answer, “Yes!” A question to ask yourself is, “Really?” In other words, it can feel that way but not be true. Our feelings don’t make it so. Maybe there are simply too many things you’re trying to do. Is it time to go over your mental to-do list and draw a line through some of the items? If you haven’t prioritized them, do it now. Because you can’t do them all at the same time. We all get the same 168 hours in a week. Some people just get more done in those 168 hours than others. 2. Sleep enough. Chronic lack of sleep is a chronic problem for most of us, but there is a surprising lack of consensus on how much sleep we need. Rather than try to sort out whether the average person needs 6.5 hours or 8, how about you just figure out what you need? If you’re tired, you need more sleep.
14 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
Add 15 more minutes a night for a week and see how you feel. Better but not great? Add another 15, for another week. WARNING: The odds are high that you are overstimulated when you turn in. That will severely mess with both the quality and quantity of your sleep. Two things that will immediately help you are turning down the lights in your house an hour before bed and turning off all screens, too. BONUS: Checking your email in the middle of the night guarantees your next day will suffer. 3. Drink more. Your body is roughly 60 percent water. When you sleep you’re in a desert for between 6 and 8 hours. That’s why it’s so important to drink 16 ounces of water when you get up. And that just gets your day started. If you wait to drink until you are thirsty, you waited too long. Drink more water. Your body will thank you and you will be more productive. BONUS: Your mind will be sharper, too. 4. Make lists. Productive people make intentional lists. Lots of lists. Our favorite is a full sheet of paper with three sections. The first section is for projects (up to three) to complete for the day. The next section is for people — who to reach out to that day and who you’re waiting to hear from. The final section is for priorities that day. Find it at http:// bit.ly/PFR-Planner. 5. Eat less, often! Take your typical 3 meals and break them into 5 or 6 micro-meals per day. Strive for fresh; reduce the wrappers. Giving fuel to your mind and body frequently throughout the day simply makes for a more productive day. 6. Eat more, daily: Increase your mood-food calorie intake by reading (books, magazines), listening (podcasts, webinars) and engaging (in mastermind groups, affiliation networks, MeetUps of likeminded people, etc.). A favorite mood-food bistro of ours is SUCCESS Magazine, which includes an awesome bonus audio CD (2 sources of mood-food in one place). 7. Priority-block: Sorry, it’s been proven. Multitasking actually makes you stupid. So, it is an illusion you can’t afford to keep living with: you aren’t making progress by multitasking. Instead, go all in on one task for 20-25 minutes, and then take a quick break. Rinse and repeat. A free app that I find extremely useful is FocusBooster. It’s simple and easy to use on any device. You’ll become a task-completing Ninja with it. BONUS: You’ll get enough breaks throughout the day to remain fresh. 8. Be an exorcist: Is your worst time-sucking demon email? Remember this: as soon as you start looking at email, you are serving someone else’s agenda, not your own. So, limit your email time-blocks to late in the morning and the end of the day. Second-worst time-demon? Interruptions. Limit them as much as you can. Close a door, if you can. Make it harder for people to get to you. You really can’t afford not to. 9. Walk: The simplest exercise of all is walking. You can walk indoors if the weather is bad. You don’t have to change clothes or go to the gym. It improves your mood, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you lose weight. BONUS: Did I mention it’s free?
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10. Choose: It may seem obvious but here’s the thing — for anything to change in our lives, we have to first choose to change. Wishing things are different won’t make it happen. Taking action will. The first action step is choosing to take action. These steps are pretty simple, even obvious. But they are not easy. Creating a new habit takes time. That’s OK. Each new habit will improve your stride. By the way, you don’t have to plug in all Joel Lund 10 steps at the same time. Pick one and run. Your stride will get better with each one. Make 2016 your best year, ever. n
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 15
Group for women wants to give you a LIFT By Genny Heikka Sitting in a cafe surrounded by groups of women who are leaning in close and confiding in each other, I’m more certain than ever that I need to write this. I hear it in the conversation that rises above the music, and I see it in the encouraging hugs of hello and goodbye; we women need each other — to cheer each other on, to lift each other up, and to help each other when we’re in that place of feeling like there’s just something missing. And so I write to you — the woman who might be frazzled by life or disconnected from what you’re truly passionate about. The woman who might be focusing on things that aren’t important to you, simply because other people think that’s what you should be doing. The woman who has dreams tucked away, high on a shelf, unsure if you’ll ever be able to pursue them. The woman who longs to live life with more significance and meaning. I write to you because I’ve been there. I know how it feels to lose Genny Heikka sight of the things that make your heart sing. When I found myself in that place years ago, it was the start of a new journey for me. And I began to realize what the missing something was. As it surfaced in glimpses of insight and understanding (and sometimes even in whispers) things started to become clear. One of those glimpses came the first time I spoke to a large audience. I remember walking on stage with my knees shaking. But beyond the nerves, there was exhilaration… and a strange sense of peace. There was something in that moment that spoke to my soul. When I talk to women, hear their stories, and cheer them on, I feel it too — a sense of Pam Strain certainty that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That sense of knowing my purpose. When we come to understand who we are and the difference we can make simply because of our uniqueness, we find our voice. Our passion grows and we begin to live in that sweet spot of being truly authentic. We begin to live: inspired, fearless and thriving. Does that mean you’ll never get scared? That once you understand more about who you are, Kirsten Holmberg you’ll be totally sure about the path ahead and what you’ll be doing in the next several years? Hardly. It just means that your understanding of why you’re here will allow you to live more
16 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
intentionally, and more bravely. When you have a strong sense of what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re able to move forward and do it — even if it frightens you. These are the things I’ve been talking about with my friends Pam and Kirsten lately. (The three of us are passionate about helping women see their true value, and thrive.) I wish you could have been with us in Kirsten’s dining room, the rain pounding outside as we talked a mile a minute about our hopes for women to live full and fearless lives. I wish you could’ve shared your own story as we shared ours with each other over morning conversations at coffee. I wish you could’ve sat with us on the patio that afternoon in the sunshine as we brainstormed ideas for helping women to live free and unstuck. But even though you weren’t there, you were on our minds. And through those conversations, LIFT was born — a gathering of women in January, here in the Treasure Valley, to help you Live: Inspired, Fearless, and Thriving. How would your life be different if you better understood your value? What impact could you have on your world? What’s holding you back? These are the questions we’ll be exploring at LIFT, and we’d love to have you there. You’ll take a step closer to discovering the real you and living more fully. Pam, Kirsten and I aren’t perfect and we don’t have it all figured out. We’re just three women with different stories who have learned that knowing who you are, and why you’re here, can make a huge impact in your life, and the lives of others. We hope you’ll join us!
More about LIFT:
Join speakers Pam Strain, Genny Heikka and Kirsten Holmberg on January 28, 2016, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 651 N. Eagle Rd., Eagle. Tickets are $15 for one or $25 for two. Space is limited; register at liftedhigh.org. Bring a friend and make it a girls’ night out. Come for the encouragement and the fun (dessert and other surprises). No childcare available. Suitable for adult women. Sponsored by SEARCH, a faithbased organization that provides a safe place for women to come together and explore questions about life and God. The event venue is Eagle United Methodist Church, but women from all faiths and perspectives are welcome. For more information, or to contact the event coordinators, visit liftedhigh.org. n
STAYING on track
Achieving your goals for the new year By Kirsten Holmberg Many of us set goals for the new year every January. But by March, we’ve fallen off the wagon and struggle with lost hope and inertia. Sometimes that’s because the goals weren’t truly important to us. Other times, it’s because we don’t know how to keep ourselves on track. Here are some tips to keep you on the road to success: Re-assess. If you can’t remember what your goal was by March, it probably wasn’t all that critical to you. Focus on the items you can easily remember; they deserve your effort and attention. Bundle it. To add a new habit, pair it with an existing habit, something you already do regularly. For example, I usually watch about 20 minutes of TV before turning in to bed. As part of my goals for this year, I’m hoping to become more flexible. The short, pithy TED talks will get me through the painful moments on the foam roller and my nightly attempts to introduce my index finger to my big toe. Strive for progress, not perfection. As someone with a black-or-white mindset, I frequently throw in the towel on a goal if I break my streak. But that’s the shortcut to certain failure. Instead, focus on what you have done and resume as soon as you can. Did you miss a day or two already on your Bible-in-a-year reading program? Don’t give up. If you don’t have time to catch up, at least pick up again with today’s reading. Any steps toward the goal are worthwhile (and reading any portion of God’s Word is better than none!). The same is true of healthy eating,
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daily exercise and financial discipline. Today is a new day: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23a ESV) Write it out. All of it. You might have one large goal for the year. Or, like me, you might have a handful. In either case, writing out your goal in a phrase or sentence will help embed it in your mind, where you’ll need to have it in order to see it to fruition. Take it a few steps further, though, and write out what obstacles might impede your achievement of it and the tools you’ll use to overcome them. Here’s a sample from my goal sheet this year: • Goal: Cultivate deeper relationships by inviting friends into my home (instead of going out) where more meaningful conversation can take place. • Obstacle: Feeling my house has to be clean keeps me from opening my home. • Tactics: Ten minutes of cleaning per day to keep living areas presentable. Jotting myself a note to remember that my friends come to see me, not my house, and that a cluttered living room is authentic to who I am. These strategies will help us inch closer to the finish line, slowly and steadily. But they won’t get us there without effort. As Thomas Edison said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” So, let’s get to work. n Kirsten Holmberg is a freelance writer, editor and speaker. You may find more of her work at www.eighttwentyeight.org.
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 17
NOTES from Home
Parenting: You’re doing it all wrong!
By Dani Grigg Expert parent: Hello, 3-year-old. It’s time to pick up toys. Would you like The other day my boys were coughing to put away the cars first or the blocks a little bit, so I had them stay home from first? church. Child: Um….. blocks! Thanks for letOther times, they’ve been coughing a ting me choose. I feel empowered. little bit, but I’ve brought them to church. I grasped onto that advice and whipped Why the inconsistency, you ask? Beit out as soon as my kids got to an age cause I have no idea what I’m doing. where they could communicate. Am I supposed to quarantine a cough? But here’s how it’s gone for me: I don’t know. But that’s just one tiny drop Me: Hello, sweet boy. It’s time to in a sea of things I may or may not be pick up toys. Would you like to put doing wrong as a parent. away the cars first or the blocks first? Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and I can tell you the exact moment I realChild: NOOOOOOO!!!!! happy mother of two young sons. ized I had no idea what I was doing. It NOOOOOOO!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!! was the moment my doctor placed my I want to plaaaaayyyyy!!! [lots of firstborn son into my arms in the delivery room. How was I screaming and crying.] supposed to keep this little guy alive, I wondered. He wouldn’t Or: eat. He wouldn’t calm down. He wouldn’t go to sleep. He Me: Okay, my love! It’s time to get ready for bed. Do you might have a cold. He might be cold. His carseat might be the want to wear the striped pajamas or the bear pajamas? wrong brand. I might be doing it all wrong. Child: NOOOOOO!!!! NOOOO!!!! NOOOOOOO!!! I will I’ve now been a parent for five years and my dominion has not go to bed!! I will not put on my pajamas! NOOOOO!!!! expanded to two young souls. The issues are different but still [lots of screaming and crying.] baffling. Take, for example, obedience. Why are my children Why is this going wrong? Even armed with some expert advice, I repeat: I have no idea what I’m doing. not obeying me? Should I be more firm? Should I instill more But at least I’m not the only one. fear? Should the consequences for disobeying be different? The other day my friend texted me, asking to borrow a huShould I spend more time explaining why my command is midifier for her daughter. I asked if she wanted the hot kind or just? Should I just be an all-around better person? the cold kind. She said: “Um…. I had no idea there were two Ugggh. I have no idea what I’m doing. I remember working in the church nursery, before I had kids, kinds.” I said: “Wait, I thought you knew what you were doing with a mom who really seemed to be nailing it as an adult. She as a parent and an adult.” She said: “Whatever gave you that idea???? [lots of deer-in-the-headlights emojis]” shared some of her parenting wisdom with me: Kids want to So she doesn’t know either. When I ask my friends for parentfeel like they’re in control, so let them decide how they’ll do ing advice, they’re usually just as confused as I am. something. Give them options. So all say a prayer for these children of parents who are For example, it’s clean up time. Instead of simply command- doinglet’s so many things wrong. I have a feeling that accounts for ing the child to pick up toys, here’s what you say: most of us. n
18 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
Where Are They Now
20 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
JEMfriends founder has firm grasp on her mission By Gaye Bunderson Editor’s note: Christian Living is reconnecting with some of the people featured in past editions to see what’s new with them and what might have changed in their lives or ministries. We are calling the column Where Are They Now? We recently got in touch with Liberty Barrett, founder of JEMfriends, to see what she’s been up to since our first interview late in 2013. (The original article appeared in the January/February 2014 edition of Christian Living). There’s nothing static about Liberty Barrett or the organization she launched seven years ago at the age of 19. Called JEMfriends, the nonprofit helps young people who age out of foster care. Anyone who may have thought someone so young wouldn’t be able to maintain the momentum necessary to keep a nonprofit going — and growing — never met the tenacious Barrett, now 26. JEMfriends is thriving and so is its young founder. “When I first started out, people were gentle with me. It’s like they were not wanting to burst my bubble. People were too cautious; they weren’t pushing hard enough,” Barrett said. Even she calls her chances at success at 19 statistically daunting. The year 2013 was a gap year for JEMfriends. The nonprofit had closed its house for aged-out foster youth in Meridian and was looking for a new house in Boise. Meeting with Barrett at the time meant getting together at whatever location was convenient. But in 2015, many gaps closed. She now has an office at the corner of Kootenai and Orchard, and the original JEMfriends house that opened in Boise in December of 2013 was eventually closed in favor of another, better house that opened in April of 2015. It’s near the airport and is three times larger than the first Boise house. Barrett’s enthusiasm for JEMfriends has not wavered. “I have so much passion. I am more passionate now than when I started,” she said. And she has learned so much. She has more than a dozen books in her office and said they are just a sampling of what she has read the past seven years on how to help youth who age out of foster care. “I study a lot and read a lot,” she said. “I respect individuals in the field who are willing to share what they know about healing, foster care and adoption.” She also studies local organizations that are attempting to do work similar to hers. “What we have learned is it’s not just about impacting youth. The community is unaware of what they can do to help,” she said. She frequently speaks to groups and at churches about JEMfriends and the young people who need love and support while they transition to an independent adult life. “I have more of a sense of what JEMfriends was established for, and how many people can accomplish the vision,” Barrett said. One of the things that motivated her to establish an office was the growing number of volunteers who wanted to help out
Liberty Barrett, founder of JEMfriends, hugs one of the young women who has aged out of foster care and is now working to live independently. (Courtesy photo)
with JEMfriends. There is a conference room near the office where she holds training sessions. She’s literally updating the training to keep up with all the new volunteers; she now has 50 in all, ages 16 and up. She also uses her office to meet with clients — or JEMyouth, as she calls them. She is currently trying to fill three volunteer staff positions: a community promotions coordinator, a volunteer coordinator, and a fundraising coordinator. She already has an events coordinator who recently helped her pull off the 2015 5th Annual Fundraiser Banquet attended by 200 people. In a move to be organizationally structured, JEMfriends now has an easy to read written document on its ongoing programs and projects, with explanations of each. It also has a written vision, mission statement, and definition of what a JEMfriend is: any person who joins in the JEMfriends community through financial giving, volunteer hours, mentoring, participating in programs, and prayer. Despite the success of her ministry, Barrett acknowledges she went through hard times. “I had to push and push and push. And you feel like you’re the only one,” she said. “God has been so good. JEMfriends is God’s vision, and it’s for me to steward it. Where he wants me to go, he’s going to lead me,” she said. For more information, go to JEMfriends.org. n
Christian Living | January / February 2016 21
Bridging the Gap
The value of walking in another person’s shoes By Louis Sheppard Note: Bridging the Gap is a column about looking at the world outside of your own perspective. From race, culture, religion, gender, politics, marriage, and even sports. Hopefully, this column will allow you to walk in another person’s shoes for just a moment. We as believers can become the body of Christ, and build empathy for one another.
Since this is my first-ever column, I thought introducing myself would be the best way to move forward to Bridge the Gap. My life, my understanding, everything that helped me become the man I am happened after my dad died in 1985. I was 11 at the time. Now don’t get me wrong — every day I wish he was here. But with him not being here, my mother became everything I needed to become the man I am today. Out of the many things she taught me, the one thing that I hold deeply is to speak up when you see a wrong. The wrong is anything that makes a person think less of themselves. As a society we all grow up with our sense of values, experience, and our lifestyle that made us into who we are. Our character is based on the morals we live by. If that’s the case and we believe that, why is it so hard to accept? Is it fear, lack of understanding, or is it everything we know that’s important in our reality is not that important in someone else’s reality? So, how do we bridge the gap? Here are three simple things to get the ball rolling. 1. Maybe we are not that important. I say this because being the youngest of three, life revolved around yours truly. Can you blame me? My dad had all women around him before I came around seven years after my oldest sister. I can only imagine his excitement knowing on the third time (which is a charm) he finally got his boy. Now think about after his death. My mother might have over-compensated to make sure I still was the center of the universe.
22 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
But years later I’m married with kids. Wow, how things change when you don’t look at yourself anymore. You see the world from a different perspective. My duties are important to my wife and kids, but I’m sure not the center of attention like I was growing up. Your duties as a person are important, but let’s take the eyes off ourselves and see the world through a different lens. What would happen? Better understanding, less fear for each other, maybe? Only you can answer that question. 2. Listening. I know, I know, I know we do listen to people. But do we hear what that person is saying? Do we process that information or attack someone because it’s not what we want to hear? What if someone told you, “I don’t like the way that suit or that dress looks on you, because it doesn’t bring out the best qualities I see in you.” What part of the statement did you hear? The first part about what they don’t like or the reason behind it? Now we might not agree with what everyone is saying, but hear that person out. There is a reason they are bringing it up. A listening ear and a closed mouth will go a long way. 3. Validate their concern. This one is the hardest. Today we want to express our views or beliefs to everyone we have a conversation with. My kids, when they call my name 9,000 times, just want to be acknowledged. When talking to someone, most of the time people just want to hear “you’re right.” Having a conversation is for understanding; we are not at war (We Are Right). If you’re trying to be right all the time, then you’re missing the point. n Louis J. Sheppard is a former financial advisor turned business owner / speaker / network marketer. He believes in the 3 F’s — Faith, Fitness, and Finance — to help people reach their potential through Isagenix. Originally from Queens, N.Y., he has called Idaho home for the last 13 years. He is the president of St. Joe’s School Board and president and founder of the Downtown Winners Business Network International Chapter (BNI). Married for 10 years to Jamie Sheppard, the couple has two children: JaMarcus, 8, and Brooklyn, 3. For more information, visit 5to9legacy.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gospel music workshop marks 20 years The 20th Annual Gospel Music Workshop and Concert will be held Saturday, February 6, at Valley Shepherd Church of the Nazarene, 150 W. Maestra St. in Meridian. The registration fee of $30 includes a day-long workshop, packet and a “soul food” lunch. Featured clinicians for the workshop include gospel singers Tim and Sharon Poston, Sherral Jackson, Dion Williams and Marie Jackmon. For more information or to register, call 378-7774 or 362-3528 or email email@example.com. Mamie Oliver, executive director of the Community Ministries Center and pastor of Mountain View Community Fellowship in Boise, co-founded the Gospel Music Workshop and Concert 20 years ago. The concert allows participants to take part in authentic American gospel music. “We wanted to bridge the gap between cultures and let people have an experience they’ve never had before,” Oliver said. Attendees get together, meet each other, learn music and unite in song. Everyone is welcome. n
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 23
LIVING without TV
Accepting the challenge to ‘unplug’ By Evelyn Fleenor I accepted the challenge: a week without TV. Me? The “reality” show queen, not watching television? From racing around the world and getting voted off the island, to privileged women throwing tantrums, to singing and dancing, and more singing and dancing, and lots of singing, and being talented, I could be labeled reality TVwatching superstar. I was a little doubtful about how no TV for a week would work out, but I felt convicted and decided to unplug. I’m sure for some of you, turning off the TV seems like no big deal. But for me, a single girl living alone, the TV was my friend, my distraction; with it off, the silence was deafening. I barely made it through the first morning without pushing the on button. Now what? No comforting noises or familiar voices were flowing my way. My house was quiet. This was going to take some getting used to. I didn’t have my TV to distract me from myself so I began looking for other things: food, Internet, busyness, texting, radio, even work. Why was it so difficult to just unplug and let myself be? As the third and fourth days rolled around, my mind and soul began to calm down, become less frantic, and start to understand the lesson. Becoming unplugged was not really about TV, but about letting go of distractions and avoidance to instead notice and appreciate my thoughts and emotions more clearly. It happened. The need to distract and avoid slowly diminished as the week went on, and by the sixth day, I was not only okay with it, but reveling in the peace that true quiet can bring. I also began noticing some amazing benefits: 1. My mind became clear. Not saying I’m usually muddy, but there is a reason they call watching TV “zoning.” One tends to check out of life, out of thought, out of touch. Being unplugged and aware of my tendency to distract and avoid led to my creativity, energy, and ideas becoming unstoppable. Songs, poems, ideas for counseling, ways to improve my community were spilling out of me faster than I could record. 2. I became focused on the important parts of my life. My loved ones. Instead of zoning and distracting, I was thinking of and spending time with people I 24 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
loved. I was investing in life instead of avoiding it and wasting it away. 3. I really relaxed. Time seemed to slow down and my over-anxious brain began to breathe. I stopped rushing everything and seemed to become more intentional. This Hawaii-time girl was arriving early to appointments and feeling unhurried and unstressed when I arrived. 4. I cried and laughed and cried and laughed. When there is silence, and no easy distraction or avoidance, it feels as though the soul is able to open and experience emotion intensely. And because there was no place to go zone and avoid the emotion or distract myself from it, I had to sit and fully experience it. If I was lonely, I felt the pain of loneliness. If I was excited, I felt the anticipation of being excited. There was no running from everyday emotions. I had become so used to ignoring everyday emotions by running to the TV that to experience them and move through them was an amazing breakthrough for me. So now I challenge you. I challenge you to purposefully turn off your distraction. Your distraction might be video games, food, alcohol, romance novels, the Internet, work, TV… Whatever it is in your life that zones you out and pretends to give you “down time,” but really just distracts you from the quality of life, should be at the top of your list to let go. Be still. Hear the quiet. Feel your breathing. Become aware of your physical and emotional self. Allow your mind to gain clarity and produce creativity through silence. Fully experience and appreciate your emotions without the filter of zoning. Spend time talking, laughing, crying, touching, and praying for those you love. I readily witness that becoming unplugged is not easy and it is tempting to let one distraction go only to greedily replace it with others. But you can do this. I did, and the benefits have been so remarkable, I haven’t pushed the on button in some time. Free yourself from distractions. Unplug. n As a licensed professional counselor in the state of Idaho, Evelyn Fleenor practices mental health counseling, both Christian and secular, in private practice. Eagle Christian Church is her home. She may be reached at (208) 830-9914. www.boisechristianliving.com
Create your best (and healthiest) year in 2016 with your body, He will give you all the strength By Rosie Main you need and more to fulfill your commitment In our quest to see true spiritual growth in to better health. our lives, it is important to remember we put I have outlined three steps that have nothing ourselves in position to receive God’s power to do with superfoods, cool exercises, or benthrough His Holy Spirit when we become eficial herbs but are ways to help 2016 be your realistic about our own limitations and inadbest year yet. These recommendations are the equacies. necessary preparation that truly creates lasting God honors those with broken spirits who are success, but remember... Let’s put God in the center utterly dependent on Him, and He manifests of all we do and use His strength to keep us focused His power in those who lay their weaknesses at throughout the year. His feet. Accomplishing these three things will provide In my own life, I often find myself crying, the framework for short-term and long-term “Lord, help me. Lord, strengthen me. Lord, success and is, in my opinion, the greatest time, enable me. Lord, give me your power!” What money, and energy investment you could make am I really asking for? I want the power to live in terms of achieving your goals, dreams, and in a way that is pleasing to God. I want God’s Rosie Main ultimate health potential. power to make me equal to the demands and These principles have worked for hundreds of thousands of pressures I face, to fight fear and anxiety, to fight temptation, people before, so they can certainly work for you. Dig in and and to experience victory over sin. I want God’s power workparticipate. ing in my life to defeat the spiritual enemy who continually 1. Create a schedule: Time management is the most critiseeks to bring about loss, destruction, and an end to blessing in cal issue when it comes to improving our health and quality of my life (see John 10:10). I truly feel in seeking God’s power to bring about these works, life. From my personal experience of coaching thousands of people over the years, there is no lack of time, but many do a I am seeking the same things as others who deeply desire to follow Jesus. In my own strength I will surely be defeated. But in very poor job of managing their time appropriately. We all are on the same playing field as far as time, yet some the strength of the Holy Spirit, I am in position to be more than people are able to be extraordinarily successful while others are a conqueror (see Romans 8:37). stuck in a hole. Effective time management is about 75 percent My prayer for all of us in 2016: God, we want to lay our of the difference. weaknesses at Your feet and confess that we need the Sit down on Saturday and Sunday and make your complete power of Your Spirit working in our lives to overcome weekly schedule. Be sure to include time for family, work, the challenges of this day and what the future brings. We spirituality, and health and fitness. There is a direct correlation know that You say: “In all these things we are more than to how effectively one plans and his or her success at achieving conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).” particular goals. Be as specific and detailed as possible. I enAmen. courage you to include what you will be eating, when you will I give thanks to all of you who are more than conquerors be preparing it, when you will exercise, what type of exercise, in your journey to honor your temple, to honor Him through etc. throughout the week. your actions to live a healthier life. I know it is not easy, yet Continued on page 27 I trust that because you have made a decision to honor Him
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 25
YOUR Daily Bread
Take control of your finances in 2016 By Terry Frisk If you are like many people, one of your New Year’s resolutions is to better manage your personal finances. The question is: How can I take control of my finances? In Luke 14:28 (NIV), Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” The action Jesus prescribes in this verse is planning. We must be intentional about Terry Frisk how we handle the blessings we have received. Planning gives us control over our finances so that we do not spend more than we have available. The key element to financial planning is through budgeting (the dreaded “b” word). Budgeting is often viewed as confining and restrictive of our ability to spend. However, with the right structure, a budget can be empowering. It will help you allocate your financial blessings between giving, saving and spending. In addition, an effective budget will provide for your basic needs plus allow you to plan for major purchases. My wife and I are planning a dream vacation this year and have allocated a portion of our monthly income to a fund to pay for the trip. The key point is an effective budget will help you become better stewards of your finances. How do you develop an effective budget? Start by setting long-term goals. Everyone’s goals will be different depending upon their individual needs. Your goals may involve eliminating debt, funding higher education for you or your children, building a retirement fund, or buying a house. It is important to provide for these goals as you build your budget. Doing so, your budget will become a roadmap for achieving your goals. Next, gather information on your current financial situation. What is your current household income? How much are you spending for monthly necessities? Now is a good time to do this while you are gathering information to prepare your income tax return. Determine how much you spend on necessities, such as rent, utilities, auto expenses, food, and any other items you need to live. Now, you can start building your budget. I like to start with an annual budget that factors in my long- and short-term goals while providing for ongoing necessities. First, I estimate my realistic anticipated income in terms of take home pay. Exclude extra income items that are not guaranteed, like bonuses or overtime pay. Next, schedule your estimated annual expenditures. I start with the amount I pledged to give to God followed by the amount I intend to save in terms of emergency fund, personal saving and retirement saving. Then, I fill in living expenses followed by discretionary items, such as entertainment, vacation, gifts, etc. Add up your income and expenditures and make sure you have enough income to cover the expenditures. If not, then adjust your expenditures accordingly until it does.
26 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
Once I have completed my annual budget, I develop a monthly budget by allocating the annual amounts. It is important to develop monthly budgets to fit the specific circumstances. For example, many people receive a paycheck every other week. Therefore, there are two months each year that they will receive three paychecks. This is a good time to allocate more to saving or debt reduction. You may find a monthly budget difficult to manage. Another alternative is to develop a budget based on each individual paycheck. For example, if you receive two paychecks each month, you could allocate some of each check for food, fuel and other frequent expenditures. Then, allocate a portion of the first check for utilities and debt reduction and a portion of the second check to pay next month’s rent. Successful budgeting requires developing a plan that works best for you. Now that you have put a plan into place, you must monitor your results to assure success. This used to require meticulous record-keeping. However, there are now a number of applications available to help capture and measure your spending against your budget. Two free applications include Mint (offered by Intuit, which also markets Quicken personal accounting software) and EveryDollar (offered by one of personal finance guru Dave Ramsey’s businesses). You can use these applications on your portable device to help you track your budget status on the go. What if you spend more than budgeted in a category or encounter an unexpected expense? Adjust the following months’ budgets to compensate. If you overspend last month’s grocery budget, then reduce the following month’s entertainment budget. It may take more than one month to get back on track, but the important point is to adjust your plan and stick to it. Encounter a major expense? That is why you allocate an amount of your income to an emergency fund. Then, you do not have to rely on borrowing to meet the financial need. Developing and sticking to a budget plan requires discipline and prayer. If you have never developed a financial plan before, there are a number of resources available to help. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has information and tools available to help you. Go to their website at dallasfed.org and click on the link Building Wealth at the bottom of the page. Many churches offer financial training and coaching to help you get started. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can answer any questions you may have. Make 2016 the year you take charge of your finances. n Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at email@example.com.
Your best (and healthiest) year Continued from page 25 2. Join a wellness community: It is a well-understood psychological fact that your thoughts and behaviors are heavily influenced by those around you. While there is a small percentage of people who have the self-motivation and discipline to be healthy on their own, this is not the case for about 95 percent of society. This majority will constantly struggle with discipline and consistency, and ultimately achieve about 25 to 50 percent of their health potential at best. This is unless, of course, they take appropriate action. If you want your health journey to be fun and enjoyable (as opposed to labor or an unpleasant chore), you need to link up with like-minded friends or find a wellness community. 3. Find a coach or mentor: Learning is a critical step to enhancing your quality of life. When it comes to health and wellness, there is a lot to learn in order to maximize your efforts. Look for a coach, not by the amount or type of degrees he or she may have, but by the personal example they set with their own body, energy, and expression of life.
This is the individual who will provide a detailed program, feedback, encouragement, and support for you as you get healthy and maintain an incredibly high level of wellness throughout the rest of your life. Make 2016 your best year yet! If you are having trouble finding a good coach or community that is a good fit for you, email me with specific desires you have at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (208) 859-6170. Also, you can hook up with me on my Facebook page at Main Health Solutions, where I regularly post recipes, meal plans, exercise videos, and articles, and answer questions from our Facebook community. n Rosie Main is a chiropractor, USA team doctor and a Maximized Living doctor. She owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. She may be reached at (208) 859-6170 or email@example.com. For more information, visit MaximizedLivingDrMain.com.
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 27
EMPTY nester insights
Enhancing your relationship with your child By Janet Lund Communicating well is hard. Especially with our kids. In a recent blog (http://bit.ly/PFRChange2), I addressed the importance of listening to your college student’s tone of voice. The president of Northwest Nazarene University made it very clear to us that it is important for us to listen for the difference between “the scraped elbow and the broken bone kind of pain.” This is key to knowing when you need to get involved by contacting adults on Janet Lund campus who can help your child through the situation. Listening is key throughout your entire relationship with your kids. I also mentioned in a related blog (http://bit.ly/PFRChange1), it is never too late to improve your relationship with your child. Whether they are itty-bitty, pre-teens, teens, young adults or even adults, wherever you are in your journey you can make it better. How?
5 Valuable Insights
Insight #1: Fall on your sword = apologize. Face it, none of us are perfect. We screw up. It is important for our kids to see that we actually are aware of our own faults and that we own up to them. This does not make us weak nor does it mean that we are not worthy to have the title of Parent. You can be open, honest and humble with your kids and still be the responsible adult that deserves respect in your relationship. What you are communicating to your kids is that you are not above your own “relational household rules.” (This, of course, excludes all the other rules like being in bed by 9 p.m., etc.) If you expect your kids to not be rude to each other, do your darnedest to not be rude to them. But when (not if, but when) you accidentally are rude to your kids, just own it! If you want your kids to own their mistakes and bad choices, you need to do so also. If you walk your talk, then they will respect you more for being real and holding yourself accountable to the same rules. Insight #2: Give your kids permission to call you out when they feel you aren’t listening to them. It’s easy to get so caught up in all our parental responsibilities that without realizing it we stop listening to what our kids are telling us. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with all the problems that we must deal with that we just want to come up with a quick fix to the problem. Sometimes we tell them they just have a bad attitude and to snap out of it so that we can move onto the next item of the day. It happens to all of us. We are human. We get tired, and it’s easy to assume we already understand the situation because we were kids once. Make sure you slow down and are listening. Insight #3: When you are listening, pay attention to the words being said but also the emotions behind what is being
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said. Their emotions are trying to tell you much more on a deeper level. Maybe what is being spoken is not the source of frustration. Maybe someone is picking on your kid but they are too hurt or ashamed to talk about it without some encouragement. Remind them that you are on their side and you want to support them through whatever is bothering them. Insight #4: Be reflective. Think back on your conversations with your child. How did it go? Were you fully present? Did you react or respond to what they shared? Was there something you wish you had said differently? Or did you just connect with something they said that might be significant? Maybe there is one more thought you’d like to share? Remember the conversation is never over. It’s never too late to clarify what you meant. Insight #5: Listen to their pain. When you have screwed up, and you have apologized, give them time and the space to express their feelings. They will most likely need to express how bad what you said made them feel. Instead of getting defensive, be quiet and listen. Try very hard to look at it from their point of view. Remember that no matter what you meant to communicate it’s important to hear what they heard. (Who knows, there might be a message you’ve been sending your child that you didn’t even know you were communicating. Something you don’t want to be communicating.) Pause and reflect on what they have shared. Try to feel what they are feeling. (Not how you would have received it or felt if you were them because you aren’t them, and that doesn’t matter.) What matters is their experience. You care about them, right? So address their “emotional boo-boo” as they are experiencing it. Express words of love addressing their “owie” and that you are sorry that is how it felt. If you want to clarify what you had meant to communicate, just remember to be very careful because you don’t want them to feel stupid for hearing what they did. They are already feeling damaged. Just because your words made sense to you in your head doesn’t mean they make sense to someone else. Insights come to those looking for them. We all know this, intuitively. Communicating well is difficult. Insights come to us when we’re open to them. Listening comes when we are open to hear. We don’t always get it right. Good parenting is about practicing those insights. Refining them. Improving at them. So, be quick to forgive. Be eager to grow. This habit will become infectious. Remember, whatever the topic, keep in the forefront of your mind that you want your child to know that their feelings and your relationship with them is much more important to you than the topic of discussion. Listening to understand is where the magic grows, and that magic is love. n Janet Lund is a musical mom and wife, and the co-founder of Prepare For Rain LLC. She is a singer/songwriter and an inspirational speaker and coach focused on women, especially women in youth ministry. She loves teaching guitar, with an emphasis on performance. She has performed in the U.S., Canada and Norway. She lives in Boise with her husband Joel and their daughter Jessica. You can contact her at PrepareForRain.com, and you can follow her — and preview her music — on Facebook/Janet Lund Music. She invites you download a complimentary ebook that will inspire you and give you tools to reclaim your dream. Go to prepareforrain.com/ebook.
Sharing some laughter Continued from page 3
The thing that especially amused Moore about this verse was that she, herself, is a frequent speaker and confessed she has also been guilty of talking “on and on.” She admitted that one time, after an especially long speech she made, one woman came up to her afterward and said, “I’m going home to lay down. You’ve really worn me out.” Thank heavens for Moore’s self-deprecating humor. It sure beats beating yourself up over something. A section of scripture I’ve always found amusing is in Luke, where Jesus encounters Zacchaeus, the tax collector. Jesus had just come into Jericho, and Zacchaeus wanted to get a good look at Him. But the Bible says, “... because he was short he could not see over the crowd,” so Zacchaeus climbed a tree. Here was a grownup so excited about wanting to see this amazing Man coming into town that he scurried up a tree. Then, while he was sitting in the tree, Jesus called out to him: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” The real warmth about Zacchaeus was that, despite the wealth he’d accrued as a tax collector, he unhesitatingly told the Lord: “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Imagine that. I like this funny, excitable little man with a heart of gold, sitting up in the tree craning his neck to see his Lord and Savior. I enjoy trying to make people laugh (with heavy emphasis on “trying”). I also love when people make me laugh. A good joke or humorous banter are as good as it gets. Have you ever said hello to someone, or waved, and then realized it wasn’t who you thought it was? I did that recently; in fact, I both hollered hello AND waved. When I realized the woman wasn’t who I thought, I pulled back my hand and said, “Oops.” She said, “I’m not who you thought I was, am I?” I said, “No.” And she replied, “Well, we can talk anyway! How the heck have you been?!” Now that’s funny. And friendly and nice. I want to thank the people in the College & Careers group for being so welcoming — and for laughing and having fun. You made my newborn-Christian day, and you changed my perceptions. Christians can be fun, and you were my first exposure to that. It truly blessed me. I’ll try harder every day to pay it forward. n
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 29
HONORING the Artist
VineArts seeks to draw attention to God
Jessie Nilo and other artists are welcome to bring sketchbooks into services at Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Art, said Nilo, is their way of worshiping the ultimate Artist. “God goes deeper than just words,” she said. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
By Gaye Bunderson Jessie Nilo carries a sketchbook into Vineyard Christian Fellowship on Sunday mornings and draws during the service. She may draw one of the musicians singing praise songs, or something else that catches her artist’s eye. The point of the sketching isn’t to be removed from the service or disruptive of it. She sees it as a very personal form of worship. “You’re just enjoying who God is through art, the same as through music,” she said. “It’s our love language. We love Him through our art.” Nilo founded VineArts, a ministry that seeks to bring art into church and into people’s lives, both as a form of worship and as a creative and cathartic endeavor. “We’re not separate from the church; we’re part of the church,” she said. Nilo, now 46, earned degrees in graphic design and illustration from Boise State University. She started VineArts 11 years ago. Four years ago, she and her team of 19 other artists found a home in a building across the street from Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and it is there they invite anyone to join them — literally anyone. People from other churches come to participate in art, and VineArt’s open door policy encompasses non-believers.
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“We are unabashedly, unashamedly Christian,” Nilo said, “but we are not saying if you aren’t Christian, you can’t come here. When they come, they’re in awe: the non-believers, the New Agers, people who are struggling. We’ve prayed over this place. The Holy Spirit is here.” Nilo said that at one point in her life, her art and her faith were separate, two parts of herself she felt she could not connect. She eventually formed a fellowship with other artist believers and found that creativity and faith were complementary, with one reinforcing the other. She’s fond of saying, “We’re God’s children and He’s very creative. He put His DNA into us.” If the ultimate Artist values creativity, it made perfect sense to incorporate it into worship. She combined her skills with her beliefs and became a better Christian for it, she feels. One of the emphasis of VineArts’ ministry is to help others make the same connection. “I’ve learned some important guiding principles in 11 years of doing visual art ministry,” Nilo wrote in a piece she titled Jessie’s Story. “In my work with literally hundreds of artists, I see the evidence of two things over and over again: 1) every person is born with God-given creativity of some kind, and 2)
See articles on Art Fruition and VineArts Ministries on page 32
This painting by Kat Smith is part of an art exhibit in the hallways of Vineyard Christian Church, 4950 N. Bradley St., Garden City. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
the world unfortunately kicks the creativity right out of most of them by the time they’re 12.” VineArts wants to put that creative spark back in, and even encourage people to use it for God’s glory. Vineyard is very open to what she and other artists are doing. The artists might create art when Vineyard lead pastor Trevor Estes introduces a new message into his Sunday morning sermon. This could include a 50-foot-wide painting at the front of the church. There is also an art gallery in the church halls, with paintings by church members or from the public. Everyone is welcome to view the artworks. For people who aren’t painters, writers, musicians or skilled in any other endeavor commonly seen as encompassing the world of art, Nilo assures them they’ve got a spark in them as well. She feels creativity takes many forms and that such activities as gardening and working on cars can also be imaginative and worshipful. “It breaks free into other areas,” she said. Everyone who comes to VineArts’ low-cost accessible art classes or other activities is guaranteed of this: they’ll get support whether or not they’re highly skilled or just inquisitive beginners. It’s a zone of safety, nurturing, acceptance, and encouragement. “While our vehicle is art, our job description is love,” Nilo said. n For more information, go to VineArtsBoise.org. VineArts is located across the street from Vineyard Christian Fellowship, which is at 4950 N. Bradley St. in Garden City.
Christian Living | January / February 2016 31
An online art ministry training school By Jessie Nilo We launched ArtFruition.com to help churches love artists, and to help artists love the local church, wherever God calls them. Our model centers on Christ and emphasizes “everyone gets to play.” We create places for all levels to participate and develop creatively. What Art Fruition means: We have a vision to bring the visual arts to fruition in churches all over the world. It’s partly about the worldwide Church growing more mature visually, and the body of Christ not remaining divorced from visual meaning and beauty. Who can participate: We believe everyone can and should develop their God-given creativity. We’re open to non-artists, beginner artists, emerging artists, and professional artists. In other words, everyone. We want to give you the challenges and opportunities you need in order to pursue the calling on your life, and to find the joy, purpose, healing, and excellence God invites you to experience through your art. All of this is fostered in a nurturing community where it’s safe to fail.
What we offer: If you want to grow spiritually and artistically, we offer Emerge!, a video-based source of inspiration and art resources for you as God’s child. If you desire leadership training to serve in art ministry, we offer online training for leaders and helpers in art ministries around the world through a course called Art Ministry 101. I have a faculty of 17 seasoned pastors and artists who live all around the United States and Canada, teaching on specialized topics art ministers need to know as they step out into whatever God has prepared for them. Our format is an 8-month online study with opportunities to locally practice what you’re learning. Our easy-to-use learning platform will allow everyone to stay at home and apply what they’re learning in their own creative communities around the world. Students will practice the foundations of visual art through a theological lens, exploring ways of ministering through art in the name of Christ. n For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VineArts Ministries Note: The following items are brief descriptions of all the various ministries VineArts is involved in. For more information, visit VineArtsBoise.org. Worship: VineArts creates artwork for nights of worship and occasional Sunday mornings, including sanctuary backdrops as a custom altarpiece for sermon series. VineArts also hosts small groups and Bible studies so people can come together in corporate times of worship through music and visual art. Outreach: VineArts hosts Open Studio for Garden City and welcomes the public to create art for free, with all art supplies provided ($2 donation optional). Members also do face painting in public parks and at movie nights and take simple art activities to nursing homes.
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Art Education: VineArts teaches art workshops for the community at a very low cost; people are welcome to attend — whether they’re coming from another faith or no faith — without any pressure. Art workshops have been the first step into the front door of our church for dozens of artists, who now attend church regularly. Christian Discipleship for Artists: VineArts hosts “Envision,” a gathering of Christian artists from a variety of churches, once a month (see VineArtsBoise.org for times); hosts book studies for creatives; and hosts non-artistic Bible study groups for people to come process scripture through visual methods. Prayer: VineArts has artists who pray for and encourage people by creating a small personal work of art coupled with prayer in the way the Lord is leading them to pray, always in alignment with scripture. n
CREATIVITY in the kitchen
Cardamom-Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients: 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp canola oil, divided 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds 3 dried red chilies 1 Tbsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp whole black peppercorns 2½- to 3-lb. head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced ½ tsp kosher salt 1 lemon, sliced Directions: Preheat oven to 425° F. Oil a 9”x13” baking dish with 2 tsp canola oil; set aside. Finely grind cardamom, chilies, coriander, cumin and peppercorns in coffee grinder or small food processor. In large bowl, mix the spices with 1/3 cup canola oil. Add the cauliflower and onion; toss until thoroughly coated with the spice-oil mixture. Transfer to the oiled dish and roast until tender, about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Makes 8 servings
Sweet and Spicy Trail Mix Ingredients: 2 cups Sriracha Blue Diamond Almonds 2 cups granola 3 cups pretzels 1 cup dried cranberries ½ cup white chocolate chips
Directions: In a large bowl, combine Sriracha Blue Diamond Almonds, granola, pretzels, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips. Lightly stir to combine. Serve immediately or store in a covered container until ready to eat.
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 33
The transforming miracle of mentoring By Dan Woodworth Mentoring is a popular concept being discussed in our communities. There are many different perspectives and paradigms about the art of mentoring. This will be a two-part column. This first article will concentrate on Being Mentored. The second article in the March/April issue of Christian Living will explore Being a Mentor. When you hear the word mentor what do you imagine? Some of you may imagine The Karate Kid movie. Some of you may imagine a friend or relative. All of us perceive and imagine different experiences of mentoring. I desire to open up a perspective from a biblical viewpoint. Joshua was mentored by Moses for close to 40 years. Elisha was mentored by Elijah for about 25 years. Jesus was mentored by our Abba for 30 years. Peter was mentored by Jesus for 3½ years all day every day. Timothy was mentored by Paul for several years. What is my point? In our “microwave” society we expect rapid results. That philosophy has crept into the Church. One year of Bible school and we think we are mentored and “ready” to turn the world upside down. Let’s sloooooow waaaaaay down! Notice that it took Jesus 30 years of being mentored to be ready for His ministry. Why are we in such a hurry? I have had many mentors. My father was loving, kind and gracious to people. I was mentored by him for 50 years. My mother mentored me on how to be clean and neat. My seminary professor of Systematic Theology in my Master of Divinity program, Dr. J. Rodman Williams, mentored me on how to be “balanced” with different biblical doctrines by exploring the extreme liberal and extreme conservative scales of foundational doctrines. Dr. Robert Frost, professor of Spiritual Foundations in seminary, mentored me in simple truths that most people overlook. Dr. Wess Pinkham, my mentor in my Doctor of Ministry experience, taught me how to “be.” Dr. Ted Roberts, former pastor of East Hill Church in Portland, Ore., mentored me on how to be a healing shepherd. My Most Beautiful Beloved Bride, Irene, has mentored me for 37 years. She has encouraged and strengthened me in my relationship with Our Living Loving Lord and with precious people. I would not be alive without her mentoring. She is my lifesaver! Now I want to share our experiences with Evangelist Ann Wright from Amarillo, Texas, who was our main mentor for 26 years. I met Ann in Boise in March of 1977. She was 65 years old. I was 25. My sweetheart, Irene, met her in June of 1978 in Boise, a little over a year before we were married. Ann was David Wilkerson’s first house mother in New York when he started Teen Challenge. She was a grandmother and knew nothing about deliverance until she met Nicky Cruz and the Lord told her to cast an evil spirit out of him. She did and it scared her so much she ran for two blocks in a panic before she stopped and let the Lord calm her down. Ann would spend two or three weeks with us in Boise about four times a year for the first two years of our marriage until we moved to Anaheim, Calif., where I served as the night pastor for a huge church. She continued to come and be with us in different revivals in the churches that we planted.
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Ann Wright, who lived to be “91 years young,” was a powerful mentor for Dan Woodworth and his wife Irene. (Courtesy photo)
She loved us with the love of Christ. She brought deep healing to our minds and emotions. Our Loving Lord used her to save us and heal us with many miracles. She frequently challenged me to speak and to do more than I could imagine, but the experiences always transformed me more and more into the image of Christ. I remember very vividly when she asked me (in person) if I wanted to be a momma’s boy or the husband to Irene about two weeks after we were married. That question saved our marriage. I experienced a complete spiritual, mental, emotional and physical collapse in 1985 when I was the pastor of a new church in the mountains outside of Los Angeles. Ann kept Irene alive during that one year of “hell.” She kept telling her that Our Loving Lord would heal me. He did! Ann was like Christ “in the flesh” to us. She never gave up on us when everyone else did. She had absolute spiritual authority and pure, resurrection power from the Lord just like Jesus, Peter, Stephen, Philip and Paul had in the New Testament. But most of all, Our Gracious God gave her His Perfect, Pure Love for us.
She told us many times, “Honey, I have never I flew back to Idaho and a week later her daughseen anyone in my life go through so many ter Idell told me that Ann was completely healed dangers, toils and snares like you have and still be and released from the hospital. I had finally arrived alive.” at the place of being able to be a mentor to her. Our Living Lord used her to heal me of many Our Loving Lord granted her four more years of incurable diseases and spiritual iniquities that I life on this earth after I prayed for her. That was a inherited. It would frighten most of you beyond miracle! belief so I am being very “general” rather than On May 2, 2003, when Ann was 91 years young, “specific” about the details. we received a call from Idell telling us that Ann had She told us that when she met us I was the bigchoked on some food and passed out and went to gest “basket case” she had experienced in her 50 heaven that day. She did not pass away from any years of ministry. She said that when she first met sickness or disease. Her homecoming had arrived. Dan Woodworth me that the Lord gave her a vision of a fish tank I was in total shock. I felt numb. Idell told Irene and the biggest fish was at the bottom. She said that about a week before Ann went to heaven, she that was me. She devoted her whole life to us for 26 years. said that I was strong enough to make it on my own and that she At first, because of all my iniquities and strongholds that I had did not have to “cover” me anymore. inherited, I caused almost too much grief for Ann to handle. She It took several years for me to feel “complete” in Christ without never gave up on me. Ann being here on this earth with us. She was “Christ in the flesh” Gradually, over several years of supernatural miracle deep healto me, and to Irene. ing from her as my mentor, I was prepared for the miracle ministry Ann was our friend, our pastor, our teacher, our counselor, our healer and that she mentored me and my sweetheart Irene to do. We spoke with our miracle worker, mentoring us to be His Healing Hands Transforming Our her as she prayed for us and taught us on the phone several hours a Wounded World. week when we were not present with her physically. Ann was our mentor for 26 years. She was used by Our Gracious The pastoral role in the Church is one of the most demanding Giving God to make us and mold us to be “fit” for the Master’s use, and difficult types of work to experience. Ann was always our Lifeprepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). line to heaven, giving us supernatural encouragement and strength to lead, I encourage each of you to ask Our Living Loving Lord to give feed, cherish, care and protect the flock. Thank God the Lord gave you the mentor He desires for you to have. Some of you already have her to us as our mentor. one that He gave you. Others of you need your mentor sent by the I will never forget the time that Ann was having drastic complica- Mentor of All Mentors. It may be a matter of life or death as it was tions from eye surgery in May of 1999. I kept praying for her and with us. calling her daughter, Idell, for several days in Amarillo. Idell was 73 Be faithful to follow your mentor as he or she follows Christ. n years old at the time! Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the One night, about midnight, I was praying and asking our Lord King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and why He was not sending anyone to lay hands on her and pray for empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become her. He spoke to me clearly and said that He wanted me to fly all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three down there and pray for her. I spent three days, eight hours a day, churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generapraying for her in a hospital in Amarillo. Sometimes the nurses tional healing community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He would knock on her door and ask me if everything was OK bemay be reached at email@example.com. cause of my intensity. I reassured them everything was all right.
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 35
A SNOWSHOEING fellowship
Adventurers brave cold winter hike together
A hardy band of hikers journeyed through deep snow and freezing temperatures to get a closeup view of Washington’s Mount Rainier. (Courtesy photo)
By Doug Gross It’s 7 a.m., mid-February. You’re stretched out in a zero degree, down sleeping bag. The hood on your bag is cinched over your head and you are warm as toast. The only part of your body poking out of your bag is your nose. As your sleepy little brain begins to register where you are, you roll over onto your back (nose pointing straight up). You exhale deeply... Snow falls on your nose. Your eyes bug out, but of course, you can see only a dim light filtering into your bag. Testing, you exhale through your nose once again. More snow. Then it begins to make sense. You are nestled in a tiny, yellow, two-man, expedition grade mountaineering tent at 5,000 feet in the central Cascades of Washington. Your tent is pitched on eight feet of snow on a frozen alpine lake. It is so cold that each time you exhale, the moisture from your breath freezes just inches above your face and falls back on your nose. Your tent mate rustles and shifts around, brushing against your nylon barrier, and more snow showers down — frozen condensation hanging on the inside of the tent walls, collected there from a night’s respiration in really cold temperatures. To some folks this sounds like a tale of misery and to others it’s a prologue to high adventure and the testing of one’s mettle, discovery of self and perhaps an experience of spiritual awakening. Winter backcountry travel, especially multi-day adventures in extreme solitude, are often a time of renewal. The events of a day in this kind of often unforgiving environment can afford us the opportunity to deeply think, and to thank. This brief moment in time and the realization that we — a band of adventurers — had slept comfortably in eight below zero temperatures really began in October when we began the planning and training for several backcountry snowshoeing treks for that season.
How did we get here?
Just the day before, a group of friendly snowmobilers had ferried us 12 miles up a Forest Service road to Silver Springs Trailhead, where our group of eight had strapped on our snowshoes, hoisted our 45-pound backpacks, and started hiking up what remained of a summer trail, now covered in deep snow. We had about three miles and about 900 feet of vertical
36 January / February 2016 | Christian Living
on the ‘menu’ for the day. That included the crossing of two avalanche shoots, which required that we carry a 150-foot, 6-pound climbing rope. That little jaunt on snowshoes would consume most of the day and probably 4,000 calories. Our route began under a canopy of old growth Douglas fir and the trail was mostly discernible with the exception of the final 200 feet of vertical, where we lost the route and struggled to bushwhack our way up to the relatively flat bench next to the first of Twin Lakes. There are no other human tracks here nor would there be over the next three days of travel. The snow is silent. The sky is winter blue. Every tree glistens with hundreds of very real icicles, four to eight inches long. They are pure. The kind little kids and adults can put in their mouth without concern. We have reached our campsite for day 1. For now each pair of tent mates ritualistically walks around in circles together with snowshoes on the snow, stomping out a flat, firm place to set up our tents. It looks a little like some aboriginal dance teams dressed up in down pillows. Next, we set up tents, insert sleeping pads and bags, crawl inside and fire up our tiny backpacking stoves to melt snow and begin the re-hydration and cooking procedures for the evening.
Preparations for day 2
We have to melt snow for water, so we camp on the lake to get clean snow and avoid the debris that naturally deposits under the trees. Let’s get started. We dress in the tent — warm layers, down parkas, no cotton. As we crawl out of our shelter and stand erect, we stretch a little and turn 360 degrees to take in a very real wonderland where the only signs of human encroachment are our own tracks from yesterday and our shelters. We are alone in the natural. We do our business away from the lake. Once back to the tent, it’s time to cook breakfast, a hot meal with lots of liquids to fuel up for the day. Step 1: Since it’s sunny out, we dig a circular trench in the snow about 18 inches deep and about 10 feet long. Each person has a lightweight snow shovel. The extracted snow is piled in the middle with a one-foot ledge surrounding it. Step 2: Each pair of buddies sets up their single-burner, white gas stove on that ledge to begin melting snow for oatmeal or some freeze-dried version of eggs and sausage, and their hot drinks du jour. Around the outside edge of the circle we all sit on our foam pad with our parkas on while pots of snow heat up and turn into steaming water. This is a wonderful social time where we talk, joke around, tell stories about the “no flame zone” in our tents due to last night’s red beans and rice dinner. And we go over our plans for today’s hike. We melt extra snow to fill our water bottles for the day. We don’t wash dishes because any leftovers are frozen. The process takes about an hour. Step 3: Once we finish eating, we move on to packing up our gear and getting our packs ready. Sleeping bags and pads, tents and poles, cooking gear, headlamps and food all find their way back into our packs. Maps are made handy and compasses are hung around each neck. Down parkas are stuffed in anticipation of a good workout. If it’s windy, four mountaineers team up to dismantle tents and poles to make sure they don’t fly away like kites. It happens. Sun screen and lip balm? On. Dark glacier glasses? On.
Step 4: Avalanche transceiver check; everyone is wearing a signal-sending avalanche transceiver. “Circle up everyone. Turn your transceiver to ‘receive.’” One by one we each take a turn switching to “send” mode to insure that each member has a homing signal emitting from his or her unit in the event of an avalanche. Step 5: Review the map, the route, and set compasses to the correct heading, 176 degrees today, nearly due south, and adjust altimeters to current elevation. Step 6: Time for a snack and a drink. That’s right! It’s cold out. We’re going to eat another 3,000-4,000 calories today, five or six meals of one sort or another. One more final call out: “Is anyone not ready to move?” Step 7: Circle up, hold gloves for prayer and gratitude. Step 8: Ten thousand steps... Yep, we finally get to start breaking trail where there is no trail. We are going to hike single file for about three or four miles today over gently rolling terrain. There are no trails or trail signs. Just us, eight feet of snow-covered ground and frozen lakes, stubby alpine fir trees, bright, intense, sunlight reflecting off the snow from all directions, and deep, deep blue sky. Breaking trail is hard work. So, each hiker breaks trail for 20 yards or 200 yards depending on snow conditions and hiker condition. When you finish breaking trail, just step to the side, let the line pass you by and get in line at the back for some easier cruising. On this particular day the primary landmark is Tumac Mountain, a 500-foot volcanic cinder cone, easily visible from most of our route. It is going to be east of us by about a half-mile. It’s going to be on our left as we pass it by. As our little team happily trudges along, each one taking a turn at the front, we notice that each time our companion Scott is in the lead we eventually have to stop him and ask him what direction his compass is pointing. Invariably he says something like 100 degrees. We gently ask, “And what direction are we supposed to be walking?” He innocently responds, “176 degrees?” We are following him almost directly toward Tumac Mountain! Scott feels that he is walking in a straight line each time he starts to lead. We eventually come to the conclusion that his
Doug Gross and seven other people camped out in -8 degree weather in tents and down sleeping bags while hiking toward Mount Rainier in Washington. (Courtesy photo)
left leg, and thus his left stride, must be slightly shorter than his right. This physical discrepancy is so slight, however, that it’s not even discernible on a step-by-step basis. It’s kind of like life. It is often only the slightest of errors repeated over time that lead us down the wrong path. We gently encourage Scott to keep a closer eye on his compass, which serves a similar function to our moral compass, our Bible. We stick together, all for one, one for all. No one is ever left alone or behind, out of sight for any length of time. As a result, we eventually make it to our “promised land,” a point on the map where we are overshadowed by a massive, towering volcanic formation of snow, ice, rock, cliffs and crevasses known as Mount Rainier, elevation 14,411 feet. It is the most beautiful, awe-inspiring feature of the Cascade Range. Geologically, its majesty is unmatched. And today we share its inspiration with only a few creatures of winter. We arrive here together. The process is repeated tonight. We stomp in circles together, dig in circles together, eat in circles together, tell stories in circles together, pray in a circle together and then each sleeps in a cozy down bag next to a buddy, together. Tomorrow and the next day we will use our compasses to get us to the right places. Together. n Doug Gross and his wife are recent transplants to Idaho.
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Christian Living | January / February 2016 37
A wrecked life gets restored by God By Gaye Bunderson Gary Everhart once lived for a time on what he calls the Pomegranate Planet. It’s not a real place, of course, but Everhart lost his memory and the sense of anything familiar when he was in a car accident at the age of 29, leaving him feeling disconnected from mainstream life. The year was 1983 and Everhart, along with his wife Jeannie and their baby daughter, was on his way to a prayer meeting in Dallas during a downpour when a driver in another vehicle slammed the Everharts’ Ford Grenada station wagon. Jeannie died, their 3-month-old baby girl, Carissa, suffered a broken leg, and Everhart himself received serious injuries that ultimately put him in a coma and a wheelchair. “I was not able to walk, talk. I didn’t know my own name,” Everhart said.
For many people in the Treasure Valley, Gary Everhart’s name is familiar from his many years of doing a radio broadcast on KSPD titled “Heart Talks for Holy Living.” He was born into a Christian family in Ransom, Kansas in 1953, the third of eight children. His father was a minister. The family moved to Nampa when Everhart was 15 and he was enrolled into Nampa Christian School by his parents. Around that time, he entered a foolhardy phase that included getting expelled from school, serving time in the county jail for DUI, and making a bad name for himself with disturbing the peace arrests in five states. He loved to drink, party, and smoke — three packs of cigarettes per day. He met Jeannie in California around 1975. He loved and left her, and when she called him months later to say she was pregnant, he answered her with a detached “okay, good luck.” But God never gave up on him, and neither did Jeannie. After some spiritual realignment for what had become his broken Gary Everhart was once in a coma and then in a wheelchair. He is now fully recovlife, Everhart came to realize his good-for-nothing ways needed ered and vigorously pursuing his second chance at life. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson) to stop and one of the important things he needed to address Eventually, while still in the care center, he surprised his was Jeannie and his own baby. He called Jeannie from Wichita, father with a rendition of “The Comforter Has Come.” Kansas and said to her, “I’ve become a Christian and quit the “Daddy saw me playing the piano, though I could only sin business.” He sent her money to take the bus to Wichita. play with my left hand at the time,” said Everhart. His She came with their 16-month-old son in tow, and the couple father was overjoyed. married.
Road to recovery
Because he was incapacitated from the car crash, Everhart was not able to attend his young wife’s funeral. When he eventually emerged from a coma and regained enough of his memory to realize she had not survived the accident, he broke down. “I wept and wept,” he said. “She was such a precious wife.” With his battered mind and body, he ended up at the Nampa Care Center, unable to care for himself or his three children, who were being looked after by his mother. His friends at Grace Bible Church in Nampa would come to the center on Sundays and take Everhart to church services. “I was in a wheelchair, name unknown, didn’t make sense when I talked,” he said. But the congregation held a healing service and prayed for him. He feels he was divinely healed, though he said the healing was progressive, taking place in bits and pieces over time.
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His mother held a particular wish for him: that he could find another wife. “She was quite a precious momma; she wanted the best for me,” he said. In 1984, when he was fully able to travel, he went with his mother and his and Jeannie’s three children — Gary Jr., David and Carissa (whose leg had healed) — to Indiana to visit his brother Samuel. They attended a church camp meeting in Illinois, where he met and fell for Donna Watkins, a member of a singing trio from Louisiana. After a complete psychiatric, neurological and medical analysis in Portland at the behest of his physicians in Nampa, Everhart was declared competent. Driving and decision-making skills were restored, in his doctors’ estimation, and he was then able to get on with his life. Later that same year, he and Donna married and are partners now in life and ministry. www.boisechristianliving.com
Back to normal
In 1977, Everhart had attended Bible Missionary Institute in Rock Island, Illinois, feeling the tug of God’s call to become a minister. After his full recovery from the auto accident, he returned to Rock Island and took a ministry refresher course. In 2004, he received a master’s degree in religious education, and in 2011 he wrote a book titled “The Right Perception of Holiness.” He stopped doing the radio broadcasts in 2015 and is now focusing on jail and prison ministry, missions to India, and home Bible studies. His ability to play both the piano and the trumpet has been fully restored, and presently, he could play “The Comforter Has Come” with both hands and his whole heart. “Some people don’t like to think the Lord has special pets,” Everhart said. He disagrees; the Lord made him feel loved and special like no one else could. Though the doctors were competent and his friends and family loyal, he gives full credit for his comeback to God. “God restored my life back to usability,” he said. He’s making good use of his second chance at living. n
Christian Living | January / February 2016 39