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Contents November / December 2015 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” — Genesis 8:22
A transforming power
Biblical Studies Center director
Outdoors with Dougherty: Browns Pond
Beautiful Feet: Mission Medics
from Home: 16 Notes Best season ever Brighter Side: 22 The Access to God
24 Challenging Faith:
His sustainable homestead
This: 26 Consider Our inspiring identity
Cover Story —
Health: 30 Maximum Cancer-killing smoothies
Toolbox: 34 Marriage The best marriage
Giving a hand up
Faith a good thing?
No handholds: Clinging to hope
Saying no to self-pity
Daily Bread: 18 Your Holiday budget Spotlight: 38 Business Meridian Adventure Boot Camp
32 In Each Edition 36
Volume 3, Number 6 Publisher Sandy Jones Editor Gaye Bunderson email@example.com 208-639-8301 Sales & Marketing Melva Bade firstname.lastname@example.org 208-631-3779 • Vin Crosby email@example.com 208-989-2097 • Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Drew Brown Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Dan Dougherty, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Leo Hellyer, Kirsten Holmberg, Ron Kern, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Lauren Phillips, Angela Ruth Strong, 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 2015 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 email@example.com Find us on Facebook Badge
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Publisher’s Corner: A challenging year Christian Living | November / December 2015
Lessons learned through a challenging year By Sandy Jones LORD: “I am unworthy – how can I know it’s cliché, but where has this year I reply to you? I put my hand over my gone? This year has certainly been an eventmouth.” ful one, and God’s been faithful to carry us God goes on in verses 7-14: “Brace yourself through the good, the bad, and even the very like a man; I will question you, and you bad! shall answer me. “Would you discredit 2015 seemed to be the year of cancer. It my justice? Would you condemn me to touched our family, and several others we care justify yourself? Do you have an arm about. While our daughter-in-law Shannon, like God’s, and can your voice thunder like and a dear friend’s mother lost their battles, his? Then adorn yourself with glory we’ve watched as God miraculously healed and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor others. and majesty. Unleash the fury of your A fairly young family friend had extreme wrath, look at all who are proud and bring complications following back surgery, ending them low, look at all who are proud up in ICU for several weeks, followed by rehab, Sandy Jones, Publisher and humble them, crush the wicked where and finally getting to go home after seven very they stand. Bury them all in the dust toChristian Living Magazine intense weeks of treatment and therapy. gether; shroud their faces in the grave. My husband and I bought a 30-year-old home Then I myself will admit to you that your own right and moved in May. Our first indication that we might have our hand can save you.” hands full was one Saturday morning when I got up at 3:30 I find myself completely humbled. All the times I cried out a.m. to no water! We got that fixed only to find out that we “Why?” came rushing back to me. I never once thought I was may have to re-drill our well. The flowerbeds that we’d fallen asking God to explain Himself to me. While others might in in love with soon filled with vines – vines of all kinds. We disthe circumstances, I never once felt like I was condemning covered rotten siding on the North side of the house and had Him, never once tried to make myself His equal. So why then to have that replaced. We hired a painter to paint the outside, did I feel this overwhelming sense of shame? and came home one Sunday afternoon to find him there with Because I realized that from His perspective I had been askhis pressure washer, prepping the house, only to discover that ing, often begging for Him to listen, to understand that I knew we had a broken faucet in the wall (on the North side of the better than He in situation upon situation. ‘Please cure Shanhouse) between our laundry and powder rooms; we had a non.’ ‘Please give Drew and the kids the strength they need.’ small flood! What was it with weekends and plumbers?! This ‘Please touch and heal our friend.’ Looking back on it there ruined the floor in these two rooms, and we had no choice but were a whole lot of “pleases” with a smattering of “thank yous” to call in the disaster clean-up people to thwart any possible thrown in for good measure. I’d been treating God like a drivemold growth. up window! “Hello. I’ll take two healings, a dose of courage, I mention these things, not to ask for sympathy, nor to whine, and a super-sized side of wisdom to go please. What? Will that but rather to set the stage – this has been the year of asking be all? No, I’m just getting started. I’d like to add some peace God to, well, fill in the blank. “God please heal _____.” “God to sprinkle on top of every life situation, and please pour Your please bless ____ with strength.” “God please keep _____ grace over all of it. Did you understand that this is a to-go orsafe.” “God please….” At one point our pastor commented to der? I’m in a hurry, I’ve got things to do – I’m a busy person.” me that we were having the summer of Job, and to many on About that time I attended a business seminar, where a local the outside looking in I know it appeared that way. business coach asked, “What is your why? Why do you do what I reread parts of Job to reassure myself that it could be much you do?” When the answer to that is to show people God’s love worse. throughout your community, this revelation is pretty big. Huge I get a daily devotional delivered to my email each mornactually! ing. It’s how I try to start my day. The end of September/the I was disappointed in myself, too. For someone who tries so beginning of October they did a brief study in the book of hard to live intentionally, I had unintentionally sold God short. Job. I could sympathize with Job; at some point your friends Short on my one-on-one time with Him. Short on remembercan’t handle your pain, frustration and grief any more so they ing that He is the creator of the universe; He is all powerful; go silent, or disappear altogether. The suffering wears on you. He is the Alpha and the Omega; He is The Great I Am. I’d Several times during Shannon’s illness I found myself asking once again put Him in a very small box! How could I do that? God “Why?” knowing full well that sometimes we don’t get to Easy – spiritual warfare! A member of our Small Group Bible see the ‘why,’ comforted in knowing that “all things work for Study brought in a single-sheet last Spring, showing the many the good…” ways that the enemy can take your eyes off Jesus; His sacrifice As I sat in the early morning quiet on the first day of Octoand what that really means. It really could have been summed ber, I opened my email to find that day’s scriptures were Job up in one or two sentences, but the author took the time to give 40:1-24, where in verses 1-4 God finally speaks to Job. real-life examples. To recap this revelation, the enemy gets a The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who conperson so busy being busy that they don’t have time to think, or tends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who focus, or do anything much besides be busy. accuses God answer him!” Then Job answered the Continued on page 7
November / December 2015 | Christian Living
FOLLOW God’s example
The transforming power of forgiveness Maybe you’ve had a Christian neighbor By Daniel Bobinski take advantage of your generosity, only to As Jesus told us in Matthew 12, there is no badmouth you to your other neighbors when sin (outside of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) you decided you could no longer be so generthat cannot be forgiven. This means liars, ous. thieves, murderers, and even the impolite, unThe scenarios go on and on, and the pain believably rude neighbor can all be forgiven. we feel — even from our brothers and sisters Throughout the New Testament, the core in Christ — is very real. Again, sometimes the message about dealing with others is first and pain is even worse simply because the person foremost to love them, followed by forgiving inflicting it is a Christian. others as we wish to be forgiven. After all, if I have friends who have been there and I’ve God is willing to forgive people, who are we been there, too. It’s frustrating and painful to continue to hold “ought” against them? and it opens our eyes to a sobering truth, As Christians, we hear much about the need which is just because people acknowledge to forgive. But let’s be real; forgiving someone Jesus as Savior and Lord does not mean that is not always easy when that someone inflicts they’re going to be walking in the ways of the very real pain on us. It’s even worse when the Lord in everything they do. pain is inflicted by other Christians. In fact, And, humbly, that actually goes for all of us. sometimes the most painful stings come from I look at the definition of love in 1 Corinthiour brothers and sisters in Christ. Daniel Bobinski is the director of ans 13 and see that the description works very For example, imagine you’ve poured yourFamily Experience Ministries well for God, but not always for me. That’s self into someone else’s life, being there for a (www.familyexperience.net) based in Christian brother or sister through thick and Meridian. He is also a best-selling author, because God IS love. He is always patient, always kind, never boasting or proud, always thin, listening when the person cried, and speaker, and a certified behavioral analyst honoring others, and He’s not self-seeking. rejoicing when the person rejoiced. Along the who travels internationally, helping You can go through that whole section and way you sacrificed much to help that person, businesses improve in the areas of see that the definition of love works for God, such as helping the person move or watching training and organizational development. but not so much for us humans. that person’s kids whenever asked. As humans, even as Christian humans, Then, after years of friendship, suddenly we’re going to let people down. We’re going to hurt others, you were unwelcome in that person’s life. Perhaps lies were even if we don’t intend to, and we’re going to get hurt by other even being told about you. I know someone this happened to. Not only were they baffled Christians, too. But here’s where the definition of who we are enables us to as to why, they were also in deep grief. If anything like this has choose differently. Yes, we’re human, but if we’ve accepted ever happened to you, no doubt you hurt as well. And, being Christ as our Savior and have received His Holy Spirit, we are human, whenever anyone feels like his or her heart has been new creatures. Being forgiven by God does not automatically ripped out, it’s natural to want to lash back at whoever caused make us (or anyone else) a nice person, but with God’s help, the pain. we have a choice. We can choose to act “in the flesh” with a Lashing back is instinctive, but it’s not what God wants. mindset of making everything even, or we can choose to turn I’m not saying forgiveness is easy, and I’m never going to say that the deep pain inflicted by someone else should be ignored. it all over to God and entrust everything to Him. The power of forgiveness is amazing. It transforms us, and it Yet Christ’s instructions are clear: we are to forgive. costs us nothing except our pride. I admit that at times I strugMany other painful scenarios exist. One person I know had gle with forgiving others when processing the a legal contract with a Christian brother who said he would pain they’ve inflicted upon me, but I waive the written requirements of the agreement know the absolute right thing to do when my acquaintance was going through a is to forgive them. And I know I rough time. My acquaintance made subneed to seek their forgiveness as stantial life choices based on that verbal well. Whenever I forgive others, waiver, but then the Christian brother I feel free and empowered to be changed his mind without warning and who God made me to be. starting making unreasonable demands, Scripture tells us God’s mercies threatening to take my acquaintance to are new every morning. One of my court. prayers for the Body of BelievThen there was the friend who helped ers is for all who call themselves out a Christian neighbor in a time of need, Christians to both forgive more, and spending hundreds of dollars in the process. Can to seek forgiveness more. God knew what you imagine my friend’s frustration when that same He was talking about when He said we should neighbor bought a brand new car, all while saying he was forgive others as we wish to be forgiven, because trying to gather up the money to pay my friend back? doing so is a powerful, transformational decision. If Maybe you’ve had people at church befriend you and then we took our pain to Him more often, we would experisuddenly decide to shun you, simply because of what seemed ence His transformational power more often, too. n like a minor disagreement.
November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Publisher’s Corner Continued from page 4
I realized at that moment, it’s time to turn off some of the noise. Slow down. Start my day with intention. Get up, turn on the coffee maker, give the dog her meds, food and fresh water, feed the cats so they’ll all leave you alone, then sit down with The Word. Allow God to start your day. Even if it’s just a short daily devotional that arrives each morning in your in-box. This one brief message had stopped me in my tracks. It doesn’t end there – it’s thanking him for everything. Thank you for the person who returned my call, Lord. Thank you for this new friend. Thank you for wrapping Your arms around our son and his children. Thank you Lord for loving and forgiving me, time and again. And, yes, getting back on track broadening and deepening my own personal study in His word. I realized years ago that our pastor had to speak to all levels of Christians from the pulpit on Sunday mornings, and that if I was to learn The Word, and truly be able to apply it to my life, then I had to study it for myself. Much like the teacher who sends homework home with your child, so they can practice what they learned in school that day, I believe each of us needs to continue to practice and grow in what our pastors teach us – often branching out into extended areas of study. At that same business seminar the coach showed a slide of the Cheshire Cat talking to Alice in Wonderland. Alice was asking for directions, when the Cat asked her where she was going. Alice replied that she really didn’t know where she was going. The Cat answered that it really didn’t matter which way she went if she didn’t know where she was going. It made me realize that it’s time to revisit our business plan for this wonderful magazine, but as I write this today, I’m so grateful to know where I’m going, but realizing, too, that perhaps my life plan needs a tune-up as well. 2016 looks promising. New plans. New directions. Our family is adding a new member, as our oldest son will marry this Spring; we love Alex, she’s an amazing woman, and will be a wonderful addition to our family. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m blessed to have Faith to get me through today, by having Hope for what is to come tomorrow. It would be my prayer that you have the same. May God bless you through this wonderful Holy season, and may 2016 be the year you draw closer to Him than ever before! n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015
OUTDOORS With Dougherty
Sharing a favorite fishing spot: Browns Pond By Dan Dougherty If you grow up fishing, you always have a few favorite “go to” spots. I can remember as a young boy in Pendleton, Ore. it was a section of Butter Creek. You might say that’s where I became “hooked” on fishing. When my dad took a pastorate in Clarkston, Wash. during my 5th- to 7th-grade years, it became Alpowa Creek and the Tucannon River. Moving to Caldwell, Indian Creek became my special place from junior high through college. I thought it was one of the best-kept secrets in Idaho. With mobility and age you acquire many places to go depending on the species and time of year. Time has a habit of changing accessibility and conditions, keeping you continually updating your search for new places. As my boys were growing up, we spent much of our summer in the McCall area. We tent camped on our property at Paddy Flat. We built corrals for our horses, but it was many years before we built a cabin. We caught fish out of Rapid and Camp creeks, which ran through the property. The fish were small brook trout. Fish were continually featured on the breakfast menu. They were delicious! About 23 years ago on a trip to Paul’s Market, I met a local man buying fishing supplies. I asked him where would be a good place to take my sons to catch some rainbow trout. Without hesitation he said, “Browns Pond.” He explained that it was not the Browns Pond on Lick Creek Road but the one by the airport at the end of the runway. He said it was about a quarter mile walk in after climbing over the wooden fence at the gate. It became our spot, along with quite a few locals. We have almost always done well. Over the years it has provided so many novice friends and family members the pleasure of successful fishing. Last September, Ben Grassy from Australia came to stay with our son Jakoub for a month. They had become good friends during the year Jakoub spent in Australia. Jakoub was working every week so I entertained Ben. I took him to the cabin for a week and introduced him to Idaho’s great outdoors. We hiked, four-wheeled, and fished. With the creative help of the Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office in McCall we procured an Idaho non-resident two-day fishing license. Browns Pond was Ben’s introduction to fishing in the Gem State. It was a beautiful day for his first Idaho fishing experience. The sky was clear, the temperature perfect, and two ospreys were accenting the backdrop with an occasional dive and snatch of a wiggling trout. In Australia, Ben had seldom fished and caught very few fish when he did. He learned quickly and we both left with our limit. The next day was a repeat performance.
November / December 2015 | Christian Living
The next week I took him on a tour of the Idaho Supreme Court and the State Capitol Building. He even got to meet Govenor Otter. When I answered his question on the governor’s age, Ben responded, “You got to be kidding! I thought he was in his fifties!” Ben turned 26 on St. Patrick’s Day. He has degrees in banking and international finance and works at a bank in Sydney. He is an active member of Hillsong Church in Sydney, where he is a Connect Group Leader and has a website with lessons and studies for his group. He met Preston Sprinkle, vice president of Eternity Bible College in Boise, and is exploring the possibility of attending the college. He loves Idaho. Several months ago, I took my friend Pete Gerstenberger to fish Browns Pond. Pete is a retired parole officer from Washington. Before he and his wife married, both of them attended the singles group led by my brother, Pastor Tom, in Vancouver. Pete retired here, and our wives work together at the Idaho Supreme Court. The day Pete and I went to Browns Pond, the ospreys were diving and the fish biting. There was a grandfather fishing near us with his two teenage grandsons. During the course of a casual conversation, Pete and the grandfather discovered they were both veterans who had served in Vietnam at the same time. (God bless our vets!) They spent the morning sharing stories. I think Pete enjoyed the conversation more than the fishing. We both were impressed with how informed and conservative the two grandsons were. A definite reflection of their grandfather’s influence. We had a productive day at the pond and left with our limits. Just before the start of school this year, my grandson Daniel and I spent a morning at the pond. The ospreys were diving. As one hit the water across from us, we noticed it was having a hard time flying. It would travel about 15 feet as it was trying to rise, then hit the water. It was caught on some fishing line. The osprey tried four or five times with the same result. In between tries it rested on the water with wings extended. Two boys fishing next to us asked their father if they should swim out and free it. I was thinking the same thing. Their dad said give the bird another try or two. It looked like the line was stretching. On the next try the bird pulled free. There was a cheer from all the fishermen along the bank. The bird made several aerial acrobatic maneuvers trying to dislodge the line to no avail. It flew to its perch on a nearby tree. Several minutes later there was another cheer as the bird took flight trailing no line. I was proud of Daniel that day. After having a slow start in catching fish, he listened intently to my instruction and executed perfectly. In short order he caught his last four fish. It’s
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a learning process. Every day is not the same, and experience is the best teacher. We cleaned the fish back at the cabin. He took them to his mother and the family had them for dinner. He said they where “g-o-o-o-d”! Just recently I took 23-year-old Josh Poser to Browns Pond. His dad is Cliff of Cliff ’s Gun Shop on Fairview in Boise. I had gone dove hunting with Josh and Cliff near Hagerman the first of September. On arriving at the pond no one was there. It looked like it had not had many fishermen for a while. Josh is a good fisherman and we quickly had fish on both stringers. The osprey were flying but not diving. We noticed an otter approaching us. Something I never have seen during the summer, probably because too many people are generally in the area. I couldn’t believe how big it was. At least three feet long. It came within five yards and looked at us with expectation. It soon came cruising down parallel to the bank, hugging the shoreline. Josh was about five feet from me. I quickly pulled out my stringer and told him to get his out. Just as he was pulling in his stringer the otter grabbed it. A short tug-a-war ensued. Josh retrieved a fish-less stringer with just a partial piece of gill still attached. I had pulled my stringer next to my feet. A short time later the otter returned. The brazen otter came out on the bank about four feet from me. Looking at my fish he stretched out his neck and sniffed (only using “he” metaphorically). He moved his eyes up and down from me to the fish. I stomped my foot and said, “Get out of here!” He left; I am sure I hurt his feelings. We did not see him for a long time. As we were preparing to leave with our fish, two otters came swimming toward us. Josh said, “Here come Butch and Lori!” I had to smile — only in Idaho! Browns Pond is part of Idaho’s Family Fishing Waters system. It is routinely stocked by Fish and Game. The stocking schedules are posted online. Take someone to your favorite fishing spot. Maybe you can give them a life-changing experience getting them “hooked” on fishing. n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015
BIBLICAL Studies Center director
Bill Pubols leads with a counselor’s heart
The Biblical Studies Center is located near the campus of Boise State University at 1025 Belmont St. Bill Pubols (inset) is executive director of the center.
By Gaye Bunderson College is a time when young people are open to a lot of influences common on campuses. “There’s swirling atheistic philosophies and swirling temptations out there,” Bill Pubols, executive director of the Biblical Studies Center at Boise State, said. Pubols has been center director since 2013; during that time, he said, he has met many “bright and engaging” students. He originally came to Boise in 2004, working as chaplain for Athletes in Action, a sports ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). He holds a master of divinity degree from Trinity College and is pursuing a doctor of ministry through Talbot Theological Seminary. He is Christ-focused, with a student emphasis. “I want every class here not just to have an academic and intellectual challenge but would like people to grow in their relationship with God,” Pubols said. “The core of what I do is to help build emotionally healthy, maturing Christians.” Boise State sophomore marketing major, Daniel Barth, who works as an intern at BSC, said the center has filled needs he has as a Christian on a secular campus. “I think that every Christian craves a community of other believers that they can link arms with, especially at the col-
10 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
lege level. The center provides me with that,” Barth said. “It’s been an interesting ride. I love the city of Boise and the school itself. It hasn’t been a walk in the park (on campus). As a Christian you’re definitely in the minority. College is a place where immorality is the norm. It’s kind of hard to co-exist sometimes.” He finds Pubols to be a source of encouragement, as well as a Christian worth emulating. “Bill has been a huge blessing in my life — my dad away from home in terms of helping me through problems and giving advice,” said the 19-year-old. “I see him as an example for me here. He has a wife and two kids, and stepkids. He’s a good example of what it is to be a Christian father and husband.” During the recent fall semester, Pubols taught a class on Exploring the Tough Questions. The emphasis was on helping students “confidently and humbly express the good reasons for believing in the Bible and the truth of Christianity,” according to a course description at BoiseBSC.org. Pubols wants the students to understand how to demonstrate and appropriately express to others the value of a Christian life. “I want their thinking to be a little more nuanced. I want them to gain a level of confidence. I want their shoulders to drop and to relax. … Be eager to listen, to understand someone else,” he said. “No one wants to be patronized. Show respect for the person, their intellect, their intentions.” In 2014, Pubols received a last-minute invitation to debate the existence of God with atheist Dan Barker in honor of Darwin Week. The event was put on by the Boise State University Secular Student Alliance. According to an article in the BSU student newspaper The Arbiter, Barker was an evangelical preacher for 19 years, then gave up his faith and is now coowner of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “I wanted to present a cogent argument for the existence of the Christian God, and do it in a winsome way,” Pubols said. “The Bible offers experiential arguments, fulfilled prophecy, and the reliability of scripture.” Part of the debate centered on how the universe came into existence, with Pubols stating it came from a Creator, or “one original autograph,” that of God. Barker leaned on science theory for his arguments, and after a vote by some 300 people in attendance, he was deemed the winner of the debate. Pubols felt that the debate was, for him, more than a win-lose situation. “If I can leave the people in attendance with something that they can think about, I’ve done well. The questions go on in their minds after they leave the debate,” he said. One of the prevailing lessons Pubols imparts at the Biblical Studies Center is grace — he calls it the river of God’s grace through which believers try to become a reflection of Christ. He talks about the conflicting points of view of: just leaning on
grace without working toward emulating Christ; or working overzealously through a long list of must-do’s for achieving perfection. “I think of grace and works as two oxen under one yoke. Both have to advance together,” he said. He also wants students to live their identity in Christ. “I work with athletes who say their identity is often linked to how they perform in their sport,” said Pubols. He encourages them to find their identity in Christ alone. “The North American culture sells us a bill of goods, but I don’t place my hope in Walmart or my car or house — or whether the football team wins,” he said. His hope is grounded in Christ. Christians, he said, are organic, like plants. “They have to be watered, weeded, pruned and fertilized in order to grow and bear fruit.” Pubols wants to reach students where they’re at; he focuses on student interests, such as relationship dynamics. Along with being a minister and teacher, he also serves as a counselor to his students. “It’s the nature of who I am at heart,” he said. The Biblical Studies Center opened in 1973. The center welcomes students from any Christian denomination, with an “open Bible – open mind” policy. Though classes are targeted at Boise State students for credit, members of the community are also allowed to enroll in BSC courses on a case by case basis. For more information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 342-2182. n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 11
i-61 founder espouses caring for God’s earth By Gaye Bunderson Founding pastor of Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Tri Robinson, helped launch a program at the church called i-61. The goal of the program is to extend a ministry of love and compassion throughout the world by focusing on what it calls seven Areas of World Crisis. These include: • Spiritual confusion • Undeveloped leadership • Educational inequalities • Environmental decline • World hunger • Poor health and disease • Human injustice The ministry centers on reaching out to the poor, the people who cannot speak for and defend themselves and who are frequently exploited or left behind by the wealthy and powerful. Robinson believes there is a strong argument for not only caring for the poor but also caring for the planet. He doesn’t see them as two disparate ministries but rather as ministries that have a strong correlation. Robinson, who is now retired from the pastorate, wrote a book in 2006 titled, “Saving God’s Green Earth: Rediscovering the Church’s Responsibility to Environmental Stewardship.” The concept of creation care had long been an interest of his, and the launching of i-61 following the release of the book put his words into action. Not only does he feel that caring for the planet is mandated in God’s Word, he also sees it as essential to caring for the less fortunate. “If we say we care for the sanctity of life, we need to care for the planet,” Robinson said. “Climate change … it’s real, and the first to be affected are the poor.” He’s backed up in that view by, among other things, a 2014 United Nations report that contends: “Those who did the least to cause climate change would be the first in the line of fire: the poor and the weak, and communities that were subjected to discrimination...” (From an article in the British daily newspaper The Guardian written by Suzanne Goldenberg and quoting the UN document) Robinson is aware there are plenty of naysayers — including many in the Church — who believe climate change is bunk conjured up and propagated by radical environmentalists. But in his gracious manner, he defends i-61’s emphasis on helping the poor and how it must include a close examination of environmental issues. “The mission of i-61 has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It’s not political. The planet is ours to use, not abuse. It’s the only earth we’ve got. Its resources are not renewable — when they’re gone, they’re gone,” Robinson said. i-61 is grounded in scripture. Its brief name is taken from Isaiah 61 and the verse’s exhortation to “proclaim good news to the poor.” Matthew 25 is also cited. “All i-61 issues are in this verse,” Robinson said. “And Matthew 24. There are also three or four parables about stewardship.” Formerly a schoolteacher, Robinson and his wife Nancy have enjoyed an agrarian lifestyle throughout their married life. Robinson pastored Vineyard for 24 years and then mentored current lead pastor Trevor Estes over a seven-year transition period. At 67, he lives with Nancy and his 94-year-old mother on land up an unpaved road and into the mountains above
12 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Nancy and Tri Robinson put a lot of sweat equity into their ranch. In this photo taken in September, they’re shown in their garden of fresh veggies. They call their homestead Timber Butte Ranch. The ranch was built on a concept of creation care and sustainability, a passion of Tri’s that prompted him to write a book and launch the program i-61 at Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
Sweet, Idaho. The word “nestled” best describes the way the property rests comfortably among the steep hills. The Robinsons’ 80 acres have a beautiful home, guest house, and shop. The couple has farm animals such as chickens, cows, and horses, as well as a garden, fields of hay, and a vineyard. Everything about the ranch was designed to be an example of sustainable agriculture, a way of living off the land that gives as much back as it takes. The Robinsons call the place Timber Butte Ranch, and the name is etched on a wooden arch at the entrance to the property. Despite being retired, Tri and Nancy still work 8-hour days on the ranch, a labor of love for both of them. “I’m in better shape now than when I was sitting behind a desk,” Robinson said. “He’s a lean, green machine,” said Nancy, explaining a lot of sweat equity went into the homestead. “Ever since I’ve known Tri, even on his days off he’s out fixing things up,” Estes said about his pastoral mentor. Though he recently stopped being the point man for i-61 and handed the reins to Terra Montford of Vineyard, Robinson definitely hasn’t left the ministry behind. He and Nancy entertain mission-focused guests and expose them to life on a sustainable ranch. They also “envision and brainstorm” with the guests all the ways they can continue to build i-61 and reach out to people in need. “We incorporate our philosophy into missions work of sustainability,” Robinson said. “The ultimate vision is to train people to have these skills and create sustainable missions.” “Short-term missions didn’t help anyone,” he said. He explained that, too frequently, former missions followed an American-based model that included disseminating Bibles to the poor but not much else. He cited James 2:16: If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
As an example of what he hopes to build with i-61, he speaks of Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary to California in the 1700s. Serra was canonized by Pope Francis in September, though not without criticism from some American Indians. Serra created sustainable mission bases and taught medicine, sanitation, agriculture, trades, and animal husbandry to the native population, according to Robinson. That is what he believes i-61 should do for those it is trying to reach with the Gospel message. “It’s kind of like a Christian Peace Corps,” Robinson said. i-61 established its first training base in Nicaragua and has missionaries serving in Kenya, Mexico, and other areas, including the U.S. At Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship, located at 4950 N. Bradley St. in Garden City, 25 acres are set aside for a food pantry and medical clinic for locals. There is also an organic garden because the sustainability effort is church-wide. “As much as possible, we try to grow pesticide-free. As stewards of creation, we try and take good care of the soil,” Estes said. “For us, it’s a matter of the fact that God’s the Creator and has given us all of creation as a habitat for us. We honor Him by taking care of it. Christians should be the most caring of the creation. As people who know and worship the Creator, of all people we should be the most appreciative and honoring of the creation.” On the Robinsons’ homestead, very little is wasted. “We recycle what we can. We have solar hot water. The home was built to be a LEED home (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), but it isn’t certified,” said Robinson. The ranch is isolated but has Internet access. “Nancy googles everything,” said her husband. “Even how to handle a mean rooster.” The isolation brings spiritual benefits to the couple. “We live like this... We feel God speaks in solitude. I practice solitude as a discipline. The mission came out of time with the Lord,” Robinson said. For more information, go to i-61.org or vineyardboise.org. n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 13
Mission Medics team takes healing to the world
Jennifer Pascoe paddles a boat with two women from Mission Medics and a native of Papua New Guinea. (Courtesy photo)
By Lauren Phillips “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I am willing to go out on a limb here to state that most of us take the health we enjoy for granted. I am also willing to bet that most all who read this article know more about basic first aid and illness prevention than the average person living in most developing nations. We learn the importance of washing our hands by the time we’re 6; we brush our teeth; we have sources of clean water at our fingertips. Have a cough, a headache, or a scrape? Just head to the local drug store for a plethora of over-the-counter medicines. And when the sore throat or headache becomes debilitating, there’s a doc-in-the-box on every corner to take care of us. Our hospitals are full of some of the best doctors on the planet. “When primary health care works, it can meet the vast majority of people’s health needs,” says Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. But, keep in mind that more than 400 million people worldwide lack access to essential primary health services. That’s a lot of people! How many more lack access to the knowledge of the God of the Bible, a compassionate, holy, loving being who offers true healing, forgiveness, and deliverance? If our world ever needed the good news of Jesus Christ, combined with good medical service, it’s now. Mission Medics is a branch of i-61 (taken from Isaiah 61) Ministries — the compassion and justice training program of Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship’s mission ministry. Mission Medics is a basic medical training program empowering the local church, including those with no medical background, to care for the physical needs of others by advancing the Kingdom of God through health care evangelism. “We do this
14 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
locally and globally with the goal of demonstrating the gospel of Christ and expanding His kingdom around the world,” says Jennifer Pascoe, the volunteer director of the program. “We train people to both teach and provide God-centered, holistic healing, striving to address the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those we serve.” Pascoe is a pharmacist by trade but a missionary at heart. “I love medicine and wanted a career flexible enough for raising a family and volunteering in my community. In college I went with Campus Crusade (for Christ) to serve in Siberia for a summer and fell in love with cross-cultural ministry. Working as a substitute hospital pharmacist turned into a perfect career for funding my overseas travel and keeping my medical knowledge current. I didn’t meet my husband until recently, so I ended up living 12 years as a single pharmacist pouring my life into serving the poor and traveling to train others to do the same. Now, as I start my own family, I’m thankful for the ability to continue training and sending medical missionaries from here in Boise.” Boise Vineyard is a church that has always been passionate about loving people in practical ways. More than 10 years ago, the church partnered with an organization called Mercy in Action to provide medical missions training for outgoing teams. Over time, Mercy in Action focused its ministry to provide midwifery training and services in the USA and the Philippines. The Vineyard wanted to pursue a broader range of training for its mission teams, so the Vineyard leaders gathered a small group of health care professionals and asked them to consider starting their own mission-centered medics program. The goal was simple — create a part-time program that people could participate in while working or raising a family.
“Three of us — an EMT, a nurse, and I — prayerfully crafted the Mission Medics vision statement and a basic training outline. We recruited students for our first class in 2008. We made arrangements for many different medical professionals and volunteers to teach a variety of subjects. All teachers and leaders are volunteers,” says Pascoe. “Boise Vineyard and i-61 Ministries provide our office, classroom space, and basic supplies. Student tuition funds the cost of certifying students, and students raise individual support for their travel expenses overseas for the outreach portion of the course. Mission Medics’ seventh season began classes September 8, 2015.” The Mission Medics program consists of two part-time courses followed by an optional international outreach. The first, Outdoor Emergency Care certification, OEC, was developed by the National Ski Patrol and is taught by a nationally certified instructor at the i-61 campus. Students may test for national OEC certification at the end of this course. It is an extensive first responder course covering topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Emergencies, Mass Casualty Incidents, Extrication and Evacuation, Trauma, Pediatric Care, and Pharmacology. Part two is called Developing World Medicine. Some of the topics taught in these sessions are Top Causes of Death in the Developing World, Wound Care and Suturing, Common Illnesses of Children and Adults, Treatment and Prevention, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Hygiene and Sanitation, Nutrition and Childhood Development, Vaccination and Injections, Medicine in the Kingdom of God, and Healing Prayer Ministry. (For a complete list of course content, go to http:// i-61.org/equipping/i-61-campus/mission-medics-school.) The third optional phase of the course is International Outreach. “We travel as a group to provide hands-on health care evangelism in poor villages of a developing nation. The location and duration of this trip is determined after the class starts,” Pascoe says. Continued on page 17
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 15
NOTES from Home
Strategies for the best holiday season ever loved, no matter how much or how little By Dani Grigg the gift cost. You know the giver was I’ve lived through 30 holiday seasons probably thinking about you the whole now, so you’d better believe I’m an time he or she was making it, and the expert. Just kidding. I’m doing all kinds thoughts were probably nice ones (othof stuff wrong, but this is still my favorite erwise, I’m thinking, he or she wouldn’t time of year. I know you will probably be giving you a present). Obviously, you manage to have a wonderful holiday seawon’t have time to make a gift for everyson without my help, but here are some one on your list, but think of a thing or tips anyway: two you can make and do a few repeats 1. You’ve got to learn to “push it in different styles. For the crafting chaldown.” A roommate in college taught me lenged, I bet you could make a fleece this one. If you think you’ve had as much blanket. Right? Or glue some googly eyes food as your stomach can handle, you’re Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and on a pinecone to make an ornament? But wrong. You just need to push it down. happy mother of two young sons. also you need glitter or something. I don’t The method is simple. Hold your hands know. Check Pinterest. You’ve got this. up to chest level with your elbows out to 4. Try to remember gratitude with every breath you take. the side. Then do a little top-half body roll. Good. Now do 5. On a related note, make a “Good Things” jar. I work on it again. And again and again. Feel it? Now you’re ready for this throughout the year. You should start this for 2016. Keep a more stuffing and pie. jar, some colorful (or not) paper and a pen by your bed. Every 2. Speaking of eating, I’m really sorry, but I have to bring day (okay… realistically, I only remember to do this a couple this up. You’re going to need to do some exercising. I know, times a month, but then I do a bunch at once) think of some ugh. But the thing is, you’re going to feel super guilty about things that have brought you joy. Something your kid said, all the cookies and fudge. It’s going to take away from the joy something you accomplished, a compliment you received. you should be feeling. So I advise trying a new physical activWrite them down and put them in your jar. On New Year’s ity. Take up running or Zumba or racquetball or swimming Eve, pull out the jar and read through all the good things that (inside) or something. If you’ve already got a physical activity happened that year. It’s my favorite tradition. you love, kick it up a notch. That way, as you eat ALL THE 6. Stay home as much as possible. Online shopping is your FOODS, you will know you deserve it. friend. Holidays and home are a dynamite combination. 3. Make some gifts. I love presents. I love giving them and I 7. Make a holiday music station on your Pandora account. love receiving them. Store bought and homemade. But there’s Type in the name of your favorite band/musician and then something about a homemade gift that makes you feel extra put “(Holiday)” after it. You’ll get holiday songs from artists similar to the one you indicated. It will be festive and not as repetitive as listening to the songs you own the whole season. But still…there are only so many holiday songs. Don’t overdo your listening. 8. If “Christmas Shoes” comes on the radio or your new Pandora station, TURN IT OFF. If you’ve weirdly never listened to Delilah on the radio and you’re not familiar with this song, first of all: Congratulations. But you’re probably wondering, so let me explain: It’s a song about a boy trying to buy some shoes for his mom because she’s dying. He wants her to look beautiful if she meets Jesus tonight. You will cry. It’s awful. Do not listen to it. 9. So this one’s pretty obvious, and I think it’s instinctive this time of year, but it’s huge and deserves a mention. Give. Help your kids give. Donate to the food bank or Toys for Tots or choose a present for the giving tree at your church or through another community group. Leave presents on friends’ doorsteps anonymously. There’s nothing like giving to help with the whole gratitude thing. 10. Finally: Read about the Savior and His beautiful life. Try to be more like Him. Happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas, and happy New Year to you all! May this season be filled with love! n
GOOD S G N I H T
16 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Continued from page 15 The types of people who join the Mission Medics team are varied. “We’ve had students of all ages from high school seniors to retired people in their 60’s and 70’s. We’ve had engineers, social workers, housewives, military pilots, accountants, teachers, a real estate agent, a retired police officer, college students, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, CNAs, EMTs, and ski patrollers. I remember Toni, a woman in her late 70’s who had a beautiful head full of white hair. I can still see her smiling from ear to ear as she climbed to the top of a mountain to conduct tuberculosis screenings in a remote village of the Philippines.” Graduates have also served in Thailand, India, Haiti, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Papua New Guinea. Others serve locally on the ski patrol, at local free clinics, or helping teach and train others in the Mission Medics program. A Mission Medics outreach is not only an adventure of a lifetime; it is quite often an impoverished community’s only hope of access to quality, sustainable health care. Because sustainability is part of their focus, “we like to go where medical care is difficult or impossible to access due to geography, socioeconomic factors, or emergency situations, and where there are long-term Christian ministries who agree to partner with us.” Mission Medics team members pray, listen to concerns, answer medical questions, take blood pressures, weigh children, perform overall health assessments, categorize and treat basic ailments, teach ways to prevent and treat simple diseases, share stories from their Christian walks, introduce families to local church leaders, pray, and pray some more. “Whenever possible, we conduct formal times of teaching disease prevention and treatment to mothers, church leaders, or indigenous volunteer health workers. This type of training requires partnering with in-country ministries that facilitate long-term support and training for those we teach,” says Pascoe.
When asked what her dream for Mission Medics is, she says, “I dream of empowering any Christian interested in medicine to serve others in this capacity. I dream of the Kingdom of God growing as new people learn about Christ through health care evangelism. I dream of impoverished children surviving to adulthood because Christian health workers in their village recognize and treat basic diseases. I dream of adults avoiding common diseases because they know the importance of nutrition, clean water, and disease prevention. I dream of lives transformed through personal prayer, Godsized miracles, and excellent basic medical care.” Pascoe stresses that, “This is not a fast-track toward a career in medicine. Our program offers a national certification as a first responder through the National Ski Patrol, but other coursework and information is non-certified and specifically designed for volunteers to use in areas of the world where no other health care is available. However, often students who complete our program find they are interested enough in a career to go on to apply to medical school or other medical degree programs.” As followers, and better yet, imitators of Jesus Christ, today is a good day to reflect upon the ministry the Father gave Him. In Isaiah 61:1, the prophet writes that the Messiah will bring good news to the suffering, comfort the brokenhearted, and open the eyes of the blind. If we listen it’s almost as if we can hear the words of our heavenly Father saying, “Now, go and do the same.” If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a Mission Medic in order to be better equipped to serve the suffering and brokenhearted of our world, you can contact the organization at http://i-61.org/equipping/i-61-campus/ mission-medics-school. n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 17
YOUR Daily Bread
Enjoy the holidays without going broke to consider taking a part-time job for By Terry Frisk some additional income. Many busiWow! Where has this year gone?! nesses need part-time staff during We have worked hard to stay the holidays. Avoid including debt as within the budget we created at a source of spendable funds. Countthe beginning of the year despite ing on a tax refund to pay for holiday the challenges that have cropped credit card debt is not a great plan. up since. Now, we face the biggest 4. Create a budget by allocating budget challenge of the year…the your available funds to your acholidays!!! There are so many ways tivities list and your gift list. This to spend money during the period is the hardest part. It is inevitable that from Thanksgiving through New you will run out of available funds beYear’s Day that it is easy to overfore you reach the end of your spendspend, resulting in depleting our ing list. Consider your options. You savings or worse, incurring large may decide to attend a free Christmas amounts of credit card debt. The music program at a local church inbest way to avoid overspending is stead of the expensive traveling profesthrough careful planning and selfsional musical program. Or, you may discipline. Here are my tips to avoid decide to skip the big New Year’s bash overspending this holiday season: Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, pro1. Establish a plan. Make a viding financial advisory services to small businesses. for an intimate gathering of friends at your home. list of all the activities you plan to He also counsels individuals on personal financial 5. Keep track of your actual do between Thanksgiving and New matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through spending. Add a column to your Year’s Day. Will you be traveling? e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. budget to enter the amount you spent Even traveling a short distance will on each item. You may need to make result in additional costs for fuel, adjustments to your budget as you go. Even if you fudge lodging, meals, kennel fees for the pets, etc. What events a little on your budget, you will be much better off than will you be attending? Remember, this is the season for if went shopping with no budget. NO BUDGET = NO giving, so consider a contribution to your church and LIMITS!!! This is a formula for financial disaster. other worthy charities. Before labeling me the “Grinch,” consider the best gifts 2. Make a list of gift recipients and check it twice. I’m not talking about determining who’s naughty that we can give to others are truly from the heart. My most memorable gifts from Christmas past did not cost or nice. Focus on giving gifts to those who make a difa lot of money. One year, my wife had t-shirts made for ference in your life. Is it really necessary to send a gift to your second cousin that you see once a year at the family the family with a picture of me in my cowboy Halloween costume when I was 4 years old. My adult sons thought it picnic? She would likely be thrilled to receive a handwritten card saying you are looking forward to a bean bag was a hoot and wore them everywhere. You can find a lot of creative, inexpensive ideas on the Internet. toss rematch next summer. Celebrating Christmas is a natural expression of our 3. Determine how much you have to spend. If gratitude for the ultimate gift that God gave us: His Son. you saved money specifically for holiday spending, great! The measure of our gratitude is not expressed in the If not, then look at the amount you will earn between amount of money we spend. Rather, it is in the love in now and the end of the year to determine how much our heart as we rejoice in the birth of our Savior. Have a you have available after paying your regular bills (i.e., rent, utilities, groceries, etc.). Tapped out? You may need joyous Christmas and pray for peace. n The life you want to live, the price you can live with
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18 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
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Kimbra Shaw, director of the Boise affiliate of Love INC, says the ultimate goal of the program is to strengthen families. (Photo by Drew Brown)
By Angela Ruth Strong It’s that time of year again — the time so full of financial stress that 45 percent of Americans in a recent poll said they wish they could skip Christmas. For those who still want to celebrate the reason for the season without adding to debt or who want to help make the holiday a little more merry and bright for those struggling, you can find both opportunities through the Boise affiliate of Love INC. “Love INC currently involves about 40 churches in the Boise area to help break the cycle of living in need by giving a hand up, not a hand out,” explains director Kimbra Shaw. The program includes three different areas to meet needs. First is the Clearinghouse, where trained volunteers listen to a caller’s story to discover the depth of need then help brainstorm with the caller about possible resources, which they do by focusing on the whole person, not just the need. Ginger McGrath, Clearinghouse coordinator, says people are often telling her, “Thank you for listening to me.” She adds, “I love that Love INC prays with clients at every contact. Even though we are not an emergency service, they know we care as we connect with them over and over again while we vet, verify, and distribute. And then meet them face to face at the GAP.”
Second is the GAP Ministry. Through donations, Love INC is able to provide products and services not easily accessible. This includes the ministries of Children’s Loft, Diaper Depot, Soap and Suds, and School Supplies. They are currently working on putting together a clothing closet for adults and just had a church donate the space needed. Third is the Abundant Living Program, which is a relational ministry that offers weekly classes, goal coaches, and budget counselors. At this level, more help is offered in exchange for accountability. For example, if a client is given a gift card for gas, they could use it on anything they want at the gas station, but they agree to show the receipt to their budget counselor to confirm they actually bought gas. They can also get food from the Bread Exchange, but only after they plan a menu for the week. Abundant Living is a six-month program that offers over $3,300 in products and services on average. “This breaks down to $1.98 a day in goods, which is the tipping point for many families to get out of debt,” explains Shaw. The program started 18 months ago and has already served 72 families. The last five graduates were able to pay off a combined amount of over $34,000 in debt in only six months. Many of them now come back to serve and conduct orientations.
20 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
(Below) Barb from Summit Church, an intake volunteer with Love INC, speaks over the phone with a client. (Photo by Drew Brown)
holidays happier by giving a hand up November is a great time to get involved. November 1327 is the Gifts that Keep on Giving Auction. You can donate an item for auction or bid online at loveinc.afrogs.org. It’s a great way to get Christmas gifts for the same amount you would spend elsewhere, but the money goes to help fund Love INC. Churches or individuals may also sign up to sponsor a family for Christmas. This is offered to families currently in the Abundant Living Program who agree not to spend money on gifts, but use their own money to keep climbing out of debt during the month of December. You also have the ability to find out more about the program on November 29 when each church involved will offer an informational meeting. There are other fundraisers and partnerships throughout the year, and you can even donate money simply by shopping at Fred Meyer with your Rewards Card by signing up. Just sign up at fredmeyer.com/communityrewards with the non-profit #82404 or Amazon through smile.amazon.com. The ministry also appreciates it when you take the time to like them on Facebook (Love INC of the Boise Community) to help spread the word. Love INC believes there is a defining difference between its program and the assistance offered through the food bank or Health and Welfare. As people begin to believe in themselves and see themselves through God’s eyes, they are transformed. They move from being in need to being part of the solution. When asked where she sees the ministry going in the future, Shaw says, “Our ultimate goal is to strengthen families through the church.” For more information or to get involved, call Love INC at (208) 377-3502, and choose to fill the holidays with love. n Angela Ruth Strong has written a Fun4Hire series of books for children ages 8-12. She also writes Christian romantic suspense as part of a Love on the Run book series. Now, her romantic novel titled “Finding Love in Sun Valley” will be out in February of 2016. For more information, go to angelaruthstrong.com.
One area in the Love INC of the Boise Community offices is referred to as “the wareroom,” because there is no warehouse. All the donations that come into Love INC are placed in this room, separated, and then sent to the GAP ministries. (Photo by Drew Brown)
Christian Living | November / December 2015 21
THE Brighter Side
Social media, apps, and access to God about right. I mean, you can text or message By Ronald Kern someone across the planet in seconds, share It has never been easier to get informasomething instantly with anyone — bringing tion; almost anything is literally just a Google connections, right? However, in my opinsearch away. You can find out about anything ion, technology, phones and social media or anyone in seconds by using your phone, specifically are actually making people more tablet, and computer. I don’t believe it’s a isolated, rather than closer. stretch to say that many of us know more I know everyone reading this has walked about our “friends” (many of whom we into a restaurant and witnessed a family sithaven’t met in person) than we know about ting at their table. How many of them are on those closest to us. their phone, looking down, and the table is Technology, whether you like the progress quiet? This happens everywhere you go and or not, is continuing to supersede our wildif you aren’t refreshing Twitter or “checking est expectations. If you need something done in” on Facebook, you have your phone to take for business, there’s an app for that. If you pictures so you can capture the moment and need to organize your music collection, keep Ron Kern, share it with everyone. This is just one exrecipes, follow your favorite sports team, there founder of Kern Ministry ample of the drawbacks of being connected are apps for that. Would you believe there are Foundation, Inc. and the advances of technology. almost 2,000,000 apps available to download The best thing about having a relationship with God is that within seconds? All you need is a device and a data plan or a you don’t need a login or password. Neither do you need a wifi connection, and truly, there is almost an app for anything friend request and there isn’t any limitation on the number of you can think of. characters you can use. Everyone has INSTANT ACCESS With incredible and beneficial things technology gives us, it TO GOD, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. does come with drawbacks, such as data overload, spending How awesome, comforting, and refreshing is that? If people more time on your phone than with your friends, and oodles spent 50 percent of the time they do on social media in readof other negative aspects. Data overload is struggling to cope ing the Bible and deepening their relationship with God, it with the vast amount of emails, texts, and social media platforms because we are constantly connected to them, almost all would be an incredible life-changing event. Just know that no matter how many “friends” you have, how of the time. popular you think you are, and even if you have 5,000,000 According to a recent survey, 44 percent of people claim followers, it’s doesn’t get you the ultimate access available. Jesus being connected is affecting our sleep, relationships, and in said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to many instances our sanity. The most common effects include my Father, but by me.” becoming restless, anxious or unable to relax, and having the Within the vast number of apps available to you, how many fear of missing a post, a message, or to see how many “likes” Bible apps do you use or have? Did you know there are readyou have. ing plans and virtually every conceivable way to read the Bible I believe that social media and instant access to everything through them? You can also watch videos for sections of the was meant to bring people together, and in theory that seems
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22 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
time you are spending on your phone and other devices? Instead of monitoring the lives of others, focus on yours by actually living it. Technology can be useful as long as you control it instead of allowing it to control you. Utilize apps and available access as a learning tool to further your connection with God, Jesus, and the Bible. Use these to strengthen the life of others as well as yourself. Have a healthy balance with your time and use of your devices. Don’t forget you can receive positive messages, stories, and look on the “Brighter Side” of things by visiting our website (TheBrighterSideWorldwide.com) or signing up for our texting club. Below are some apps and websites I like best: •How much time have you wasted on Facebook? http://goo.gl/LyOjct •How many minutes per day are you on your phone? https://inthemoment.io •YouVersion Bible – This is what I use personally; love it. https://www.youversion.com •The Bible Study App – Olive Tree https://www.olivetree.com •Audio Sermon – Great sermons for men http://www.sermonaudio.com •A list of 20 popular Bible apps http://goo.gl/0UlPZ5 n A former business owner in Meridian for more than 20 years, Ronald Kern and his wife, Lisa, are now retired. They are founders of Kern Ministry Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit Christian organization that provides life’s essentials, medical supplies and educational resources for children, families and communities worldwide. Kern is an entrepreneur, business and life consultant, author, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Contact him anytime at RonaldAKern.com or TheBrighterSide@icloud.com.
Bible, or even have it read out loud to you. These apps — and I’ll share my personal favorites at the end — are great examples of the benefits of technology. I firmly believe that having your phone in your hand and being “connected” constantly isn’t just a habit, it’s an addiction. You feel lost without your phone in your pocket, right? “Everything” is on your phone, correct? If you lost your phone you would just die. Ninety percent of American adults own cell phones and 33 percent say they couldn’t function without it. This is problematic. Can you go two weeks without posting something or checking your social media? How many times do you check your email per day, or do you do it hourly? Do you equate your selfworth and confidence by how many “likes” you get on a photo or comment you posted? You might be surprised how much time you spend on your phone and if you are brave enough to find out, download the free app called “Moment.” (I told you earlier there is an app for everything.) This tells you how many minutes you are on your phone and after several days, you can view by day or review a full chart. It runs in the background so you don’t have to do anything. The next time you are in a public place or restaurant and you find yourself pulling your phone out, do something crazy and put it back in you pocket. Urge your friends and family to do the same, especially during meals, which should be a time of fellowship, true conversation, and valuable communication. Our family jokes about “no phone Friday” with intentions of not using your phone on Friday, except for that archaic and antique thing. (What is that called again? Oh yeah, making an actual phone call.) Being honest, we don’t do very well and I personally utilize technology for marketing and my businesses. I too am on social media and my phone too much I’m sure, but as the man in the house, I need to do better and lead by example. I’m not immune to the access we all have, but I certainly use my Bible apps daily, and urge you to at least give them a shot. When you are on your deathbed, are you going to be looking at Facebook or tweeting something, or are you going to be spending quality time with your family and friends? Why not get ahead of the game and at least be aware of how much
Christian Living | November / December 2015 23
Simple steps for nurturing creative genius much earlier than I did, her skills advanced quickly. She learned the violin and guitar because she grew up listening to her mom’s music (20+ songs on iTunes), singing and playing along. She knew I’d loved ceramics in high school; she lettered in AP Ceramics, becoming ever so much better than I ever got. She loved listening to us read to her (since she was in the womb) and absorbed great, epic narratives from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Rowling and others. So she created her own wonderful stories in her grade school GATE class. When I finally engaged a lifelong dream of Joel Lund, getting published, she watched me work very CEO of Prepare For Rain hard for many months to get my first book As The World Turns (a youth minister’s survival guide) published. Unless you have been asleep over the past Then we collaborated as a family on my second book (an inspiratwo decades, you can’t help but notice that the world’s economy tional book about our dog). When she saw me dive into worldhas shifted away from industrial manufacturing. The primary building a fantasy story, with the protagonist modeled after her, driver is knowledge. Not labor. she was inspired to retrieve an old writing project from junior As an example of this, let’s consider the same people I listed high and eventually turn it into her first novel. Her award-winin my first blog. The most successful entrepreneurs in recent ning book was published about a year after her dad’s. years are known for their creative genius. Consider Steve Jobs of None of these things make us better parents than others. It Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, also doesn’t mean our daughter is smarter than other kids. All Warren Buffett, uber-investor of Berkshire-Hathaway, Elon Musk it means is that with some mindful, consistent encouragement, of Space X and Tesla, and Richard Branson of Virgin. Even we can nurture creativity in our children, grandchildren and the JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter “empire.” Many more other kids we have influence over. names come to mind. In the two years since my first blog on this subject, most parents 5 More Steps wouldn’t express gleeful delight in better funded or performing As parents, we own the primary role and responsibility of nurschools. Most parents would not be inclined to say things have turing creativity in our children. But it is just as important to be improved for their children’s education. More often than othersupportive adults to all the kids in our lives: neighbor kids, friends wise, schools are still managing with less than they did 6-8 years of our kids, kids at church, etc. So really, all grownups — youth ago. And even if things had improved for the educational system ministers, volunteers, clergy, counselors, parents and grandpartasked with teaching your kids, are you willing to delegate everyents — play an important role. As I said in my first blog, we can thing to the school system? impact how deeply and how far kids engage their creativity. Of course not. Schools are stretched thin. So are the educators We know the world will continue to get more challenging. Our in them. young people will inherit it. Nurturing a habit of creativity will Truth be told, parents are also stretched thin. Still, of all the things we’re called on to lean in hard for, raising our kids to be as enhance not just the lives of those creatives but those they influence. successful as they can be is at the top. These additional five steps might seem simple or obvious. But Look at the list of names again. They all have amazing stories consider what impact greater intentionality would bring. of approaching challenges in an unusually creative way. They 1. Model. Make sure you carve out time to engage in the became hugely successful because of their creativity, not in spite things that get your creativity flowing. You’ve seen that in our of it. house that includes music, writing, painting, and ceramics. Perhaps in your home it’s wood-working, crafts, or car restoration. Genius Begins At Home No creative pursuit is better than the other. What is important is My wife and I were told by a fertility specialist that we would your kids seeing you responding to your creative yearning. They never have kids. God had other plans. Our daughter recently see you imitate the Creator. started college. She is majoring in engineering, but hasn’t decided 2. Expose. Get those young minds away from a screen (comon a specific discipline. What is really interesting is that she is puter, TV, tablet, phone) and into museums, scientific exhibitions minoring in graphic design. and anything that will blow their minds. When I recount for you She is a bright girl, typically getting good grades. Our focus 18 years of parenting, it makes us look brilliant. We’re not. We as parents has always been to encourage her to dive into what just tried to get our daughter seeing and experiencing new things. interests her. Because she saw her parents constantly engaging in She loved the Discovery Center, but also loved watching monks creative pursuits, she did too. making a mandala. Art museums were always fun. Watching a As a consequence, she became an accomplished visual artist; ballet performance got her interested in becoming a ballerina. she grew up observing me draw and paint. Because she started By Joel Lund In a blog I published two years ago, I wrote about the high calling we have as parents for nurturing our children’s creativity (on prepareforrain.com). As created beings, made in the likeness of the Creator, all of us feel an urge to create. How could we not? Genesis 1:27 declares that we are made in God’s image. Ephesians 5:1 calls on us to be “imitators of God.” So why don’t more of us engage in being creative? Answer: the same reason we tend to fail at nurturing creative genius in our children. We don’t value creativity enough in ourselves.
24 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
CHURCH DIRECTORY BOISE
3. Introduce. Whenever possible, arrange for the kids in your life to meet the people doing whatever they are interested in. Your kids (and you) will discover normal people doing wonderful things. 4. Expand. If you can make it fit your family’s budget and time constraints, provide your kids ways to keep pursuing their creativity. By borrowing a book from the library or getting age-appropriate training videos, you’ll continue nurturing their creative genius. 5. Let Go. It can sting a little, but it’s a good thing when the creative genius in your kids exceeds your own. It’s not a competition. It’s a privilege. Nurturing creative genius in those God gives us to raise into His imitators is an extraordinarily high calling. Welcome it! This calling is not one of those oughta-gotta-shoulda duties to be avoided or feel guilty about. We celebrate our own creative genius even as we nurture it in our kids. If you’d like to see the first 5 steps for nurturing creative genius, go here: http://www.prepareforrain.com/?p=4488. If you’d like Joel’s free ebook on how to engage in your own creativity, go here: https://prepareforrain.leadpages.co/christian-living-ebook-offer/. n
Sunday Morning Services & Sunday School 9:30 AM & 11:00 AM 3755 S. Cloverdale Boise • 362-1700 CloverdaleChurch.org
Joel Lund, CEO of Prepare For Rain, is a certified business and life coach, specializing in helping people powerfully use their untapped strengths to make a lasting impact in private, public and church sectors. He is an award-winning author in non-fiction and fiction (under his pen-name Brandon King). Starting in his teens, Joel has been inspiring audiences all over North America. In a former life, he earned two degrees in Christian studies and served full-time for eight years in youth ministry. Looking for resources? Visit Joel at PrepareForRain.com.
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 25
Live your inspiring identity in Christ I felt like I could never “fit into his fourBy Dan Woodworth Why am I alive? Why are you alive? Have foot shoes.” He appeared “55-feet tall” to you ever thought about the “Why?” I have me until I was 47 years old. many times. I know you have because we My Most Beautiful Bride and I were are all searching for authentic identity and planting a new church in 1997. One day I security. went to visit my father and he said: “I’ll bet When I was a child I always thought you didn’t use any notes in your preachabout who I was, where I came from and ing Sunday, and you’re the National Sales where I was going. Because Christ was not Leader in the BBB. … I could never do living in me, I always felt like I was rejected. that.” I always felt like I was a failure. I was conI was so amazed that he could not “do sumed with the fear of rejection and the that.” I thought he could do anything and fear of failure. everything. There is a big difference beHave you ever felt that way? tween “being” and “doing.” My earthly father was a loving and kind For the first time in my life, I felt equal in man. He deeply cared about people, espestature to him. I finally felt like a whole, comcially those who needed a break. plete man in Christ. Our Astonishing Abba did He went to heaven on July 12, 2001 — 14 a miracle healing in my heart and mind. Dan Woodworth days before his 79th birthday. It was a perWho we are is not dependent on what we fect homecoming for him. He took a hike up do! Our Savior’s Formula is Acceptance = Acceptance. He is a mountain behind his house with my sister. She made him a “I Am!” He is not “I Do!” sandwich, and as he was eating, he collapsed — with no pain Our society’s formula is Acceptance = Performance. Have — and went to heaven. you ever noticed when you meet a new person the question He had no regrets or remorse before he went to heaven. He always comes up, “What do you do?” Wouldn’t it be nice to told us for several years that all of his dreams had come true. hear, “Who are you?” or “How do you feel?” His father (my grandfather) was an alcoholic; he worked as Our Living Loving Lord loves you and me the same all the a dentist. One day he was driving drunk and hit a telephone time. He does not love us more when we “perform” well. He pole and spent 20 years in a hospital before he died. I was 7 years old. I always remembered the image of him in his hospi- does not love us less when we “perform” woefully. We are Lavishly Loved, Absolutely Accepted and Victotal gown. riously Valued by Him! No ifs, ands or buts. No conforming Because my grandfather was an alcoholic, my father made up his mind that he would not be like him. He did not become conditions. No Santa Claus watching to see who is naughty or nice. an alcoholic. He did not “do” things that his father did. How do you feel about yourself ? Do you feel inadequate? Do He was determined to “succeed.” So he was a track star in high school in Portland, Ore. He received his degree in wildlife you feel like you can never measure up? Our Gracious God created us in His image. He has deep management from Oregon State University. He was then feelings. He created us to be feeling beings who think, not thinking offered a scholarship to the University of Hawaii, where he earned a master’s degree studying the ring-necked pheasant on beings who feel. the Hawaiian Islands. He speaks: Trust me from the bottom of your heart He basically started the Department of Fish and Game in (your whole heart). Don’t try to figure out everything on Hawaii in the late 1940s. He introduced birds and animals your own (Proverbs 3:5). Our hearts are where our feelings from Africa and India to Hawaii and developed public hunting reside. grounds that became well known all over the world. I have Good News for you! Our Living Loving Lord deeply deAfter serving as the Chief of Game, the opportunity came to sires to make you feel complete in Christ! You will be healed of all apply for the position of Director of the Department. He reof the pressure to perform as you call upon Him to heal your image fused the offer to become director because the legislature told of who He created you to be. him they would not pass any legislation he requested. It will not happen exactly like my healing happened, but He He applied for the Director of Fish and Game for the State will heal you in His Way and in His Time. of Idaho and was hired out of 500 applicants from around the He is our identity! He is our security! world. He became the youngest director at the time — he was You and I are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)! in his 30s. Government leaders from all over the world were Don’t Measure Up! Treasure Up! n consistently in our home when I was growing up. My father took me hunting and fishing all over our state. I Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from was his favorite partner. the King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage I was always known in junior high, high school and college as and empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to “Dick Woodworth’s kid,” rather than Dan. Even in college, I become all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have felt like, “I have a name!” Whatever my father did was blessed. He loved people and he planted three churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing community solving pressing problems in helped young people with scholarships and opportunities for Boise and beyond. He may be reached at email@example.com. advancement in life.
26 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Is faith really a good thing? (NewsUSA) — Turn on the TV, go online or stream music, and it may seem like there is no place for faith in our culture. People — especially young people — will share just about any detail of their personal lives, except when it comes to their faith. Many are reluctant or even embarrassed to share how their faith makes them who they are. Despite this trend, there are tens of millions of Americans who still value their faith tremendously, and they want to make faith more visible. Thanks to a fast-growing social media movement (FaithCounts.net) people, regardless of their religion, are openly celebrating their faith — because they believe faith is a very good thing. Continued on page 31
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 27
Are we focusing on the wrong things?
All juxtaposed against the holiday that’s supposed to be happy. Approaching Christmas in December seems to press on the tender, raw places in our lives. We’re more aware of our loved ones’ absences because we’re rightly accustomed to gathering with them to celebrate. The world around us seems to go merrily on its way while we bear our heavy burdens. Somehow, facing such difficult circumstances during December seems more unjust. We desire for Christmas and Advent to be joyful. We want to enjoy togetherness with friends and family. We anticipate sharing meals with loved ones. We look forward to reminiscing over happy moments gone by. And all of that is good. When something hinders our hopes for mirthful Christmas celebration, it feels wrong somehow, doesn’t it? But, in truth, nothing could be more fitting. Hear me out.
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Senseless, untimely deaths. Inexplicable illnesses. Life-altering diagnoses. Strained relationships. Financial distress. Loneliness and depression. Weariness and fear.
It is the very tragedies of our lives that precipitated the coming of the Christ. Pain and joy are inextricably linked in Christmas. Jesus’s birth (and death) mark the eternal end to the painful circumstances in our lives. While we certainly don’t experience the fullness of it on earth, it was His birth that set in motion redemption from the manifest curse. In our fallen world, we are subject to death. He brings victory. — 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 In our brokenness we fail one another and Him. He forgives and restores. — 1 John 1:9 We fear for our future. He provides for Kirsten Holmberg is a writer, speaker and our needs. recovering multi-tasker. Her — Philippians 4:19 family of three kids and a husband is her We walk through darkness. He is with greatest joy and the biggest challenge to us. her penchant for tidiness. Her Christmas — Matthew 28-20 devotional book, “Advent with the Word,” We lack strength. He will never fail us. is available on Amazon.com. She blogs on — Hebrews 13:5,6 faith, and its intersection to all aspects of We are weary and burdened. He life, at www.eighttwentyeight.org. brings rest. — Matthew 11:28-30 Instead of looking at our circumstances, caught up in sadness or anger at having to deal with them during Christmas, perhaps we might turn our perspective upside-down and recognize that our brokenness and pain are the very reason He came. They must send us running to Him, as they are what sent Him to us. It is precisely because of our suffering that we have Christmas at all. n
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Fight illness with anti-cancer smoothies By Rosie Main When your lifestyle is in alignment with good health and your body’s defenses are on high alert, your internal atmosphere is too strong for any enemy to survive. When you’re truly healthy, cancer doesn’t have much of a chance to cross your borders. And if it does, it will rarely live. You can never take, inject, or implant something that will create the kind of internal strength you need. While there are times and places for traditional care, nothing in medicine can take the place of being the natural born cancer destroying machine God designed you to be. Whether or not your body will be prepared is up to you. We’re very opposed to the idea that you are a victim genetically programmed for destruction. You have a say about whether or not you’ll develop this illness, and if you do, whether or not you’ll conquer it. It is up to you to take responsibility for your future. Start by adding the right God-given nutrients that build up your body instead of manmade food that tears it down. Here are some cancer-killing smoothies to try. 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.
Chocolate Banana Nut Smoothie Ingredients: 1 c. coconut or almond milk 1/3 c. cashew or almond butter 1 banana, peeled 2 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder 2 c. ice cubes Stevia to taste Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.
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Directions: Blend until smooth.
30 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Faith continued from page 27 How is faith good? 1. Faith inspires, empowers and comforts billions of people the world over. And that makes people of faith happier. 2. People and organizations are motivated by their faith to help millions of people every single day, in soup kitchens, hospitals, schools and homeless shelters. 3. People of faith live longer. 4. People of faith are more engaged in civic life. 5. People of faith are more likely to be law-abiding citizens. 6. People of faith are more generous and charitable. 7. Faith has the power to add deep spiritual meaning and help people survive the most challenging times. And last but not least, a basic teaching of every major world religion asks that we treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated. If more people followed this Golden Rule, that alone would be a positive influence on society. And that’s reason enough to promote the value of faith. What does the future hold for faith in America? Nobody knows for sure, but those who value their faith can help push back against current trends by visiting FaithCounts.net and sharing with friends. FaithCounts.net showcases compelling stories about faith through videos, uplifting quotes, articles and images. Hopefully, more people will feel inspired, and ultimately feel good about expressing how their faith makes them who they are. These are small steps, but they are making a big difference, and FaithCounts.net can help restore the value of faith. n
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Clinging to the faith and prayers of others By Janet Lund
Kaboom! Kaboom, kaboom! Kaboom, kaboom, kaboom! My heart pounds harder and harder, threatening to jump out of my chest. A salty bead of sweat runs down my forehead into my eyes. “Ow! Now why is it that I wanted to do this, again? And on my vacation?” I ask myself, struggling to find the next handhold while clinging onto the side of a cliff at Smith Rocks, Ore. My husband Joel is belaying, below on the ground, holding onto the other end of my rope. He’s yelling words of support while keeping me from falling to my death.
Hope when there are no…
Back when Joel and I were youth ministers (he served for eight years, and I served for seven) one of our favorite events was to take kids on a long weekend getaway that included rock climbing. It was an excellent way to help kids grow by getting them out of their comfort zone. Rock climbing made them rely on others, as well as trust the ropes, harnesses and other gear. This served as a strong metaphor for their faith in God, which too often had been mostly theoretical. Rock climbing also showed them what community could be like. Hanging on to others even while hanging on a slab of rock. The enthusiastic support of their peers (and adults) helped lift their spirits. They’d find the courage to keep climbing. Powerful moments were made there. Joel and I were intrigued by the challenge of the sport; we took a training course so we could safely set up climbs for ourselves. On our days off we often enjoyed scrambling up a rock face nearby or while on a vacation.
Janet Lund slowly makes her way up the side of a cliff at Smith Rocks, Ore. Janet and her husband Joel are both former youth ministers who found rock climbing an excellent way to show young people how to get out of their comfort zones, trust others, and learn a lesson about faith. (Courtesy photo)
32 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
Unfortunately, I had to give up rock climbing when I developed chronic pain in my hands 15 years ago. However, I still enjoy the memories. Looking back now I can see that just like in rock climbing, it is so important for each of us to have friends cheering us on and lifting us up as we’re hanging on during the difficult periods in our lives. Friends help us see our inner strengths, lift our spirits, and rally around us during tough times. The first five years of my chronic pain journey were the worst. I reached a point where I had prayed so many times for relief and healing that I had run out of words and had even lost the heart to say them anymore. It was just too painful to pray the same prayer over and over again. And yes, sometimes I was just too angry because my many prayers hadn’t been answered. Secretly though, I found comfort in knowing that even if I couldn’t pray anymore, my home church, my family, and my friends were all praying for me. Praying on my behalf. Praying when I couldn’t.
Sometimes we need someone else to lift our prayers up to God for us. To continue to have hope on our behalf. In the Bible there is a great story in Mark, chapter 2, that relates to this kind of situation. Jesus was in a house stuffed full of people when four men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed. The house was so full of people the men couldn’t bring him in through the door. So, they got creative and lifted their friend up on top of the house, cut a hole in the roof, and then lowered him Janet Lund down to Jesus. Because of the actions of his friends the man was able to see Jesus face to face and he was healed. Life gets really difficult sometimes. Hanging on to hope can be hard. But close friends, those people who really care about us, can help us through the toughest of times. My prayer for you is this, that you make the time to develop relationships in your life not just for your sake but for the sake of others, too. We all need friends to share and celebrate the good things in life. Making the time to truly treasure the good moments in life is not only a won-
derful way to nurture relationships with others, but it also helps us to become closer and stronger when the tough times come around. God made us with a need to be in community with each other, so that we could accomplish more than we imagined. So we make it through the most difficult and scariest moments of our lives. Whether hanging on a rope high up a cliff or standing with both feet on the ground, God can use us in each others’ lives to find the strength and the handholds of hope we need to grasp onto to pull through. 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.
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 33
What is the best type of marriage?
By Leo Hellyer In the past nine Marriage Toolbox columns we have looked at a number of very different aspects of Christian marriages. In this particular column I would like to consider all of the other columns, and explore why God designed marriage. In the 20 years that my wife and I served on the Boise FamilyLife Volunteer Ministry Team we had the privilege of listening to many great speaker teams and studying many aspects of marriage and particularly Christian, God-honoring marriage. Since we left the team, God has been taking both of us on a journey, a search for truth and significance if you will. We have been married for almost 43 years, and I think I have finally discovered why God designed marriage, why God brought my wife and me together in high school, and why He has kept us together through many detours in life. In this final edition of the Marriage Toolbox I would like to present a belief that I sincerely follow. I believe that “The Best Marriage Is … A Truly Sacred Marriage.” Now I must admit that this belief is not my thought only. I was first exposed to this thought and belief from a book that was originally written by Gary Thomas in 2000. The title of the book is “Sacred Marriage.” Thomas points out that most of the marital wisdom that we need is contained in one short passage in a 2,000-year-old book, the Bible. Thomas explains that a truly sacred marriage begins with a Trinitarian foundation: • We are rooted in our identity in Christ. • We get our primary, ongoing comfort from the love of the Father. • We live as radically dependent people on the ongoing presence and work of the Holy Spirit. When a man and woman get married they form a union. This union is physical, emotional and spiritual. As a Christian husband and wife, we should also be united with Christ individually, and as a couple. When we unite with Christ we re-
34 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
ceive the fullness of the Father’s love. When we offer ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and submit to His guidance and direction, we have a true Trinitarian marriage, and we are able to be vessels for God to pour His tenderness and compassion out of us and into others. It is only through God that two distinct individuals can be united as one. Love abounds in this relationship, filled to overflowing by God, and He births a desire to share this love, His love, with others whom the couple is in relationship with. How often do we make life, relationships, or marriage much more difficult and complicated than it really is? As usual, if we would keep our eyes, heart and being on God, instead of on all of the pretty trinkets of our carnal lives, we would be much more happy, fulfilled, and loving to others. The passage in the Bible that Thomas refers to as being a key to marital wisdom is Philippians 2:1-5, 12b-13. In the FamilyLife Marriage Bible (NKJV) we read: Therefore if there is no consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Success in marriage, or life, isn’t about us; it is about God in us. If we will devour and live by the above words from Paul, which he communicated to the church in Philippi, we will have a sacred marriage. We will have a marriage that will last a lifetime. We will have a marriage that will speak to other people in our circle of life. We will have a marriage that will cause others
to thirst for what we have. Our marriage can be a great witness for the love of Christ. By living out our sacred marriage we may draw others to the salvation of Christ. This is the last Marriage Toolbox column that I will be writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you about what a God-honoring marriage really is. Hopefully you have discovered how to have a lifelong marriage that reflects to others marriage as God designed it. I am feeling that God wants me to go in a different direction for awhile in my columns. My next column will be in the January/February 2016 issue of Christian Living. The column will be about tools for real men who love God. I will be taking men on a journey of authentic manhood. We will be examining what it means to be a man who leads, serves, loves, respects, protects, worships, and proclaims the truth of God. My prayer is that each of you will have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas. My request is that as you enjoy the blessings of this season, that you will lift up, and pray for, and maybe reach out to, those who for whatever reason are having difficulties. There is no better way to experience the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas than to share the love of Christ with people whom He brings across our path. n
Julene Webb 208.972.3598 Relocating? Ask for a free relocation guide!
Sellers: We gladly provide a complimentary market analysis. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about Marriage Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at (208) 344-1357.
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 35
Rollie Sielaff wastes no time on self-pity
Rollie Sielaff doesn’t dwell on his limitations but prefers to count his blessings, and among them is his devoted wife Donna. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
By Gaye Bunderson Rollie Sielaff doesn’t lean on the crutch of self-pity. Severely injured after being struck by an automobile two years ago, he now wears prosthetic limbs and requires the use of a wheelchair. At 71, his focus is on continuing with rehabilitation and being able to walk longer distances. “I can walk with crutches,” he said, “but not very far.” Rollie’s closest companion is his wife Donna, who helps him every step of the way. “I’m lucky. I got a good wife,” he said. On November 7, 2013, Rollie and Donna were at their Meridian home on Amity, a street Donna calls “noisy and busy.” At the time, they both drove school buses for the Meridian School District and had come home after a day’s work in anticipation of settling in for a comfortable evening. Both of them recall having that “life is good” feeling. At one point, Donna peered out the kitchen window and saw their kitten being hit and killed by a driver. Rollie went out to remove the kitten from the road and bury it. He grabbed a shovel, and from then on, his memory of that night goes black. Donna said she got a sense of unease while he was outside. She went to the door and called out for him but got no response. Looking up the roadway, she noticed a vehicle pulled off to the side and decided to walk up and see what was going on. In her haste, she neglected to put on her shoes, and her bare feet crunched through gravel and pine needles. That would be the least of her troubles that night. When she came up to the vehicle, she saw Rollie on the ground. He had been hit by the car, which was traveling at 50 miles per hour, and the driver — a man about Rollie’s age — was so distraught he struggled to call 911 on his cell phone. Eventually, someone else placed the call.
36 November / December 2015 | Christian Living
“I was holding Rollie and praying,” Donna said. “The way he was breathing, I thought he was dying.” Many bones throughout his body were broken and he suffered from head trauma. After being taken to the hospital, his grip on life remained tenuous. He doesn’t recall struggling to stay alive, but somehow he did. “At one point,” he said, “they were cutting off my leg, but I can barely remember.” When his memory did return, he discovered his remaining leg had been set with wires and rods, and it was cumbersome; he was unable to move without the assistance of about six other people. It was then he made an immense personal decision: he asked the doctors to remove his other leg. His wife explained that too often people in the same situation as Rollie — people with a severely injured leg — suffer through a couple of years with the bad leg, fighting infection and pain, and then either have to have the leg amputated or remain in a constant battle with extreme discomfort. “I knew he’d end up in a nursing home if he was like that, and that would have devastated him,” Donna said. Now, Rollie seems anything but devastated. His wife confirms that his ordeal didn’t change his easygoing disposition — he remains a patient man free from bitterness and selfabsorption. He never met the driver who hit him and said: “I have no anger toward him. I don’t think about it. I have too many other things to think about, like walking.” He also endures blindness in one eye but wastes no time feeling sorry for himself. “Those things don’t enter in my life ever. I figure God put me here for a reason... I feel God spared my life for a reason, but I don’t know what it is yet.” “We’ve met a lot of people we wouldn’t have met before the accident — the doctors, the nurses — and we could be a witness to them,” his wife said. “The trauma doctor told us, ‘It’s out of my hands.’ Everything was a miracle. Even the paramedics. Rollie could have bled to death.” The former carpenter maintains a level of happiness in his new normal. He spends one hour a week at gym therapy at Idaho Athletic Club on Fairview and admits he loves it.
“He inspires a lot of people at the gym,” Donna said. Another joy is children’s reactions to his prosthetic legs. “Little kids are fascinated by him,” said Donna. “I say, ‘These are my bionic legs.’ The kids don’t bother me. It’s been fun getting the attention; it’s a blast,” said Rollie. He and Donna even traveled to Hawaii during the past summer and Rollie used a special wheelchair to push through the sand and coral on the beaches. They traveled on Alaska Airlines, and at one point, flight personnel moved them from the cheaper seats up into first class. “...And the last shall be first,” Donna joked. The couple has two grown sons. Their son Drayth is worship and drama pastor at Harvest Community Church in Hillsboro, Ore; their other son, Brayden, lives in Meridian. At age 16, Drayth, a guitarist and Christian songwriter now 43, created his own specially designed guitar picks. Rollie helped create a mold, the picks were patented in 2000, and are now being manufactured in Nampa and selling around the world under the name Grip Guitar Picks (getagripguitarpick.wordpress.com), said Rollie. For years, Rollie and Donna attended trade shows to help market the picks, and they are still the product’s best PR team. “It’s one of the best products made,” Rollie said. The Sielaffs’ faith was not shaken by Rollie’s trauma — they are as devout as ever. Rollie’s temperament is never more obvious than when he says, “I pray for my wife and family. I don’t do any praying for myself. I never even thought about it.” They still walk with God every day; Rollie just walks a little slower. They attend church, enjoy their grandchildren, and courageously carry on. For both of them, that feeling that life is good still remains. n
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Christian Living | November / December 2015 37
Adventure Boot Camp: Workouts at sunrise
Participants in Heath Van Patten’s Meridian Adventure Boot Camp for Women march in place during a morning workout. (Photo provided by Heath Van Patten)
By Gaye Bunderson Just because his business is called Meridian Adventure Boot Camp for Women doesn’t mean Heath Van Patten barks “Drop and give me 20!” at participants. “The perception is that it’s so intense. It’s actually personalized training in a group setting,” Van Patten said. That doesn’t mean his fitness workouts are a breeze or that his clients aren’t encouraged to reach their full health and fitness potential. “You feel better after a workout,” he said. “I want to make you feel comfortable about being uncomfortable.” Van Patten handles the North Group of Meridian Adventure Boot Camp for Women, which starts at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at Heritage Middle School. His associate, Kaydee Mick, handles the South Group at Valley Shepherd Church of the Nazarene. The sessions are for women only so they may feel free to talk and be themselves, said Van Patten. On average, he gets 15-20 participants per session and must hop out of bed at 4:30 each morning to get to Heritage and set up the equipment. “Working out first thing in the morning jumpstarts your day, increases metabolism, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and lets you be worry-free because you’ve got your workout in,” he said. Does anyone balk about getting sweaty when the day has barely begun? “My goal is to make sure they’re sweaty,” he said. (But he smiled as he said it.) The women range in age from their 20s to their 60s, and he
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meets with each of them individually to get a sense of their health needs and fitness goals. He doesn’t find age to be a factor in anyone’s ability. “Age is just a number,” he said. “You’d be surprised at how some women in their 60s do better than women in their 20s.” Van Patten is Christian, but his workouts are open to everyone. Now 37, he started in the health and fitness industry 15 years ago. He was exposed to the value of exercise and nutrition at a young age because his father worked as vice president of a fitness gym, remaining in the industry for 35 years before making a career switch to real estate. His parents divorced when Van Patten was 10, but he remained close to both of them. Though his mother was not involved in the fitness industry, she supported her two sons in their sports endeavors and served as president of the Little League and treasurer of the soccer association. “My brother and I would say she brought her ‘luggage’ to every game,” Van Patten said. The luggage was really only a purse big enough for his mom to pull baseballs and other sports paraphernalia out of. Van Patten, who is from Arizona, earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania online. He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist. “I wanted to follow my passion to help people live a healthy life,” he said.
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He married his wife Kristin in 2011; in 2012 they moved to Boise, where members of Kristin’s family reside. “We wanted to try something new, open up a new chapter in our lives. We also kind of wanted to start a family,” he said. “Kind of ” evolved into a sure thing, as they now have a 1-year-old daughter named Addison. While listening to Zig Zigler motivational talks as he drove through Meridian one day, Van Patten spotted Aventura Fitness, a business owned by Jessie Judd, who also owned Meridian Adventure Boot Camp for Women. Van Patten, who isn’t afraid to go after an opportunity, got to know Judd, who asked him to be a coach in 2013 and sold him Adventure Boot Camp in 2014. Van Patten prefers that the women in his group show up for at least four workouts a week but conceded even one day is better than none. “I recommend people just do something (physical),” he said. He teaches the women about unhealthy fats, the dangers of excess alcohol, and how skipping meals isn’t the best way to lose weight. “Outwardly you may look fine, but inwardly your heart could be struggling,” he said. In his own family as he was growing up, they would all indulge in a Baskin-Robbins treat once a week. “It was a Sunday night thing,” he said. “It was okay to treat yourself on occasion but not as an everyday thing.” Like his father and brother, Van Patten also works in real estate for a local company called G2. He admitted it’s sometimes challenging to juggle two jobs, especially when one requires getting up before the birds start chirping. “I’m an entrepreneur, I challenge myself, I help people, I do what I can to make a living,” he said. n
Christian Living | November / December 2015 39