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FREE

MARCH / APRIL 2017

The Closet Clothes and compassion for teens

Three servants

parable Adding value to the world

Kids and

apologetics

Respectfully explaining beliefs

The 12th Man Heavenly cheer squad

Kelly McMurry is executive director of The Closet


3/4-17


Contents March / April 2017 Features Shawn Harper: 5 Community-involved policeman

“For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” — Romans 11:29 (NIV)

Columns

6 Challenging Faith: 10 Discontent Hit by a bus: 8 Smashed but not destroyed Health: 18 Maximum Perfect peace: Helpful bacteria 9 The true source Real Man’s 26 The 12th Man: Toolbox: 15 Why we believe: Kids & apologetics

Believers’ cheer squad

Respect

Cover Story —

with 27 Outdoors Dougherty:

Companions and the outdoors

Departments 12 Understanding Relationships: The Closet:

16

Marriage:

20

Clothes and caring for teens

Covenant marriage

14

Is it all about happiness?

Joy in the morning: The Light shines

Don’t hesitate:

Fulfill your mission

Your Daily Bread: Three servants parable

22 In Each Edition 23

Volume 5, Number 2 Publisher Sandy Jones Editor Gaye Bunderson gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com 208-854-8345 Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen kim.bcliving@gmail.com 208-854-8345 • Scott McMurtrey scott.bcliving@gmail.com 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones boisechristianliving@gmail.com 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Cyndee Wanyonyi Ashki Photography AshkiPhoto.org Graphic Design Glen Bruderer and Matthew Sanchez Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Hilary Cobb, Ann Doupont, RM Drury, Terry Frisk, Skip Hall, Leo Hellyer, Vincent Kituku, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Gary Moore and Candy Troutman Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services Website Design SEO Idaho 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 2017 by Christian Living Magazine LLC.

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Idaho Wednesday’s Child Program:

28 4

Mission Impossible: Shopping with a teen Foster care/adoption ministry

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 


PUBLISHER’S Corner

Who’s watching? You never know you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. We never know whose life we’re going to You don’t have to compromise convictions to be touch or how; we just never know who’s compassionate.” watching us. Matthew 9:13 NASB says: “But go and learn what I recently had a great reminder of this. We this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT have a family member who is going through a SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, tough season in their life. Texting rather late but sinners.” one night they suddenly realized what time I have what most would call a very large imit was and asked, “...what are you doing up? mediate family. Our parents were greatly blessed Deadline? Or I guess in your case lifeline?” and their children, grandchildren, great-grandThey live out of state, and our little magazine children and now great-great-grandchildren hasn’t really been their cup of tea — to be number 88 — 90 if you were to include our honest I wasn’t even sure they knew what I parents. That’s a family! Trust me, we don’t all was doing these days. I was at first surprised Sandy Jones, Publisher agree on many things, but the one thing our and then deeply touched. It is always my hope Christian Living Magazine parents instilled in us was the love of family. We that my walking testimony is my strongest, can disagree, and some might even bicker, but and it gave me a new perspective on, well, let one of us stumble and the rest of the family is there in full yes, deadline, or as I now call it Lifeline! After all that is what force — differences forgiven and once again we are family. we hope to accomplish with each and every issue of Christian Isn’t this a great example of God’s grace and forgiveness? His Living Magazine — we strive to be the lifeline of hope and promise to God’s Love and His Word for many in our commu- Amazing Grace: “I once was lost, but now I’m found.” nity and around the world. Until next time, God Bless! n With each New Year come resolutions. Health. Job/Business. Family. All the obvious ones. Whether it was the New Year, our We are so excited to have recently launched our new website at pastor’s sermons, or perhaps the week away with my husband www.boisechrisitianliving.com Please check it out, and if you have friends in January that allowed me to pause and put things in a new or family outside of our area who would like to read Christian Living perspective — regardless of the cause I’ve been doing some Magazine, encourage them to sign up today for our new FREE reflecting on life, on family, on friendships, and, yes on my e-subscription and we will gladly send an electronic copy to their inbox ministry (aka Christian Living Magazine). with each new issue. A big THANK YOU to SEO Idaho for all of your With everything that has happened in the past three years I hard work on this exciting new design! thought I had it all pretty well figured out. Not so much! Something Pastor Tom said in one of his sermons hit me square between the eyes. He said, “If forgiveness doesn’t begin in the church, where is it going to begin?” Our world is so full of contentiousness these days — about EVERYTHING. Race, religion, education, immunization, and, yes, the elephant in the room, politics; it’s at a fever pitch, and I have to admit my guilt in getting sucked into much of it — privately, for the most part, but sucked in nonetheless. Tom’s challenge that Sunday morning was a wake up call — and I was left once again asking myself, “Who am I to judge?” Please don’t take me wrong — we all need to be educated, and stand for what we believe to be true — but, as I can only speak for myself, I had to stop and make a conscious decision to forgive those who have done me wrong, and I was reminded of my favorite Rick Warren quote: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that Sandy’s siblings and their spouses — a sample of “family!” Front row, left to right, Kim Paustian, Jackie Sadler, Jim Sadler, Steve Jones. Back row, left to right, Kevin Paustian, Jerry Paustian, David Paustian, Vicki Corn, if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, Sandy Jones, Patti Nitz, Erich Nitz. (Missing is our beloved, but camera shy, Tom Corn.) By Sandy Jones

 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

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Shawn Harper

MPD sergeant leads giving-back program By Gaye Bunderson

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Continued on page 7

3/4-17

Sgt. Shawn Harper of the Meridian Police Department serves as president of the Meridian Police Employee Association. The association does internal and external work for the good of the department and the community.

3/4-17

Sgt. Shawn Harper serves in the Community Services Division of the Meridian Police Department. It’s the kind of work, and the kind of community, that brought him to Idaho from Long Beach, Calif. Shawn and his wife moved here in 2004. “We wanted to be a part of something bigger,” he said. “In Meridian, we feel like we’re in the 1950s.” That isn’t a statement Shawn intends in a disparaging way. He praises the area’s positive family dynamics and the passion and care that people have for each other. “We do have something special here,” he said. Shawn is founder and president of the Meridian Police Employee Association. He explained that while the association is an extension of the police department, it is also a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit. There are 67 members in the association, and Shawn has brought his own vision to the group and its purpose. “I wanted to be more involved and in touch with the community,” he said. Some of that vision is motivated by his faith. Though the MPEA isn’t a faith-based organization, Shawn said, “Speaking for me personally, I truly

believe in being involved. We need to communicate and help each other out more.” Three primary sources of giving back that the MPEA undertakes are: 1. A first responders’ fund 2. A scholarship program 3. Community outreach The first responders program is for police officers, emergency medical technicians, and fire department personnel and is called The Injured & Fallen Officers Fund. Its purpose is to help injured officers and their families, or the families of slain officers. “We help support them financially and assist them with other needs,” Shawn said. The scholarship program is for underprivileged youth. It is a $500 scholarship and is something a student may re-apply for if he or she has previously received it. Education is something the association feels is very important. “We want to help kids become productive members of our society and fulfill their dreams. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to school {trade school or college},” Shawn said. To fully explain the community outreach program, he noted that police officers’ first job is to provide safety and security to the community, but they are also part of the community they defend.

March / April 2017 | Christian Living 


Why we believe

Teaching kids ‘gentle, respectful’ apologetics In the high school years, they learn to express themselves [Rhetoric Stage]. This is an excellent progression for teaching Memes on the Internet (on Facebook, in our children to become gentle and respectful particular) are often interesting, and many apologists. In their younger years, they can abtimes false. Just ask Abe Lincoln. But I must sorb the stories about Adam and Eve, of Noah, admit, they sometimes spark my interest, and Jonah, and so many other events. Then, in which leads me to dig deeper to discover the their middle school years, they can be taught to truth on a matter. analyze those stories to better understand the Take, for example, a meme stating that nature of God and the reasons behind biblielementary students in Japan are not given cal events. Following that, in their high school tests in their first years of school so they can years, they can learn to consider and declare develop a love for learning. This meme is how the truth they find in scripture provides appealing. After all, it’s “common knowlanswers to problems and concerns they see edge” that Japanese students study hard and around them. get good grades. Then, with that recollecSo how can we teach kids these things? Enlisttion, our brains rationalize that this desire to Daniel Bobinski ing the aid of a pastor or a Bible teacher is one do well in school must be borne out of a love way, but I think that’s abdicating the responsibilities we were for learning that was developed early on. given in Deuteronomy 6. Thankfully, other resources are The problem? The meme is false. Elementary schools in available. One excellent resource is Sean McDowell’s new Japan do test in the early grades. They’re not long, comprebook, “A New Kind of Apologist.” Its subtitle is three simple hensive exams, but testing is done. That’s because teachbullet points: “Adopting fresh strategies, Addressing the laters need to assess whether learning is occurring and make est issues, and Engaging the culture.” I don’t make a dime instructional adjustments if necessary. Then, with a strong promoting this book, but it’s my strong belief that a book like foundation, children have the tools they need to succeed in this will help you as you help your children learn to articulate subsequent grades. I share this story because I believe it’s important for parents reasons for their faith. And who knows? As the saying goes, you just might learn something yourself. to ensure their children understand the Gospel at an early Another great book is “Cold-Case Christianity for Kids.” age, because it rarely happens by accident. As a Christian The book’s main author, J. Warner Wallace, used to be an parent, I’m hoping you want your children to grasp the vital truths about God’s love and the need for Jesus’ blood to wash avowed atheist who worked as a cold-case homicide detective. Warner became an ardent follower of Jesus when he away sins. And if the Great Commission has any impact on realized that evidence about Jesus and the Bible was unavoidyour thinking (to go therefore and make disciples of all nations, bapably true. His book is a hit with kids and adults alike, and tizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy I’m quite confident it will help you engage your children in Spirit, teaching them to observe all that [Jesus] commanded), then we meaningful conversations about the Gospel. And, like before, should definitely want our children to be well-equipped with you just might learn something yourself ! knowledge about the Gospel. These are just two of many books available for teaching As you probably know, parents equipping their children our youth to apply solid logic and express with confidence is commanded by God. We are instructed to impress God’s why they believe the Bible. A trip to a bookstore or a visit to commandments on our children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) and Amazon.com will provide many additional options. raise up children who can give good answers to people who My wife and I teach apologetics in our speech and debate ask them about their faith (1 Peter 3:15). In other words, we club for homeschooled teens, so we’re striving to equip the should teach our children not only the Gospel, but also the next generation every week. But you can equip your children, rationale for why they should believe it. and with so many resources available, you can do it anyBecoming aware of the reasons for our faith and articulatwhere, anytime. ing those reasons to others is known as apologetics. UnforOur children are growing up seeing lots of conflicting mestunately, too many apologists come across as know-it-alls, always seeking to be victorious in an argument in which their sages. Some of what they see will be true. Much will be only partially true, and some of it will be outright false. After all, opponent is proven wrong. The apostle Peter said that’s not don’t you remember that picture of Abe Lincoln saying not the way to do it — that instead we should give answers for our faith with gentleness and respect. This adds to our task as to believe everything you read on the Internet? So perhaps the best thing we can do is equip our kids to articulate the parents, but it’s an awesome and fulfilling responsibility. logic of their faith, and to do so with gentleness and respect. To set a framework, recall the image you may have had at If we don’t teach them these things, who will? g the beginning of this article — of young students in a classroom. Now consider what educator and author Susan Wise Daniel Bobinski is the director of Family Experience Ministries (famiBauer says in her new book, “The Well-Educated Mind”: lyexperience.net). He’s also a homeschooling dad, an author/speaker Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the on emotional intelligence and personality styles, and a popular speaker mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study [Grammar Stage]. In the and trainer at conferences and retreats. Reach him at familyexperience@ outlook.com or (208) 375-5048. middle grades, students learn to think through arguments [Logic Stage]. By Daniel Bobinski

 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

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Harper Continued from page 5

For more information, visit the Meridian Police Employee Association’s Facebook page, call Shawn Harper at (208) 888-6678 or (208) 9417404, or email sharper@meridiancity.org.

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“We wear many hats. We’re parents, educators and social workers,” he said. The MPEA involves schools, churches, businesses, and other community groups in its work. “It takes a village,” Shawn said. “We all need to be involved.” Shawn supervises all the school resource officers in Meridian, and there are 10 in all. That means that often, his work is focused on youth, and the SROs are a great source for identifying at-risk youth and struggling families. “Everybody’s got a story,” he said. “They come from broken homes, they’re in need. … We focus a lot on family and youth. Juveniles are our future.” When juveniles commit offenses, he said, “We still want them to be accountable; sometimes that requires punishment.” But identifying some of the underlying causes for their behavior, and providing services that help address them, is a proactive way to lessen juvenile crime, as well as despair. The SROs present programs in schools, on topics such as Internet safety, bullying, drug awareness, decision-making, pornography and sexting. MPEA members give of themselves after work by coaching and teaching. “We stretch ourselves out as much as we can,” Shawn said. “We ask ourselves, ‘What can we do to play a bigger part in the community?’” He offers up a great example of how officers interacting with the public can lead to a community-wide effort to help those in need. On one occasion, he said, two patrol officers were called to the home of a family living in a trailer. The trailer had been damaged by fire, and there was a huge hole in the roof. Along

with that, the family had no means of transportation. The officers contacted the Meridian Police Employee Association and asked if it could assist these very needy citizens. Shawn and the MPEA got to work, and compassion for the family’s plight poured in from corporations and individuals. Lowe’s fixed the hole in the roof, and Walmart donated food and furniture. Association members gave them clothing, and a private citizen gave them a car, no strings attached. “It’s touching when you feel you’re making a difference in someone’s life,” Shawn said. “Sometimes we’re the mediator; if we don’t have what you need, we know where we can send you.” The MPEA is fully backed by city officials. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said, “We are so grateful for our police officers, and the support of the MPEA has been paramount. Aside from providing programs for officers, the MPEA is a community advocate on a number of issues. Supporting MPEA through their fundraisers and other events shows our officers our appreciation for their work, and in turn they reinvest it back into the community. The heart of the association is all about Meridian.” Shawn said, “When we help families in need or at-risk youth, that comes from our operation money, businesses, and local citizens.” The association also holds fundraising events, such as an annual golf tournament, but Shawn said, “We run a very tight budget. We’re looking for companies and individuals to helps us. Without them, we couldn’t do all the things we do.” He’s comfortable having his personal cell phone number given out (see below) because, “I want to be available. This is about being a good person and doing things for others.” g

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 


Hit by a bus

How a couple carried on after a crash any follow-up care or treatment. Six weeks later, I had to stoop to posting on social media to gain the attention of our doctor’s Our world suddenly burst into slow motion. office. I removed the cast myself while on the The windshield spidered and the salt water taffy phone with a doctor. My arm felt fine, but from our recent trip to the Oregon Coast for a when I saw my hand, I cried. It was three family reunion flew from one end of the dash to times its original size. the other. There was an explosion of breaking Of course, our priorities immediately glass. My husband looked dazed and confused changed. Suddenly, the things that used to as our car came to a rest. What had just hapbe important moved to the shadows. There pened?! was the search for a new car and the endless People immediately appeared in our windows insurance paperwork … the learning to live, and we heard the scream of sirens. Time seemed shower, dress, work and drive with one arm to stand still as we tried to comprehend the situ… the painful physical therapy. Except for ation. An off-duty paramedic on a bicycle came my physical therapist, we felt alone in dealto the window and did a quick visual assessment; Candy Troutman ing with our new temporary reality. We felt he waited with us until the paramedics arrived. strangely detached. Our world became Eventually, we got out of the car and saw that we small and still. But in the stillness, the healing began. had been hit by a double transit express bus. We had literally The year 2013 had already been difficult. We had just come been hit by a bus! through a period of unemployment, a major computer crash We looked at the car. A few inches closer to the driver side that had a huge impact on my business and ministry, a failed door and our story would have been very different. Our seat career transition. We found ourselves in a cycle of deep disbelts saved us. We looked at the bus. Not much damage. We couragement. And then we were literally hit by a bus. looked at each other. Not much damage. And we called our But in the stillness … insurance agent. • We were reminded of our strong support system. Our chilAfter all the cleanup and the trip to the hospital, my husdren, church family and friends rallied around us with loving band walked away from the crash with a cut on his head that required several stitches and I had a simple broken arm. There emails, cards, check-ins and delicious meals. They were the hands, hugs and feet of God. Build and nurture a support system that were no serious injuries on the bus and only two people went will be there when you need it. It can be your lifeline. to the hospital. We rented a car and drove home. The true • His word was a constant source of encouragement. I was brokenness came later. especially encouraged by these Bible verses: The deep purple bruising appeared on my body over the 1.“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to next several days and lasted for several weeks. Because the my soul.” — Psalm 94:19 accident had happened out of state, no one wanted to be 2. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — involved in a car accident case. Our own doctor refused to do Nehemiah 8:10 3. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” — Psalm 28:7 Let God’s word, the Bible, give you strength and joy and encouragement. The paperwork eventually ended. Our bodies eventually healed. We found a car I could drive with one arm. We acted on what we already knew about God. We looked at the milestones of the past. He had always been faithful. Because we trusted God in the past, we could trust Him today and in the future. We began to rest in the comfort of our Faithful Father. Do I wish we hadn’t been hit by a bus? Of course. Do we ever flippantly quip, “I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus!” Never. But the experience led us to a deeper trust in God. Our faith expanded. We were reminded that God was the same before and after our accident … only now His presence seemed as close as a whisper. Pain can lead us to a more intimate relationship with God if we’re willing to be still, listen for His voice and trust His hand. g By Candy Troutman

Candy Troutman is a speaker, blogger, trainer, mentor and serial entrepreneur from Boise. She enjoys speaking and writing about the joy factor, Scott Troutman speaks to a police officer after the car he and his wife were traveling simple and intentional living, personal finances/debt-free living and leavin was struck by a bus. (Photo provided by Candy Troutman) ing a legacy. Follow her on Facebook or at www.movingtowardjoy.com.

 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

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Perfect peace

Put God in charge of your days as the uneventful days. He has us exactly where He wants us and as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Him, we are in perfect It is 8 a.m. and the dog is barking like a crazy peace. He is the constant among all the animal because a truck pulled up in front of our chaos and all the calm. I read somewhere house. The wind is blowing wildly, the snow is that, “Your level of peace is directly related coming down fast and furious and suddenly I to your level of trust in God. The more you hear a loud crack. One of the branches from our trust God, the more peace you will experineighbors’ tree has broken off and fallen into ence.” So true. our yard. We go to the backyard to check it out Just as He is in control of my days, He is and all we can say is, “Yep! There’s a branch in in control of your days — wild and crazy our yard,” and we traipse back into the house or calm and uneventful. He has you exactly only to find one of us has stepped in dog poop. where He wants you. And as long as you Sigh! keep your mind on Him, He promises His Now imagine another scenario. It is 8 a.m., the perfect peace. His peace is found inside your sun is shining and everything is still and quiet. heart, not in your circumstances. The dogs greet me with wagging tails and happy RM Drury The verse I am about to quote here is actuhearts. I let them out to take care of business and they quietly and happily come back in for their breakfast. The ally the very first scripture verse I ever memorized. Hiding this verse in my heart has helped me tremendously through smell of fresh coffee and hot blueberry muffins permeates the all kinds of turmoil. I will be quoting it from the King James house as I sit down at the table to read and enjoy my coffee version of the Bible because that is how I memorized it. No and muffin while the sun pours in and the world wakes up. matter which version you read, it gives the same message: stay At about 8:30 a.m. we see our friendly neighborhood squirrel focused on Jesus and you will have perfect peace and strength and his friend the robin happily playing tag along our fence to deal with the chaos. And that’s a promise! — their daily play date. And the sun shines on. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; Which of these scenarios does your life look like? Or is it a because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord combination of both? For some very odd reason, I honestly Jehovah is everlasting strength.” — Isaiah 26:3-4 g thought scenario #2 is what our retired life would look like all the time. Oh, we do have days once in a while that are quiet Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired Christian and uneventful. But most days are not. There is always somepreschool teacher with a Certificate of Achievement in Early Childhood thing that needs to be done, or something that happens, or a Education from Moorpark College. She is a former insurance executive dog barking wildly and, yes, sometimes we step in dog poop. In my vision of retirement, there was no stepping in dog poop! and trainer. She has served the Lord for over 40 years in a church setting in many capacities, with most of her time spent in children’s ministry. Her I have learned, though, that retirement does not necessarily heart is sharing God’s Word and its life application through her blog at equate with peace. I have learned that peace comes in knowthatslifemissroxanne.blogspot.com. ing that God is in charge of all those wild, crazy days as well 3/4-17

By RM Drury

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Challenging Faith

Be careful which discontent you choose By Joel Lund

“Now is the winter of our discontent” Don’t worry. This article isn’t about Shakespeare. It’s also not about Richard The Third, Act 1, scene 1. It’s about the way so many — so many — people are feeling this winter.

“Will this winter never end?”

way…is all that stuff that made us discontent. “Nuts! Nothing changed.” Well, yes. Something did change. Your attitude changed. In a way, you finally reached a point where you became discontent with being discontent. Stay with that. Because we do get to choose. Being discontent isn’t a “thing” that happens to us. It’s not the same as historic snow levels or bitter cold temperatures. We give our discontent life. We empower it. In short, we choose to be discontent. Which means we can also choose to not be discontent.

If you pay attention to the national weather, you know it’s been an unusually harsh winter. Even if you only follow local weather, you know that southwest “This isn’t your father’s … Idaho has broken all records for snowfall. So, there’s discontent.” plenty to be discontent over when it comes to weather. Joel Lund Here’s the second of my tiny requests: stay open. But you already figured out that despite recordWhat follows matters. breaking winter weather harshness, this isn’t about that kind of Consider the Apostle Paul. If anyone in the history of the human discontent. No, if only. I’m writing about…deep breath…politics. race had reasons to be discontent, Paul did. He endured many For this is the winter of our political discontent, the likes of which beatings, hardships, betrayals, shipwrecks, imprisonment, exposure, few have ever seen. hunger, sleepless nights, poverty, etc. Yet he writes: Here is the first of three tiny requests: keep reading. I know that I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be you may feel a twitch right now. You’re tempted to skim over the brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have rest of this article to see which candidate I voted for. But you won’t learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all find anything. Because that’s really the point I’m trying to make. things through him who strengthens me. — Philippians 4:11–13 This winter of our deep discontent is so harsh, so far-reaching, so Hmm. Some might call this an inconvenient truth. insidious, that we’re tempted to skim ahead. We immediately look Not because Paul’s contentment came from learning. His learning for the bias. We seek to quickly discern which side the other is on. was the result of experiencing the good and the not-good, being Ours? Or the idiots? Ally? Or enemy? So, just like on your Face“brought low” as well as discovering “how to abound.” He declares book news feed, you’re skimming to see if you and I are kindred he has “learned the secret” of contentment. And the secret isn’t spirits or if I’m some pathetically misguided fool who has been tied to improving his circumstances. The secret isn’t hidden in finddrinking the Kool-Aid the others are selling. ing like-minded people and rejecting all others. The secret isn’t to And that’s precisely the heart of the problem: We’re feeding our be found in superior arguments, increased wealth, a certain person discontent. winning the election or even improved weather. No, Paul’s secret is to not depend on himself for his contentment. We have met the enemy Paul finally recognizes the source of his contentment is outside of dis·con·tent himself. He declares that Jesus is the source of his contentment “in /disk n•tent/ any and every circumstance.” For some, that’s inconvenient. But renoun member, you choose to be discontent. And you just declared you’ve lack of contentment; dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances had enough of it. “popular discontent with the system had been general for several years” synonyms: dissatisfaction, disaffection, discontentment, disconThree steps to being content tentedness, disgruntlement, grievances, unhappiness, displeasure, The first step to take is to learn from Paul. Depend not on your bad feelings, resentment, envy ability to discover or generate your own contentment. Because it a person who is dissatisfied, typically with the prevailing social or simply can’t work. We all have plenty of life delivering circumpolitical situation stances we can’t control. The more we try to control things, the “the cause attracted a motley crew of discontents and zealots” less contentment we’ll experience. And why bother? Instead, do all Let’s cut to the chase. I, like you, have experienced much more things through Him who strengthens you, just as he empowered discontent over the past 3-4 months than in decades before. In fact, Paul’s contentment. my elevated level of discontent has actually…made me more disThe second step to take is to open back up. A great many of my content. While watching the news, I’ll blurt out, I mean, really? Why friends have taken to social media (Facebook seems to be the favorcan’t people calm down? They’re making me crazy! (Ask my family. They’ll ite) to clobber anyone with a different viewpoint than theirs. For confirm this.) months, it seems as if everything comes with a political top-spin. However, if you, like me, can relate to that general sense of “unBeing passionate about a subject is fine, right up to the moment happiness, displeasure, bad feelings, resentment” and an unrelentyou succumb to using ALL CAPS TO DELIVER A JAW-DROPingly drip of negativity, let’s agree right now on this: Enough! I’ve PING ARGUMENT THAT APPARENTLY NO ONE CAN had enough! DISAGREE WITH. Except someone always does. Such is life. Go ahead. Make this declaration. “I’ve had enough.” Not everyone will agree with you. Some of you don’t agree with Excellent! We’ve taken the first step. All that remains in our me, right this moment. But we’re still bound together in Christ,

e

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However strong you feel about current events, however compelling your viewpoint on issues close to your heart, you don’t have a God-ordained option for breaking fellowship with believers. You only have a man-made option. Paul faced challenges we can only imagine, although our brothers and sisters in foreign lands face what he faced. They face them today. So our discontent should be fueled not by local politics, but by global threats to those who seek their contentment from He who strengthens them. Our discontent should be directed at trying to understand — at a heart level — those who hold the polar opposite view as ours. All of us are swayed by circumstances outside our control. All of us are tempted to fear and react against change. But is that the way you want to live? Swayed by fear, antagonism, retribution and fierce reactions? Instead, be careful which discontent you choose. All of us would be blessed by a daily habit of being discontent with our discontent.

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Only then can we discover the secret that true contentment can be found only outside of ourselves. We are broken. He is whole. We are hurt. He is healing. We are fearful. He declares, “Fear not!” Our focus is inward. He frees us to see beyond our needs and our limitations. Only He can break the bondage of our discontent and liberate us to His unconditional compassion. Again, declare “I’ve had enough!” Then nurture an abiding discontent Inside/Outside Sales with being disconPicnic Tables tent. g

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warts and all. Inconvenient? Sometimes. Truth? Always. The third step to take is to serve. It’s been discouraging for me to see how many fellow believers have railed against their brothers and sisters in the Lord over things not worthy of obliterating a friendship over. Families have been ruptured because of politically different views. “Divisiveness” has taken on an unholy power in this day and age. So here comes my final tiny request: pause and reflect. Divisiveness isn’t a prize to be won. Being divisive is not a badge of courage. It’s not something to celebrate when you “let them have it.” Maybe it’s just time to step away from social media for a few days. Or longer. You get to choose how discontent you are. Engage a social media diet and see what happens to your contentment.

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 11


Understanding Relationships

Is yours a covenant or consumer marriage? for this person? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? By and large, modern people think of love in In a covenant, the good of the relationship such subjective terms that if there is any duty takes precedence over the immediate needs of involved it is considered unhealthy. The indithe individual. However, in contemporary Westvidual has become the most important thing. In ern society we have defaulted to the consumer this context, the concept of covenant marriage relationship model. We seem to stay connected has been replaced in popular culture with the to people only as long as they are meeting our concept of a social contract — more accurately, particular needs at an acceptable cost to us. what Timothy Keller calls a “consumer relaWhen we cease to make a “profit” — that is, tionship.” Contracts are really for people who when the relationship appears to require more don’t trust each other. In a contract the terms love and affirmation from us than we are getting of engagement are spelled out and if they are back — then we “cut our losses” and drop the not met, then the contract can be broken. relationship. The relationship has become an In consumer relationships, the individual’s economic exchange and the whole concept of needs are more important than the relationship. Gary Moore covenant is lost. The whole emphasis is “what am I getting” Scripture gives us examples of “horizontal” covenants (made from this relationship, not “what am I giving” to the between human beings), and “vertical” covenants made by God relationship. with individuals. The marriage relationship is unique and is the In stark contrast, the Bible teaches that the essence of marmost deeply covenantal relationship possible between two huriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That man beings. means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. Genesis 2:22-25 talks about “leaving and cleaving.” InterestThe Bible measures love primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to ingly, Adam and Eve were the only two people on earth at this time, so the instructions were obviously a design statement about someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this marriage. The covenant made between a husband and a wife person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake is done “before God” and therefore with God as well as the spouse. To break faith with your spouse is to break faith with God at the same time. The covenant with and before God strengthens the partners to make a covenant with each other. Thus marriage is the deepest of human covenants. When dating you have to prove your value daily by impressing and enticing. You have to show that the chemistry is there and the relationship is fun and fulfilling, or it will be over. You are basically in a consumer relationship — and that means constant promotion and marketing. The legal and covenantal bond of marriage, however, creates a space of security where we can open up and reveal our true selves. We can be vulnerable, no longer having to keep up facades. We don’t have to keep selling ourselves. We can lay the last layer of our defenses down and be completely naked, both physically and in every other way. Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love. A wedding should not be primarily a celebration of how loving you feel — that’s a given. Rather, in a wedding you stand up before God, your family, and all the main institutions of society, and you promise to be loving, faithful, and true to the other person in the future, regardless of undulating internal feelings or external circumstances. In promising (making a covenant), you limit options now, in order to have wonderful, fuller options later. You curb your freedom now, so that you can be free to be there in the future for people who trust and are committed to you. Covenant — it is God’s design. g 3/4-17

By Gary Moore

Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale Church of God in charge of Adult Education. He’s served as associate pastor there for the past 11 years. He’s principal of .003 Coaching, providing life coaching, couples’ coaching and business coaching locally and around the country.

12 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 13


EMPTY HAND COMBAT Your Daily Bread

How to add value to the world

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By Terry Frisk

Kung Fu is a non-violent martial art that focuses on practical self defense.

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Throughout the Gospels, Jesus provided parables to help His followers understand the deeper meaning of His teachings. A parable is a story about earthly situations with a spiritual moral. One such story I have always Terry Frisk found interesting is the Parable of the Three Servants offered in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, a man was going on a long trip, so he divided his money to his three servants to take care of while he was away. Two of the servants invested the money that was entrusted to them while the third hid the money in fear of losing it. When the man returned, the two servants who invested his money and returned even more money were rewarded with greater responsibilities. But, the servant who hid the money was sent away, and the money he returned was given to the other two servants. The two servants who invested the money brought value to their master. They also added value to the world. As with any great story, I believe there is more than one moral to this one. The first is offered in the scripture: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” — Matthew 25:29 (NLT) Now, this does not mean that if you invest your money, you will be rewarded with even more money. What Jesus was imparting is to utilize your blessings to achieve even greater blessings. Apply the skills and talents you have been blessed with in your work to achieve greater levels of success. Share your blessings with others and you will be rewarded as they share their blessings with you. Finally, share generously with your church and community and you will grow in your faith. Doing so adds value to the world. Another lesson I learned from this parable is about investing. While Jesus does not discuss how the two servants invested the money, I believe it is safe to say that they put their money to work in some form

14 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

of business. Too often, there is the presumption that people who invest money to earn a return are greedy. Quite the contrary. Investment provides businesses with the funds to grow so that we may be blessed with their goods and services, as well as offering employment to more people so that they may provide for their families. You do not have to be wealthy to invest in businesses. Investing in an Individual Retirement Account or in your company’s 401(k) plan not only helps you provide for your retirement, but it also invests in businesses to help them grow. Doing so adds value to the world. The third lesson (and not necessarily the final lesson) is directed toward leaders. We all take leadership roles in some form whether it is at work, in government, in our community or as a parent. In this parable, the servants had earned varying degrees of their master’s trust. He split his money based on the level of trust he had in each servant and did not give them any instruction on what to do with the money other than to take care of it. He had faith that they would do the right thing. Permitting others to determine the best way to complete a task is one of the hardest parts of leadership. Many leaders have a tendency to micromanage their group’s mission. It is very difficult to give up complete control. But, God gives us complete control over our lives and trusts that we will do the right thing. As leaders, we must work to develop the skills of those we lead and develop mutual trust in the process. Like the master, the more trust we develop in others, the more responsibility we can assign them resulting in greater rewards in return. Doing so adds value to the world. We all have the ability to impact the world through investment of our time, talent and money. Whether you are the servant who is called to serve others, the investor who makes it possible to provide goods and services to the world while providing for employees’ families, or the leader who nurtures others to help them be successful, you are truly adding value to the world, fulfilling the lesson of the Parable of the Three Servants. g Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at terry_frisk@msn.com.

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The 12th Man

Believers have a heavenly cheering section By Skip Hall In 1993 I was a football coach at the University of Missouri and we were a member of the Big 12 Conference. We played Texas A&M that year in College Station, Texas and I was in awe of what transpired that day at Kyle Field. The stadium was packed and a large sign on the press box read in bold letters, “HOME OF THE 12TH MAN.” I had never seen that before. I was intrigued and interested in where that came from and later learned the history and how it came about. As most of us know, each football team is Skip Hall allowed 11 players on the field and the 12th man at Kyle Field is the presence of thousands of A&M students who remain standing during the entire game to cheer and encourage their team on. As I learned, this tradition traces its roots back to 1922 when the coach called a student out of the stands to suit up and be ready to replace an injured player. Although he never entered the game, his presence on the sideline and his willingness to participate if needed greatly encouraged the team. This is a very impressive tradition at A&M. The Seattle Seahawks sought and received permission from A&M to use the 12th Man slogan. Now it is a huge factor at all Seahawks games and is worn on shirts and sweatshirts all over the Northwest.

They even fly a 12th Man flag at Seahawks games — and the fans are the loudest in the NFL for cheering on their team. It’s a big deal! Hebrews 11 describes heroes of the faith who faced great trials and remained loyal to God. Chapter 12 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us.” We are not alone on our faith journey. The ordinary people and the great saints who have gone before us and were loyal to the Lord encourage us by their example and by their presence in heaven. They are a “Spiritual 12th Man,” standing with us and cheering us on while we are still on the field. As Christians, we have our own cheering section in heaven encouraging us to remain loyal and run the race with perseverance, and if we slip or fall, to get back in the race and finish strong. It’s a big deal! g Skill Hall is a former head football coach at Boise State. After a successful, 30-year coaching career with BSU and other college football teams, he transferred his coaching skills to the business arena, serving in multiple leadership roles for more than 15 years with other businesses before launching his own company, Hall & Associates, a financial services firm. He is now an executive coach, senior strategist and professional speaker. He may be reached at www.skipperhall@msn.com or (208) 871-8448.

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 15


The Closet

Ministry gives teens clothes a By Gaye Bunderson God may be perfectly capable of parting the Red Sea, but sometimes His miracles involve something as everyday as clothes hangers. Kelly McMurry thought she and God had talked it over and she was going to take a break from volunteer work for a couple of years while she served as PTA president. Then she got a call from Kippy Jacob, former executive director of Love INC Boise, where Kelly had volunteered. Kippy wanted to meet for coffee, and when the two women got together at Rembrandt’s in Eagle, Kippy sprung a surprise on Kelly. She said, “God has placed on my heart to ask you to do something for youth in the community.” Kelly said she kept asking Kippy what that something was, and all Kippy was able to answer was that she didn’t know for sure. Kippy soon went off to another commitment, but before she left, she said to Kelly, “Can you just pray about it?” Then she threw out a cryptic suggestion: “Maybe clothing for teens.” “I sort of liked that. There was a little excitement,” Kelly now says, explaining, however, that she also thought at the time, “I don’t like teens. Who does?” Her own children were pre-adolescent then but were on the verge of their teen years — sometimes a difficult passage for both parents and youngsters. Kelly left Rembrandt’s and went and sat in her car for a moment, mulling what Kippy said. Before driving away, she offered up a quick prayer to God, telling Him, “If this is You, I’m all in. If it’s not You, please let me know. Give me a sign.” What she didn’t realize as she started the engine was that she was about to get the biggest affirmation of God’s will for her that she’d ever received. She was on the verge, she said, of an amazing God moment. “I drove to Chinden — about two miles. The light was red, so I pulled out my cell phone. I was going to call a friend, Lynn. She was somebody Christian in my life I went to for everything. I wanted her to be the first one I talked to,” Kelly said. She wanted to tell Lynn what had just happened at the coffee shop and to get her thoughts on it. She called Tree City Church on Eagle Road, where Lynn was at the time, and got the receptionist, a woman named Bev. Bev explained Lynn couldn’t come to the phone, but she would transfer Kelly to her voicemail. While Kelly was waiting for the call to go to voicemail, Bev got back on the line and said, “I cleaned out my closet this past weekend. I switched to

16 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

SlimLine hangers, and I brought you three boxes of hangers, if you can use them.” Clothes hangers…. Just a bunch of devices for putting apparel on rods in closets. Is that a pivotal conversation? “I have some hangers for you”? Turns out, it was. “I was shaken. It was such a confirmation,” Kelly said. She was to do something with clothing for teens, and of course clothes hangers would be needed. That was a little over seven years ago. “It’s November of 2009. I’m now moving forward. I’m feeling overwhelmed,” Kelly said. She asked the pastoral staff at Tree City Church if she could have a space there for something she was calling The Closet; 24 hours later, they told her she could have a room on the second floor. She now had a space, but no clothes and no teens. Then a friend called to say she’d found a cabinet at Big Lots, available at a very good price. She was going to buy it and if Kelly could use it, fine. If not, she’d keep it for herself. The cabinet came in a box full of pieces and screws and complicated directions on how to assemble it — pretty much a whole lot of things beyond Kelly’s skill set. Her frustration with the cabinet is evident when she tells the story about the afternoon she and her son — then only in second grade — went to Tree City Church and tried to put the cabinet together. “It felt like 4,000 pieces,” she said. As the story continues, 4,000 pieces become 12,000 pieces, and then 12,000 pieces become a ton. She shut the door of the room that would house The Closet, sat down on the floor with her young son, and felt like she was on the verge of tears. A man named Marty happened to walk by just then and peak into the room. Spotting a clearly flummoxed woman and her child, he knocked on the door; when Kelly answered, he asked, “Can I help?” With the help of this kind man, the cabinet went from a ton of disassembled pieces to an essential piece of furniture, with its many wide slots for shoes. As of late January of 2017, Kelly had served 3,000 teenagers. The Closet has grown from one room to two, and then two rooms spilled out into a hallway. “This community pours out donations to me,” she said. Three days a week, she comes to Tree City Church at 3 p.m. and prepares The Closet for her special guests. She takes hour-long appointments at 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. They are private, one-on-one, confidential appointments for individual teens who are frequently accompanied by their parents. “I’m clothing kids,” she said, “but it’s so much more than that. I am loving on difficult, broken situations.” The clothing is free, and Kelly makes shopping at The Closet the best experience she can. “Thrift stores are cool, so this is cool. This is good stuff. It’s teen-friendly,” Kelly said. Walking into The Closet is as nice as walking into a boutique at the mall. Kelly put fine touches into the décor. Everything is clean

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and compassion and fresh and youthful. Roughly 12 volunteers work with Kelly to sort through donations and get them ready for the teens. Kelly needs one volunteer assistant when she has an appointment. The assistant does other things to help the client but leaves the personal connection to Kelly, whose ability to reach out to her young clientele is something she feels she’s been gifted with over the years. If a teen is reticent, Kelly takes one approach; if a teen is outgoing, she takes another. “I gauge their mood and respond to them accordingly,” she said. “I can connect to a person in one hour — that’s been given to me by God.” After the teens collect the 12 items they are allowed to take home, they bring them up to the infamous cabinet, the one formerly laying on the floor in a trillion pieces. It now serves double duty as the check-out counter. This is often where Kelly does her best work. She has classy black shopping bags to the put the teens’ clothes in, just as if they’d bought them at the mall. One of her special touches is scripture cards that look something like bookmarks. Kelly handpicked all the scripture verses on them, such as Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.” On the back of the card, she writes a personal message for each client and signs it with “God bless” and her name. She slips the card into the shopping bag, not knowing where it will end up but believing that if God wants to use it, He will. “I have a captive audience here; they like me right now,” she said. She has treated each client with genuine graciousness and concern, sometimes throwing in some of the brand new undies that Walmart donates to her, or allowing a teen to go over his or her 12-item limit if it’s for something special. Now she takes it up a notch and does what God commanded her to do. “God said, ‘Kelly, I want you to ask every family how you can pray for them — EVERY family,’” she said. Kelly keeps a journal on the cabinet and writes prayer requests in it. She never puts pressure on anyone and said that if the teens can’t think of a prayer request, she’ll ask how school is going — or sometimes more specifically, how math is going. “I have lots of prayers for math in the journal!” she said. But sometimes prayer requests are for family members or friends. “Tears have dripped on this cabinet,” she said. One mother asked if she could take the pen and write her own prayer request, and Kelly obliged. On Sunday nights, Kelly types up the requests and gives them to a prayer team. There are no identifiers in the requests; anonymity is always protected. Kelly said the prayer team is made up of “gifted people” who have volunteered to pray for the families that come to The Closet. Kelly has cultivated relationships with school counselors in Boise and West Ada (at present, she is only able to help youth in Ada County). Many of the teens have been referred to The Closet by counselors because their families are in the throes of divorce or the young person is in an abusive situation. Kelly also helps teens in the juvenile corrections system. “I have a beautiful relationship with Corrections, and I let those teens take as long as they need when they come in,” she said. Kelly makes frequent presentations out in the community. “I’m always speaking,” she said. She is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit known as The Closet Inc. and was blessed when a couple volunteered to pay for her to obtain her

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Kelly McMurry, executive director of The Closet, sorts through clothing for teens. The Closet provides free clothes to both boys and girls, by appointment only.

nonprofit status and get help with the paperwork. Kelly’s professional background is actually in banking. She began working at Bank of America when she was 16 and continued in that job until she was 31, working in Seattle and San Francisco. “That’s the professional side of me,” she said. She was also a stayat-home mom for 18 years. She got a degree in interior design but never made a living that way. Her husband has an executive MBA, and her children are now teenagers. “Everyone supports me,” she said, “with gifts of time and goods.” When she speaks, it’s often to professionals. When she ministers, it’s to teens in a state of poverty and brokenness. She was supposed to have The Closet out of Tree City Church by December of 2016. Now, the church has given her until summer of 2017. “The ministry is growing so fast,” she said. She would love to have someone offer her space rent-free but is fundraising just in case she must pay for a space for her thriving outreach. She has 1,400 followers on Facebook and wants to tell everyone she can to keep their hearts open. “These kids go to school with your kids,” she said, acknowledging their problems may not be visible on the outside, but they are there and they are real. The woman who once thought she didn’t really like teens now loves and serves them with all her heart. But she takes no credit for the success she’s seen with the ministry. “I am so not qualified for this job,” she said. “I give it all to God. I say to Him, ‘You be my Light tonight.’ God is so alive in this place. The Closet is a beautiful story of God at work.” g

March / April 2017 | Christian Living 17


Maximum Health

Eat bacteria to build your immune system sausages, etc.) • Drinks: milk, soft drinks, fruit juices If you could make one • Convenience foods: change in your life that microwave meals or would lower your risk of boxed dinners heart disease, help you lose • Savory snacks: chips, weight and make you feel crisps, puffs, etc. happier and more enerLet’s be honest (and getic, would you do it? glaringly transparent), Any person in their right I used to have a diet mind would loudly exfilled with these types claim, “Yes, I would do it!” of foods and would It’s widely known, and I say to myself: “It could am sure you would agree, be worse. At least my that processed foods aren’t Rosie Main processed pizza has a good for your body as they vegetable topping!” are packed with sugar (especially frucWhat I didn’t know was the connectose/HFCS), synthetic and rancid fats, tion between food and my intestinal and preservatives, additives and even genetically modified ingredients (GM). Some of immunological health. Nearly 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses and living microthem even have things like sawdust and organisms live inside your intestine. It’s insect organs in them. What may come such a large gathering of cells it’s now as a shock is that processed foods are actually MORE harmful to you and your been termed your “Microbiome” (and it is the largest collection of cells in your immune system than other, more obviously harmful lifestyle activities (smoking, body, even outnumbering your body cells 10 to 1). drinking, etc.). Did you know your Microbiome helps A recently published article in Nutrition Journal points out that the modern, west- to: • Combat inflammation and stop the ernized (processed food) diet is setting the spread of viral and bacterial disease stage for immune-suppressed diseases. • Produce vitamins, absorb minerals The article reads in part: “While today’s and eliminate toxins modern diet may provide beneficial • Reduce risk for allergies, both seaprotection from nutrimental deficiencies, sonal and food our overabundance of calories and the • Normalize your weight macronutrients that compose our diet all • Balance your mood and mental health lead to increased inflammation, reduced • Has been linked to 80 percent of your control of infection, increased rates of cancer and increased risk for auto-inflam- immune strength When you eat processed foods, you matory disease.” harm, damage and even destroy your Does this hit you as hard as it did me? Microbiome. This results in your body’s We are literally eating ourselves towards innate ability to heal becoming weakened an early death! Examples of common processed foods: from within. Compound this with the many other interferences in your heal• All breakfast cereals ing and one can quickly see how it can • Breads, crackers and cookies feel impossible to overcome any health • Meat products (lunch meats, bacon, condition. But there is good news. WHEN THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS... A recent study found that it only takes We offer Hope, Care & Confidence to women during and two weeks (14 days) for you to improve after an unexpected pregnancy — so no one walks alone. the strength of your Microbiome and immune system. The suggestion: swap out one processed food meal for a meal of fermented foods. Just one. (Imagine if you did this for every meal for two weeks.) 1414 S. Broadway Ave. Boise, ID 83706 But why limit yourself ? How about www.pathpreg.org • 208-384-9504 you take another baby step and start 3/4-17

By Rosie Main

18 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

cooking, from scratch, one more meal per week. So switch out one processed food per week for a fermented food, and switch out another meal per week with a full meal made from scratch. That’s one less trip through the drive-thru. That’s one less dinner out of a box or a can. And you know how good a home-cooked meal can be. So much better than anything out of a paper bag. But back to fermented foods, because we’re on a Microbiome rant right now. Fermented foods are loaded with trillions of healthy living bacteria (bugs) ready to add strength and power to your weak Microbiome. And they taste great too. Here’s my list of fermented favorites: kombucha, kevita, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, raw cheese, cultured raw veggies, miso and cultured coconut yogurt. Last issue I wrote on the benefits of bone broth soup to provide the nutrients to build your gut lining and restore the membrane from what is called leaky gut, causing autoimmune issues. After a bone broth fast, it is important to replenish the gut flora with good beneficial bacteria with foods such as the ones described above. Below are some of my favorites. Another fantastic improvement of eating healthy bacteria is a healthy brain. A healthy gut equals a healthy brain because your gut is your second brain. Most serotonin is produced in your gut and helps with our new millennium diseases like depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Start eating more fermented foods and you will see your life change.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a great fermented drink that not only quenches the thirst but does wonders for your gut health, offering pre- and probiotics to help balance and maintain your intestinal flora. It helps with digestion, immunity, inflammation and avoiding all sorts of disease. It’s pretty easy to make at home. Here’s a favorite recipe. Ingredients 1 gallon of filtered water 1 cup sugar (preferably organic cane sugar)* 8 bags black tea, green tea, or a mix (or 2 tablespoons loose tea) 2 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored)

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you like it, go to the next step. If it’s too mild for you, let it go another day and try again. Gently remove the SCOBY from the jars. Put the kombucha in sealable glass bottles. You can leave the bottles at room temperature for 1-3 days to add natural carbonation as well. *Fermentation turns sugar into lactic acid, CO2 and alcohol. Don’t worry about the sugar content in these recipes.

Kefir

Kefir is a classic Indian fermented drink. It’s often compared to yogurt but is much thinner, to the point that people drink it straight from a glass. It has all the benefits of any fermented food, and you can flavor it with nearly anything, though most people prefer fruit flavors. Ingredients 4 tablespoons kefir grains, dry 1 gallon whole, organic, grass-fed, raw milk (if possible, or as close as you can get — this can be substituted with almond milk, cashew milk or other substitutes) Equipment Mason jars with lids Tightly-woven cloth (for temporary lids)

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Directions Equally distribute your kefir grains among your mason jars. Equally distribute your milk among your mason jars (always leaving a little bit of room at the top of the jar). Cover your jars with the tightlywoven cloth and seal with rubber bands. Let sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon. When finished, strain the milk of kefir grains and serve. Grains can be re-used for another batch, but must be used immediately. Enjoy by sweetening with Stevia, adding blueberries and nuts. Please let me know if you need help by calling me at (208) 859-6170 or emailing me at rjmaindc@yahoo.com. g

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1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) per fermentation jar Equipment Large stock pot 1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels), coffee filters, or paper towels to cover the jar Small funnel Heavy-duty rubber bands 6 12-oz. sealable glass bottles Directions Make your tea. Take the gallon of water, add it to the large stock pot with the teabags and let it heat to a very low boil. Turn the burner off and let the tea steep until the water is cooled. This may take several hours. Add your starter tea or store-bought kombucha. Stir it into the mix. Put the mixture into the glass jar(s). Gently put the SCOBY into the jars. Cover the jars with several layers of cloth and seal it with a rubber band. Let the mixture ferment for 7-10 days. Leave it out of the sun and at room temperature. After a week or so, have a little taste. If

March / April 2017 | Christian Living 19


Happy or not?

The most important aspects of marriage By Hilary Cobb Recently, two things happened that radically impacted my view of marriage. The first was a quote that a DJ was discussing on the radio. He talked about a tweet someone posted that basically said that the goal of marriage was not happiness, that happiness was simply one of the benefits. Intellectually, I understand this. Marriage is difficult, often full of mountains and valleys, and anyone married for a long period of time will tell you it is not always happy. However, it is so easy to get sucked into the “happiness trap” when we talk about marriage. Think about the way people talk about couples: “Oh, they look so happy.” Or when the tabloids see two married celebrities walking together, looking serious, they immediately jump to conclusions. “Celebrities looked unhappy together shopping last week. On their way to a divorce?” We look at couples on social media and if they look “happy” in their photos together, we assume their marriage is a good one (and yet, I’ve known couples who post happy pictures, then announce their divorce soon after because those pictures don’t represent the day-to-day fighting and disintegration of their marriage). Even movies and books are always searching for “happy.” I love Christian romance books, but you are always reading them for the happy ending, when they suddenly decide they love each other and want to be together forever. Of course, those books stop at the happy ending. They don’t illustrate the craziness of life after you throw in a few kids, pets and a mortgage payment. As someone who does a lot of marriage counseling and teaches marriage classes, I should know better than to become fixated on happiness as the barometer of marital success. And yet, I’ve been guilty of this over the past year. We’ve had a busy year — we are helping to start a church plant, we both work, we have a 4-year-old who is the most stubborn child of all time, and we travel a lot. It has been easy to shift from “soul mate” mode to “roommate” mode. You know that mode, right? The one where your conversations at night are focused more on leftovers, credit card bills and your children’s homework than loving affirmations. And instead of focusing on the positives, the stability, our spouse’s good traits, it is easy to focus on the lack of affirmations. We begin to view our marriages as “unhappy” since we’ve been running around and not having tons and tons of happy moments. So when that quote came on the radio, it was a stark reminder that my perspective has been flawed.

And then, as I was thinking over what the ultimate goal of marriage is, a few hours later, our dog started acting very weird. Like she was dying. The dog we’ve had for 12 years, the one we got a few months after we got married. We took the dog and our two children to the vet. As my husband was wrangling the kids in the waiting room, I met with the vet. As she started telling me what was wrong with our dog (she was dying of cancer), I literally couldn’t handle it. I stopped the vet and told her that I wasn’t capable of handling this kind of thing and that my husband was better at it. I ran out of the room, and sent my husband in. As I waited with the kids, he stepped out and told us the vet recommended putting our dog to sleep. As the kids and I started crying hysterically, my husband hugged and comforted us. We all said goodbye to the dog, and then me and the kids went to a separate room while my husband stayed with the dog as they put her to sleep. Afterwards, as my husband (who obviously was also distraught) still drove us to ice cream and comforted me and the kids, I had an epiphany. This is what marriage is about. Not happiness. Not endless kisses and affirmations. It is the acknowledgement that in the hardest moments of our lives, I can completely depend on my spouse when I am unable to handle things. We know that the Bible talks about unity as a goal of marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” — Ephesians 5:31, ESV It doesn’t say a man shall leave his parents and shower his wife with happy moments. It doesn’t say that a man shall leave his parents and say loving things every single day. It doesn’t tell us the end goal of marriage is happiness. Or endless attention and validation. The goal is that we will hold fast to each other and become one flesh. We will find unity. That when we hurt, our spouse hurts. When I’m weeping, my spouse’s heart breaks and vice versa. I’m sure if you asked 50 people on the street what the goal of marriage is, they would have wildly different ideas. Stability. Support. Unconditional love. Someone to talk to. Happiness. A travel partner. I think a great marriage includes all of those things, but ultimately we are obediently following God’s call to create unity — two people work-

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support and love in the face of the ugly or weak moments. Yet I often work with couples who say, “Well, we’re unhappy, so obviously we shouldn’t be together” or “This can’t be God’s plan for our marriage, we are so unhappy.” If we focus on happiness as the end goal, we will be disappointed. Even the best, strongest marriages have less-than-happy moments. But remember, just because there are tough, less-than-happy moments, doesn’t mean you have an “unhappy” marriage. If you are truly struggling and are having so many unhappy moments that your marriage is falling apart, seek help. Find a marriage counselor. Meet with your pastor. Pray fervently. Find an older couple to mentor you. For me, it was simply changing my focus from wanting “happiness” to finding joy in the stability of my husband. Putting our dog to sleep was one of the hardest moments of our marriage (so far), and yet I knew I could depend on him fully to make decisions when I was an emotional wreck. So for those of you, who, like me, have gotten stuck in the “happiness trap,” shift your focus. You might be surprised how much it helps you.

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ing towards the goal of having a stable marriage full of love for God, and support and unconditional love for each other. My husband said that just as the goal of our relationship with God is not happiness (“if God blesses me enough and I feel happy, I’ll keep following Him”) but a dependence on the blessed assurance that God has promised us unconditional love, support and eternal life, our goal for marriage should be the blessed assurance that we can depend on our spouses for unconditional love, support and a fulfilling life. For me, it is the knowledge that I can depend on my spouse in the dark moments: when we are putting a dog to sleep, struggling financially or when my dad had health issues two years ago. Because let’s be honest, happiness is an awesome benefit of marriage. But as we are married for longer and longer, things get harder and harder. You lose pets, grandparents, and then parents. We deal with health issues, back pain, cancer or diabetes. My husband shared about an elderly couple that he knows. They’ve been married forever and as her health is failing; her husband helps her into the bathtub and gets her dressed every morning. Do you think she would trade that unconditional love and support for a few fleeting happy moments? No. Because as we get older, we value consistency,

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 21


Joy comes in the morning

Fill yourself with the light of God’s word Sometimes we hear a verse or a portion of a verse taken out of the context in which it was written. Unless and until we understand the meaning of what has Weeping may last for just a night, but joy been written for our benefit, we are at a loss of what comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Many of us to do with it and cannot apply it to our lives. This have read or heard this verse and perhaps even happens far too often and is why each of us needs to centered our attention on the part that speaks of study the scriptures for ourselves so that we are then weeping. Things happen in life. We suffer loss and able to rightly divide the truth and be made free (2 grieve because of it. That’s normal. Timothy 2:15). After such a loss, we might wonder if we’ll ever One of the meanings of the word translated “joy” see daylight again. The answer is “yes.” Daylight in the New Testament is “calm delight.” It’s not necdoes come again, and along with it, joy. essarily laughter and hilarity as some might think of it What happens at dawn is that it had been dark to be, but we can simply be delighted in knowing that and then light appears. In the physical realm, this our hearts are right with our Maker, or in being really happens each day. In spiritual matters, however, glad about something we see Him do. these things aren’t always based on a 24-hour Ann Doupont Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22.) period or are like clockwork. The weeping we It grows out of our relationship with the Lord. As we experience from some kind of pain or loss usually stay connected to the Vine, good fruit will grow in our lives. lasts much longer than just one day. There is much joy that comes when sinners repent of their sins and When light appears on the scene, the darkness flees away. We turn to the Lord (Luke 15:7). This word “repent” means to “think can then see clearly without stumbling. Psalm 119:130 says that the differently,” or “to reconsider.” We’ve all sinned and come short of entrance of God’s words brings light. the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but the Father so loved the world When going through a dark time in our lives, what we need in that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins order to bring us out of it is more light, more of God’s words in us. and to put us on the right track for our lives. It’s not that we never We need them to enter into our hearts and provide the answers to again blow it, or fall short of the glory of God ever again, but we whatever situation we are facing. then have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It’s interestAs we recognize our shortcomings and confess them to the Lord, ing to note here that it does not say that our own natural joy is our strength, but it is His joy that will strengthen us. Preceding this verse, we are instantly forgiven for them and cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). As we forsake our sins, we then find mercy we can see the context in which it was written. The people were gathered together to hear Ezra the priest read the (Proverbs 28:13). Joy increases in us as we do these things, as we are restored to the Lord this way. As one pastor once said to the people, book of the law and the people began to weep as they heard it read. “Admit it and quit it.” As the meaning of what was written was explained to them over a That sounds like a simple plan. It is indeed simple, but not always period of several hours and they became able to understand it, they that easy. In fact, we might not even know what it is that we need were then told to stop their mourning and weeping, that the day is holy and to not be sorry, for the joy of the Lord is their strength. The to confess to Him. The Lord left us His handbook, that which we call the Bible, to read and to study. He has given us anointed pasweeping was before understanding came to them. tors, teachers and others to help us understand the meaning of the scriptures. As we replace our old thoughts with His thoughts (His Word), we begin to be transformed as our minds are renewed by this process day by day. It starts by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior but it doesn’t end there. That’s just the beginning of our relationship with the Father. He who began a good work in us will continue it from then on (Philippians 1:6). If you have been weeping over a situation for a long time, know that the need is for more light. There is a time for weeping and a time for laughter, a time for everything under the sun as we are shown in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3. Joy does come in the morning as light begins to be seen again. His Word is that light which each of us need in our lives. Getting His Word in you will see you through. g

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By Ann Doupont

22 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

Ann Doupont has a passion for writing and for living the life to which she’s been called. She has authored and published four print books and over 50 ebooks, all of which can be found on Amazon at www.amazon. com/author/anndoupont. As a student of God’s Word, she has learned that the Lord is indeed trustworthy and faithful to do all that He has promised, and that the answers we seek can be found through a diligent and prayerful study of the scriptures.

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Created for a purpose

How to fulfill your God-given mission By Vincent Kituku A few years ago, I wrote a letter to an inmate that was returned to me stamped, “Return to Sender” and the reason given was, “Not in Custody.” The letter didn’t achieve its purpose. The inmate had written to ask me to be his friend because all his associates were drug abusers. He had read one of my columns and decided to trust a stranger. He mentioned that he would be released soon but didn’t say when. I misplaced his address. When I finally found it, I wrote telling him how he could get help and encouraging him to contact me. But it was too late. He had been released by the time my letter was delivered to the prison authorities. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I in this world?” God created you for a purpose. The question is, are you living for the purpose you were created for? Fulfillment in life comes when we are performing the purpose we are here for. My work with thousands of people in businesses (public and private), football teams, homes and churches has led me to know certain attributes of life that make people fulfill their mission. Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 says, “…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He emphasizes the importance of leaving our past behind. Leaving behind past hurts, anger, and the motive for revenge is a consciously developed characteristic of people who have a purpose to live for. They know that regardless of how their past has been, their future is still stainless. They resolve to use the past as a stepping-stone not a stumbling block. They refuse to let the past hold them captive, or rather they are determined not to let their past be an obstacle between them and their future. Purpose-focused people are the chief executive officers of their own lives — not other people. They don’t blame anyone else for their situation. They are in charge of their spiritual growth, health, relationships, professional and personal development.

People who find fulfillment in life are those who know their purpose — why God put them where they are. The goals they set are aligned with the big picture of the life they envision. Their efforts are focused on what matters the most. They devote resources and energy in simplifying their lives. We don’t have forever to perform our purpose in this world. I learned the pain and the urgency of doing what we can to help someone with that returned letter. While I was happy that the inmate was free, I was sad — I had lost the opportunity to share with him what could have helped him. God does not want us to go back to Him with un-used talents, gifts and experiences. A personal relationship with his/her Creator is an experience words can’t describe for a person with a purpose. That relationship with God is the basis of their relationships at home and in the community. They know their relationship with God will affect their relationship with other people and vice versa. That inmate has never read what I had written to him. He never felt the love, encouragement and sense of being accepted that my letter contained. I pray that you and I don’t leave this world without those in need ever knowing the love of God through our kindness, self-sacrifice and commitment to the eternal journey. And let’s not wait to write on headstones how much we loved someone when he or she is beyond our reach. Do you know why God put you in this world? Do you consider what you do as your mission? How are you using your talents and gifts to enrich other people’s lives? Remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Every industrious man, in every lawful calling, is a useful man. And one principal reason why men are so often useless is that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits.” g Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, award-winning international speaker and author, is the founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring Hearts High School in Kenya. He may be reached at (208) 376-8724 or vincent@kituku.com.

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 23


It used to be so simple

When shopping with teens is ‘impossible’ couple items, but doesn’t like them. Things just devolve from there.

By Janet Lund

You had it all worked out. Chores: done. Errands: done. Dinner plans: done. Mission NOT accomplished. You are ready for a day of shopping with your You feel frustrated, disappointed, and hurt precious daughter. A girl date. What could be as you drive home in silence. Your daughter better than mother-daughter bonding, right? is texting on her phone. No “Thanks Mom.” You drive to the mall and agree on where to Nothing. Nothing, at all. shop first. You walk into the store and meander Ouch! I’m so sorry, Mom. around a bit. Then you happily start picking out You are not alone in this experience. Many different colored tops and pants that you are sure moms have experienced this with their teens. she is going to love. You chit chat a bit as you That is because this isn’t about you. It’s about cheerfully flutter from rack to rack. your teen. Finally realizing that you have been the only one chattering, you look at your daughter’s face. Janet Lund What’s up with my teen? Her eyebrows are furrowed. You pause and ask, When your daughter reaches middle school, “How are you doing? Finding anything?” She she enters a new phase. She feels uncomfortable in her own shrugs. You cheerfully ask, “Hey, what do you think of these?” skin. There are a lot of changes going on inside and outside of You show her the treasures you found. Her face is free of any expression. You ask what’s wrong and she mutters an inaudible her and all her friends. Her Tigger-like enthusiasm in grade school has long faded. reply. She is quietly more concerned about looking pretty. And she is You show her a different top. She shrugs again. Hm. The certain that she is not…pretty. initial enthusiasm is quickly seeping out of this trip. Being out in public is painfully embarrassing. She is certain Ok, then. “Please give these a try. I bet they will look cute on that everyone is looking at her and seeing all her faults. you.” You hope that trying on a few things might change her Deep down inside she swings back and forth between one mood. She silently walks to the dressing room and tries on a minute wanting to be little again and the next wishing she was all grown up, confident, and independent. It’s like emotional tug of war.

Remember when….

Do you remember those days, Mom? Pause and try to remember a day in your life as a teen. The nasty things said about you and about your classmates. Spoken from the mouths of boys you liked. Blurted out by acquaintances you hardly knew.

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And most painful of all, by your closest girlfriends. Ugly memories. But important for you to remember. Remembering will help you be more patient and empathetic with your daughter.

A whole new thing.

Shopping for clothes, from her perspective, isn’t just about wearing colors she likes anymore. It’s about who she is, how she looks, how she feels, and what she wants to communicate to the world. Especially to the boys of this world.

“Is there hope for future shopping trips or will they be forever this miserable?” Yes, there is hope!

Communication is the key.

1) Encourage your daughter to focus. Save the different advertisements that come to your house via the mail and newspaper. Write your daughter a note encouraging her to circle the different outfit styles she likes. Tell her that you want to learn about what she likes. End the note by telling her that on a certain day you would like to spend some time looking at styles together. Take the note and the ads and put them on her bed when she isn’t around. This will get the conversation started. 2) Learn what your daughter likes. For that specified date, make a snack for you two to enjoy. This helps create a relaxing ambiance. Ask her to show you the different outfits she liked. Ask open questions such as: “What do you like about this style of outfit?” “What parts of the outfit do you sort of like but might change if you could?” “What color combinations do you like?”

3) Inquire about how her classmates dress.

“What do girls wear at school?” “What do you think your classmates communicate by the way they dress?” “What do you want to communicate about yourself by the way you dress?” During these conversations encourage your daughter using open-ended questions and phrases like: “Tell me more about

that.” “What do you think?” Be free of judgment. Using phrases like these communicates to your daughter that her thoughts and feelings matter. This also encourages her to slow down, reflect, and learn more about who she is and what she wants the world to see. 4) Create a shopping rule of engagement. Tell her that you see her as a beautiful young lady, not a little girl. That you want her to feel comfortable shopping with you. Ask her what you can do to help her feel less self-conscious when shopping together. Taking these steps will help your daughter feel more confident, relaxed and prepared for your shopping trip. She will also worry less about being embarrassed in public.

5) Follow up. After your excursion, spend time talking through how it went. Ask her what worked and

if there were things that could make the experience even better next time. Share any moments that would make the experience better for you, too. Throughout this experience remember to do your best to be patient. Remember this is also new territory. Be gracious with each other if you accidentally fall back into old habits. You are creating a new way of doing life together. And remember… Communication is key to a happy shopping spree! g Janet Lund is a relationship coach specializing in nurturing amazing bonds between moms and their pre-teen daughters. She is a singer-songwriter who has spoken and performed in Canada, the United States and Norway. Follow her on Facebook/Janet Lund Music, and preview her music.

3/4-17 1-2017

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 25


Real Man’s Toolbox

To get respect you must give it By Leo Hellyer

3/4-17

There is one thing that most men seek and unfortunately many times do not find, and that is respect. Not only is respect something that most men seek, but it is something that God views as important. Men, one thing that we need to remember is that if we want to receive respect from others we need to provide respect to people who are in our circle of influence or supervision. It is really easy to respect someone you look up to, or agree with their decisions or political stands, but what do you do when that’s not the case? What do you do when your Leo Hellyer supervisor, CEO, mayor, police officer, or president do not share all of your morals or political leanings? There are many things that people have done in the past, or are doing right now, in relation to how they perceive another person’s stand on specifc issues. Some call others names, some personally attack others in social media, some attack the other person’s children in the press, some loot, some protest, some riot. Well, enough of that. Let’s take a look at how God would want us to react to these differences. The book of Romans provides us with some very good guidance to follow. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no

26 March / April 2017 | Christian Living

authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” — Romans 13:1 People who are in positions of authority over us have been allowed to be in that position of authority at any particular time, by God’s ultimate authority. God has allowed authorities to be in the position that they are in. We may not fully understand why God has allowed a specific person to be in the position that they are in, but He does, and that is all that matters. If we cannot, in our own power, respect the person who is in authority over us, we must at least honor the position. We also should pray that God would work in us that we can learn, with God’s strength and understanding, to respect our leaders. Once again, we need to honor the fact that God Almighty has allowed this person to be in authority, at this time. It is very important to realize that when we rebel against authorities who God has allowed to be in those positions of authority we are rebelling against God Himself. God determines the length of time that anyone is in positions of authority. Daniel 2:21 “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” We serve a God who loves us and who provides for us. Instead of rebelling against the authority over us, or pouting because we wanted someone else, there is something far better that God would have us do. In 1 Timothy we read, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Whether we fully respect and support our authority figure, at whatever level, we are to pray, intercede, and be thankful to God for these leaders. It is so easy to fall into the trap of reacting to situations as the world, while we are living in the world, but we must remember that we are to be different than the world. In Romans 12:2 Paul writes, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” God doesn’t want us to respond out of fear, loss, anger, hate, prejudice, or selfishness, like the world does; God wants us to respond in a godly manner with love, understanding, faith, compassion, obedience, and humility. We need to remember that we face nothing alone; God is with us through all things. We need to remember that God is in control of all things. Men, if we seek to be respected then we need to respect those who are in positions of authority over us. If we want to be respected we need to live lives that make it easy for others to respect us. I am so glad that God is in control. I am so glad that God directs our paths so that we can overcome the emotions of this world and live our lives in a manner that reflects our obedience to the authority of God over us. g Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife, Norma, for 44 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 silverplate426@msn.com. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at (208) 340-5544.

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Outdoors with Dougherty

Hunting, friends and God’s great outdoors

3/4-17

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Another friend from church, Pete Gerstenburger, came up to hunt with us. Although we were unsuccessful, we had a great time together. Some of the sharing of life, love, and God brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing like the camaraderie of good friends in God’s great outdoors. On arriving home I saw a picture of the deer my 12-year-old grandson, Daniel, had shot just outside his house; it was his first. My wife showed me a picture her friend Wendy sent her. Wendy shot a nice bull near where we hunted. She was hunting by herself and fortunately had friends nearby to help her pack out the meat. Peggy and I went to Harpster on our annual whitetail hunt. Our youngest son, Jakoub, came up to hunt a couple days with us. It was too warm of a fall; we were not seeing much. Very few of the hunters around us were getting anything. Continued on page 31

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back over the knoll. I did have a wolf tag. When asked why I I was anxious for hunting didn’t shoot I could season this last fall. After a only answer, “I was summer of moving trail cams in awe, and then he around, I had come up with was gone!” T.J. told several spots that held potenme he had seen the tial. The problem had been tracks but didn’t tell that every time I had found his wife. an animal-rich location, freeT.J. and Taryn left ranging cattle would come in that morning to go and eat the place clean, chaspick up the kids at ing out the wild game. I still their grandparents’ had a couple areas that held and be home for promise into October. Dan Dougherty work on Monday. Just before the start of elk Dave and I hunted season I headed up to the that afternoon in a new area. A few mincabin with a friend from church, Dave utes into the woods and we scared up La Roche, another retired teacher. five elk about 30 yards ahead, all cows. Church members T.J. Mayer and his On the way back to the cabin I saw a wife Taryn were coming up to Donnelly spike — or unbranched antler — movthat evening and would be out to hunt ing slowly through a clearing. Dave with us in the morning. jumped out, got about 10 yards off the The next morning the four of us road for a clear shot. I waited to hear began our hunt. I hoped the animals the bang. He put his gun down. He said were still around. T.J. and his wife there were a couple other elk, and he headed up to one area; Dave and I took couldn’t see the head of the one clearly. a location just south of them. We did Good for him! Rule of Gun Safety: “Alsee some fresh elk sign, but I was a little ways identify what you are shooting at.” disappointed at the definite presence of In the next two days I saw about 20 cattle. I did not sight any animals, but elk, no bulls. Hidden in a secluded the beauty of God’s creation brought a meadow, I had five different elk walk continued prayer of thanksgiving to my out between 25 and 40 yards, no horns. lips. I just haven’t been lucky. I hope I can The four of us met for a lunch break. draw that cow tag next year. T.J. and Taryn had seen a cow elk with a calf. The evening hunt was more beauty, more sign, but no elk. The next morning, hunting near the same area provided plenty of sign but, again, no elk. I did see a fresh, Conveniently located at large wolf track. Vista Village Shopping Center About five minutes later on a knoll, at 1000 S. Vista Ave. 140 yards, I spotted Boise, Idaho a large wolf, mostly white with some tan (208) 342-1600 and black, standing www.reillyschurchsup.com and watching me. A beautiful animal! I had my scope on • Books • Bibles • Cards • Music him for a brief moment before he ran • Jewelry • Gifts & More By Dan Dougherty

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 27


Shannon Foust

Opening her home and heart to foster kids By Gaye Bunderson

Idaho Wednesday’s Child Program

Ask Shannon Foust, recruitment coordinator for Wednesday’s Child, how she got involved in working with foster children and she’ll reply with humor, “God tricked me.” And in a way, He did. Shannon was a 20-year-old college student at California State University, Stanislaus, in a town called Turlock when she went to apply for a job as a typist with a real estate firm. Shannon Foust She lived with her aunt, who thought she recognized the address of the firm and gave Shannon a ride. But upon arrival, Shannon was told there were no jobs available; however, right next door there was a foster care agency that was looking for a typist. Shannon, having previously worked for a title company, felt more comfortable with a job in real estate, but thought, “I have no experience with foster care, but I can type.” She went in, applied for the job, and got it. “I started to learn,” she said. She met foster children and foster parents, and because she typed up caseworkers’ reports, she learned their perspective on foster parenting as well. During this time, she became a Christian, met and married her husband Greg, and started a family. “We wanted to do something worthwhile,” she said. “We had a passion for more. We always liked helping people; we always had people living with us.” The idea of getting involved in foster care was something they thought might be in their future. Greg worked at Circuit City at the time — “selling these new things that were coming out: cell

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The Idaho Wednesday’s Child Program is a contracted partnership with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. A new vendor, the Idaho Child Welfare Resource and Training Center based in Coeur d’Alene, was recently awarded this contract through a competitive bid process. Formerly, Wednesday’s Child’s contracted partner was SNAPS, Special Needs Adoption and Permanency Services. “SNAPS has done incredible work for Idaho’s vulnerable children and adoptive families across Idaho for the last 17 years — many children have found their forever families through their programs. They laid amazing groundwork,” Idaho Wednesday’s Child Recruitment Coordinator Shannon Foust said. Children referred to Wednesday’s Child often come from situations of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment and have been placed in the foster care system. They are ready for a permanent family who will give them a chance to learn, play and grow in a nurturing environment. Interested families must be willing to provide a permanent home for the children and be willing to learn about parenting children who have experienced traumatic events. As of early January, there were 16 children in the program. For more information, go to idahowednesdayschild.org or facebook.com/IdWedChild; or contact Shannon Foust at sfoust@ewu.edu or call (208) 488-8989. Sources: www.snapsinc.org and idahowednesdayschild.org phones,” Shannon said. He was eventually transferred to Linwood, Wash., where the Fousts met a family just beginning their foster care journey. “They became our very close friends; they had just obtained their foster care license and were getting ready for their first foster children. I became the mom’s prayer partner,” Shannon said.

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ed the college education she had delayed for motherhood years back by attending Boise State and getting a degree in family studies and psychology. “I did mentoring for a while,” Shannon said, “and helped as a co-trainer. Then last year I became a main trainer.” Soon after that, she began her current position as recruitment coordinator with the Idaho Wednesday’s Child Program. When asked about the challenges of being a foster parent, Shannon thinks carefully before answering. “I think what catches people off guard is the level of hurt. The level of loss and hurt in the child is surprising, and also in the birth parents,” she said. “To hug a mom who herself has been hurt and is now losing her own child… It’s easy to parent well when you’ve been parented well.” She understands the feelings of people who have thought about becoming foster parents but backed off out of concern they couldn’t let go of the child when he or she was either adopted or returned to his or her birth family. “I encourage families who say, ‘I can’t do that; I’ll get too attached.’ … Sometimes it IS very painful. When we’ve gone through that, I think about the family the child belongs to.” The birth family, often including extended family members such as aunts, uncles and grandparents, has frequently also gone through worries and been concerned that the child who’s been taken away has been in good hands. She said staff at Wednesday’s Child is there for support when a foster family has to let a child go. “We’ll walk you through that,” she said. As a Christian, she has leaned on God for comfort. “There are things the Lord has put on my heart. I think about the moms in the Bible, like Moses’ mom or the two moms who came to Solomon. I’ve thought of that. I’ve thought of Abraham who was asked to sacrifice Isaac. I’ve thought of Jesus’s mom, who had to trust the Father for the outcome of that. The Bible has lots of examples of releasing our kids to God.” Shannon is now 48 and has come a long way from the time she stumbled into her calling by showing up for a job that didn’t exist. God used every circumstance in her life to prepare her to help children who need love. “It’s going great,” she said. g

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Then in her late 20s, Shannon began to strongly consider becoming a foster parent herself; Greg felt the same stirring. “He really fell in love with those kids,” she said. The couple started the foster care process in Washington in 1998. According to Shannon, both she and Greg experienced the feeling something big was going to happen on December 1. “It was going to be an amazing day,” she said. Greg got a call telling him he was being transferred again, this time to Idaho. His employer wanted him in Boise by December 1, so the Fousts packed up and headed for the Gem State. They were parents of three biological children — a boy and two girls. They thought their family was complete, to the extent that Greg got a vasectomy. Shannon was on board with the vasectomy, but afterwards, she began to feel a strong desire to have another baby. Greg agreed and went and had the procedure reversed. The couple became the parents of a fourth biological child, a little girl. At 30, Shannon didn’t yet feel it was time to become a foster mom. But when her youngest child was 3, God began to work on both her and Greg. “He put on our hearts to be open to having more kids, asking us if we trusted Him to provide. He broke our hearts wide open,” Shannon said. “The fourth child increased our faith for more of what God had in mind. In the fall of 2004, we got our foster care license in Idaho.” In December of that year, they got their first foster child. They have since fostered 10 children and adopted four of them. They even went through a time when Greg was out of work for two years, taking odds-and-ends jobs as he could get them. They questioned whether they should care for foster children if they couldn’t bring them into a home that wasn’t problem-free. “We prayed and decided kids need to see families go through hard times and not implode. We all worked together and saw the hand of God provide for us. We cut back and took care of each other,” Shannon said. In 2007, Shannon was asked to be a peer mentor in a new program the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was starting along with the Idaho Child Welfare Research and Training Center (ICWRTC). The mentoring program utilizes experienced foster parents to help new foster parents through the licensing process and their first placements. In the meantime she complet-

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March / April 2017 | Christian Living 29


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By Gaye Bunderson The 13th annual Caldwell Prayer Walk will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Caldwell Memorial Park Bandshell. Head organizer Arlene Robinet said approximately 30 people have shown up in recent years for the event. “We pray about Caldwell becoming more prosperous and a better place to live, and we pray for the officials of Caldwell — the mayor, city government, the police,” Robinet said. Robinet sends out letters and flyers in advance of the walk to about 40 churches throughout the valley, and different pastors attend the walk and pray at the different places where the group stops. “We have a beginning prayer before we start and then we go to the police station; we stop there and pray. Then we go to City Hall and stop there and pray. We

come back up Harrison and then come back to the park and have an ending prayer,” Robinet said. A potluck follows the prayer walk, and Robinet tries to arrange to have live music during the potluck. For more information, call Robinet at 459-1012.

March is Aging-out Awareness Month in Idaho. Every week, youths in foster care are turning 18 and aging-out. JEMfriends, a local organization that helps aging-out youth, wants to make sure that every one of them gets the support they need. Help spread the knowledge. Contact JEMfriends at (208) 863-0222 so they can meet with your business, church or social group, and find ways to support aging-out youth together. Learn more at www.jemfriends.org.

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Looking Out For Your Next Move

March is Aging-out Awareness Month

Dougherty As Peggy and Jakoub were leaving on a Sunday to get back to work, our middle son, David, came up with his friend Darren to hunt with me. The weather was changing. It was mid November and time for the rut, or mating season. Monday morning we went to one of our spots. As we started to hunt I was showing Darren a bottle of female estrus and how you dip in the felt pad and place it in a baggy. Darren suddenly whispers, “There’s a deer.” About 60 yards away a curious buck walked out, checking out the smell. David said, “Don’t move, Dad.” I plugged my ears as he used me as a rest. He shot a nice-bodied 3-point. The next day Darren left, and David and I went to visit our good friend Greg Kimball. He was the athletic director at Vallivue before he retired. Greg had drawn a doe tag in a unit he was unfamiliar with, but one I knew very well. The next day he met me there. He got his doe. The last morning of our hunt David slept in while I went back to where Greg had got his doe. It was only about 10 minutes away. I saw a buck there the night before. As I walked the trail that morning, I was deeply moved by the beauty that surrounded me and felt

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God’s presence. It was good to be alive! As I was heading back to the pickup I had a sudden inspiration to stop and sit on a stump and give my deer call a hot doe bleat. Seventy steep yards below, a buck walked to the edge of the trees. I shot and he dropped. I bled him out but did not clean him because of all the fresh wolf tracks around. I went back to get my son’s help. About 40 minutes later on, seeing the wedged deer and steep terrain my son said that I could have never got him out myself. We dressed him out and together got him to the game cart and back to the pickup. We were on are way home that afternoon. I pray God grants me the health to hunt a few more years. There is nothing like spending quality time with friends and family. g

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