Christian Living March April '18

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Equines & eager youngsters

BOISE’S Got Faith

Facing down cancer


& Easter

Ways to make it meaningful

Husbands & wives Becoming one financially

Mike Howard, standing, of Blazing Hope Family Youth Ranch and Brooke Hamilton


the Shadow

of the




He is not here

HE has RISEN! Just as He said… d

Matthew M h 28 28-6

Equipping you to impact the world for Jesus Christ • 208.377.3790 •

Contents March / April 2018 Features

Rescue Mission holding can drive, contest

Vineyard Christian Academy: ‘Model’ education

Gather, Scatter, Matter:

Three important words

Cruelty next door: When bullies move in

Boise’s Got Faith: The Nebeker family

Cover Story —

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” — Deuteronomy 33:12


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Columns 6

Real Man’s Toolbox: Men, women and God


Notes from Home: Kids and Easter’s message

This: 12 Consider Easter’s

‘Miracle Meaning’

Health: 24 Maximum The power of fasting Brighter Side: 26 The Christian nation?

Blazing Hope:

Faith, horses and kids

Feed My Sheep: Bible-based story

Your life: God’s call




14th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk planned

29 Quaker Village auction 29 Saint or sheep thief?: People change

‘Coach ‘em up’:

A positive influence

Kids & compassion:

Teaching hardship’s value

30 32



Challenging Faith: Black Crab Syndrome

Departments 18 Understanding Relationships:

Individually together

Daily Bread: 22 Your Becoming one financially

In Each Edition 4

Publisher’s Corner: A song about believing 27 TREES WILL BE REPLANTED AS A RESULT OF THIS ISSUE Christian Living Magazine is proud to be part of the printreleaf program that calculates the trees consumed to produce this issue and “releafs” by planting trees in certified forests around the world.

Volume 6, Number 2 Publisher Sandy Jones Editor Gaye Bunderson Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen 208-713-6357 • Scott McMurtrey 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Steve Jones Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Hilary Cobb, Roxanne Drury, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Leo Hellyer, Ron Kern, Vincent Kituku, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Gary Moore, Mairyn Owen and Dan Woodworth 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 2018 by Christian Living Ministries Inc. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at Annual subscriptions available for $10/year. To start your subscription or give one as a gift send your check or money order, along with complete address information, and a phone number to call in case there’s questions about your subscription to Christian Living Magazine, PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680.

Christian Living | March / April 2018 3


Enjoying a song about believing

they had doubts and reservations. As much as I By Sandy Jones would love to wear the big “SC” for Super ChrisSpring is just around the corner, although tian on my chest, I know that I’m a mere human, today it feels like it has already sprung. The birds the same as them, and, just like them, Jesus loves are back, my tulips are up, my miniature carname! tions are blooming — please realize that I’m And He’s comin’ back again! Oh what a writing this in February. We should just barely be glorious day that will be! Christ Himself said in through January’s fog and grey gloominess; this John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I has been the mildest winter I can recall. More will come back and take you to be with me that you also blue skies and sunshine than I can ever rememmay be where I am.” What a magnificent promise! ber during an Idaho winter. As we enter and celebrate the Easter season, Each winter I look forward to spring and Easter it would be my hope that you are filled with with zeal. After months of cold, grey weather, I the Hope and Promise that Jesus Christ came welcome the warm sunshine and look earnestly to deliver! for the first hints of new life in my flower beds, anxiously waiting for the grass to turn green. Yes, I am a Spring/Summer girl, but more than that, Sandy Jones A Note From Sandy: it’s as if God is reminding me of Jesus’ promised Many of you have inquired about our non-profit resurrection through these “signs.” application status. In January we received a request from the IRS On a recent Sunday morning in church, we sang the Newsto do two things. These items were completed and proof submitboys' “We Believe.” Standing next to my husband I belted out ted to our Determination Specialist (who has been wonderful to the familiar chorus, and as I did so I found myself really thinking work with) on February 8. At deadline we are simply waiting to about what I was singing. hear back. We believe in God the Father! The imagery that accompaThank you to everyone who has been instrumental in getting nies that line takes my breath away — this is The Creator of the us to this point —our advertisers, without whom we would never universe. get to print (please shop them and thank them for their support); We believe in Jesus Christ! This is the same Jesus who you our readers; our wonderful staff; and the many, many who came as God in flesh, and walked 33 sinless years here on earth. have prayed for us, encouraged us, and cheered us on! Because We believe in the Holy Spirit! And He’s given us new of all of this support we believe that we are making a difference life! These lines always make me reflect on Acts 4:31 (NIV): — with website visitors from all over the U.S. & Canada, and 41 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And countries around the world. We have readers who subscribe to our they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” free e-subscription (via our website) as far away as Mexico and It’s usually at this point that I ask myself if I speak the word of Germany. God boldly enough. We share the hands and feet of Christ at work here in our comWe believe in the crucifixion! Oh yes, the visions of Jim munity by sharing about various non-profits and organizations Caviezel in “The Passion of the Christ” always, always flash that are making a difference. Groups like The Closet; INsideOUT through my memory at this point. I know many thought these Salon; JEM Friends; Hands of Hope Northwest; The Shoe That scenes were too graphic, but what if they were accurate, or, even Grows; the Boise Rescue Mission; faith-based recovery programs; worse, what if, as many biblical historians believe, it was only a local Christian schools; Love, Inc.; Cowboys for Christ; Fellowfraction of the punishment inflicted upon our precious Jesus? ship of Christian Athletes; prison ministries; and most recently We believe that He conquered death! Oh how I envy PRAYnsters — this list goes on and on, I apologize for those I Mary on the path that morning! Imagine arriving at an empty missed due to lack of space. tomb, only to meet Jesus Himself, face to face. I’m a chatterbox, We have regular contributors who donate their time, talent, and love to deliver good news; what a joy it must have been to expertise and energy. There simply aren’t enough words of gratirun tell the disciples ‘He’s alive!' tude to adequately thank them for what they share with you, our We believe in the resurrection! It was prophesized and readers, and the difference they make in our community. yet the disciples doubted. Would I? Do I have any deeper faith? Thanks for checking in May God Bless you! Until next time…n How could I? They physically walked daily with Jesus, and still

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REAL Man’s Toolbox

Thoughts on men, women and God By Leo Hellyer

Ed Stetzer wrote an article for Christianity Today in 2014 that stated that “Men Treat God created man (or mankind) in His own Women with Respect.” He listed out a few image, in the image of God He created him; ways that real men think about and treat male and female He created them. women: Men don’t buy into the notion that — Genesis 1:27 women are objects. Men have enough selfcontrol to wait. Men respect, rather than How does life work with men and women? exploit, women. Women are not images, but Well, looking on the surface, it would appear image bearers. not very well, if all you paid attention to was the media. We have heard the names — Jimmy When any of us take our eyes and minds Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Michael English, Ben off of God’s wisdom and direction, we get off Vereen, Mario Batali, Steven Seagal, Matt course very quickly. It doesn’t take long for Lauer and Harvey Weinstein — in association things that are clearly wrong in God’s eyes to with men who have taken advantage of women Leo Hellyer become gray in ours, and eventually they can in their lives in one way or another. Honestly, become perfectly acceptable in our eyes. we cannot point our fingers solely at these men. This issue is much larger than just these few men. We all are God is very clear about how He wants us to live in this area going through spiritual warfare on a daily basis, and one of of our lives. Some examples include: Satan’s favorite places to attack us is in the area of sexual integrity. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within A long-term (5-year) survey was conducted that revealed that me.” — Psalm 51:10 68 percent of Christian men, and 50 percent of pastors, view “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid pornography regularly. After men view pornography for a period of time, they many times will turn to acting out physically sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own on what they have seen in print or on a screen. body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the God has a plan for men and women and how they are to be pagans, who do not know God...” — 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 in relationship with each other. There are two items (in addition to the Bible) that men can put into their toolbox to live life It is time that we in the church stop pretending that sexual in relationship with women in a constructive, positive, honoraddictions are not present in the church. I would venture to ing way. The first is a book written by William M. Struthers say that sexual addictions are in every church. Addictions do titled, “Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain.” The other tool to put in your toolbox is “The not heal themselves. The first step to healing any addiction Conquer Series – The Battle Plan for Purity,” which is a collec- is admitting that the addiction is present. Once we admit the tion of DVD lessons. These lessons are presented by Dr. Ted addiction is present, then we need to turn the addiction over Roberts, who is a former Marine fighter pilot. to God and see how He brings about healing. We need brave Both of these tools point out that viewing pornography and men in our churches who will step up and be willing to put living a sexually permissive life are addictions. The viewing of on the whole armor of God, and will be willing to go into pornography and the acting out by taking advantage of woma fierce battle for their own souls, as well as the souls of the en, objectifying women, and abusing women result in changes in the male brain that mimic the changes in the brain that take other men in their body of believers. place when you use heroin. The same pleasure centers of the Men, let’s not be deceived by the glitter and glam around brain are stimulated, and the same neuropathways are estabus. Satan packages filth and death in appealing packaging. lished and built up. These addictions can be overcome by facing the enemy head We cannot seek Satan or man for answers. God wrote the instruction manual for living on this earth, the BIBLE. We on and battling for our lives. The use of these two tools can need to seek the Author if we want to find the true answers to bring about important life changes in men, and the women they are in relationship with. The most important tool in winour questions about how to live as a man. n ning this battle for our minds and souls is the Bible. God provides us with the tools necessary to win this conflict. We have Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been the responsibility to daily take up the “full armor of God.” married to his wife Norma for 45 years. The couple volunteered with the In Ephesians 6:10-20, we learn about the full armor of God. Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed Our armor does us no good if we do not put it on and use it by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for correctly. To all of the men who are reading this column, please choose Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. carefully where you look to determine how men are to act. Do Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms Instructor with not look at all actors, athletes, politicians, business leaders or Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about even Christian leaders. There are good and bad examples in Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at all of these categories of men. or 208-340-5544.

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Rescue Mission holding can drive, contest Boise Rescue Mission Ministries is holding its 7th Annual March to End Hunger Food Drive Campaign and Can Castle Contest. This is an opportunity for any business, church, group or family to collect cans of food and other non-perishables to help feed less fortunate men, women and children in the community. Each participating organization may use the items they collect to build a Can Castle creation and compete in the contest. There will be a Facebook voting event, and a Golden Can Trophy winner will be named. Beginning March 1 and ending March 31, participants throughout the Treasure Valley begin collecting food. Can Castle photos must be submitted by midnight on March 31. Voting will take place on Facebook April 2-4. The Can Creation does not have to be a castle, so participants may be as creative as they like. If a participant would only like to collect food and not be a part of the Can Castle Contest, that is okay as well. Contact Kelsey Verbanac at 208343-2389 for delivery of a collection barrel and Can Castle information pack. Last year, 10,117 pounds of food were collected during the March to End Hunger Campaign. Leading up to the summer months, when giving is leaner, this food is essential to serve Boise Rescue Mission Ministries’ homeless guests in Boise and Nampa.n

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Boise Rescue Mission’s Can Castle Contest allows participants to get creative with collected cans of food, with the possibility of winning a trophy. (Photo courtesy of Boise Rescue Mission)

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VINEYARD Christian Academy

Where homeschool and classroom learning meet

Vineyard Christian Academy students (front to back) Jacob, TJ and Taylor study in their weekly computer class, where they learn keyboarding skills and gain confidence using the computer for math, research and writing. (Photo by Cassie Zimmerman)

By Gaye Bunderson Homeschooling success stories abound, and for good reason. Many homeschooled children perform well academically and socially and are prepared by age 18 to take the next step in their educational journey: going to college. But there are some homeschool failures as well, and that’s where models such as Vineyard Christian Academy in Boise step in to fill the gaps, still utilizing a homeschooling program but combining it with classroom instruction. The Academy, formerly known as Vineyard Christian Home School Co-op, needed to revisit its program when one of its ninth grade students wanted to transfer to Rocky Mountain High School to play football. Rocky Mountain, not satisfied the student met required State of Idaho educational standards, made him retake the ninth grade. That’s when the Co-op faced a dilemma, according to Annie Anderson, now principal of Vineyard Christian Academy. It needed to guarantee it was meeting state academic standards and that its graduates could transfer to a public school, if they wanted, and ultimately move on to a university. Since there are homeschooling parents who aren’t adequately trained to teach certain subjects, the idea behind the Co-op was to hold classes for students two days a week, while on the remaining days the youngsters were schooled at home by parents. The Co-op needed to build on that concept by becoming certified and, ultimately, accredited. “We needed a pathway,” Anderson said. She found it in a program called NAUMS, or National Association of University-Model Schools. According to a NAUMS brochure, “This model of education takes the best attributes of homeschooling and combines them with the best attributes of traditional, Christian education.”

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It’s a “chalkboard and kitchen table” style of learning. It allows parents who want their children to be schooled in a safe environment with a Christian worldview — and who also want to be actively engaged in teaching their own children — to pair with qualified teachers who excel in their areas of expertise. It also seeks to prepare students who want to pursue higher education. “It was a huge endeavor,” Anderson said. NAUMS scrutinized the Co-op, broadly looking into every nook and cranny to make sure it was worthy of certification. But it came out on top and is now NAUMS-certified. The certification was granted in May of 2017; this spring, the Academy is anticipating accreditation through AdvancED, NAUMS’ accreditor. “NAUMS was a miracle for me,” Anderson said. When the Co-op gained its certification — eventually becoming the Academy to reflect its new standards — its educational model shifted. During the Co-op’s 25-year history, parents felt they were the educational drivers and would sometimes give the teachers push-back over their more stringent requirements. “Homeschoolers tend to be independent. But as a school, we needed to set a standard. The change was a culture shift. We were asking for academic rigor. Pure homeschoolers didn’t like the shift, and some left,” Anderson said. Ultimately, the biggest question to be dealt with was: “What’s best for the children?” With that in mind, parents and teachers now work together in a way that benefits the youngsters most, all in accordance with NAUMS’ structure. Anderson sees parents and teachers as a team. “We have to be united for the children,” she said, explaining that parents and teachers must respect one another and recognize one is not more important than the other in the role of educating children.

“Teachers are the education experts; parents are the child experts, and they know their kids. They know how they learn and what motivates them. We will not be successful if our parents and teachers don’t have a partnership,” she said. The current academic model at Vineyard Christian Academy is for children in grades K-8 to come to school three days a week — Monday, Tuesday and Thursday — then take home a teacher-prepared lesson plan for them and their parents to work on together at home. “Our teachers work really hard on the lesson plans for parents,” Anderson said. “And parents must be engaged on their days. They’re choosing a challenging way, and they need incredible commitment.” One such parent is Megan Osborne of Boise, whose third grader and fourth grader attend Vineyard Christian Academy. She praised the in-class experiences her children get, while also extolling the value of having the children learn at home two days a week. “I love the intentionality it gives to family time,” Osborne said. “My kids go deeper into the objectives of what the teacher has assigned. It’s not burdensome in the sense of busywork and just getting grades. They enjoy learning. “We don’t even use the word ‘homeschool’; we say ‘university model’. They teach it and then we practice it at home. My kids have different learning styles and learning needs, and I’m able to work with them in that way. I call myself a co-laborer with the teachers.”

Committed parents and highly qualified teachers who know their subjects are a match that Anderson has gotten behind from the beginning of her career. As someone who sees herself as “born to teach,” she always conceptualized a bond between parents and teachers. As principal at Vineyard Christian Academy for seven years, she’s worked on her objective of partnering “with every single parent.” “Having this for seven years has been a miracle,” she said. “It’s dovetailed with everything I’ve thought about teaching, and all my goals.” Currently, there are 105 students enrolled in Vineyard Christian Academy and 12 teachers, some with college degrees and others certified through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. “They all have a natural gift,” Anderson said. Plans are on the drawing board for a Vineyard Christian Academy high school in the not-too-distant future. One thing the principal is especially proud of is the teacher-to-student ratio at the Academy. Each class has only 16 students in it, allowing for plenty of one-on-one time for each student and his or her instructor. Twenty different churches are represented among the school’s staff and student body. “That’s the DNA of Vineyard,” Anderson said. “It’s always sought to be ecumenical.” n For more information about Vineyard Christian Academy, go to

Christian Living | March / April 2018 9

NOTES From Home

Ways to share Easter’s message with kids

The Grigg youngsters (a few years back) scurry around picking up plastic Easter eggs. In this article, their mother offers some tips on how to make Easter meaningful for children. (Photo provided by Dani Grigg)

By Dani Grigg Today I asked my 5-year-old, Andy, what he knows about Easter, and he said, “It’s Jesus’ birthday!” Not quite true, but I’ll take it! His first thought was Jesus, and that’s a win. We talked about how Easter actually celebrates when Jesus came back to life after He died, and Andy said, “That’s what I said.” Pretty dang close, buddy. My 7-year-old nailed it, though. He said, “It’s when Jesus was resurrected, of course!” Then I asked about Easter memories and he started to list the contents of Easter baskets past. The 5-year-old chimed in to mention the handfuls of Airheads from a couple years ago. Easter is a gorgeously holy holiday. At Christmas we often see the letters J, O and Y displayed on people’s mantles and in their wreaths, but Easter is equally joyful. I’m glad my children have been feeling the joy of Airheads at Easter, but I want them to have some more sacred memories, too. At Easter time, our family absolutely goes to church, where we listen to special talks and sing special songs, and we focus on the atonement and resurrection more specifically in our home lessons. Those traditions are special to adults, but it occurs to me that maybe children need some Christ-centered Easter traditions that are more visual and interactive. So I’ve scoured the internet for you, and I now present to you some excellent Easter ideas for children: • Do a Christ-centered egg hunt, where each egg contains a small object relating to a scripture about the last week of Christ’s life. You don’t even have to come up with your own

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ideas for contents; there are plenty of blog post tutorials. The best part is that the last egg of the story is empty, cuing a conversation about the Savior’s empty tomb. • Make resurrection rolls. You wrap a marshmallow in sweet roll dough and as it bakes, it hollows out, once again symbolizing the empty tomb. Memorable, for sure! • Have your kids help you make an Easter Garden. In a smallish pot, half bury a smaller pot or hollowed-out clay ball to represent a tomb. Use stones to make a path, fashion a cross from twigs and plant small plants to fill the garden. Use your scene to talk about the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. You can swathe a small figure in cloth on Friday night and remove it from the tomb on Sunday morning. • Fill a book with pictures from past Easters and make sure to take new photos of loved ones gathered on future Easters. • If you’re a grandparent, visit your grandchildren at Easter time and make sure they know that you believe in Christ and His resurrection. • Hide treat-filled eggs in another family’s front yard, also leaving an Easter message for them. • Put out extra pictures of our Savior. • Visit loved ones’ graves and talk about your gratitude for the knowledge that they still live because of what happened on Easter. • Watch the sunrise together on Easter morning. As life begins to re-emerge from the earth all around us, I’m excited to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. And I’m excited to make this Easter a memorably meaningful one for my children, too. n

‘GATHER, Scatter, Matter’

Three little words that define life

Sigh... But I wouldn’t exchange a moment of it By RM Drury for all the coffee at Dutch Bros. because there was “Gather, Scatter, Matter.” I first heard these words also laughter and sweet times. We would hear about put together at a church meeting. Leadership was how one brother stuck up for another brother. Or sharing and encouraging the folks who come to the how our boys were watching out for their little church to commit to partnering with the church by sister. We would hear about field trips and what gathering regularly, scattering by engaging in the they learned. We would hear about who likes who community inside and outside of the church, and and the boy/girl drama. We would hear about making a difference (mattering) by using our Godwhat happened when our children sang at the old given time, treasure and talents through service, folks’ home or served meals to the needy with the generosity and finances — again inside and outside Boy Scouts. We saw them scattering and making a of the church. difference (mattering) in the lives of each other and This is a scriptural concept and not something the lives of people outside our family. that is new. I had just never heard it summed up in In Matthew 13:4-9, Jesus told a parable of a this way and wrapped up in a nice, neat package. farmer who scattered seeds. The farmer first has to Thank you, church! gather his seeds, then he can scatter them. But once Gather: Hebrews 10:23-25 RM Drury scattered, only some of the seeds landed on good Scatter: Acts 2:42-47 soil — only some of the seeds mattered. In verses 18-23 of that Matter: Ephesians 4:1-16 As I thought about the concept of Gather, Scatter, Matter, I saw so same chapter, Jesus explains the parable. What I see is that if the much more than just how this can apply to church life. This concept farmer never gathered or scattered, none of the seeds would have mattered. applies to our daily lives as well. Think about life is all Gather, Scatter, Matter are intertwined. But it starts with gatherabout Gather, Scatter, Matter. As parents we gather our kids around ing. Whether you gather at the dinner table, gather on Facebook, the dinner table or we pile them all in the car to go on vacation. gather with a group of friends, or gather in the church, that’s where Then when they are grown, they scatter — going to college, getting married, getting jobs. And hopefully, if we have done our job as par- it starts. For once you gather, seeds of life and love will be scattered, and it ents properly, we have made a positive impact on their lives. What will matter. we have done as parents mattered. In turn we see each child gather, “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand scatter and matter in their personal life, at their workplace, and in God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as the scope of their own little family. much as had been planted!” — Matthew 13:23 (NIV) n In our home, when our children were growing up, we sat at the dinner table every evening. This was a time of regrouping and reconnecting, touching base with each child. This was our gathering Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired Christian preschool teacher with a Certificate of Achievement in Early Childhood Education from time. It wasn’t always pretty...there was spilt milk, lap chops (that is Moorpark College. She is a former insurance executive and trainer. She has served our term for when a child cuts his or her meat and it lands in his or the Lord for over 40 years in a church setting in many capacities, with most of her lap), and disagreements: her time spent in children’s ministry. Her heart is sharing God’s Word and its life “Mo-om, he’s looking at me!” application through her blog at “Mo-om, she’s sitting too close!”


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Christian Living | March / April 2018 11


‘The Miracle Meaning of Easter’

Many people quote part of Jeremiah 17:9, By Dan Woodworth I invite you to explore the idea of “The “The heart is deceitful above all things,” without inMiracle Meaning of Easter.” cluding verses 5-10 in the context of what Our When you hear the word Easter, what do you Loving Lord is speaking. Look at verses 5-10 in feel? Do you feel springtime and hope? Do you The Message: feel excitement and fun with Easter egg hunts? 5-8 – Cursed is the strong one who depends Do you feel the resurrection of Christ? Do you on mere humans, who thinks he can make it believe He was resurrected from the dead about on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead 2,000 years ago? weight. He’s like a tumbleweed on the praiI feel all of those things. You may feel some or rie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives all of those things or none of them. The word rootless and aimless in a land where nothing Easter evokes many different ideas and feelings grows. But blessed is the man who trusts in all of us. me, God, the woman who sticks with God. Traditionally, we as Americans recognize and They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting celebrate Easter the Sunday after Palm Sunday down roots near the rivers — never a worry each spring. We also observe Good Friday and Dan Woodworth through the hottest of summers, never dropEaster Sunday on the same weekend. The crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus ping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh Christ are all interconnected. Many times we say that Jesus fruit every season. died for us so we can be forgiven of our sins and go to heaven. 9-10 – The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a Other times we say that He rose from the dead without any puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the connection to His death. heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the huLet’s look at the Word of God and we will see what it says man. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really about Jesus’ death and resurrection in Romans 4:25 in the are, not as they pretend to be. Greek: Let’s listen to Jesus reveal the truth that He tells us related to [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our transgressions the condition of the good heart of people in Luke 8:15 in the and raised for our justification. Greek: Jesus did die to take away our sins. Have you ever thought of But as for that in the good soil — these are the ones, who why Jesus was raised from the dead? He was raised from the having heard with an honest and good heart, hold firmly dead for our justification. What does justification mean? onto the word and bear fruit through patient endurance. The Greek word “dikaiosis” is the word we translate into The Greek word for “good heart” is “agathos.” That word English as “justification.” The root meaning is the act of “promeans “generous, upright and virtuous.” nouncing righteous,” or acceptance or acquittal or justice. In The heart of a person is revealed through his or her actions. other words, God has accepted us. He has made us righteous just like Jesus is. A wicked and deceitful heart reveals wicked and deceitful beBecause of Jesus’ resurrection, you and I experience divine havior. A good and generous heart reveals good and generous approval. When I hear that, I feel a miracle! It is difficult to behavior. explain that miracle in words. Let me share a point of view from the Hebrew culture that I Let’s explore this truth to experience it in a greater dimenheard from my good friend, David Edery, who was one of my sion. What do I feel when He declares that because He rose class members in my Doctor of Ministry experience. from the dead for me, I experience His divine approval? David was a rabbi in a very wealthy synagogue in HolI feel loved. I feel accepted. I feel valued. I feel worthy. I feel lywood. When he asked Christ to come into his life, he was peace. I feel joy. kicked out with no job and no home. Our Dean of Doctoral What do you feel? Do you feel that you aren’t worthy? Do Studies, Dr. Wess Pinkham, invited David to live with him. you feel like there has to be some kind of catch? Do you feel David told me one day that he did not understand the that you really can’t be that good? After all, we have been Western Christian viewpoint of salvation. He told me that we taught in our Western Christian culture that we have a heart see salvation as (just) a ticket to go to heaven. He said in the of depravity. We have been taught that we are no good. We have been taught that we are just lowly sinners saved by grace. Hebrew culture they see God as good and the earth as good. They see that the gift of God is His love to people, and they We have been taught that our hearts are desperately wicked enjoy loving relationships with people. and we are totally unworthy. The question I am asking is: What is The Miracle Meaning Let’s look at Our Loving Lord speaking to us in Romans 8:1 of Easter? in the Greek: Why have we believed the tradition we have been taught? Let There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are me suggest to you that we have looked at the death and resurin Christ Jesus. Period. No if ’s, and’s or but’s. rection from a “sin consciousness” instead of a “righteousness Look at the perspective from our Loving Lord. Jesus was consciousness” mindset. In other words, are we looking at His raised from the dead by our Father in heaven through the death and resurrection from our own human point of view, or power of the Spirit. Why was He resurrected? Because He are we looking at it from His point of view? loves us and wants us to live in His life!

12 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

Let’s look at the Living Word written through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17 in the Greek: And if Christ has not been raised from the dead, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. Let’s see what our Loving Lord speaks in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 in the Greek: The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Victory over what? Victory over sin and death! We also see His love and grace in action when He speaks through Paul in Romans 6:14 in the Greek: For sin will not have mastery over you, since you are not under the law, but under grace! No resurrection, no grace! Listen to His Voice in Acts 4:33: And with great power the apostles continued to give the testimony of the “Resurrection” of the Lord Jesus and great “grace” was upon them all! I believe our Loving Lord deeply desires for us to experience the day-to-day reality of the application of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our lives. Through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ we can live though Christ now. Our Loving Lord wants to encourage all of us together with His words in Colossians 3:1-3: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth, for you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

If Christ lives in us, we have an opportunity to live in the newness of life with Christ. We can live the way He created us to live — from above! n Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be reached at


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Christian Living | March / April 2018 13

BUDDY or bully?

When cruelty moved in next door The Bully Basics

Here are some basics that you should know about the dynamics that take place between bullies and their victims. • Bullies make sure their victims believe that no one can save them. Not even adults. • Bullies make it clear that telling would make things worse, not better, for the victim. • Bullies thrive in the dark world of secrets. • Bullies are often being bullied at home. • When victims don’t tell on bullies, the bullies grow stronger and bolder. • When victims believe no one can help them, bullies stay safely hidden in the darkness. • When victims tell adults about bullies, it shines the light on what is going on!

10 Steps to Dealing with a Bully

By Janet Lund Smiles often bring joy to my heart, but on rare occasions they do the opposite. I have never understood why. Not until just a few weeks ago. It all started with a smile... during a conversation with my loving husband. He made an innocent suggestion. While doing so, he smiled. It triggered something negative in me. I didn’t receive his message well. So, we talked it through and I got some helpful insights. That was good. But, deep down I knew there was something more. But what? Something about… the smile.

Friend or Foe?

The next morning, I woke up still wondering. Then a memory poured over me like hot water on a sunburn… During the summer between 3rd and 4th grade a new family moved in next door to me. I was so excited. There were three kids. One just my age… we started out as friends. Pals. Just long enough for him to get to know me. I was shy, sweet spirited, enjoyed his company and desperately needed a friend. I was the perfect target. Before I knew what happened, my fun new friend turned into my worst nightmare neighbor. The change started gradually but quickly became the norm. He said cruel things when we were alone. Other times he saved them for a crowd. Boy, he loved a crowd. They feared him, too. He loved to point out how I was unworthy. He wanted me to believe I was broken. He also convinced me that I couldn’t tell anyone about how he was treating me. If I did, he would know, and this would be very bad… for me. I believed him. He loved that. Being both my next-door neighbor and classmate, he had access to me often and everywhere. My backyard, front yard, taunting me through my bedroom window, on the bus, at school. Everywhere. Can you guess what made the experience even worse? Before every verbal attack… he would smile. I never told anyone. Not until now.

14 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

Dealing with a bully in the neighborhood or on the playground is not uncommon. It is important to equip your child with the tools necessary to deal with a bully. 1. Spend time listening to your child/teen daily after school. 2. Talk about bullies starting today and keep the conversation going. 3. Teach your child “The Bully Basics.” 4. Discuss your kid’s options in dealing with a bully: • Calmly look the bully in the eye and tell them to stop. • Calmly walk away. • Always tell an adult, as soon as possible. 5. Point out how bullies try to scare their victims by: • Threatening the victim not to tell adults or things will get worse. • Threatening that no one can help you. • Threatening that no one will believe you. 6. Assure your child that bullies are afraid that you will tell on them. Knowing this helps potential victims realize that they have the power to do something.

Learn How Bullies Are Dealt With In Your Child’s Different Environments

Mom, get informed on how your child’s school, school bus drivers, and any organization your kid is involved in deal with bullies. A united front leaves no dark alleys for bullies to hide in. If there is no plan for dealing with bullies, take the lead and start making one. That way you can: 7. Confirm that adults will keep kids safe. 8. Assure your child that she/he will be safe.

Teach Leadership When Dealing with Bullies

It is important that your child/teen understands the powerful difference they can make by standing up for other kids who are getting bullied. So: 9. Teach your child how to stand up for other kids being bullied: • By calmly telling the bully to stop. • By calmly walking away with the other student.

• By going with the student to tell an adult immediately. 10. Inform your child that standing up for others will help by: • Teaching bullies that they will not get away with their behavior. • Showing victims that they aren’t alone in their experience. Now, pause and remember that a bully has feelings, too. One of those bullies might even belong to you. Let’s see where bullies come from and why they behave this way.

Janet Lund

5 Steps to Avoid Raising a Bully

Although this may bring a sense of vulnerability, reflect on your home life. It’s critical that you do. 1. Kids model what they see. If you or your spouse bully, abuse, or treat each other with disrespect, your child is likely to imitate this behavior when with their peers. 2. Feeling powerless is a gateway. Let’s assume your child sees you and/or your spouse abuse each other. This would make your child feel powerless at home. Kids try regaining some power in their life by bullying others. 3. Feeling invisible is a gateway. Your child needs your love and approval every day. If she doesn’t get that, she will feel forgotten. This can lead to feeling angry and resentful. If so, those feelings will be acted out on friends and classmates. 4. An attitude of entitlement is a gateway. Kids who get everything they demand and live without rules at home feel entitled. Getting what they want at home leads them to believe that is how the world works. So, they will continue to demand whatever they want wherever they go. 5. Commit to teach empathy. Some bullies come from loving, caring families. There are kids that come into this world with dominant personalities. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t learn empathy. Take the time to nurture empathy within your child. Teach the importance of putting others first, listening, and caring about other kids’ feelings. Redirect their natural dominance into positive leadership! Daily conversations with your child are how you make sure your child is not being bullied, or bullying other kids. Developing strong connection through daily conversation is KEY! Engage. Listen. Love. Mom Keep Calm. n Janet Lund is a relationship coach who specializes in nurturing the bond between moms and their teen/pre-teen daughters. She leads moms through coaching, speaking, and songwriting. Janet has spoken and performed in Canada, the United States, and Norway. Follow her on momkeepcalm and visit her website for parenting tools and words of support to be a calm mom.

Christian Living | March / April 2018 15

BOISE’S Got Faith

How the Nebeker family faced cancer A difficult diagnosis

Each year in the United States, more than 15,270 children are diagnosed with cancer ( childhood-cancers/child-adolescent-cancers-fact-sheet). Three years ago, Brynlee Nebeker, an active, spunky, loving 9-yearold, was one of those 15,270 kids. The Nebeker family’s story reveals how they found faith, hope, and love during their daughter’s battle with cancer and the power the gifts provided throughout the difficult journey.


The Nebeker family of Twin Falls includes dad Kellen, mom Stephanie, youngest daughter Ashlyn, top left, and oldest daughter Brynlee, top right. (Courtesy photo)

By Mairyn Owen Editor’s note: Mairyn Owen is a senior at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. She will graduate with a degree in communication (public relations emphasis) in May. She served as an intern for Boise’s Got Faith from January 2017-December 2017 and had the pleasure of getting to know the Nebeker family of Twin Falls. The following story is about how the family coped with a child’s cancer diagnosis. It’s easy to believe in God and His faithfulness when things are going in the right direction. When something unexplainable happens, though, our faith is challenged. In life, there are so many things that are out of our control — facing a serious illness, getting in an accident, losing your job, or the passing of a loved one, just to name a few. When it feels like life is under control, we tend to cling more to what we know as ours and less to what is His. As soon as something is knocked out of balance, we have no choice but to acknowledge our lack of control. In these times, we cling to our faith in a God that is bigger than anything that life may throw at us. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, we find the following well-known verse, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.” This comes from Paul as he is talking about the spiritual gifts the Corinthians had been given. He recognizes the value of these gifts, but he wants to emphasize that they are insignificant compared to what God offers His people through their belief in Him — faith, hope and love. When difficulties arise, these three gifts are there to point us to Him.

16 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

For Brynlee’s parents, Stephanie and Kellen, sticking to their faith was one of the hardest — but most reassuring — things they had to do during this stage of life. Before Brynlee was diagnosed, Stephanie had sensed that something was off. Following her instinct, she took Brynlee for a routine check-up, which confirmed her fears. … Her daughter needed to get to Boise to test for leukemia. As the Nebekers began to process the possibilities, they “were terrified, confused, shocked and just in disbelief,” they said. The next morning driving to Boise from Twin Falls, Stephanie felt a sense of unexplainable “calm.” She had already accepted the potential diagnosis and knew that she needed to be strong for Brynlee, her husband, and for Brynlee’s younger sister, Ashlyn. Moving forward from the doctor’s confirmed diagnosis, the Nebeker family struggled. That initial feeling of peace that Stephanie felt on the first visit to Boise came and went throughout the journey. “At the very beginning of Brynlee’s diagnosis … [we were] so confused why God would allow a child to have to go through all of this stuff. [But] we look back now, and … it’s incredible how everything just fell into place. We knew this is where our lives are meant to be, and it was God’s plan to get us here,” Stephanie said. As Brynlee’s fight with cancer continued, the Nebekers slowly drew closer to God. Even in the midst of their daughter’s battle — even when they weren’t aware or looking to Him — He was faithfully by their side, helping them each step of the way. As Stephanie shares, sometimes God knows what and who we need before we can understand what He is doing.


Finding hope when it seems hopeless was another challenge that the family had to face. The week before Brynlee’s diagnosis, the family moved into the same neighborhood as Stephanie’s brother. Not only did they have a support system a few blocks away, but they had a home for Ashlyn to stay at when they were taking Brynlee to treatments. Throughout the battle, having a support system nearby provided a sense of encouragement and reassurance that the family was never alone. Someone was always there to provide hope when discouragement tried to set in. In addition, hope isn’t something that you see or find every second of every day. According to Stephanie, “We [began to recognize] the small things we never even thought of before. Being able to put a ponytail back in Brynlee’s hair. Watching her be able to run without falling. Being able to treat her fever at home without having to go to the ER. These are beautiful things that only a family in our situation would understand.”

Sometimes, hope comes in the form of little blessings that you only know once you take a step back. Wherever there was a glimmer of hope, Kellen and Stephanie clung to it and kept moving forward. According to Stephanie, “If we had a hill to climb, by gosh, we were going to climb that hill with smiles on our faces. There was no other option for us.” As the journey continued, they eventually got to a point where they felt that Brynlee’s journey “was part of God’s plan,” which helped to provide the anchor point for their hope through the duration of their journey.


Faith and hope can be powerful together, but as Paul mentions in Corinthians, God offers us love, too — which Paul claims is the greatest gift there is. Love can be shown in many ways. The main way love was felt by the Nebeker family was through the support system they had through their family, friends, and community. First and foremost, their friends and family were there to help, love and support them through the entire battle. The Nebekers also created new friends specifically tied to Brynlee’s treatment, including Brynlee’s doctors, nurses, and the Child Life specialists with St. Luke’s Children’s Specialty Center in Boise who helped to reassure the family that everything was going to be okay. Along the way, the Nebeker family felt love through the community of other families facing the similar challenges. In the midst of her battle, Brynlee was selected as an honoree for Boise’s Got Faith, a non-profit organization that supports Idaho kids fighting cancer. For the Nebekers, being part of this group showed them the love of an incredible community. According to Stephanie, “It’s so heartwarming to be able to be part of this group of amazing families. They helped us through a lot and continue to guide us every day.” As of this year, Brynlee is excelling in the 3rd grade and loves soccer, golf, basketball and playing with her sister. This summer marks four years since her diagnosis. Each day, she is growing healthier, both mentally and physically.

Brynlee, right, and her younger sister, Ashlyn, enjoy a Boise’s Got Faith event. (Courtesy photo)

Not every family has to endure their child going through a fight with cancer, but every family faces personal battles. “Don’t try to control the uncontrollable,” Stephanie said. “As we all know, the more we recognize our inability to take control, the more we lean into God and rely on Him through the difficulties.” Regardless of what difficulties you may be facing, God freely offers the gifts of faith, hope and love in our greatest time of need.

Boise’s Got Faith overview

Boise’s Got Faith (BGF) is an entirely volunteer-run 501(c) (3) non-profit organization which has a passion for supporting Idaho kids (and their families) in their fight against childhood cancer. BGF seeks to come alongside Idaho families and provide emotional, spiritual, and financial assistance as these children fight for their lives. Each year, Boise’s Got Faith plans a family-friendly event the first Sunday in May that includes a kid’s “crazy sock” fun run, a silent auction and a family festival — all to raise funds to benefit each year’s BGF honorees. This year’s event will be held May 6 at Julia Davis Park in Boise. Since 2012, over $330,000 has been raised to help lessen the financial burden childhood cancer has placed on Idaho families. For more information, go to n

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 17


Husband and wife: individually together

By Gary Moore It’s the same for most married people in the I was not prepared for the amount of growth beginning. We’re so “happy” and so “in love” and change that happens in a marriage. And, that we don’t want to do anything that would I especially didn’t understand how growth and threaten that. So as best we can, we try to be change are normal in a healthy relationship that person we “sold” our spouses while we and that they will always be part of the marwere dating. We literally spend the balance of riage. our married lives discovering whom it is that we I think that when we think about change in a actually married. marriage, we think about the external pressures Thus, as our true selves begin to emerge, we on the relationship that cause change — cahave to change and adapt. And, this is withreer, children, etc. But when we think of them, out adding any other outside circumstances or we don’t realize how much those changes will pressures to the circle of life. This changing change each of us. And, if we each change, then the dynamics of the relationship are also and adapting takes place throughout our entire Gary Moore going to change. married life. Picture a circle. This circle represents your Change and adapting are scary. Will my 24-hour day. Draw pictures of you and your spouse in the spouse like me when she finds out who I really am? Will I like circle. Add representative figures for your job(s) and for church. my spouse when I find out who she really is? This probably represents pretty much the “simple world” of That’s one reason why we have to embrace marriage as a your beginning marriage. Now assume with me that about two covenant, not a contract. As a true covenant, there is a depth years into your marriage child number one comes. Draw a of lasting commitment that allows space for the discovery representative figure in the circle for your child. Now, because of our true selves in relationship. This depth of lasting comof your first child, all the relationships represented in your mitment provides the safety and surety I need to continually circle change whether you recognize it or not. They have to discover myself — and us — over and over again. because the circle’s size is a constant — 24 hours. Think of it this way. Marriage is like cycling. We start off Although we mentally know there have been changes, many times (most, for some) we expect the relationship with our riding the same bike. Many times one of us is riding on the spouse to stay the same — to remain constant. The truth is, handlebars while the other one pedals. The dependent partner even if we didn’t add something new into the circle, the relagoes along while the dominant partner supplies the power. tionship with our spouse would not remain the same. Then we get to that tension of discovery of who we really are In healthy relationships, there is a natural tension between and the pedaler drops the rider, or the rider kicks the pedaler continuing to grow as an individual and the need for the relaoff. We are both competing for the same bike, for the right to tionship to grow and mature. steer and control the speed and the brakes. Think about it for a minute. When we were dating our Then we mature and grow individually and relationally to spouse, we put our best foot forward. Guys, when we went to the point where we each have our own bikes. Now we ride pick her up for a date, we had clean clothes on. They were side-by-side, regulating our speed and choosing our common probably even ironed. We probably put on some after-shave or a splash of cologne. At the very least we used some deodor- direction. We ride separately together. Each supplies his or her ant. Our vehicle was clean inside and out. We were on our best own power. Each keeps his or her own bike going — somebehavior. times in tandem where one rides ahead of the other, but each Ladies, you were just the same. You put your best foot forkeeps the other in sight or mind. ward and tried to be as alluring as you knew how to be. We And finally, we mature and grow to the point where we’re were literally in a marketing campaign to win each other over. ready for a bicycle-built-for-two. Now we can both supply And, even though the other person began to learn more about equal power, or one of us can rest without being left behind. us over time, there were still areas of our personality that we Now we are truly riding individually together. n kept locked away. Even though we wanted them to know and like us, we didn’t really want them to “know” us. We put forth the person that we wanted them to like and fall in love with — 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 even though that really wasn’t our true self. for the past 11 years. He’s principal of .003 Coaching, providing life Thus, when we got married, we married the image that the coaching, couples’ coaching and business coaching locally and around the other person had sold us. We knew in our heart of hearts that country. He also does a weekly radio program on KBXL 94.1FM our spouse didn’t marry the person we really are. In fact, I didn’t really want my wife to find out everything about me on Fridays at 8:45 a.m. called Life Point Plus. He may be reached at right away.

18 March / April 2018 | Christian Living


d n u o r a g Horsin

Above: All the horses at Blazing Hope are tested for their gentleness and patience with youthful riders. One condition for riding the horses is that each youngster is expected to pitch in with chores at the ranch. Above sign: A small sign designates the spot where Mike Howard, a team of volunteers, and about 30 gentle horses welcome children and their families to come enjoy some fun on horseback. Left: Mike Howard has a lengthy history of ministry in the Treasure Valley. Now 70, he’s serving others through Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch in Caldwell. (All photos by Steve Jones)

20 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

Equines plus kids equals Blazing Hope

By Gaye Bunderson Michael Oris Howard has been known during his adult life as Pastor Howard, church leader; Michael Howard, newspaper columnist; and Mike Howard, director of the God and Country Rally in Nampa for 10-12 years. But now, he has a nickname and a ministry he never imagined he’d have: “Mr. Mike” runs the Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch in Caldwell. Put him in a corral with a group of horse riding youngsters and despite all the other hats he’s worn, Howard looks happy and right at home in his cowboy hat and dusty boots. Bob and Lauri Simmons are board members of Blazing Hope, and Lauri helped As he takes a short break from watching youngsters get on and negotiate the rescue of Freckles, one of the kindest horses at the ranch. off gentle horses, he walks up to the corral fence, peers over it, and both asks and answers his own question. “You want to know Howard offers a devotion and praise prior to the riding sessions, how did the ranch get started? God did it,” he said. but the horse riding is open to all children, regardless of religious He explained he went through a personal crisis and found him- affiliation. self starting over financially. For a short time, he left the ministry The roughly 30 horses at Blazing Hope give rides to 3,500 to and started selling cars. At the same time, he took up an interest 4,000 kids a year. The horses are a mix of donated and rescued in horses; he wanted to board horses on a piece of rented prophorses. erty. In about 2004, he got a couple of horses and a couple of Howard tells a story about an appaloosa named Freckles whose volunteer helpers — a Nampa Christian Schools student named owner in Twin Falls wanted to sell her just to get rid of her. One Megan and a disabled veteran and close friend, Bob Simmons, of the members on Blazing Hope’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit board, both of whom mucked stalls and helped Howard learn all he Lauri Simmons (Bob’s wife), called the man who bought Freckles could about caring for horses. — referred to as the “kill man” for taking horses and selling them Word got around about his new endeavor, and before he knew to animal factories — and asked if she could buy back the apit, he was back in ministry — this time, not behind a pulpit but paloosa. He said yes. He paid $200 for Freckles, but offered to sell on a ranch. her to Simmons for $500. “In 2005, a Christian family gave us this property we’re on now Simmons took the offer and now Freckles is a regular sight in the and invested $275,000,” he said. “They wish to remain anonyBlazing Hope corral. mous.” “I had to see if she was a good children’s horse, and she’s one of The location of Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch is 26512 the BEST children’s horses,” Howard said. Farmway Road. A small sign hangs near a barn, telling visitors He works with a new horse for 30 days to determine if it will be they’ve arrived, but the sounds of horses and happy young people kid-friendly. really announce the spot. Howard is originally from Oklahoma, where he did some horse “Pretty much everything is donated. That grass that came today riding, but he got back up to speed on equestrian skills more rewas donated,” Howard said. cently when a friend, Colleen Bennett, a former high school rodeo All the children ride for free, but donations are accepted. barrel racer, “refreshed” him on horsemanship skills. “I teach the kids how to ride horses, and I teach them the good Howard, who was a pastor for 35 years, including a youth pasold American work ethic. They all work,” said Howard, now 70. tor, loves what he does and makes sure the volunteers who assist Every child who comes out to Blazing Hope is expected to pitch him feel the same passion for the work. in with chores, from shoveling manure to feeding the horses. One “We love kids,” he said. Some of the volunteers are actually kids mother put it best. “You wanna ride, you gotta work,” Tanya themselves who are proficient in equestrian skills, but most of the Nakamura, mother of 9-year-old Emily, said. volunteers are caring adults. Nakamura said her daughter feels energized after coming out Children who come out to Blazing Hope include homeschooled to Blazing Hope. Both the work and the horseback riding benefit kids, kids from the Idaho Learning Center that is affiliated with her. Cole Valley Christian Schools, teens from Boise Rescue Mission, “Emily loves horses, and it steadies her and calms her,” Nakaand many others. mura said. Howard gives thanks and credit to everyone involved in making Another mom, Julie Hamilton, said her 15-year-old daughter Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch the success it is. “I have amazBrooke is also blessed by her experiences at Blazing Hope. ing volunteers. They make it so I can keep doing this,” he said. “She gets to spend time with the horses, learn how to work Said Hamilton: “He has a passion for it, that’s for sure.” n hard, and learn how to work with horses and other people,” Hamilton said. “Mike has been a blessing in our life. My daughBlazing Hope Youth Family Ranch is open all year long for kids to come ride ter has always loved horses. Out here, they not only get to share horses (unless the weather is unusually severe). For more information, find their love for Christ, but they learn how to care for horses and get Blazing Hope on Facebook or join the closed group at https://www.facebook. riding lessons. It gives them confidence.” com/groups/BlazingHopeYouthFamilyRanch/.

Christian Living | March / April 2018 21

YOUR Daily Bread

Helping couples become one in finances


pate in these activities. How do you deal with this? By Terry Frisk Just like viewing income as contributed equally My wife and I are celebrating 40 years of pure by each spouse, couples must recognize how they wedded bliss this year. OK, maybe it hasn’t been spend or save their money may not be equal, all rainbows and unicorns. But, we have always and they must come to an agreement about this. been faithful to the vows we made to each other Throughout our marriage, my wife has always when we were first married. One of those vows, driven a nicer car than me. I have never given it a “…for richer and for poorer...”, has really had second thought that her car cost more than mine. an impact on our marriage. How we treat our She deserves it for the joy she has brought to our finances is an expression of our faith in God and marriage. our love for each other. Here are some tips to help you and your spouse One of the first decisions we made after getting achieve financial harmony in your marriage: married was how to handle our finances. Should 1. Remember that everything you have we maintain separate bank accounts or combine is a gift from God. God intends for you to be them into a joint account? At the time, I was generous with your financial resources. Practice still in college and my wife was the breadwinner. that generosity with each other. Maybe I was considering my own self-interests, Terry Frisk 2. Work together to develop a budget. Recbut it made sense at the time to pool our finances ognize that achieving each other’s goals may not necessarily mean into one account. Through the years, we learned the wisdom of individual spending is equal. This may require compromising. combining our finances. Our finances were an open book and 3. Give each other latitude to spend the budgeted there were no secrets about how our money was spent. But, most finances as each sees fit. But, consult one another on major importantly, it equalized our contribution to the financial pool. purchases. Throughout our time together, there were years where I earned 4. Hiding income and spending is a recipe for disaster. more than my wife and years where she earned more than I did. You must be transparent with each other to build the trust necesBecause we pooled our incomes into a joint account, we viewed sary for a successful marriage. our income as equally contributed by both. During our 40 years together, my wife and I have worked Couples with separate bank accounts have the added stress of through many financial issues together. We probably disagree on who pays for what. Quite often the spouse with higher income issues as much as we agree. But, through prayer and open commuuses this financial leverage to wield power over the lower income nication, we have worked through our financial struggles together. spouse. This is not what marriage is about. In Matthew 9:5 Jesus Those conversations are not easy, but well worth it in the end. said: “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and Thanks be to God. n be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial adviBecoming one in flesh relates to all aspects of marriage includsory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal ing finances. For a married couple to maintain separate bank accounts makes as much sense as maintaining separate households financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at and separate lives. Virtually all surveys of what married couples disagree on most place finances as a top issue. While couples may agree on joining their lives, starting a family, supporting each other and worshipping God together, they still have individual interests they wish to pursue. For example, one spouse may be into outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, etc.) while the other may prefer different activities. Quite often, there is a significant difference in the cost to partici-

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22 March / April 2018 | Christian Living


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‘FEED My Sheep’

A fictional story based on a biblical truth By Barbara Fulcher

the group of Jared’s friends came up. They said, “Have you heard that Jesus is in Capernaum? Everybody is talkin’ about Him. We are goin’ to go Editor’s note: The following is a work of fiction based on see Him. Want to come along?” Jared hesitated. the Bible. He looked at his crooked leg. He felt helpless. The boys urged him. “Come on. When you can’t walk Hey, kids! It’s story time! we’ll carry you.” This story is about Jared. He was a young boy Jared was thrilled. He had just caught two fish. who lived with his family in a little village in GaliHe said, “I must go home first, but I will meet you lee. It was close to the larger city of Capernaum, in one hour here at the dock.” An agreement was right on the shores of the sea. Jared spent a lot of made — Jared was going with the gang of boys to time fishing in the Sea of Galilee. You see, Jared see Jesus. He had not heard much about this Man, was a crippled boy. His left leg was crooked, and but he was excited about going with the boys. his back was hunched over to the right. He walked Jared hobbled home. Yes, that was the best he with pain every day, holding on to a crutch made could do was hobble. When he got there he was so of wood. His father had carved it from a branch Barbara Fulcher excited to tell his mother that the boys had invited of a fig tree, making it smooth so there were no him to go with them to see Jesus. His mother said, splinters to hurt his son’s hands. “Oh, Jared, I don’t know. There will be such a large crowd. Do Well, Jared could not run and play with the other boys. But he you think you can keep up with the boys?” “Oh yes, Mother. They could fish. Some of the boys would come and sit with Jared and he taught them how to lure the fish to the bait. It was fun to make promised to carry me.” Well, Jared was so excited his mother said, “Okay, but let me cook a catch. But when the boys got bored, they would run away to your fish and I have five barley loaves. I will make you a lunch.” other interests and leave Jared all alone. About that time his father came home. He questioned the decision, One day as Jared was sitting quietly on the shores of the lake, he heard some men talking. They were talking about Jesus, saying but when he saw the excitement in Jared’s eyes, he said, “I will help you to the dock.” that He crossed the sea and was in Capernaum. About that time Continued on page 33

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 23


Fasting for your health and spirit

of the Jewish exiles with him in Babylon when By Rosie Main A biblical key to a breakthrough in our prayer the angelic visit and extensive revelation oclives is to join fasting with prayer. Jesus told His curred. The point is that Daniel’s heart was so disciples on one occasion that the reason they one with God’s that God could trust him with a could not cast out a particular spirit of infirmity revelation of such great impact. from a demonized man was because of their No doubt every one of us would say that we unbelief. (See Matthew 17:20-21.) A few verses desire to be so one with God’s heart that God later, He added these words: “But this kind can trust us with revelation of things to come as does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” He did Daniel. And, this is the promise of Jesus The point is that prayer and fasting combined to those who would follow Him. He said to His can debunk our unbelief and re-empower our disciples of the Holy Spirit that “he will tell you prayer lives. When prayer alone doesn’t work, what is yet to come.” (See John 16:13.) But if prayer and fasting will bring the breakthrough. we, like Daniel, are to experience that ministry We need to seek humility through fasting. of the Holy Spirit that shows us things to come, When we feel that our hearts are growing cold we must have a reason to know. For Daniel, the Rosie Main toward God and that we lack sincerity in our reason was informed intercession. For us, perhumility, repentance and acceptance of pardon, haps it is both informed intercession and guided fasting and prayer are instrumental in restoring passion in our evangelism. The point is, though, our heart must be committed relationship with God by bringing renewed depth and sincerity to God’s program if He is to share the program with us. Fasting to our responses to Him. and prayer are key to deepening our commitment to God and Moses was fasting in the presence of God for 40 days and His direction and receiving revelation of the same. nights at the time that God entrusted him with the Ten ComFasting can also be an amazing time for healing. I have mandments. Furthermore, God dictated them to him, and done many types of fasts, but one I truly recommend is doMoses himself wrote the commandments onto tablets of stone. ing a 5-day water fast. Yes, you just drink water. I recently just (See Exodus 34:28.) This was a supernatural fast in which Modid this and may I say this was truly a time where the healing ses was sustained with neither food nor water, and the presence begins. of God was so great upon him that his face was radiant with Let me tell you first a little about the theory of sickness. Every God’s glory when he descended the mountain to return to the day we do a variety of things: breathe air that is not so pure, camp of Israel. (See verse 29.) drink liquids that are not so good, etc., which eventually clogs Daniel was concluding a 21-day fast (see Daniel 9:3; 10:10our body filters, such as the lungs, nose, liver and kidneys. Over 13) when the angel Gabriel came to him in “swift flight” and time, our bodies heat up and then the immune system gets gave him an extensive revelation of what would happen to the knocked down. Fevers actually make the body sweat out toxins people of Israel from that time all the way through to the end of human history. (See Daniel 9-12.) It is significant that Daniel and triggers the urge to not eat, a natural fast. Three to four was deeply troubled by the sins of his people and combined his days of water fasting is good in such times. This will help clean out your system. prolonged fast with a heartfelt prayer of repentance on behalf

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So should you allow your body to just go through this natural process of getting really sick and going through pain in order to thoroughly cleanse the system? Well, if you are cleaning the filters on a regular basis by doing a water fast, there is no need to get sick. Another more simpler way than doing a full water fast is to try intermittent fasting. Essentially what that is, is within a week you do not eat anything for one whole day, and this will allow for the liver and kidneys to detoxify completely and get rid of all the toxins. It is, however, important to really hydrate yourself within that 24-hour span with lots of water. To help flush out the toxins, you can also do a salt flush, an enema, breathing exercises and natural skin cleansing. Diabetic and hypoglycemic people are often advised not to fast, but with the right support it can potentially help their bodies release stem cells, and help repair their bodies. For an intermittent fast you can start at noon, miss dinner, sleep, miss breakfast and start eating again at noon. This is one of the simpler ways, and if you stay really hydrated, it should not be difficult for you. If you can’t do 24 hours, skipping a small meal also helps. I would suggest another way is to drink lots of juices and do a 2-day juice fast. For an ultimate cleanse, four extended 10-day water fasts per year are recommended to rebuild, reset hormones and have clear consciousness, energy and clarity.

People Who Should Not Fast

Although most people can fast, there are a few who, because of special conditions, should not, including: • People who are extremely emaciated or in a state of starvation • Those who are anorexic or bulimic • Pregnant, diabetic women • Nursing mothers • Those who have severe anemia • Those with an extreme fear of fasting • Those with porphyria It is vital that you seek help from a health professional. No matter what way you go about your fast, expect a healing crisis, which simply means a period of increased symptoms like pain, headaches or even the flu. Your body is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason in expressing symptoms while it is detoxing. This is why maintaining a positive attitude, getting rest and keeping hydrated is vital. Doing Epsom salt baths and light walks are key to keeping the lymphatic system moving — and remember to anchor to God’s Word. Know that we are here to help and text me at 208-859-6170 or email me at rjmaindc@ if you need more information. Enjoy the healing journey! n Rosie Main, DC, owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. For more information, visit

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 25

THE Brighter Side

Was the U.S. founded on Christianity? By Ron Kern Did America have a Christian founding? There has been an ongoing debate on this topic, and it’s important not just historically but for how religion plays a role in this country and its inner workings. The people who believe it wasn’t based on God or Christianity have provided “proof ” and continue to use single quotes to persuade those who believe differently. The most important document in our history, what started it all, is the Declaration of Independence, which I’ll be referring to often. My goal is to get to the bottom of it, from an objective, historical and accurate point of view, rather than picking a few quotes that might support my personal opinion. I will dig deep, review historical documents and investigate each of the 56 signers Ron Kern of the Declaration of Independence. I want to get this right and leave no room for assumptions or inaccuracies. I believe that a majority of Americans have forgotten where we have come from and what we and this country are all about. Many Christians today have adopted skewed views on this topic and some believe that voicing their beliefs is okay in church and at home, but not in government or elsewhere. The “separation of church and state” is often argued and thrown out as an end-all quote, but many don’t really understand its concept or reason for it. Many Christians today feel as though they must defend their beliefs and some are even scared to say they are Christians. If Christians voice a concern over controversial topics that are not in alignment with the Bible, they are labeled intolerable, mean and are acting “not very Christian.” This is unacceptable and Christians need to be firm in their belief and not be scared into submission for fear of the backlash they might encounter. Being Christian doesn’t mean being quiet. Jesus didn’t back down from this type of behavior so why are so many Christians willing to be quiet? The people in the original 13 colonies went to war, suffered and died to form the United States. They didn’t back down either. The country as a whole has moved away from the beliefs and principles of Christianity, which this country was built upon. Unfortunately this continued spiral shows more and more each year. What are you willing to risk to be a proud Christian? This John Adams quote is a favorite of opponents of Christianity in regards to the country’s founding: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This quote has been used in part and taken out of context by many. Most people think George Washington said this, believe this was a single sentence, and was said while the Declaration of Independence was being signed. If these were true, it would be a pretty tough pill to swallow and hard to dispute, but let’s investigate a bit further. In truth, John Adams said this in 1797 — 21 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Adams was referring to the Treaty of Tripoli, which was focused on a pact between two sovereign states, not two religious powers. As you can see, taking just a piece of a quote, and putting it into another context, can paint a very distorted picture. Would you feel differently about John Adams if you knew he also wrote, “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regu-

26 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

late his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God. … What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” Our Founding Fathers made clear that one of their primary concerns was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Let’s take a closer look at the Declaration of Independence and those who signed it and see if we can’t ascertain some truth and understanding. It’s critical to look into the full lives, not just a snapshot, of those who signed this precious document — but don’t worry, I’ve done this for you. The information below represents facts, not fiction; history, not hearsay; truth, not assumptions. Although it is powerful, accurate, and persuasive, this is only a small fraction of what I found. Even so, it’s overflowing with substantial proof that our country was founded, formed, and framed with Christian beliefs, ideals, principles, and with God in mind. The very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence says, “...the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…” Another says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...” If you ask people why we declared independence from England, you will likely hear one main response: “Taxation without representation.” Although this is true, it was listed 17th out of 27 grievances with England and King George III in the Declaration of Independence. There were more important reasons for the nation’s founders to risk their lives, their families, and their futures. Every signer of our Declaration of Independence committed treason, and one of the most important reasons was that many wanted to pursue religious liberty and freedoms. The King of England would not allow Bible and missionary societies. Furthermore, you only had one church you could attend — the Church of England. Even more dumbfounding is that if you did not attend every Sunday and tithe 10 percent, you were fined and/or sent to jail. Where do you think the tithes were sent? If you guessed to the pockets of King George III, you guessed right. You had no options to worship, you had no choice of how you worshipped, and you were fined and jailed if you didn’t comply. You can see why this was such an important reason to declare independence. This would only matter if the signers of the Declaration were Christians, and quite clearly, it mattered. I have read a condensed biography of every single signer, which is where I determined if they were Christian or not. I will provide a few examples. How many of the 56 signers were Christian? We can easily define “Christian” by including anyone who was Protestant, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Lutheran, Dutch Reformed, Methodist, or Roman Catholic, and excluding anyone who leaned toward Deism.

Of these 56 brave signers, 50 were in fact, without question or doubt, Christian. Broken down further, there were 29 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, and 2 Methodists. Ninety percent of the signers were Christian. The below were all signers of the Declaration of Independence: • Matthew Thornton, a signer from New Hampshire, was “... greatly beloved by all who knew him and was a consistent zealous Christian.” • Samuel Adams said, “I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of kings.” • Robert Paine was a chaplain during a military expedition in 1755. • Stephen Hopkins, a signer from Rhode Island, was a sincere and consistent Christian. • William Ellery, also from Rhode Island, was a patriot and a Christian. • Samuel Huntington lived the life of an irreproachable and sincere Christian who was devoted to Christianity and was a true patriot. George Washington, not a signer of the Declaration of Independence and often labeled a Deist, issued the Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, stating: “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with

grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness...’” It ends with: “Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.” After researching vast amounts of data, letters, writings, biographies, and historical documents, it is my firm belief that America was, without a shadow of a doubt, founded on Christian principles, beliefs, and ideals. Are you proud and excited to announce you are a Christian? Do you believe in the United States enough to honor, respect, and protect it? If your answers are yes, it’s time to get off of the sidelines and jump eagerly into the game — the game of being a Christian leader in your home, church, workplace, and community. Our founding fathers deserve at least that much. n Resources: The Declaration of Independence Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence by B.J Lossing (1848) U.S. Library of Congress U.S. National Archives National Center for Constitutional Studies A multi-business owner in Meridian for more than 20 years, Ronald Kern and his wife sold their businesses in 2013. Ron is a serial entrepreneur, personal and professional consultant, author, columnist, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. All of his information is on his website,, and he always looks forward to speaking with his readers.

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OWN Your Growth

Are you aware of God’s call on your life? By Daniel Bobinski took this to the Lord in prayer, saying, “God, you wanted a church that was known for their In my 30+ years of being a born-again love. You wanted a group of people where Christian, I've lived in several places, and with everyone was expressing their gifts. … What that, I've served as a youth pastor, men’s pastor, would a body look like where everyone was usworship leader, adult Sunday school teacher, ing their gifts?” and teaching pastor. And, because of what I do As a result, Chan did away with large weekly professionally, I’ve been contracted by churches gatherings and instead started a network of to assist with their “strategic alignment.” house churches. His organization now consists There’s nothing grand about this. My focus has of more people stepping into leadership roles, always been to be a servant, and my reason for exercising the gifts that God gave them. The pointing this out is merely to say that I’ve seen result? People are “owning” their own spiritual the modern American church from many difgrowth. ferent angles. Please don’t think I’m suggesting that The Apostle Paul says the church is “a prochurches disband. What I am saying is that the Daniel Bobinski found [great] mystery.” Biblically, we know he institutionalized church, like any institution, has was referring to Christ’s reference in Matthew its shortcomings, and we, as the Body of Christ, about things being hidden since the creation of the world. should be intellectually honest and recognize those potential However, I sometimes joke that the modern church is, indeed, shortcomings for what they are. a great mystery — a puzzle that leaves people scratching their To help in that effort, I’d like to recommend another book, heads. titled, “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore,” by By no means am I saying that churches should be disreWayne Jacobsen. Don’t let the title get in the way. Essentially, garded, but I do think that too often they become a collection the book is a comprehensive Q & A about the inevitable of programs. Also, too many saints aren’t getting equipped shortcomings of institutionalized church, written in a “fable,” with the tools necessary for them to exercise the gifts God gave or story, format. The book doesn’t say don’t go to church. It simply helps us see what things can get in the way of spiritual them — or the ministries God has called them to. growth for those of us in the Body of Christ. I’ll warn you, the If you’d like to ponder this idea a little more, I have two recurring chance meetings of the main characters are pretty books to recommend. The first is titled, “Blessed Are the Misfar-fetched, but by using a fictional story the author is able to fits,” by Brant Hansen. Some of you may recognize Hansen’s write a Q & A in a way that attracts more readers and helps name from his syndicated Christian radio show. In his book, them see what is possible for spiritual growth. Hansen points out that the modern American church is not Those who are 'introverted' (or perhaps more “intellectanywhere close to what is described in the Scripture. He heavy” rather than emotional) will gain hope from Hansen’s doesn't criticize anyone for missing that boat, he simply tells book. For example, those who can't pray the way we’re “supstories that make you think. posed to” are still blessed. And yes, those of us who don't blend For example, there's the chapter talking about a guy who with the modern church's extraverted giftings are still blessed. cleans up severely disabled kids who cannot make it to the Those who feel like something is missing from their weekly bathroom. The man does this every day, and this is his minchurch experience will gain insights from Jacobsen’s book. istry. This kind of ministry isn’t flashy or impressive, but it’s Both books will restore hope for anyone who feels guilty for what God called the man to do, and I’m sure those children not fitting in, or feels like they are not doing what God has are very grateful that he listened to God’s leading. But that’s called them to do. the key: It was something he felt called to do, so he followed No matter what your own experience might be, God has God’s call and did it. At times, well-intended programs get called you to do what God has called YOU to do. Are you started and people get pushed or pulled into them, but they aware of what that is? If so, are you doing it? If yes, great! don’t always work as well as when someone steps into God’s If not, I encourage you to seek God’s leading by spending calling organically. some time alone with God. What does HE have to say about I know ministry leaders have good intentions, but I also it? There’s no need to wait for someone else to say it’s okay. I think they can miss some of the bigger picture. Francis Chan, firmly believe that if we are earnestly seeking God’s leading and guiding and start doing what we believe He has called us formerly the teaching pastor of a 5,000 member church in to do, He will open the way and bless us through the gifts He California, realized this and made a change. Speaking about has given us, whatever they may be. n his congregation in a recorded interview, Chan said, “Every one of these people has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed., runs two businesses. One helps teams and used for the body. But 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift; that’s a lot of waste.” He also said, “According to individuals learn how to use Emotional Intelligence. The other helps comScripture, [these people] have a miraculous gift that they could panies improve their training programs. He’s also a homeschooling dad, contribute to the body, but they’re just sitting there quietly.” He a best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at or 208-375-7606.

28 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

14th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk planned The 14th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk is set for Saturday, April 14, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Memorial Park, corner of Kimball and Grant streets. Walk coordinator is Arlene Robinett. “We pray for Caldwell to prosper and have a great future,” Robinett said. “A plaza is being built for people to come downtown. A theater is in the works as well. Some industries are being built outside of town. “We pray for the hungry to have food, the homeless to have shelter, the gangs to come to know Jesus and have a good life, families to be solidified, and that the needs of all ages will be met.” A potluck dinner follows the Prayer Walk. All are welcome. For more information, contact Robinett at 208-481-4568. n

Quaker Village auction to be held The 67th Annual Greenleaf Friends Academy Quaker Village Benefit Auction will be held on the school campus at 20565 Academy Rd. in Greenleaf on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10. More than 300 businesses and individuals donate goods and services for the auction each year, and more than 500 guests attend the free event. Friday’s activities will include food booths, entertainment, and live and silent auctions beginning at 6 p.m.; Saturday’s activities will include a pancake breakfast and auction preview beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by specialty booths, live and silent auctions and a kids’ carnival opening at 10 a.m. The annual auction helps the school bridge the gap between tuition revenue and yearly operating expenses, helping keep tuition costs low. Proceeds also go toward scholarships and other school-related programs and needs. For more information, go to or call 208-459-6346. n


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Christian Living | March / April 2018 29

SAINT or Sheep Thief?

Always remember that people can change

By Vincent Kituku “Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever — no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother … as a brother in the Lord.” — Philemon 1:15-16 (NIV) There is a story of a youth who used to steal sheep. Elders of his village caught him and branded his forehead ST for Sheep Thief, so that people could recognize him and protect their flocks. Because of the hatred he experienced when people saw his forehead, he moved to another town where he was unknown. He joined a community church and with time, became the

person to go to when one needed help. The pastor always used this man as the best example when he was teaching about the spiritual implications of serving others. That church had an elderly widow who was well served by this man with ST branded on his forehead. A young couple moved to that town, joined that church and was helped by this man with all their financial needs. This couple happened to chat after the Sunday morning service with the widow. They asked her about the man who had helped them so much and why he had ST on his forehead. She explained to them how he had helped her too and that she never even bothered to ask him about his ST; all she knew was that ST stood for saint.

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This story fits Paul’s letter to Philemon. It 3. Do I spend time and resources developing presents an effective way of how Christians others spiritually to a point where I am comshould deal with a person who has wronged fortable to speak about their changed life? them in the past, especially when that person 4. How can I continue to learn and trust God has turned from his or her wicked lifestyle. in His ability to turn a sheep thief into a saint? The letter is devoted to pleading with Phi5. Does my attitude and service to others lemon to accept Onesimus. Onesimus had reflect my changed life since accepting God? offended Philemon and had run to another city, Paul himself had a past that required Christ where he had the opportunity to learn from to plead for him. Ananias, a disciple in DamasPaul. Onesimus grew spiritually and Paul was cus, was not ready to help Paul recover his sight pleased. (Acts 9:1-18). Ananias had a vision from the Paul wanted Philemon to give Onesimus a Lord asking him to go where Paul was. Ananias second chance, treat him not as the offender resisted because he knew what Paul had done of the past or as a servant, but as a brother in to Christians. Christ. Paul must have been so pleased with the Vincent Kituku Jesus told Ananias that Paul was a chosen promising spiritual growth of Onesimus that vessel, who would preach His word to gentiles, he (Paul) was willing to tell Philemon to receive Onesimus as if kings and the children of Israel. Philemon were receiving Paul himself. Let us learn to receive and treat people based on their Further, Paul promised to pay Philemon anything he was changed lives. They are chosen vessels with a chosen purpose owed by Onesimus. they need to accomplish for the Kingdom of God. Let’s not As I read this book of Philemon, I was challenged in a numforget how our lives were before we became chosen vessels. n ber of ways. 1. How am I willing to accept those who have wronged me in Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, award-winning international speaker and the past? author, is the founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring 2. How can I have the courage to plead for those who have Hearts High School in Kenya. He may be reached at 208-376-8724 or wronged others in past, but are now serving Christ?

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 31

‘COACH ‘Em Up’

The power of a positive influence By Skip Hall Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the March/April 2015 issue of Christian Living. One of our most popular submissions, it is reprinted here to inspire and encourage our readers. One of my favorite books is “They Call Me Coach” by legendary basketball coach John Wooden. I wish everyone in leadership considered themselves a coach, realizing the huge impact they can make on the lives of their players and their teams. Clearly coach Wooden was equally known for his example as a man of character as he was for his coaching ability. The principles that made him a legend in the Skip Hall sports arena are timeless truths which transcend all areas in life, including the business arena. Core principles parallel sports, business and life. As a coach for 30 years in sports and 15 years in business, I have always tried to instill in our people and our teams that we can never be truly successful or attain peace of mind unless we have the self-satisfaction of knowing that we have done our best — mastering the fundamentals, paying attention to detail, caring about others, maintaining respect without fear, and hard work. A proven formula for success whether on or off the playing field. One of the principles that has influenced me greatly is the concept of “The Power of Positive Influence” and the fact that people need role models, not critics. I often share this story when someone asks me what was the one thing that gave me the most satisfaction during my 30-year college coaching career. I could certainly name big games, Rose Bowl victories and a national championship, but the thing that stands out most vividly occurred when I was coaching at the University of Missouri.

A young man in his early 30s came to my office one day and asked to speak with me. As he sat down, he began to relate a story that had happened 10 years earlier at the University of Washington where he was a walk-on player and I was an assistant football coach. He stated that one day at practice he was really messing up and the young coach that was working with him became enraged and started screaming and yelling at him, embarrassing him in front of his teammates. He shared that I came over and got between the two of them, faced the young coach and said five words that had a major impact and great influence on this young player. He said the five words were, “Coach ‘em up, not down!” He had become a successful pastor in a small Missouri town and had driven over an hour to come and thank me for the positive influence which had had a great impact on him. In fact, he said the best sermon he had ever given and the one most well-received and requested was titled, “Coach ‘Em Up, Not Down!” You see, one of the most fundamental needs every person has is to be encouraged (to give courage to) rather than discouraged (to take courage from). Does the Bible have anything to say about encouragement? It certainly does. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a God-honoring way. Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (see John 13:34-35). Encouragement gives us hope (see Romans 15:4). Continued on page 37

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32 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

‘Feed My Sheep’ Continued from page 23 When they got there the boys were waiting. There was Simeon, Josh, Ashdad, Ezekiel, and Aaron. Simeon was tall and straight and strong. He was the leader. He assured Jared’s father that they would take care of Jared. In fact Simeon had brought with him an old blanket. He had cut slits in either end. He had laced the ends of the slits with a strong cord so that the blanket would not tear. He told Josh to put his head through one of the slits. Then he had Zeek put his head through the other slit. The old blanket sat firmly on their shoulders. Simeon and Ashdod lifted Jared up and set him in the sling. They laughed. Simeon said, “Here, Aaron, carry Jared’s lunch. Let’s go!” Jared’s father stood there amazed at the ingenuity of these boys. He bowed his head and praised Jehovah God. The boys chattered as they headed toward Capernaum. Sometimes they walked on dry ground. But other times they would slip off their sandals and walk in the cool waters of the lakeshore. They would take turns carrying Jared. They made jokes. They laughed. They told stories. They laughed. They did tricks. They laughed. Josh said, “Watch this!” He ran and did a perfect cartwheel. The only problem was his hands landed in the soft mud and he went KER-SPLAT right down in the water. The boys got so tickled and laughed so hard they almost dropped Jared. Josh got up, washed the mud from his hands and then danced around in the cool breeze to dry off. It was so much fun! Now they noticed many people were not traveling toward Capernaum. But they were avoiding the city, leaving the lake and traveling toward the hills. The boys stopped. “Are you going to see Jesus?” Simeon asked a man passing by. The man slowed down and answered, “Yes, do you know He walked on water? Do you know He does miracles? Do you know He heals people?” Then the man hurried away. The boys were stunned. They followed the crowd. Now the crowd of people was thickening. They could no longer swing Jared between them, so they put him down. Jared grabbed his crutch to stand up. The boys wanted to get closer to Jesus. But the crowd was shoulder to shoulder. However, boys can push their way through. And they did. They forgot Jared. They got right to the front of the crowd. They could see Jesus. They could hear Him. Jesus was talking. He said, “I am the good Shepherd. You are the sheep of my pasture.” The boys looked at each other puzzled. Zeek gave a little muffled ‘Baa-aa’. The boys got so tickled that they had to stifle their giggles. But then they started to seriously listen. Jesus talked of love, of forgiveness. They watched Him as He healed a blind man. They listened as He forgave a man of evil deeds. They were mesmerized by His words. They could not keep their eyes off of Him. Then they noticed Jesus’ close friends were talking quietly to Him. They could not hear what they were saying. Then Ashdod said, “I think they are talking about lunch. I know! Jesus is hungry!” Simeon spoke up, “Aaron, do you still have Jared’s lunch?” “Yeah, I tied it to my belt. Let’s give it to Jesus!” The boys got up. They were so excited that they could help Jesus. They ran forward. Simeon said, “Jesus, we have a lunch for you.”

Jesus looked at them. Oh! His eyes! It was as though He was looking right through the boys. Suddenly they felt a guilt they had never felt before. Thoughts were whirling around in their minds. The lunch! It was Jared’s lunch! It was not theirs. Jared? Where was Jared? Where did we leave him? What have we done? They fell on their knees before Jesus. They were all mumbling, “We are sorry. So sorry!” And then Simeon felt himself saying, “Please forgive us.” When they looked up, Jesus’ eyes were full of understanding. Jesus’ face was kind and full of love for the boys. He said, “Jared is safe.” How did He know? Then Jesus said, “You are forgiven.” They felt as if they could fly — the guilt was gone. Then Simeon said, “You know! I don’t know how You know, but You know. Where is Jared?” As they stood there, not knowing which way to go or where to look, the crowd started to separate. They watched in amazement as a path was being formed with people on either side. Way back at the end of the path stood Jared on his crutch. He started hobbling forward. The boys were speechless. Their eyes wide with relief. They wanted to run to him, but they could not move. Jesus was watching Jared. Jared started to straighten his back. He was taller. He could feel strength flowing to his crooked leg. He was standing. He was walking. He was walking toward Jesus. He dropped his crutch. He was running. He was running toward Jesus! He fell on his knees in front of Jesus and was crying, “I am healed! I can walk! I can run! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!” Jesus looked at Jared and said, “Serve Me.” Then he looked at the boys, saying, “I am not hungry. The people are hungry.” He reached down and picked up the lunch of two fish and five loaves. He sent His disciples forward to divide the crowd into groups of 50 each. Then He lifted His eyes to heaven and blessed Jared’s lunch. Suddenly there was food everywhere. Jesus said, “Feed the people.” The boys grabbed baskets of food and scattered to distribute it among the crowd. There was enough for everybody. And some left over. Jesus told the boys to eat their fill. When they had finished eating, Jesus knelt down beside them and said, “Go. Feed My sheep.” n

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 33


The Black Crab Syndrome (Part 1)

By Joel Lund This past June, we spent a long weekend in the Seattle area for a combined business trip and family vacation. Having grown up in the area, I wanted to stay “near the water.” That could mean either finding a hotel near a lake (there are several to pick from) or Puget Sound. I chose a hotel nestled into a business park next to the Amtrak rails in Edmonds. It turned out to be a great place from which we launched long walks to the Edmonds beach, right next to the ferry terminal. A favorite item of ours to look for on the beach are crabs. It seems to be almost a universal attraction, since we saw lots of people reaching down, then standing up with something pinched in between their fingers. Then a moment later, their hand would twitch back and forth wildly, and a crab would sail into the air with a direct flight back to the sand below. After chuckling for a moment, I was reminded of a story about crabs. Not just the 10-legged variety. It revealed the most problematic of all crabs don’t always live at the beach, and they only have 2 legs.

Mutant Crabs

Dan Miller, in his terrific book, “The Rudder of the Day; Stories of Wisdom to Kick Start Your Workday,” recounts the story in Robert Kiyosaki’s, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” about searching for black crabs on the beaches of Hawaii. You can easily visualize someone ambling down a beach, “crabbing,” toting a bucket of fresh, very lively crabs. The premise of the story is that crabs crawl all over each other in the bucket. Once in a while, an intrepid crab will reach up toward the lid, working hard on an escape to freedom. But the other crabs won’t have that, and pull the would-be escapee back into the bucket. This, of course, leads all of the crabs to the same fate. The moral of the story, however, is that we all have “black crabs” in our lives. Because all of us have people who nega-

34 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

tively influence our performance, intentionally inhibit our attempts at success or actively impede our enthusiasm. These people can be family, friends, or coworkers. For many of us, we have all three types pulling at us, with pinchers snapping disagreeably. If not worse. Dan writes, “Small thinkers find it much easier to tell you why something won’t work than to help you find a solution. People who feel trapped and are struggling at a low level of success are seldom ones who will cheer you on to a new endeavor.” Before I’d heard this story, black crabs meant nothing more to me than crabs darker in color than I used to go crabbing for. But I immediately recognized the “black crab” characteristic among some of the people around me!

No Beach Required!

When I was young and expressed a desire to try something, the idea would be challenged — and sometimes mocked — by an older sibling. Of course, this would happen on the schoolyard, too. Even as an adult, the pattern persisted, because this version of “crabbing” is far too popular a pastime for friends, relatives, colleagues, bosses, teachers, and even clergy. The “black crab” problem seems so pervasive that it is hard to imagine that anyone hasn’t had similar experiences. In fact, I wonder who hasn’t experienced the “black crab” syndrome in their life? Of course, it is crucial to put these kinds of behaviors — and the people who do them — into a context where they don’t hold us back from striving for something more, something better than what, where or who we are at this moment. That context might mean shorter holiday visits with family. It may be wise to create some distance between you and a friend that can’t consistently encourage you. Perhaps it’s time to contact the Human Resource department at your workplace.

It takes time to grow beyond the naysayer’s point of view. It requires work to recalibrate our worldview, as well as our place in it, when we’ve been yanked back into the bucket of fear and uniformity. Not uncommonly, finding healing from prior hurt or crab damage calls for professional help: therapy or counseling might be an excellent choice.

Breaking Free = Uncomfortable

But it does no one any good to empower those “black crabs” and allow them to control your choices and limit your growth and impact in life. Imagine you are the crab seeking to escape the bucket. Something drives you to reach for more out of life. You sense that beyond the confines Joel Lund of your current life-experience is a wide world out there, full of opportunity and adventure. So, in your metaphorical bucket of black crabs, you twist, you turn, you stretch, you reach. succeed! Firmly grasping the bucket’s lid, you hoist yourself up and up. You’re just moments from setting yourself free to encounter life in a brand new, exciting way. And then some crab nearby hauls you back down into the bucket. Your dreams are dashed because a dream-deprived person in your life suffers from negativity and fear. Don’t get me wrong. There is a tremendous amount of insight in this notion that we be mindful — even vigilant — about who we interact with. We can’t assume that others will support our dreams and our efforts to reach them. It is possible that they will

even, intentionally or otherwise, get in our way. It is a very real question: am I allowing others to hold me back?

Et Tu, Crabby

But we must be honest with ourselves. This “black crab syndrome” works both ways. Reflect for a moment on whether you are the black crab to someone. In your efforts to move ahead toward a new adventure or an invigorating future, are you doing so in a way that empowers others’ efforts to do the same? Or are you dragging them back into the bucket?

Be Set Free

We are called to live our lives on purpose. With purpose. And for a purpose…that is bigger than we are. Including helping other crabs out of the fear bucket. What are your thoughts? Have you experienced “black crab” people in your life? If so, how did you deal with them? Have you been a crab? What can you do to remedy that behavior? NEXT TIME: Black Crabs, Vampires and Bullies n Joel Lund is a certified master coach and business marketing expert. Are you a business owner? Check out his newest enterprise, PurposeDrivenAcademy. com, an online business accelerator. Owners and entrepreneurs using the academy quickly break through to higher revenues, with less work and more fun. Download his (free) simple 10-step guide for living with more purpose and joy:

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 35

KIDS And Compassion

Explaining how pain can lead to caring So, I challenge you as parents, instead of By Hilary Cobb I recently read an article by a woman who “warning” our children about how awful confessed that she had “hated” being a teenadolescence can be or trying to erase their hurt ager and was now unsure how to both warn her feelings that come from broken hearts, bullying children of the stressors of adolescence, while or unhealthy friendships, what if we helped our letting them make their own mistakes. She children identify the good that God can do in wondered how to get them through adolescence those situations? in a positive way when her own past was so What if instead of getting angry at those difficult. This article sparked a conversation bewho are mean to our children, we encourage tween me and my own mom about the past and our children to use those hurt feelings to assist regrets. I had an extremely tumultuous adolesothers? What if we taught them about Natalie cence, but I shocked my mom when I told her I Hampton, the 16-year-old teenager who crewouldn’t change a thing about it. ated the Sit with Us app to combat bullying in Over the years, I’ve learned to not just move schools after she was bullied for two years? past that difficult time in my life, but to embrace it. As a counselor, my past struggles with I’m not saying we shouldn’t work towards proHilary Cobb self-harm make me more sympathetic to the tecting our children and giving them the tools teenagers struggling with the same issue. My conflicted adoles- to navigate adolescence. However, in those moments when cent romantic relationships make me compassionate towards they run to you crying, validate their hurt and speak Romans teens who are trying to find self-worth from the opposite gen8:28 into their lives. Let them know that God can take all of der. My past experiences with drugs make me gracious towards it — the awkwardness, the social stresses, the broken heart of my clients who struggle with addiction. a first love — and use it for good. They may not see it now, Even as an adult, my past is riddled with painful situations but they will someday. I am often blessed when I hear adothat I’ve learned to embrace. My past miscarriage makes me empathetic to my clients who have had one, as well as the fam- lescents who have been abused say they want to grow up and help other children who have been abused. They know that ily members who don’t know what to say. My struggles with infertility make me sensitive enough that I never say things like, this current pain will make them more effective to help others “You’ll get pregnant soon enough, just relax” to other women. who are struggling, but how often as parents do we discuss that My daughter whose acid reflux meant she screamed endlessly concept? And for those of you parents who have regrets about your for the first few months of her life makes me sympathetic to moms who are overwhelmed. Wrestling with bipolar disorder past and feel overwhelmed when you watch your own children makes my heart tender towards those who are also struggling struggling, remember 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT): “He comforts with mental health issues. us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When Every difficult situation I’ve been through, whether it’s they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same self-induced or not, has been a way for God to open my eyes comfort God has given us.” Those cringe-worthy situations towards someone who is hurting. As I’ve grown older, Romans you dealt with in your own adolescence will allow you to effec8:28 has become more poignant: “And we know that in all tively comfort your own teenagers as they navigate this comthings God works for the good of those who love him, who plicated, tech-driven, chaotic world. It can be uncomfortable have been called according to his purpose.” to remember those past experiences, but when they allow us to God has literally taken my hurts, bad decisions, and painteach our children the compassion that can arise from sufferful dark moments, and used them for good. When I was in ing, I promise, it is worth the discomfort. n the depths of depression or the crisis of faith that my infertility threw me into, I sure didn’t feel like God was working for Hilary Cobb is a Treasure Valley therapist, writer, wife and mother. my good, but as I get older and the puzzle pieces of my life You may find her at her blog,, or on Facebook fall into place, I know that I’ve needed that pain to be a more compassionate counselor and human being. @blessedbyhisloveblog.

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36 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

‘Coach ‘em up’

Continued from page 32 Encouragement helps us through tough times and times of discipline and testing (see Hebrews 12:5). Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life. Throughout Scripture we see instructions to encourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Why is encouragement emphasized in Scripture? Primarily because encouragement is necessary to our walk of faith. This doesn’t mean we overlook mistakes, but it’s how we handle the situation that matters most. I learned from Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, that how we handle a crisis or adversity is more important than the crisis or adversity itself. So true! Everyone can offer quality leadership and coaching because it’s a personal decision and action — not a title. As leaders, regardless of the sport, business, organization or family we’re coaching, it’s important to remember that we’re coaching way beyond the scoreboard or the bottom line. We’re coaching for life. n Skip 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 or (208) 871-8448.

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Christian Living | March / April 2018 37




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38 March / April 2018 | Christian Living

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Chaga grown in extreme climates has higher amounts of S.O.D.S, a vital antioxidant that plays an significant role in protecting our bodies against the damaging effects of uncontrolled oxidation and free radicals. I was reading in the Bible, Ezekiel 47:12(NIV) ‘Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.’” “The Lord had designed the trees specifically for this reason, to feed and heal us.” ~ Jan D

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