March / April 2019
Hodges Young but experienced
Breathing (And have faith)
THE WORD OF
Itâ€™s in the translation
Jordan Hodges, with his wife and ministry partner, Amanda
Because He Lives, We Are New Creations
Equipping you to impact the world for Jesus Christ
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Contents March / April 2019 Features Love INC to hold benefit fundraiser 5
Keep breathing: You’re really okay
Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk set 9
“I Get To!”®:
Look past the deed
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” — Proverbs 17:22, NIV
Publisher Sandy Jones email@example.com
Real Man’s Toolbox: Live by God’s strength
This: 12 Consider Anointed Powerful P’s Health: 18 Maximum The Healing Diet
Cover Story — Dots: 20 God A church in Ethiopia Faith: 24 Challenging Silver lining
Jordan Hodges: From troubled youth to lead pastor
Studying the Word: A translation lesson
Why am I here?: God’s answer
His ‘serve’ is amazing
16 22 26
Editor Gaye Bunderson Submit story ideas, article submissions & press releases firstname.lastname@example.org Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen email@example.com 208-703-7509 • Scott McMurtrey firstname.lastname@example.org 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones email@example.com 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Jasmine Vandeventer Graphic Design Denice King www.greentreedkdesign.com
Lessons: 28 Garden A place to learn
Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Jim Day, Roxanne Drury, Joan Endicott, Leo Hellyer, Warren Koch, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Gary Moore, Bethany Riehl and Dan Woodworth
Website Design SEO Idaho
Understanding Relationships: The honeymoon’s over
In Each Edition 4
Publisher’s Corner: “Hello, God”
Volume 7, Number 2
Distribution D&S Distribution 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 2019 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2019 3
“Hello God, it’s me……”
memory, just that feeling. I caught it, wondered where it came from, and like watching a bad old movie, so many shame-filled memories came “Do not be anxious about anything, but in rushing back. every situation, by prayer and petition, with I’ve never been shy about my prodigal testithanksgiving, present your requests to God. mony, and have never denied that I am the least And the peace of God, which transcends all of these. As these shame-filled memories came understanding, will guard your hearts and flooding back, I suddenly realized that I was your minds in Christ Jesus.” telling myself that I am unworthy to talk to God — Philippians 4:6,7 NIV — I am too bad — I don’t deserve to have an audience with Him. Several months ago we sent out a simple I felt like I was back in junior or senior high, survey to pastors and local leaders in our comwhere I witnessed so many of the “cool kids” munity, asking what some of the issues are in prodding the “nerds” about what misfits they their area of influence, and how we, here at were. Sandy Jones Christian Living Magazine, could help. I nearly had to pull my car over, overwhelmed The number one concern was prayer. I can only speak for myself, but I have to admit this resonated with emotion. Me. The lady who tells so many that they are a child of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and if with me as my own prayer life had not been where I felt it they are a child of the King, that makes them a prince or a should be. Truth be told, it’s still a work in progress. princess. Yet then and there I realized I had been listening to It has been clear to me that when I spend dedicated time the enemy as he was screaming in my ear “YOU’RE NOT in prayer, I see the Will of God much more clearly. I see His WORTHY!” “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” and sadly Hand at work in more places. I see Him answer more prayer. So why have I allowed myself to get distracted? Why do I find I realized I was buying into his lies. This realization was the breakthrough I so desperately needed, and it has opened so myself sending up sound-bites of prayer such as, “Dear Lord, many new doors in my prayer life. my friend is ill, please touch them and heal them. Give them I share this with the hope that my story resonates with somestrength and their doctors the wisdom they need — or better one else, and helps them to find the breakthrough they need in yet, Lord, it would be really cool if you’d just touch and heal their own prayer life — their relationship with our Lord and them, and leave the doctors shaking their heads in wonder. In Savior! Jesus’ name, Amen.” Immediately returning to whatever I was I am in no way the perfect Christian. There is no “SC” on previously focused on. the front of my t-shirt. I have found, though, that we serve a I realize this isn’t all bad. Praying for people when they’re Living, Loving Lord who wants to hear from us, just like we hurting or ill, asking for wisdom or some unspoken need is still want to hear from our own children. Nothing makes my day prayer, but that’s not what those who responded to our survey brighter than when I pick up the phone to find one of our kids were referring to. or grandkids on the other end of the line. And that, my friend, A good friend of mine calls it “a hearing ear.” He frequently is how God feels when we say, “Hello God, it’s me.” reminds me that when I spend quality, dedicated time with the Until next time…. Lord, I will develop “a hearing ear.” And my friend is right. God Bless! n When I spend quality, uninterrupted, one-on-one time with the Lord, things are different. I’m calmer. I’m more assured of my place in His world. I have better clarity on my life and this ministry He’s blessed me with. I frequently ask myself, if all of this goodness comes from quality one-on-one time with God, why do I continue to struggle so to make it a priority? To be transparent, it has sometimes felt like I was running away from those dedicated times. Recently I was driving down Main Street in Meridian, pondering this very question. A good chunk of my grade school years we lived in Meridian, and I spent much time riding my bike or walking through the downtown core, leaving me with many memories. Some truly wonderful, others not so much. As I was driving south past the new City Hall and on past the old feed store, contemplating this prayer conundrum, something triggered an old feeling. I’m not sure what, but it did, and it was a feeling of shame. Now there was no particular
By Sandy Jones
Photo: Aaron Burden
4 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
Love INC to hold benefit fundraiser Love INC Boise will hold a benefit event called “Love Lifted Me” on Friday, March 15, at Tree City Church, 3852 N. Eagle Rd. in Boise. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m. Musical guest will be Honi Deaton and Dream, and the dinner will be catered by Don Steinke. Tickets are available at www.boiseloveinc.org or by calling 208-947-1526. Child care will be available, but an RSVP is required in advance. Love INC Boise is a cooperative ministry of churches networking together to help people get back on their feet. Its primary financial support is from local churches and individual donors, usually members of the Christian community. It receives no federal or state government grants or support. n
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 5
JUST keep breathing
Have faith and know God cares
“Okay, I’m going to have you take a few By Bethany Riehl normal breaths into this tube,” she said. “When A couple of years ago I developed a strange I tell you, you’re going to pull in a big breath, breathing problem. I would struggle to pull in then blow in the tube as hard as you can. Keep breath. I’d wheeze and cough, and there was blowing until I tell you to stop. You will think no rhyme or reason to it. It wasn’t asthma. It you don’t have breath left, but I’ll know when happened in cold and heat. Resting and during you run out. Just trust me and keep breathing.” exercise. Some days I would be fine. Others I followed her instructions and when it was I spent all day seemingly struggling for every time to blow out, I ran out of breath much single breath I took. My mom has been battling sooner than she told me to stop breathing. Ever a terminal lung disease for five years, so to say I the people pleaser, I clenched my belly, puffed was concerned is an understatement. my cheeks, and turned purple in what I was After trying every route possible, my doccertain was just going through the motions as tor finally sent me to have an echocardiogram she kept watch on her computer screen and and then on to a pulmonologist. Before I could yelled, “Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go! Keep gomake it to the pulmonologist (and the reading Bethany Riehl ing, keep going!” of my echo results), my husband developed I nearly died. I am certain of this. frightening health problems of his own and I Except I didn’t. Obviously. I got slightly lightheaded, to be canceled my appointment to the specialist so we could focus on sure, but I didn’t die. After two more rounds of this, I asked him. My breathing grew worse, but we had bigger concerns at the how she knew that I still had breath when I was entirely certain I didn’t. She showed me a graph on her computer. “When time. My mom was placed on a transplant list, and for a year you’re out of breath, this line will drop away completely. As we waited with hope and dread every time our phones rang. long as you have breath, I’ll know it.” My breathing grew worse and my chest began to tighten as A few weeks later, I returned for the results. My doctor well. I finally made it to the pulmonologist and was given a showed me that I’m breathing “perfectly.” My chest pain was battery of pulmonary function tests. attributed to stress due to our family’s situation and I was Have you ever had the pleasure of this test? The patient sits diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction, a condition brought on in a circular tube no bigger than a telephone booth, is given instructions about different patterns in which to breath, shown by that stress. It’s worth noting here that my husband firmly believes mine is caused by overuse of my vocal chords — insert a device to place your lips on, and then is shut in behind a eye roll emoji here. The vocal cords seize and make it difficult clear door. to get breath in, but my doctor assured me that I’m breathing Anyone else feel a sudden urge to hyperventilate? fine. My pulmonologist, a woman, was kind and patient and Although my condition remains, I find myself breathing eventually helped me work past my claustrophobia. We made easier simply because my doctor told me I am breathing — it through a few exercises before she said it was time for the and I trust my doctor. worst of the tests.
6 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
Often as believers, we’re faced with situations where we know the Lord can’t possibly expect us to continue. But still He whispers, “I see your breath. I plan every one. You must keep breathing, keep walking, keep moving, keep trusting. Just trust Me.” Two years ago, I didn’t know how my husband and I were going to survive his condition financially. And for two years the Lord has overwhelmed us with His steady provision. Two years ago, we were certain my mother would die without a transplant. We had to support her when she chose to take herself off of the list and come home. She called it “coming home to live” and she has — she’s steady and here, two years later. It takes a lot of leaning and believing to just trust Him. But should it? I believed the specialists because they had the training, knowledge, and equipment to assure me that my lungs are healthy and pulling in oxygen, just as they should, even if it doesn’t feel like it. He Who made me — Who knit me together with every moment of every day He had planned out for me in mind — is worthy of the same trust. So much more in fact. When He tells me to love that person that I struggle with, I can. When He tells me to deny myself and live for Him, I can. When He tells me to trust Him, I can. No matter how I feel. I can trust Him simply based on Who He is. He sees my breath. And he sees yours, Beloved. He sees your heart, your pain, your struggle, your hope. He knows. He holds this breath and the next one. Just keep breathing and trusting. “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting.” — Psalm 138:8 (NASB) n Bethany Riehl loves to write stories and articles that explore the complexities of relationships and encourage readers in their relationship with Jesus. She joyfully serves in the children’s ministry at her church, teaches at a homeschool co-op, and drinks more coffee than necessary to keep up with her only-slightly-crazy life. She is the author of four Christian fiction novels and lives in Kuna with her spunky kids and very handsome hubby.
Christian Living | March / April 2019 7
REAL Man’s Toolbox
Live by God’s strength and love
God wants us to call on Him. He will lead By Leo Hellyer us to victory, and we need to glorify Him by Most men live the majority of their lives letting others know what God has done in very humbly and quietly. This is especially our lives. Maybe the most important thing true of the men who were members of is to let others know that God will lead them “The Greatest Generation.” These were to victory as well, if they will call upon God men who proudly served their nation. in their circumstances. When these men came back to their comGentlemen, we need to be a Band of munities, they didn’t openly share their Brothers. We need to come alongside each experiences about combat. Many of the other. We need to be willing to get our men from this generation sought answers to hands dirty and jump into the trenches life and society, and many of them became with our brothers. We need to care enough closer to God during their search. about our brothers to remind them where Since World War II, there have been their true strength comes from. We need to many major military operations: Korea, get them to concentrate less on the battle Leo Hellyer Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, that they are in and concentrate more on Grenada, Panama, Gulf War (Kuwait Who is going to give them the strength to be victorious. By and Iraq), Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, the way, we also need to be open to our brothers coming Benghazi, and Yemen. Historically, men have primarily been called upon to serve in this way, although there have alongside of us when we get off course and let them guide us back to God Almighty, the Strength Above All Strength. been many women who have valiantly served with these Very often we get so focused on the challenges at hand men. that we try to dive right in and fix things in our own Those men who have not had the privilege of serving in power. As we face life on its own terms, and in our own this capacity have faced their own enemies and demons. strength, we quite often become overwhelmed. In ProvOne thing that all men need to come to grips with, is erbs 3:5-6, we once again find pearls of wisdom for living that we cannot face our enemies on our own, and more life in 2019. We read, “Trust in the Lord with all your importantly we cannot overcome our enemies in our own heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In power. We have many enemies that we face, some physiall your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make cal and some spiritual. straight your paths.” In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he states in 1 CorinGod has a plan for our lives, and the lives that we live thians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except will be so much more enjoyable and productive if we will what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he just follow God’s plan instead of our own. will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Our God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) loves us beyond But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way human comprehension. He loves us even when we are out so that you can endure it.” defiant, selfish, and stubborn. He loves us even when we When writing to the Philippians, in Philippians 4:13, refuse to call on Him and continue to try to live life in this Paul says, “I can do all things through Him who gives me fallen world in our own strength. God is patiently waiting strength.” for us to come to Him. He is waiting with His arms wide Men, we will face struggles, difficulties, battles, and open, eagerly waiting for the time when we will fall into temptations throughout our lives. At times we may be His arms and let Him shower us with His love. fearful of how we will measure up as we go through these God’s love is a gift beyond all measure. We need to earough spots in our lives. There is one very important gerly accept this gift. God created us to have a relationship thing that we need to remember, and that is, we cannot with Him and to enjoy His love. If we have God’s love in be successful fighting Satan in our own power. That does our lives, and we live life in His strength, we can enjoy our not mean that we will fail whenever we go through the lives to the fullest and be victorious over any challenges potholes, quicksand, and storms of our life. If we will go that we face. We need to use God’s love and strength to to our loving Heavenly Father, and listen to Him and be shine a brilliant light into a world of darkness. n obedient to Him, we will receive the strength to overcome anything that we face. God Almighty, our Creator, is with Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married us at all times. He is eagerly waiting for us to call upon to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the His name. Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by In Psalm 50:14 we are told what our relationship with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & God should be like. We are to: “Sacrifice thank offerings Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call and Chief Firearms Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assiswill honor me.” tance, Leo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-340-5544.
8 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk set The 15th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk is set to begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the corner of Kimball and Grant streets. Walk coordinator is Arlene Robinett. Participants pray for Caldwell to continue to prosper and have a great future, in accordance with Jeremiah 29:11, according to Robinett. She listed some of the new highlights in Caldwell, including: • The downtown plaza is being used for concerts, ice skating, splash pads, and a place for people to come and visit with one another. • A new theater, the Caldwell Luxe Reel Theatre, is up and running. • New businesses have come to the downtown core and outside of town as well. Participants also pray for the mayor, city council, the police, firemen, and paramedics, as well as for the hungry to be fed, the homeless to have shelter, and gang members to know Jesus, Robinett said. A potluck dinner follows the Prayer Walk. All are welcome. For more information, contact Robinett at 208-481-4568. n
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 9
I GET TO®
Look Past the Deed to the Need
boy from Israel brave enough to show up for a By Joan Endicott showdown against the big-boy from Philistia, When you and I step out in faith and run right? YES, indeed, and that’s exactly what haptoward our purpose and mission in life while pens in the Hallmark Hall of Fame made-forbeing cheered on, encouraged and supported TV movies! by those we love and feel loved by, it can be So back to reality. What is ideal, isn’t real. exciting — and even easier with a loving comMore than once in my life, I’ve experienced munity. But what about when we are met with what I consider gut-wrenching, this-can’t-beridicule or rejection — what then? real, heart-stopping rejection. To the point that I’m SO VERY grateful for the specific details the doctor warned me that I must change how I in Scripture of what happened on David’s handle the stress of it — or, as he leaned closer, journey to face the Philistine giant, Goliath. gently but firmly stating, “Joan, you need to Otherwise, we might imagine the Super Bowl know you can die from this.” Champion ticker-tape parade, with trumpets You see, in my younger years, I naively thought blaring and people cheering. that loving and caring for others was always Instead, when David, a teen shepherd boy, reciprocal. I mean after all, I’m fun, loving, good refused fear and responded faithfully to God’s Joan Endicott sense of humor…so if I’m loving and kind, calling, he was met with opposition by those isn’t that all that’s required for us to all hold hands and sing from whom he could have easily expected encouragement: his Kumbaya? (Yeah, I needed to look up that spelling.) My lack big brothers. of understanding that “hurt people hurt people” set me up for 1 Samuel 17:28-29 says, “When Eliab, David’s older quite a bit of disappointment. Remember, I’m a recovering brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with approval addict. anger at him and asked, ‘Why have you come down here? So my mom’s rejection of me, my father and two siblings was And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? definitely a chart-topper of challenges in my life. It was shockI know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart ing, confusing and indescribably heartbreaking all at the same is; you came only to watch the battle.’ ” time — since this culminated during the two years before she I love David’s response. “Now what have I done?” he asked. died from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else At the time and for years after, very transparently, I was so and brought up the matter. I imagine David’s reply to his brother in more modern terms as, “Dude, are you serious with deeply hurt and angry at her and my questions would pingpong back and forth: “How could she do that?” to “What’s me right now?” wrong with me that my own mother would reject me?” Then: In reality, the Philistine named Goliath wasn’t the only giant “Who rejects their own family — especially when they’re dyDavid faced that day. It started with enemies from within his ing? Isn’t that when you’d want them closest to you?” to “I was own camp...his own family...his own brothers. clearly not enough for my own mother to love.” Along with David, we may wonder, “How does that hapMy friend, it’s important for me to be crystal clear on the pen?” After all, family and loved ones should be THE ONES progression of this. It took me years for my hurt to soften into who are there, supporting, cheering, high-fiving their home-
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10 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
empathy for my mom. Through the stabbing pain we feel from rejection in our own heart, it is very hard to look past the deeds of what someone is doing to the needs and hurts of their heart. In hindsight, I realized my mom had suppressed anger toward God for allowing her to be in one of the two situations she specifically said she would never want to be in. You see, years prior, she had watched my grandmother, my dad’s mom, die from the same exact thing. She emphatically stated, “The two ways I would never want to die is from Lou Gehrig’s Disease or in a housefire.” (When she was a little girl, she experienced two housefires, so those nightmares were still very real to her.) Unfortunately for all, my mom didn’t feel free to share her real, honest and true feelings about what she was going through with anyone. It seemed she saw it as a sign of weakness, especially as a Christian, to communicate anything other than, “I’m doing fine. I’m trusting God.” Understandably, she wasn’t doing fine at all; she said and did things that were terribly hateful. Even after she couldn’t speak, she would still write such things. Sadly, she didn’t feel free to express her anger, hurt and confusion to those who could help — which would have been the best medicine for her to process the loss and devastation she was experiencing. According to Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist and pioneer in near-death studies, the 5 Stages of Grief are natural, necessary and normal for everyone to go through: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Dr. Kubler-Ross notes that these stages are not linear, nor a predictable progression. There’s no right way to grieve loss. The key is that we understand we all need to grieve and allow these stages to come and go, ebb and flow. We need each other to process things with. I so wish my mother would have felt free to do that with someone who could have helped her. By God’s grace and with His help, I began to look past my own pain to hers, and my soul wept with compassion for her. My mom had giants she was ill-equipped to slay on her own and not feeling she could ask for help from others equipped to assist in those battles must have been horrific. I cannot imag-
ine the pain a mother would need to be in to reject her own children, along with the man who had faithfully cared for her through it all. Clearly, fear gripped her. She had deep regrets, her heart and mind grasping to answer questions like, “What did I do wrong to cause this hell on earth in my life?” “If I would have made different choices, would I be here?” Agonizing with, “Now, it’s clearly too late…” Eliab, David’s oldest brother, was also clearly fighting his own mental giants that day, which probably made him a bit envious and embarrassed when his little brother showed up with bold courage, ready to run to the battlefront to slay the physical giant standing before them. A huge shift happened for me when I began to realize: people don’t respond as we are, rather as they are. When others respond with ridicule and rejection, it’s rarely about us. Those who are in a healthy place seek resolution, not deeper divisions. Those who are not, want to reject anyone and anything that may remind them of their own pain, shame or shortcomings. The reality is, rejection is inevitable — our response is optional. My friend, I pray you and I will do as David did: rather than letting ridicule or rejection distract or delay us from what we know is God’s calling on our life, focus instead on your mission and purpose. Remember, to what God calls, HE ENABLES. This allows us to let go of any responsibility for how others respond, look past the deed to the need and run boldly to the battlefront to slay our own giants. If this has blessed you in any way, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at: WeCare@JoanEndicott.com. n Joan Endicott is an Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, Author of “I Get To!”®, founder of GIANT-Slayer Coaching and “WOW!” Women Owning Their Worth©. Her coaching reaches over 25 countries — across 6 continents. Meet her and get FREE videos, book excerpts and content at www.JoanEndicott.com. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
Christian Living | March / April 2019 11
8 Astonishing, Anointed, Powerful P’s to lack or not experience enough to make By Dan Woodworth us feel like weak people. We’re now well on our way in 2019. What “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perwill this year hold? Let’s look at 8 Astonishfect Prosperity.” ing, Anointed, Powerful P’s. The fourth powerful P is Provision. He The number 8 in Scripture means “resuris our perfect provision. When we speak, rection regeneration, new beginning and “Thank You, Lord, for being my perfect anointed.” When we follow our Living Lord, provision,” what happens? He becomes He radically reveals what we will see in Mark our perfect provision. 11:24 in the Greek: “For this reason I tell Listen to Psalm 23:1 as our Loving Lord you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe speaks to us: “The Lord is my shepherd. that you have received it, and it will be I will not lack. I have everything I need. yours.” I don’t need a thing.” Why does Jesus say ‘believe and receive’? He deeply desires for us to know that The astonishing answer is because He creHe is everything we want and need. Our ated us to live by faith. Our spiritual enemies spiritual enemies will lie to us and make continually attempt to make us feel the oppo- Dan Woodworth us feel we are lacking. Why? Because they site of these P’s. To obtain victory, we must know that our Loving Lord will always be our perfect proclaim out loud each P until we feel the truth of it. The first powerful P is Praise. He is our perfect praise. provision. They are sinister and out to steal, kill and When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being my perfect destroy. They will tempt us to look at others and compare ourselves to them and feel lack. That is why our Living praise,” what happens? He becomes our perfect praise. Lord has given us this transforming, powerful P. Psalm 22:3 in the Hebrew powerfully proclaims: “But We have a choice. We can either believe and receive You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” His Living Word or we can doubt and reject His Living The Hebrew word “yashad” (“enthroned” in Psalm Word. 22:3) means “to sit, remain or abide.” In other words, He promises in Psalm 84:11 in the Hebrew: “The Lord our Loving Lord sits down and makes His throne in our God is a sun and shield. He will give grace and glory. praises to Him. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk How many times during the day do we experience complete and sound in Him.” doubt and pouting instead of praise? We wonder if our “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Proviwords of praise really work for us. When we catch oursion.” selves feeling small or shrinking, irritated and whining, The fifth powerful P is Protection. He is our perfect that is the time to proclaim Him being our perfect praise. protection. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Praise.” my perfect protection,” what happens? He becomes our The second powerful P is Peace. He is our perfect perfect protection. peace. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being my Our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, protects us all the time. perfect peace,” what happens? He becomes our perfect He is constantly covering us and surrounding us. Think peace. of how many times we are not even aware of the hidden Listen to His living words in Isaiah 26:3 in Hebrew: traps and deadly hazards around us and how He is our “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is perfect protection. stayed on You because He trusts in You.” I was just remembering hundreds of times He has proWhen we realize He is our perfect peace, and we speak tected me from hitting or being hit by a car or any other Who He is to us, He becomes Who we speak. Instead object. How many times a day do we see Him being our of feeling confusion and turmoil overwhelming us, He deeply desires to be our perfect peace. The Hebrew word perfect protection? Listen to Him in Psalm 91:14 in The for peace is “shalom.” It means “completeness, soundness Message: “If you’ll hold onto me for dear life, I’ll get you out of any trouble.” and wholeness” in every area of life. When we confess that He is our perfect protection, we “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Peace.” are instantly reminded that He protects us even more The third powerful P is Prosperity. He is our perfect prosperity. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being than we desire to be protected. “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Protecmy perfect prosperity,” what happens? He becomes our tion.” perfect prosperity. The sixth power P is Patience. He is our perfect paPsalm 35:27 in Hebrew powerfully proclaims: “Let them shout for joy and be glad who favor my righteous tience. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being my perfect patience,” what happens? He becomes our perfect cause and let them say continually, let our Lord be patience. magnified who has pleasure in the prosperity of His How many times do we ask for patience every day? servant.” Why don’t we let Him be our perfect patience instead of The Hebrew word for prosperity is “tsalach.” The root meaning is “to advance, penetrate or rush.” Prosperity is trying to be patient? Think of 1 Corinthians 13:4 in the experiencing our Loving Lord’s blessings. Poverty means Greek: “Love is patient and kind.”
12 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
Since we are in Christ, we are perfectly patient. We get impatient when we do not believe that we have received perfect patience. I love Galatians 5:22-22 in The Message: “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard... We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.” When we confess that He is our perfect patience, He transforms us to be like Him. “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Patience.” The seventh powerful P is Perseverance. He is our perfect perseverance. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being my perfect perseverance,” what happens? He becomes our perfect perseverance. The difference between patience and perseverance is relationship. Patience is in relationship to people, and perseverance is the ability to overcome a difficulty. Hear Him speak in Hebrews 6:12 in the Greek: “Through faith and makrothumia (long temper) we inherit the promises.” We often hear, “That person has a short temper.” We are created to experience a ‘long temper’ with people. Listen to Him in James 1:3 in the Greek: “The testing of your faith produces hupomeno (to remain or endure) or perseverance.” Perseverance is hanging in there over the long haul. When we try to persevere in our own ability, we wear out fast. “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Perseverance.”
The eighth and poignant powerful P is Pleasure. He is our perfect pleasure. When we speak, “Thank You, Lord, for being my perfect pleasure,” what happens? He becomes our perfect pleasure. When we proclaim Him as our perfect pleasure, He becomes brighter and brighter and the things of the world and the flesh become dimmer and dimmer. Let these Living Words in 2 Corinthians 3:18 in The Message become flesh in all of us: “Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.” Speak out loud with me over and over until we feel His perfect pleasure. “Thank You, Lord, for being my Perfect Pleasure.”
Let’s live these 8 Astonishing, Anointed, Powerful P’s in 2019! 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 dan@ danwoodworth.org, or visit his website at www.danwoodworth.org.
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 13
Marriage: the honeymoon always ends
the “real person” emerges. We all marry someone By Gary Moore defective and selfish; some are less selfish than othRemember back to the time before you were ers perhaps, but we are all infected with the same married, when you were dating. Think about it disease. Eventually it surfaces, and if untreated, it is for a minute. I don’t know what you were doing at fatal to relationships. that time to earn a living, but I can tell you what Sometimes the honeymoon gives way to stable business you both were in: sales and marketing. You harmony achieved at the cost of an agreed-upon were selling an image of the person you felt your distance. “You don’t bother me about this and I girlfriend or boyfriend would fall in love with. won’t bring up that.” This sort of arrangement, That person may or may not have been the “real one that accommodates selfishness through an you.” There was probably some of the real you as a emotional separation that avoids confrontation, can part of the package. However, I’m sure there was a last for years, culminating in a 50th-anniversary celpart of the package that was purely wishful thinkebration where the toast is flat and the kiss forced. ing. And, since you could only spend so much time Occasionally the immature bliss of honeymoon together, it was easy to perpetuate the charade. love yields to a growing relationship between Then you got married. Now you were together for people who notice their own flaws more than those extended periods of time and it became harder and Gary Moore of their mates — who are troubled, more by their harder to keep up the charade. The real you began own selfishness than by that of their spouse. They make it a priority to be exposed — and, for many this became a very uncomfortable to become better companions. These become truly great marriages, situation. It’s been said that you marry an image of a person and though they are rare. spend the rest of your life discovering who they really are. More common are marriages where the partners’ flaws are too Marriage is one place where we can’t pretend. You can get away obvious to be overlooked. Money and fun aren’t sufficient to supfrom friends, sometimes far away. Some “friendships” have avoided port patient endurance of infidelity, aloofness, nasty jabs, paranoid total disintegration only because of distance. suspiciousness, refusal to talk things over, impulsive and revengeBut married couples are denied this option. Living at a distance may be attractive, but as a permanent solution, it clearly won’t work. motivated spending, sexual coldness, unwillingness to admit error, As Dr. Larry Crabb says in his book, “Men and Women,” husbands and religious stuffiness. What do you do with mean husbands who think their wives are and wives are supposed to live together, sleep together, eat together, the real problem or angry wives convinced of the reverse, both of spend money together, vacation together, socialize together, raise children together, worship together, and face conflict together. Shar- whom, in addition to being mean and angry, experience intolerable levels of pain? Christians are supposed to be fixable. So what do you ing life together is meant to be the unique joy of marriage. do? For some it is; for many it is not. Almost half of all married Do you work to improve mutual understanding and communicacouples, both in the church and out, eventually experience togethtion? Confront irresponsibility? Encourage continued efforts to do erness as something bad and difficult to endure — something so maddening and painful that separation, immediate and permanent, the right thing? Come up with specific plans to intervene? Relate with the woundedness, frustration, and pain? Disentangle codepenseems necessary for personal survival, for sanity, for any hope of dent patterns of relating? Speak of freedom to become all that you happiness. It’s interesting that when we believe personal survival can be? is at stake, questions about the moral rightness of a choice tend to Let’s stop the sales and marketing — accept and deal with relabecome secondary. tional reality. n Since no one marries with plans to be miserable, many men and women face rude and shocking surprises after the ceremony. How Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale Church many women have mistaken broad shoulders for character strength of God in charge of Adult Education. He’s served as associate pastor and ended up with a well-built wimp? How many thought that a there for the past 14 years. He does couples’ coaching and leads man’s drive for success and a master’s degree in business promised couples’ workshops and retreats called MUM’s the Word. He also does a an interesting, prosperous life and later discovered that they spelled weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 family neglect, 80-hour work weeks, and cardiac disease? a.m. on Fridays. For information on his workshops and retreats, No marriage is free from tensions. The honeymoon always ends, if not within a few hours, then often within weeks or months as contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer free pregnancy tests, limitedultrasounds, STI testing as well as other related services. 524 Cleveland Blvd. Ste 110, Caldwell, ID 1323 12th Ave. S. • Nampa, ID Text:208-615-1053 • E-mail:email@example.com
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14 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
A lesson in not giving up on anybody
Jordan Hodges, 32, is lead pastor of Christian Faith Center, and everything he knows about God is based on experience, not theory. Once a black sheep, he now shepherds the faithful with 100 percent commitment. (Photo by Jasmine Vandeventer)
By Gaye Bunderson God is not an umpire, standing behind home plate calling ball and strikes. He has no “three strikes, you’re out” policy. If He had, Jordan Hodges could have been easily tossed from the game forever. But Jordan’s story is a testament to why God doesn’t hold to a three-strikes rule when it comes to the creatures He loves. Jordan describes himself as a man who gives 100 percent to whatever he does. Thankfully that energy is now channeled into serving God, but it wasn’t always so. Jordan once served the gods of methamphetamine. Jordan’s parents divorced when he was 13; and while he said he doesn’t hold his parents accountable for what happened next in his life, he concedes he may have suffered in part from a “father wound.” Whatever drove him, it was a deep cut. “I don’t blame my father for the divorce, but it was a breaking point. That was the beginning of me spiraling out of control,” he said. He consumed drugs and sold them, even on his high school campus — “I had a $200 a day drug habit, and I had to sell drugs to make money.” He dropped out of school at age 17 — “I was in a full-time free fall, selling drugs and partying.” His wild life caught up with him when he sold drugs to a confidential informant working in tandem with law enforcement officers. He’d sold the CI an ounce of meth. It was that .0625 pound of illegal substance that sent Jordan into a string of incarcerations that included a 6-month prison rider in Cottonwood and time behind bars at both Ada and Canyon county jails. In 2005, he ended up in the Ada jail after entering a house in Meridian that was not actually where he lived. “I was high as a kite and messed up and it was the middle of the night. By the time I was arrested, I was a monster, and my body was breaking down.” He was 19. After that arrest, he was put in detox in a medical security unit. He was getting help for his addiction and at the same time opening up to spiritual wholeness. He was visited by Rick Rigenhagen, a man who ran a motorcycle ministry called Soul Zone. “I was saved in the visitors’ area of the county jail through glass.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of his journey through the shadowy side of life, but it was the start of something that would culminate in the bright light of salvation, including freedom from addiction and a monster’s existence. He’d surrendered to Jesus, and while he was technically saved, after he got out of jail he started peddling and using drugs again — “I went back to what I knew.” Part of the problem, he said, was the lack of support in the faith community and a lack of youthful friends he could partner with in spiritual growth. He had friends in the drug community, and he returned to them. But God was relentless in his pursuit. His grandparents invited Jordan to attend their church — Nampa First Assembly, pastored by Barry Osteen. Rick Rigenhagen attended the church also. Once again, Jordan opened up to the Lord. Once again, something inside him fought back. He was caught in the middle of a battle for his soul, at one point trashing Pastor Barry’s office. Rick and the pastor fought with him, praying intensely that Jordan would win. Jordan felt victorious enough to run to the police and confess he was wanted on warrants — he wanted to walk the straight path of a law-abiding citizen. The officers were more than happy to take him to jail. Now comes one of the most pivotal meetings of Jordan’s life. Enter Monty Sears, who had just been named senior pastor of Christian Faith Center in Nampa. Jordan’s mother had asked Monty to visit her son in jail; he did, and the two men connected. Monty has said that the Lord spoke to him about Jordan. “Keep
him close to your heart,” He said. “He’s going to play a big part in what I’m going to do in the valley.” After his release, Jordan worked at CFC, licking envelopes and whatever else was needed. There are two scriptures that help explain what happened next to the 20-year-old young man around this time. They are Luke 11:24-25 and Matthew 12:43-45 — Jordan’s spiritual house was clean but empty. For the second time, he returned to his old lifestyle; but as it is explained in the two scriptures mentioned, this time it was war, and a dark war at that. “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” — Matthew 12:43 “That happened to me,” Jordan said. He admits he was struggling hard to get back on his feet and leave his old life behind for good. While on a meth high with the woman who is now his wife, Amanda, he saw disturbing images from the demonic world, and God’s voice came through with a warning: “Jordan, this is where you’re choosing to be.” The warning was clear: Get. Off. Drugs. The Lord’s final caveat was: “If you ever go back to drugs, you’ll die.” If Jordan’s life were a movie, this would be the “fast forward to 2019 scene.” Both Jordan and Amanda are drug-free. Over the intervening years, they’ve worked at Christian Faith Center in many capacities, from greeters to ushers to janitors. Jordan is now lead pastor*, while Amanda teaches in the church and oversees ministry to women and CFC’s annual women’s conference. “She leads by my side,” Jordan said. The couple has two sons. “This is a journey that has been 12 years in the making,” Jordan said. “This is the only church I’ve ever known. Monty and his wife Kelli are spiritual parents to me.” The church now has multiple campuses, and thousands have been saved, according to Jordan. “You don’t reach the people you want. You reach the people who resonate with what and who you are — a person with a lot of broken places. Eighty percent of the growth at the church has been people with broken backgrounds giving their lives to the Lord. “Some people’s view of Christianity is pretty sterile, but Jesus was attracted to the broken people. A ministry to the broken reflects the heart of Jesus,” he said. His own past helps him relate to others’ trials. “I like to say, ‘The black sheep makes the best shepherd.’ We’ve led thousands of people to Christ through a broken-up kid.” He describes himself now as down-to-earth and able to connect with all sort of folks. “As a young leader, people want to know you have something to say. I’ve lived some life; it’s not theoretical. My story has given me credibility. You can impress people with your gifts, but you really impact people with your scars.” What about the people who knew him years ago as the spikyhaired drug dealer, almost always on a substance high? “In the beginning, there were people who heard of my new life and said, ‘No way.’ But after 10 years pass and you’re still following the Lord, they start to think, ‘Okay, maybe this is real after all.’” Some have told Jordan they wish they had a story like his. His response to that is an unequivocal, “Oh no, you don’t.” “The only thing good about my story,” he said, “is God.” n *Jordan is lead pastor over all the Christian Faith Center campuses, including the new Boise campus, which opened February 3 at 5823 W. Franklin St. He will be preaching at the Boise campus primarily but will also be preaching on occasion at the Nampa campus as well. His wife, Amanda, will lead the Boise congregation alongside him. For more information, go to jordanhodges.com or experiencecfc.com.
Christian Living | March / April 2019 17
Eating guidelines for a Healing Diet 1. No Grains — Not even whole, healthy grains. 2. No Sugars — This includes hidden sugars (read the ingredients). 3. No Fruits — Berries in moderation. 4. Monitor Protein Intake — On average, 15g per/meal. Larger males and those performing resistive exercise may consume between 20g and 25g per/meal. An egg typically contains 7 grams of protein. A piece of meat the size of The Five Factors to Determine if a deck of cards typically contains 15 grams of the Healing Diet is Right for You: protein. 1. High Triglycerides — If you are a sugar 5. Increase Healthy Fats — 2 to 3 weeks burner and not a fat burner, your body will not after beginning program. This is the typical time store or burn fat normally, therefore elevating needed to become a fat burner. triglycerides (100 to 135, normal; 135 and up, Food Choices: Choose raw (not roasted for Rosie Main elevated). nuts and not pasteurized or homogenized for 2. High Blood Pressure — Inflammation of cheese), cold-pressed, grass-fed, free-range, cagethe large arteries leads to high blood pressure. Inflammation is free, and no-hormone-added sources whenever possible. controlled by the Healing Diet. Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils such as 3. Elevated Glucose / Insulin / Leptin — Once the cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oils; trans fats such as insulin receptors are burned out, a fasting glucose, insulin, or margarine and synthetic butters; rancid vegetable oils such as leptin test will be elevated. Removing all sugar is the only way corn oil, canola oil, or those labeled simply vegetable oil, located to heal the insulin receptors. in practically every bread, cracker, cookie, and boxed food. 4. Neurotoxicity — Toxins attach themselves to fat cells and Choose organic when possible. continually elevate leptin. This burns out leptin receptors in Remember the best carbohydrate choices are vegetables due to the brain, leading to leptin resistance and resulting in weight high fiber content and low glycemic action. These carbohydrates gain that does not respond to exercise and diets. can be consumed in small amounts and not on a daily basis: ar5. Protein/Fat Genetic Type — Some individuals genetitichokes, leeks, okra, pumpkin, tomatoes, turnips, legumes, black cally do better without grains, high fat, or even high protein. beans, chick peas (garbanzo), navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, This can only be determined by how you feel on a particular pinto beans, and split peas, to name a few. diet. Low glycemic fruit choices are important. If weight loss is a concern, eat low glycemic fruit in extreme moderation. The best low GI fruit choices, especially if weight loss is a concern, The Five Rules of the Healing Diet: include: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, elderberries, • The Basic Idea: We must eliminate all sugars and everygooseberries, loganberries, raspberries, and strawberries. thing that turns to sugar. By Rosie Main One of the most common issues with most diseases is inflammation. The most common solution is to get rid of what causes it. To that end, I recommend the Healing Diet, which is intended to help people take preventive acts on reducing the cause of the most common cause of the chronic diseases in our society.
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18 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
Eliminate the following. These carbohydrates are high and moderate glycemics and turn to sugar very quickly: barley, brown rice, buckwheat groats (kasha), bulgar (tabouli), millet, rye, semolina (whole grain, dry), steel cut oats, tapioca, whole grain breads, whole grain cooked cereals, whole grain tortillas, sweet potatoes or yams.
Cooking and Eating Tips:
If you are not losing weight on this diet, try reducing your protein intake first. If youâ€™re still not losing weight after protein reduction, your body likely has a toxic interference such as heavy metals and/or bitoxins. Ask your doctor for toxicity testing to identify this interference. Removing ALL grains and sugars is easiest when removed completely and at the same time. Just use stevia to sweeten your foods. Your body will adapt to the change quickly and cravings will be eliminated in approximately 1Â˝ weeks. Eating more frequent meals can minimize symptoms related to glucose and insulin adjustments you may experience when removing grains and sugars from your diet. Glutamine will help curb sugar cravings and reduce appetite. Be sure to drink clean water, not tap water, throughout the day. Reverse osmosis (RO) and/or distilled water is best. Drinking water also reduces your appetite. Eat God protein and God fat with every meal. Raw nuts and seeds are the perfect combination of protein and fat for a snack, if necessary. 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 MaximizedLivingDrMain.com.
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 19
A story that leaps across the globe
This church in Ethiopia was a project that involved people of faith in both Boise and Ethiopia. The church has gathered many people from throughout a remote region in Africa to hear the Gospel. (Courtesy photo)
By Jim Day Our God knows no boundaries. He created everything and is in control of everything. This God Dots story crosses oceans and continents. It all began when Ali was a small boy in Ethiopia. It seemed like everyone was Muslim, including Ali’s father. But Ali’s father valued education so much that he sent his children to the only school in the area (God Dot #1). It was a Christian school founded by the Lutheran Church (God Dot #2). Ali and his brother became Christians (God Dot #3). Ali completed his education and became the principle of a school and a respected man in the community. He was a member of the Oromo tribe (the majority party), which was in control of the government. Political unrest came to Ethiopia in the 1970s and continued until the late 1990s. Many disputes occurred between the four ethnically driven political parties as they all tried to gain control of the country. For over 20 years, Ethiopia was more or less in a state of civil war. In a coup, the Tigray tribe took control of the government, and Ali was arrested and tortured, along with many others who were thought of as suspect. During that season of unrest, over 70,000 people died, many of them tortured and assassinated for their ethnic or political associations. Ali was being held prisoner and being tortured at this time. With some help (that will remain anonymous), Ali escaped and fled for his life to Kenya, where he was placed in a refugee camp (God Dot #4). After the escape and without Ali’s knowledge, Ali’s brother was arrested and held, but later released (God Dot #5). With so many people being arrested and killed, the families of those who were arrested could (and often did) assume the worst. That is, that their loved ones would never return. Shortly after Ali’s arrest, one of his sons was sponsored by a charitable Christian organization and was able to survive because of God’s provision (God Dot #6).
20 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
While being held in the refugee camp in Kenya, Ali became aware that there was a “lottery” that allowed the winner to seek refugee status in other countries. It would be five long years, but Ali finally won this lottery (God Dot #7). He was allowed to come to Boise through World Relief and moved into an apartment close to Northview Family Worship Center (now River City Church). The church was within walking distance so Ali began to attend, and that’s where he met two men named Kevin and Mike. The three of them became friends. “After just simply greeting him and another refugee for the first few weeks they attended the church, I was prompted to take them to lunch and get to know them (God Dot #8),” Kevin said. “After hearing their story, I began to help them integrate into our country. That spilled over into getting a car donated from my wife’s uncle, then my wife teaching Ali to drive and more (God Dot #9). So it was more like my family adopted them (God Dot #10).” After many years at Northview, Kevin’s family moved on to help a few other church startups in Boise, and Mike and Ali began spending a lot more time together (God Dot #11). After three more years, the violence in Ethiopia was ebbing, and Ali was able to bring his family to America (God Dot #12). Ali has a great work ethic. After starting several successful businesses over the years, he did well for himself and his family. They were not rich, by American standards, but they felt compelled to send money back to Ethiopia to help friends and family (God Dot #13). Ali became aware of a business opportunity that opened up in Minnesota and relocated there. Around this time, Kevin and Mike had started attending Bridgepoint Church in Boise (God Dot #14). The Muslims were building mosques in Ethiopia at a feverish pace; Ali knew of only a few Christian churches in the remote communities in his region of Ethiopia. Although he had helped to build a church years before, God put it on his heart
to do something again. He was in contact with his brother and other local leaders and pastors in Ethiopia, and they decided to build another church (God Dot #15). He asked his American friends if they could help. Bridgepoint Church got involved and started a project to raise the funds needed to build the church in Ethiopia (God Dot #16). The money ($14,400) was raised in three months (God Dot #17), and the funds were transferred to Ethiopia in late September 2018, and the church was complete and open for business in the first part of January 2019 (God Dot #18). During construction, the local church in Boise raised an additional $5,000 but wasn’t sure Jim Day what to do with it. The two American friends — Mike and Kevin — went to Ethiopia the week before the grand opening and found that the church still needed chairs for $800, a sound system for $600, and a generator for $600 — and that the pastor had borrowed $3,000 to finish the church (God Dot #19). Now, you might wonder why a 1,700-square-foot church in Ethiopia needs a sound system. It’s because that’s how they get people to come to church. With the church doors open, the sound system allows the worship and message to be heard for a great distance.
The church’s grand opening was called “The Miracle Service,” and many Muslims came. About halfway through the service, the local Muslim leaders showed up. The group went silent as they walked to the front of the church. They had been listening to the service. One of the Muslim leaders took the microphone and addressed the crowd. He said, “I serve Allah, but these men serve the true God. Listen to them (God Dot #20).” More than 40 people have come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior since the church’s first service. Recently, God brought me to Bridgepoint Church, and I heard this amazing story. God is so much bigger than we sometimes give Him credit for, and sometimes it blows my mind. He took a man who was reduced to the point of not even having a home and used him and blessed him in so many ways. These God Dots connected three men and their families across continents and oceans, through all kinds of adversity, to build a church where all of the people in the area can hear the Gospel of Jesus. n It is my goal and wish for this column to be an avenue to share your God Dots. Tell others about the things that God has done for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 208-409-0063. Somebody needs to hear your story.
Christian Living | March / April 2019 21
STUDYING the Word
Be careful of differing translations
Love … is not irritable or resentful (ESV) By Daniel Bobinski … will hardly even notice when others do it Most everyone has their preferred version wrong (TLB) of the Bible. Others, especially new believers, … keeps no record of wrongs (NIV) often ask which version of the Bible they should … does not take into account a wrong sufread. When people ask me which version of the fered (NASB) Bible I use, I say, “the original language.” This If I may say so, some of these translations often elicits the question, “Do you read Greek miss the point of the original text. As a reand Hebrew?” My response is, “No, I use the sult, some Bible teachers get to this verse and Blue Letter Bible.” instruct us to “forgive and forget,” saying God If you don’t know, the Blue Letter Bible is a doesn’t want us to keep a record of how people free online resource that lets you dig deep into have wronged us. the Word of God and explore wherever your This is NOT what the original language heart leads you. And it’s easy to find at BLB. meant. If you do some digging into the Greek, org. (If you prefer books over online resources, which you can do using either Zodhiates’ books I recommend The Complete Word Study New or Blue Letter Bible, you will discover that the Testament [and Old Testament] by Spiros Daniel Bobinski original language has a future connotation. In Zodhiates.) other words, this teaching has to do with the I do not work for BLB nor do I receive any compensation for future, not the past. recommending them. I simply believe that BLB.org is one of With that base knowledge, let’s take a look at how we might the most powerful resources available for studying God’s Word, reconcile love thinketh no evil (King James verbiage) with love and I think more people should know about it. Whenever I keeps no record of wrongs (NIV), both translated from the show someone how BLB works, they are impressed with all same Greek word. that’s available. First, I’m going to grant the translators some grace because Why do I encourage people to use BLB? Because sometimes the Greek language is so rich. If English translations gave I hear things taught on the radio or from the pulpit that are accurate explanations of each word, our Bibles would be too not in line with scriptural truths. In other words, if we rely thick to carry around. However, because translators are trying only on an English translation, we run the risk of misinterpretto be succinct, we should not rely solely on an English translaing God’s Word. tion. For a clearer understanding of God’s Word, it helps if we Let me give you an example. On more than one occasion, I do our own studies. have heard preaching on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In these verses, Again, the original language in 1 Corinthians 13:5 carries a the Apostle Paul is giving us the definition of agape love. It’s future connotation, and it means that when someone wrongs a great study (one I’ve taught many times), but if you’re using us, we should not “keep a record” of how we intend to do evil only an English translation, you may be curious about the last toward someone, or get back at them in the future. phrase in verse five. In no way does this verse say to ignore what someone has In the KJV it says love “thinketh no evil.” But in other verdone to you in the past. Instead, it’s saying don’t think of how sions you get different translations, such as: you’re going to take revenge. (This teaching complements
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Romans 12:19, which says, “ ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”) Sadly, I know more than one person who’s been the victim of abuse, all while believing that to be good Christians they needed to “forgive and forget.” If you ask me, that mindset is a recipe for being a doormat, and Jesus was no doormat. Jesus (the very embodiment of agape love) stood firm on Godly principles and did not let people run roughshod over him. You shouldn’t either. However, to practice Godly love as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:5, the right thing to do is NOT plan how you’re going to exact revenge. If someone does us wrong, it’s perfectly okay to set up a personal boundary. But 1 Corinthians 13:5 is about how we should behave in the future, not what someone did to us in the past. This clarification, which I discovered by using the Blue Letter Bible, has helped me live a more Godly life. In fact, recently a contractor in my home messed up on a job. And, at the time of this writing, they still haven’t fixed what they messed up. Sadly, I found myself planning how I was going to give this company a black eye on social media if they don’t fix the error. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to remind me that this kind of thinking was contrary to the teaching in 1 Corinthians 13. I soon apologized to God and repented for planning an act of revenge. Mentally, I even forgave the person for making the mistake. I still expect them to fix what was damaged (I’m not going to forgive and forget), but I’m also not going to plot retribution.
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Can you see how understanding God’s Word more accurately helps us live the way God wants us to? You could even think of BLB as a tool to help you be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” We can receive teachings with eagerness. But we should always check for ourselves to see if what we’re being taught is true. n Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. teaches teams and individuals how to use Emotional Intelligence, and he blogs regularly on that topic at www.eqfactor. net. He’s also a homeschooling dad, a home fellowship leader, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at email@example.com or (208) 375-7606.
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 23
The Great Recession’s silver lining By Joel Lund
How Much Are You Worth?
How do you measure your worth? Has it changed in the past 10 years? Many would say that the Great Recession ended quite a few years ago. Me, not so much. That’s because the less-talked-about impact of the Great Recession wasn’t financial. It was emotional. Let’s test my theory, okay? How many people can you think of that want something different than their “day job”? For that matter, how many folks can you think of who want (read: need) something no day/night/any job can provide them? It doesn’t matter, really, when you peg the year that the economic downturn began. Some say 2007, some 2008. It also doesn’t matter, really, when you peg the year the great economic recovery, happening now, began. Because we still see, at least once a week on the news, dire predictions of economic doom. Like the opening scene of an apocalyptic movie, the Great Recession brought massive economic storm clouds over the world. While for many the financial pain is dimming (or gone), that epic storm forced nearly everyone to reassess (or maybe assess for the first time) what it is that they want out of life, what matters most to them. Where their worth comes from. For many, that has come to mean do-
ing work that has tangible value (worth), or is fulfilling and meaningful (worthy). Lots of people learned that doing work that is purpose-driven, rather than paycheck-driven (even a big one), is what makes the work worth doing. Although economic turbulence still lingers over the world, the silver-lining hidden in the folds of the Great Recession was that many people acted on their discovery.
Your Worth: What’s It Worth To You?
How does this discovery look in real life? Some people that were downsized found new careers. For others, the transition was all at once, usually with all kinds of unpleasantness. Now, in this roaring economy, the odds are that you can upsize your career. But the odds are also that there’s a bit of a twitch inside, with a wee bit of doubt nagging at the edges of your confidence. And the risk remains that, without thinking intentionally about it, we unconsciously slip into the profoundly negative impulse that came on the wings of that economic storm a decade ago: we measure our worth with the wrong scale. We’re steeped in advertisements that show us a world we don’t enjoy. Our teeth aren’t white enough. Our hair isn’t ____________ (there are simply too many options here). Our cars aren’t techie enough. The bed is too hard/soft/big. Then there’s the — oh, never mind. Here’s the kicker, not unlike an entire apocalyptic movie: you’re exposed to about 5,000 ads…per day. If you prefer the more conser-
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24 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
vative estimates, the ad count plummets to…3,000… per day. That’s still over 187 per hour, if you’re awake for 16 hours. And that’s the low estimate! Do you think being exposed to over 1 million ads per year might leave a mark?
Your Worth Is Without Price
I submit to your consideration the following principles: 1. Monitor Your Mood: If you are not feeding your spirit something positive about your worth, then you’re in trouble, because the world is dedicated to leeching it away from you. “But I don’t watch much TV,” you cry. Okay, that’s good, although I wonder how you define the “much.” Do you spend “much” time on social media? Ten years ago that wasn’t Joel Lund much of a thing. Now it is the tail wagging the dog. Where do you think a lot of those ads are coming from? 2. Feed Your Soul: If you are not tending to your spiritual growth, you’re surrendering to the opposition. Dust off your Bible. Aim your nose away from screens fire-hosing your mind and heart with messages optimized to cast dark clouds over you. Find a good devotional. I’m a fan of “Truth For Life” (Apple & Android). Make time every day. Feed your soul or someone else will. 3. Get Serious About Leaving Your Dent: Steve Jobs coined the phrase about leaving your “dent in the universe.” But you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to do that yourself. Being a billionaire first isn’t required. Or a millionaire. Or anything. You can be exactly who you are. God created you to be as He is: creative and purposeful. If you’re
not clear yet on what kind of a dent you can make and how to go about doing it, that’s your new homework assignment. Like I stated earlier, during the Great Recession lots of people learned that doing work that is purpose-driven, rather than paycheck-driven (yes, even a big one), is what makes the work worth doing. With a surging economy, the risk we all face is settling into mindless, unexamined, ad-saturated, comfortable ruts. We feel successful in those ruts. And, let’s not forget, that’s what brought us the Great Recession. The problem is that God hasn’t called us to be successful. We’re called to be faithful, and that includes being faithful to leaving our dent in His universe, especially when we feel unqualified and uncomfortable: Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. — 1 Cor. 1:26 (NIV) Blessed are the dent-makers, for they live purposefully, engaged in worthy work, valued beyond the price of human standards. Amen and amen. n Joel is a certified master coach, business consultant, and author. More importantly, he’s worked with a lot of people just like you. Feel stuck? Need help living on purpose? Want to make a bigger dent? Chat with him. There’s no charge. Schedule here: http://bit.ly/Curious-PFR.
Christian Living | March / April 2019 25
GOD’S answer to:
‘Why on earth am I here?’ By Roxanne Drury Most people struggle at some time or another with wanting to know their purpose. This oftentimes happens during a particularly frustrating time of life or when hardships seem to abound and, sometimes, at the beginning of a brand new year. We begin to doubt ourselves and wonder, “Why on earth am I here?” Imagine a young girl taken from her home to a king’s palace. For 12 months she is given beauty treatments with oil and special perfumes. She got to choose fancy clothing and exquisite jewelry to wear. Every girl’s dream! She was ultimately crowned as the queen. Is this a fairy tale? Sounds like one to me. But, oh no, it is not. This is a real story. The young girl’s name is Esther. I can only assume that the entire time Esther was being pampered and trained, she was wondering to herself, “Why me? What on earth am I doing here?” Esther discovered some time later her purpose for being chosen to go to the palace and being made queen. The king had a powerful official in his kingdom by the name of Haman. Haman was enraged by Esther’s uncle, a Jew, so Haman determined to destroy all the Jewish people in the empire. The plot thickens... Wicked Haman spent the next year devising a scheme to destroy the Jews and then bribed the king. The king gave in and told Haman he could do what he wanted. And so, the fate of the Jews in that empire was sealed. Until... Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, learned of the scheme and told Esther. Esther sprang into action, giving instructions for the Jews to pray and fast and then devising her own little scheme to have a banquet for the king and Haman, where she would reveal Haman’s plot to kill the Jews. In the end, Haman gets what he deserves, Mordecai is rewarded with fine robes and a position of authority in the palace, the Jews were filled with joy for being saved and they were honored everywhere, and Esther realized her purpose. Mordecai says it best: “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) I believe she was. While this is a very brief synopsis of the story of Esther, it very clearly shows that she did not know what God had planned down the road. Usually, we don’t either. One thing we can be assured of from this story is that God does have a plan. He always has a plan and a purpose for each person just as there was a plan and purpose for each person in the story of Esther. Just as Esther’s purpose was hers alone, your purpose is individual to you. No one else has exactly the same reason for being on earth. No one else has exactly the “Family Picnics” Are So Much Fun! One-piece Picnic Tables 4’ to 20’ Starting at $125
same reason for being wherever they are or with whomever they are with. “This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.’” (Isaiah 48:17) This verse is written to you as an individual. It is written to each of us as individuals. I think that is why Jesus is called our personal Savior. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) God created you to seek Him, to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and to bring Him glory. “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” (Isaiah 43:7) If bringing glory to God is one of our main purposes, how can we do that in our daily lives? What that looks like for each of us may be very different. For some, just walking into a room glorifies God. These are people who bring joy wherever they go. People are naturally attracted to them because of their uplifting nature. For others, glorifying God is much more subtle, perhaps behind the scenes service. For yet others, it might be the use of a gift or talent for God’s glory — singing, for example. “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11) God gives each person who knows Him a gift. Using that gift brings glory to God. There is a children’s song called “This Little Light of Mine.” The words (in part) go like this: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” “Hide it under a bushel – NO – I’m going to let it shine.” “Shine all over the neighborhood...let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” God wants us to let our little lights shine, by using our gifts and talents for Him, to bring Him glory, to let the light shine on Him, so that all men will see Him. That is how we bring Him glory in our daily lives. That is ultimately our purpose. Okay, you say, I can’t sing and I am not necessarily the
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life of a party, but I can cut hair. How can I use that talent to glorify God? You can bring glory to God by being the best hairstylist you can be. You can glorify God by being a good listener — women in the hairdresser’s seat want to talk, and they need someone to listen. You can glorify God by just smiling at your client. Do you see what I mean? Whatever you are good at doing, look at it from the perspective of God. Why did He give YOU that talent? What does He want to do with it through you? That, my friend, is your purpose and fulfills His plan. Can all of us be an Esther and save a nation? No. But can each of us do our part in Roxanne bringing glory to God? Absolutely! That is your purpose and that is my purpose. “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16) I have found as I get older that knowing that I am a part of God’s plan and that He has a very specific purpose for my life has been empowering. I didn’t always know — I had to ask. You won’t have to guess, you won’t have to figure it out for yourself. As His child, you can ask Him to reveal to you how He wants to use you. You can ask Him: “Father,
why on earth am I here? What is my purpose?” If you listen and are prepared to obey, He will tell you. He may tell you through Scripture. He may tell you through another person. He may tell you through an event. But He will reveal it to you, rest assured. You have to be paying attention in order to know which direction He wants to lead you. He has promised that if we trust Him, He will point us in the right direction. So, this New Year, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs Drury 3:5-6) You don’t know that God may need another Esther (or another Mordecai) for such a time as this. n Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in Children’s Ministry for over 40 years and is currently on staff at Rockharbor Church. Her heart is sharing the life application found in God’s Word. Roxanne is a published author of a children’s book and a Christian blog. For more information, visit thatslifemissroxanne.blogspot.com and www.roxannedrury.com.
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Christian Living | March / April 2019 27
A very spiritual place to learn
As already alluded to, the first and main lesson By Warren Koch of Eden lies in its making the bold claim that our With a balmy January (likely caused by El Nino) Creator/God is a lover of life. The truth of this giving us an early bout of “Spring Fever,” my is even recognized by the non-religious storytellthoughts turn to gardening. While Richard Foster, ers who fashion our waking dreams that play out a Christian theologian and author, didn’t list garon the screens of Hollywood. Dr. Ian Malcolm, dening as one of his “spiritual disciplines,” over a somewhat detached scientist in “Jurassic Park,” the next few articles I’ll attempt to make a case countered skeptics who doubted that engineered that it is indeed a spiritual discipline with lessons dinosaurs could breed with the statement, “Life available to those who dig deep. will find a way.” While lacking the voracity of First and maybe foremost, Scripture notes Scripture, this movie quote states that wild and humankind’s first dwelling place as The Garden unfathomable truth about our world: God created of Eden. While this may well have been a literal our world as one where, against all odds, life — place — with many scholars imagining its location with more than a little Divine help — continues to somewhere around the headwaters of the Tigris blossom. and Euphrates rivers (although Ezekiel’s Eden Warren Koch Unlike wild and wooly evolutionary models seems definitely Lebanon) — for the gardenerwhere tooth and claw determine the “survival of poet type, this Edenic Garden has much greater the fittest,” God’s design and purpose of the original creation of figurative meaning. life in Eden is echoed by Christ — the creative party in the Trinity For many Medieval writers, the garden became a literary trope — when in John 10:10 he states, “I am come that they might for human love and sexuality. While they certainly were on the have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” right track about God being a lover of prolific life, it was if they While evangelicals sometimes bend this in a way that abundant life ripped a single page from Eden’s book and forgot to read the rest = eternal life, others, like pastor Jack Hayford, tend to see abundant of the story. The garden certainly symbolizes procreation, but life as “the real possibility of health for your total being (body, mind, to focus solely on the human aspects of love-giving-life certainly downsizes the grander scheme of Eden’s meaning, one that paints emotions, relationships).” Abundant life is really about shalom (the peace that comes through right relationships). a picture of life’s profusion. The Edenic story imagines a setting Humankind has a constant longing to “get back to the garden,” of fertile and abundant life of every sort. Life filling every nook and this is echoed in our art — from the old Crosby, Stills, Nash and cranny. and Young song “We Are Stardust” to contemporary Christian Chaim Cohen writes about Eden in The Oxford Dictionary of artist David Crowder’s “Back to the Garden.” While we can the Jewish Religion, claiming that early biblical scholarship often never go back to THE Garden, the literal act of gardening might favored tracing the origins of the name back to the Sumerian introduce a number of metaphors that can teach us spiritual word edinnu, meaning “plain or steppe.” However, more recent scholars tend to favor a closely related Aramaic word with the root discipline/lessons about right relationships. Please don’t panic meaning of “fruitful and well-watered.” Discarding these interest- and stop reading, thinking that I’m a rabid organicist. (I view organic gardening a little like fly fishing: “I love it when it works, ing but relatively obscure arguments I think we might all agree but if the fish aren’t biting, I’m not above tipping my fly with a that the name of the original garden meant “life-bringing.”
28 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
CHURCH DIRECTORY bit of worm.”) I’m arguing that in addition to life being prolific, its form and function becomes good, beneficial and even beautiful. God wants us to live well. The beauty of the seasons, anticipatory times of planting, and the glorious times of harvesting all reside (in) the Edenic Garden metaphor. Our garden blooms boom out the constant message of God loving us. He continues His creative processes in both us and in our gardens. Stay tuned for additional notes on how working in God’s garden — the little corners of Eden that He has loaned us — brings about an abundant life. We’ll carry on a discussion about the varying aspects of gardening, that if done properly, it may help us decrease our abundant waistlines while giving us a greater spiritual appreciation of God’s abundant provision. n
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Born and raised as a 4-H kid in the Treasure Valley, Warren Koch, Ph.D., wandered the U.S. coasts getting way over-educated. As a professor emeritus (fancy words for retired) from Azusa Pacific’s Cinema Department, he now teaches online for Liberty University from his second floor corner office in Middleton (the bedroom’s upstairs in his old farmhouse). In addition to making documentaries and fishing, Koch also attempts to garden (sometimes fruitfully and more often as an exercise in humility).
Worship Service 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am Bible Study 9:30 & 11 am Children’s Church 11 am Join us Wednesday Nights at 6:45 pm for: • AWANA - Pre-K - to 6 grade • Youth Group • Adult Bible Studies Pastor Clint Henry: email@example.com
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For information on adding your church to this directory, please call 208-713-6357or email:firstname.lastname@example.org Christian Living | March / April 2019 29
Faithful senior with a strong ‘serve’
At 78, Dick Johnson is a formidable pickleball champion. His service on and off the court was noted with a special award from the National Senior Olympic Games. (Courtesy photo)
By Gaye Bunderson Dick Johnson aced all the sports he tried as a boy — everything from tennis to baseball. “He was trying to keep up with the older kids; he was skinny,” Lawana, Dick’s wife, said. At 78, Dick is still an athlete, but the sports he plays are different these days. Now, he’s a formidable, winning pickleball champion. Dick has been on a winning streak since childhood. He was born in Twin Falls and raised in Boise, where his family lived in a home in the North End. “It was quite different back then than it is now,” he said. When Dick attended Boise High School, it was the only public high school in town. After graduation, Dick attended Boise Junior College in 1958 and was president of the freshman class, as well as president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He made a run for student body president at BJC but tied with his opponent. In a run-off, Dick lost by less than a handful of votes. “It was a real downer — it was the first time I ever lost,” he said. The ‘downer’ was temporary. When Dick was 20, he was approached by his church leader about missionary work. But entering the mission field required giving up a great scholarship to the University of Colorado. Nonetheless, Dick chose mission work. “A feeling came over me when I decided to go,” he said. It was a strong spiritual feeling, a feeling that he was making the right choice. In fact, reflecting back, he sees it as one of the greatest choices he ever made. “It was one of the best decisions of my life — to help people learn about Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and for me to serve others,” he said. His was a domestic mission field in the U.S. and included the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Upon completion of that commitment, he went on to higher educa-
30 March / April 2019 | Christian Living
tion, majoring in political science and economics. Sports remained a part of his life. “I still had the tennis bug,” he said. But the tug toward serving God and others did not leave him either — “I got a pretty heavy calling when I was 22.” At this point, he worked closely with church leadership. Later, after he became a husband and father, he felt called to work with young singles and married students at Boise State. He worked a paying job while working with the BSU students in his free time. “The students, at that age, were at a critical time; some were having moral problems. The key thing I did — the Lord inspired me, and I could help them with a lot of things — the main thing I could tell them, was: turn to your Scripture, turn to your prayers and fasting. The Savior has taken upon Himself the suffering for all our sins; turn to Him for forgiveness,” Dick said. “It was a very spiritual thing,” said Lawana, “and Dick’s theme was ‘Come Unto Christ.’” Sometimes, the young people would have health or drug problems and were sometimes in abusive relationships. Dick would tell them, “The Savior understands all these things, and He’s overcome all.” He told them the Lord could give them kindness, direction, peace and comfort, but they had to “humble themselves and build themselves up in prayer.” Dick served in this ministry for five years and said, “I’ll never forget it as long as I live; it was one of the most wonderful times of my life.” For 25 years, he worked for Ore-Ida; and for 12 years, he worked for the Idaho Department of Commerce, retiring in 2005. Throughout the course of his life, he participated in four missions, including one with Lawana. “We helped teens learn that they should continue their educations to make them marketable; and we helped them understand that wherever they went, the church would be there,” Dick said. “We encouraged them to continue on their journey of spiritual growth and learning about the Bible, and to associate with other young Christian people.” The Johnsons started the teen program here in the Treasure Valley and then took it on to eight other states. Said Lawana: “The minute we were called, the inspiration came; the ideas started flowing — the Lord knows what He is doing!” Dick continued playing tennis over the years and competed in father-daughter tournaments with three of his four daughters, winning seven state titles and winning the big Northwest Regional in 1986. For that, he won an all-expense-paid trip for the whole family to attend — and for Dick and his daughter Shelly to play in — the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. “It was of the biggest prizes in amateur sports,” Dick said. At one point in his lengthy sports journey, he began playing through pain. At around age 50, he finally had to give up tennis because the pain was too intense. Then, in 2000, he was diagnosed with “very bad” Type 2 diabetes. He wasn’t ready to give up sports entirely, however, and he said that two things happened after his diabetes diagnosis: “I discovered pickleball and went on a real strict diet, tracking everything I ate.” He lost 50 pounds and got the diabetes under control — not cured, but controlled. In 2018, he’d become a state tennis champion again and became a world and national champion for the fourth consecutive year in pickleball. It’s a popular game with an unusual
name, and it resembles tennis in many ways. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) explains at usapa.org that pickleball is “a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. It’s a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It can be: played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net; played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes; and played as doubles or singles.” Also, in 2018, Dick was honored with the national “Personal Best” Award from the CEO of the National Senior Olympic Games, Marc Riker. It is only the second time the award has been given to a pickleball player and the first time it has been given to an Idahoan. While the award is exceptional in its commendation of athletic skills, Dick said, “It means more to me than the trophies and medals, because it’s mostly about character.” Lawana, who’s fond of labeling herself “a proud and devoted wife,” explained: “It speaks to overcoming challenges, staying motivated and healthy, and inspiring others by example. His belief and lifetime devotion to God, family, community, and service to others is especially noted.” Just as sports has remained a staple in Dick’s life, so has helping others. He and Lawana traveled to Kenya, where her brother and his wife were missionaries, to provide humanitarian services, specifically working with a measles immunization program for children 6 months to 5 years old. “We didn’t spend much time as tourists,” Lawana said.
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The couple helped organize Christian churches in Mombasa to spread the word about immunization. They also worked in cooperation with the area’s Muslim population. “We got the people organized to go out and find moms in the bush with young children,” Dick said. “We’d bring them to a central location. One time it was at the largest slum in Mombasa. The kids would get their measles shots — or ‘jabs,’ as they call them — from a member of the Red Cross.” Children in many countries are at grave risk of dying from measles. Dick quoted a statistic indicating that 500 children a day die of measles in Africa. He said he was originally skeptical of that figure, but as he would go to the villages, he’d sometimes learn about the village medicine men warning mothers not to get their children vaccinated. In order to reduce the people’s fear of the shots, Dick said the mission group would help organize skits written in conjunction with local Kenyans. They’d write the skits in Swahili and English and perform them with native actors. Then, people would be persuaded by the skits that the shots were necessary and safe, and would save lives. Faith-based work will go on for the couple. As Lawana put it: “We just love life and just love being involved.” Dick will continue with pickleball, but admitted, “It’s getting harder because I’m getting older.” He’s undergone more health problems, as well as a number of surgeries. Only someone given a notable honor for both his skill and perseverance could sum it up like Dick. “I’m going to keep going as long as I can,” he said. “If I die on the pickleball court, that’s okay.” n
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Christian Living Magazine March April 2019