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A fighting chance
Majors Mrs. Idaho America
Coach â€˜em up!
Option Kids from overseas
S eppa d d e u es Odys sey • Concepts of Faith – Charles Capps • Discover the Word • Enjoying Everyday Life – Joyce Meyer • In Touch – Dr. Charles Stanley • Just Thinking – Ravi Zacharias • Leading the
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Contents March / April 2015 Volume 3, Number 2
“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come...”
— Song of Solomon 2:12 (KJV)
Publisher Sandy Jones
Outdoors with Dougherty: Beautiful earth
Editor Gaye Bunderson email@example.com 208-639-8301
Features Multi-dimensional faith:
Meet Mr. Flat
Kyle Kurscheidt: A stormy beginning
Adoption option: Overseas kids
Cover Stories —
Brighter Side: 10 The Mrs. Idaho America from Home: 18 Notes So much wisdom Faith: 20 Challenging No memes from Paul This: 22 Consider Fear’s effects Daily Bread: 28 Your Savings and stewardship
Business Management: Hiring the right people
Free: 31 Breaking Following His leading
A fighting chance
16 Departments Spotlight: 17 27 Business Eagle Laser Center
Sales & Marketing Melva Bade firstname.lastname@example.org 208-631-3779 • Vin Crosby email@example.com 208-989-2097 • Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7860 Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Dan Bobinski, Dan Dougherty, Ann Doupont, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Skip Hall, Ron Kern, Joel Lund, Brian Raymond, Angela Ruth Strong and Dan Woodworth Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services Cover Photo Cy Gilbert Website Design SEO Idaho Webmaster Liza Morgan Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2015 by Christian Living Magazine LLC. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 800 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at email@example.com Find us on Facebook Badge
24 In Each Edition The overcoming life: 26 4 Publisher’s Corner: Spring’s promise Be a conqueror
CMYK / .ai
Coach ‘em up!
Christian Living | March / April 2015
The hope and promise of spring By Sandy Jones After our mother passed away several years ago, I found a memory book that my kids had given to Mom for an earlier Christmas. It was one of those little books with a question a day for her to answer. I had picked it up while shopping at Life’s Little Treasures, an appropriately named gift shop in downtown Boise. What a treasure it was to find her personal thoughts and feelings on many of the pages. Mom was a person of action; she always needed to be getting something done. She wasn’t a romantic, and with the exception of an occasional letter to distant family members, writing just wasn’t her thing, so only a small portion of the book was ever completed. Mom loved all holidays. Spending time with our family, the six of us kids, our spouses and the 14 grandchildren — there was always a big meal and lots of laughter — now that was Mom’s thing! She and Dad weren’t much for organized religion. She taught us that Easter was about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, but I can’t remember ever attending a regular church service with her as a child growing up. In this book I found that Mom’s favorite holiday was Easter. As she aged she became more open about her faith, and her relationship with God, but I don’t think I ever fully understood her relationship with Him until I read those sweet words in her own handwriting that her favorite spring memory was of being baptized with her brothers, sister and parents. Sandy Jones is shown with her mother, Fern, during Steve and Sandy’s wedding WOW! My youngest son and my husband were baptized at day in 1996. the same time; and several years later I chose to renew my vow This past fall my husband Steve and I celebrated our 18th to our Lord by being re-baptized, but can you imagine the cel- wedding anniversary. We have the same ups and downs that ebration when an entire family of 7 was baptized all at once?! most married couples have, but one thing we vowed early on Mom didn’t elaborate, but since there was no running water was that if we felt like we were being taken for granted by the to speak of in that era, it makes me wonder if they might have other we would speak up. Trust me we have each brought the even taken the plunge in the local river. subject up over the years. This helps us to approach our marSpring has personally always been one of my favorite seariage with the same intention that we hope to live our daily sons. I tolerate winter. You have to so that you can get to the lives by. Yes, I’ll admit, we’re one of those couples who say “I hope and promise of spring. Budding leaves on the trees, the love you” all the time. We never part that we don’t kiss goodgrass turning green, and the many bulbs sprouting up, bringbye. We check in with each other throughout the day. We’ve ing vibrant color back into our world, washing away the gray adopted a saying from one of our friends, “You can’t shoulda!” of winter. To me it’s only appropriate that Easter is in the You see, my dear sweet Steve was a widower when I married spring, as the resurrection of our Lord and Savior offers hope him, had been for nearly 27 years. He understands how fragile and promise to all who believe, for so many of us a fresh new life on this earth is, that oftentimes there are no “do-overs” beginning, a very personal spring of our own. — so to him it’s so important to take nothing for granted. Last May I shared in this column our family’s personal story Steve is also good at determining the level of importance to of our beloved daughter-in-law Shannon’s fight with Stage IV assign an event or crisis. While in a full tizzy one day I asked breast cancer. As I’ve watched this young woman, our own him why he never got all up in arms. His response calmed personal Cancer Warrior, battle this horrific disease, I think me. Steve is both a widower and a veteran; having served in one of the most poignant things we’ve heard was when a pasVietnam, he explained to me that having witnessed and pertor friend of theirs told them to get busy living life. This made sonally experienced so much loss that he learned to stop and me stop and think. Am I really living life? I get so caught up ask himself if each day’s current events would prevent the sun in my work, in helping with the grandkids, taking care of our from rising the next morning. If it would, then it was an abhome and pets... I had to ask myself do I solute crisis. If not, then he could continue get so busy just being busy that I forget to on, taking things one at a time, knowing full well that eventually the crisis would pass. live my life? I’ll admit that some days I feel God saw all that He As March decides whether it will roar in like the old adage: “the hurrider I go the like a lion, or come in as gentle as a lamb, behinder I get.” I do my best to live intenhad made, and it was isn’t it wonderful that we are promised that tionally, and I share this today to show that very good. God’s mercies are new every morning? to live with intention doesn’t happen on — Genesis 1:31 Isn’t it great that with the right attitude we its own for most of us, we have to remind can treat each and every day as a fresh new ourselves continually to slow down and to beginning — a daily spring? n appreciate all that we have around us.
March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Anti-hunger movement set for March
March to End Hunger, a large scale food drive designed to help Boise Rescue Mission get through the lean summer months, will be held March 1-31 in the Treasure Valley. To host a food drive contact Jake Nydegger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 343-2389. A Can Castle competition being held in conjunction with the food drive will start March 17, then businesses, church groups, families and individuals will have two weeks to collect cans of food to build the very best Can Castle they can. Photo submissions are due March 31. The photos will be judged and a winner or winners will be named. A shopping list and forms are available at boiserm.org. Contact Nydegger for more information. n
Do The Right April 8th
The City of Meridian invites you to Do The Right on April 8th - Perform a random act of kindness to the person to your right. Whether it’s your friend at work, your neighbor to the right or the locker to your right at school, put a smile on their face with a simple note, words of affirmation and/or a small gift. Large or small it doesn’t matter, just be thoughtful of and to the person to the right. n
‘Love Caldwell’ Prayer Walk planned
“Love Caldwell” is planning its 11th annual Prayer Walk beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Caldwell Memorial Park. Co-organizer Arlene Robinett said the idea behind the event is to pray for Caldwell and surrounding communities. Approximately 40 to 50 people have attended the walk in recent years, she said. Following the walk, there is a potluck dinner and musical entertainment. “Anybody who wants to come and help make Caldwell better in all ways through prayer is welcome,” she said. For more information, contact Robinett at (208) 459-1012. n
Christian Living | March / April 2015
What does ‘up’ mean to Mr. Flat? might only begin to imagine the concept. By Dan Bobinski Imagine a one-dimensional universe. In They simply cannot understand. They essence, a line. If you created that unihave no common frame of reference, and verse, and created a one-dimensional bethe wonders that exist in three dimensions ing on that line (we’ll call him Mr. Dot), at are beyond their understanding. most, Mr. Dot could meet only two other With these illustrations above, I gain a beings his entire life — one on his left much better appreciation for God trying and one on his right. He could move only to explain things to us. He even describes left or right, and travel only as far as the the situation in Isaiah 55:9, saying, “As the person on either side of him. He would be heavens are higher than the earth, so are unable to jump over or go around them, my ways higher than your ways and my because his universe has only one dimenthoughts than your thoughts.” sion. For more than 100 years, physicists have Now imagine you create a two-dimenbeen postulating the existence of more sional universe, in which you place Mr. than three dimensions (the illustrations I Daniel Bobinski is the Director of and Mrs. Flat, similar to two pieces of Teaching at Family Experience ministry used above are adapted from the 1884 book paper on a hardwood floor. Mr. and Mrs. (familyexperience.net), the author “Flatland”). I’m not a physicist, but I know Flat can move left/right, toward you or of several books, and the owner of that Einstein factored for a fourth dimenaway from you and at all sorts of angles, but Workplace-Excellence.com, an international sion in his work on relativity. I also know the universe you’ve created for them is flat training firm based in the Treasure Valley. that today’s superstring theory proponents — it has no depth. When they look at each He’ll also be presenting at the CHOIS suggest that our universe has at least 10 other, each sees the other as only a straight Homeschool Convention June 5-6 in Nampa. dimensions. line. Also, because they’re flat, they can’t see What would be possible in those dimenbeyond the outer edge of each other to read sions? Well, we can see how much more Mr. and Mrs. Flat what we may have written on each piece of paper. can do while living in two dimensions than Mr. Dot can do Because their universe is a two-dimensional floor, they cannot see your TV, the pictures on your walls, or even you. living in only one. And we see the expanded capabilities we have living in three dimensions than Mr. Flat has in two. They are even unaware of the many other flat universes in your house — doors, windows, walls, or the ceiling, to name Every time we increase the universe by one dimension, the expanded capabilities are almost exponential. a few. When they look at you, all they can see is where your feet touch the floor, and they would perceive your feet only This begs the question, what cool things are possible as straight lines. Furthermore, due to their two-dimensional — routinely possible — for someone who exists in four diperspective, they don’t understand how both of those feet mensions? What about for someone who lives in six dimencan belong to one person. Consequently, they may not even sions? Or eight? Or 10? believe it’s you, doubting how one person can be in two With these perspectives, we can see how God — our Creplaces at the same time. ator — is capable of things we could never, ever conceive If you pick up Mr. Flat and place him on the kitchen with our limited understanding. Even a being living in four counter, he’d probably freak out. He might wonder aloud dimensions would have capabilities far beyond our wildest about how he got to a different dimension — one in which imaginations, and such “powers” would be routine, too! No he can no longer see his wife. If you explain that you doubt even the most learned among us would be enthralled “picked him up,” he’d have no common frame of reference. and amazed like little children. He does not — and cannot — understand what you mean. Perhaps that’s why God tells us in Matthew 18:3, “unless The concept of “depth” does not exist in his universe. Adyou turn from your sins and become like little children (i.e., ditionally, as you talk to Mr. Flat, he’d be able to hear your in awe of His capabilities?), you will never get into the Kingvoice, but he wouldn’t be able to tell where your voice was dom of Heaven.” coming from. The next time someone asks how Jesus could have just For us three-dimensional beings, the phrase “I picked you “appeared” in the upper room with all the doors and up” is so basic we hardly consider it, but to Mr. Flat you are windows locked, or how God is able to see into all of our talking gibberish. The concept of “up” (depth) is too deep hearts simultaneously, just take two pieces of paper and tell (pardon the pun) for his X-Y grid mental understanding. them the story of Mr. and Mrs. Flat. Be sure to have them An easy comparison here is the game Battleship. You place one hand on Mr. Flat and the other on Mrs. Flat at might call out “D-3” to try to hit a submarine, but that’s the same time, and ask them to consider the Flats’ bewildertwo-dimensional. In reality, submarines can be located on ment of how one person could be touching both of their an X-Y grid, but their depth must also be considered. hearts simultaneously. We, as three-dimensional beings, look at the one- and Then, when you bring up the idea of God living in more two-dimensional beings in the examples above and wish we dimensions than us, I’m sure you’ll know where to take the could explain the wonders that exist in our three dimenconversation from there. n sions. Unfortunately, no matter how we try, at best they
March / April 2015 | Christian Living
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Experiencing God’s creation Down Under By Dan Dougherty “For the beauty of the earth For the beauty of the skies For the Love which from our birth Over and around us lies: Christ, our God, to Thee we raise This our Sacrifice of Praise.” — First stanza of the Christian hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by Folliott Pierpoint, 1864 Do you ever marvel at the beautiful earth God has created for us? Have you ever sat watching on a cool, crisp morning as the sun peeked over the horizon to lighten the mountain forest for another day? Has the beauty of the great outdoors ever filled your eyes with tears and your soul with contentment as you whispered, “Thank you, Lord”? If not: get up, get out, enjoy and celebrate God’s creation! Wherever you travel on this planet His handiwork is displayed. My wife and I were fortunate to travel to Australia in 2013 as I started my retirement. The flight from LA to Brisbane is one of the world’s longest. It was a little over 14 hours. Most of it was at night so we slept for about half of it. As the sun came up all we could see below was a cloud-covered ocean. The sunlight reflecting on the clouds gave off a golden glow. Approaching the coastline, to land at Brisbane, the clouds parted and presented a view of the calm, blue waters of the Pacific. We left Brisbane on a 1½-hour flight down the coastline to Sydney. I marveled at the view. Below me, the eastern coast of Australia as far as I could see inland was rolling, forested hills. Along a narrow section of coastline there were scattered towns and farmland. Coming into Sydney, the coast became an urban area stretching far to the south. Australia is the only country that covers a whole continent. It is made up of 91 percent natural flora and fauna. With 22 million people, it is only about 70 percent the population of the state of California. Almost 90 percent of the population lives within 100 miles of the ocean. Half of the population lives in its three largest cities of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. Leaving Sydney we drove 293 miles to Armidale in the tableland. My wife drove. She had experience driving on the opposite side of the road when she lived in England many years ago. I felt like we had taken a trip into the past. The little villages and towns surrounded by farmland reminded me of the U.S. back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I have never seen so many cattle and sheep. I was told later that Australia has more sheep
and cattle per capita than any place in the world. I believe it! Armidale is a city of 25,000 and is the hub for the whole plateau area. It is the flattest area in Australia with an elevation ranging from 3,000 to 3,600 feet. Armidale is the highest city in Australia at an elevation of 3,200 feet. It is the home of the University of New England (UNE), called “U-NEE” by the locals. The residents were very friendly and talkative. I was always referred to as a Yank or mate in good humor. They seem to be very trusting. I was informed that at home they rarely lock their car or house doors. Their response to a misunderstanding, an apology, or a thank you is always “No worries!” I am starting to hear that more now here. If you think about it, that’s a great phrase for Christians. Just outside of Armidale are three National Parks: Guy Fawkes River, New England, and Oxley Wild River. These parks are crisscrossed with walking trails covering native forest, river canyons, and gentle rolling hills as far as the eye can see. We spent much of our time in the New England and Oxley Wild River parks. Most days we never saw another person.
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March / April 2015 | Christian Living
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Dan Dougherty and his wife enjoyed the beauty of Australia in 2013, seeing such wonders as baby kangaroos and other native wildlife, as well as the culture of Australia’s most populous city, Sydney. (Courtesy photos)
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The trails are well maintained and have signs species that have made Australia home. Large giving you travel options and kilometers to rabbits (hares) scampered away ahead of us, and walk the looped routes. fallow deer could be seen running through the The “Walkabout” routes of the “Outback” trees. We were fortunate it was winter and we provided a vivid reinforcement to the beauty didn’t have to deal with insects and poisonous of God’s creation. They presented new imsnakes. Australia has more reptiles than any other ages, accenting the variety God provided to continent. this world. The trees were large, branching, As we traveled from place to place we continuand mostly types of eucalyptus such as red, ally saw road signs warning of kangaroos. Ocgray, and manna gum. Other common types casionally, we saw why. They are the number one were many varieties of ficus (fig) and beech. roadkill on Australian roads. It’s just like hitting a The main ground cover was racemosa grass. deer in the States. It can cause considerable damWe were in Australia at the end of June and Dan Dougherty enjoys almost age to your car. first of July. That’s their winter. The evenings everything related to the outdoors, Eighty-eight miles from Armidale, as the ocean including a good joke. got down to the low 40 degrees F., and most meets the uplands, is the coastal city of Coffs days were between 62 and 66 degrees F. The Harbor. It is a coastal resort area of about 70,000 oaks, maples, linden, and other non-Australian trees were people. It borders the Tasman Sea which stretches between bare and leafless. The foreign trees were planted mostly in the Australia and New Zealand. To the locals it’s called “the populated areas for ornamental reasons. The native trees are ditch,” just like to some British and East Coast Americans the all evergreens, only having a light shedding of a few leaves Atlantic is called “the pond.” It is a beautiful coastline of rocks each winter. Australia’s largest variety of birds are members of the parrot and trees, where black cormorants dry their spread wings in the sun and the seals meander through the local marina lookfamily. Everything from the rainbow lorikeet, crested cockaing for handouts. The seafood was phenomenal. too, eastern rosella, to the green parrot and galah are found We went to church in Armidale at a chapel on the UNE throughout the towns and Outback. They are a noisy class of campus, where occasionally in the evening koalas can be seen birds. No matter if you are in the city or out in the forest you feeding in the crook of a tree. The chapel is a college outreach will hear some type of bird. I was awakened the first morning of the Anglican church. I was expecting something quite forin Armidale by the loud sounds of the galah (type of cockamal and liturgical. It was neither. The charismatic, evangelical too). They get their name from an old Australian word meaning “loud-mouthed idiot.” That pretty much explains how they service brought tears to my eyes. Halfway around the world and I was home! The music, songs, message and after-service sound. It took several days to get used to the morning bird fellowship demonstrated that as Christians around the world, sounds. In contrast, the small kookaburra from the kingfisher we are “one in a bond of love.” family has the pleasant sound of joyful laughter. No wonder it We spent a week in Sydney before coming home. We viewed was made Australia’s national bird. a movie at the world’s largest IMAX, enjoyed an opera at the Besides the birds, on our excursions into the wild we obSydney Opera House, and enjoyed the sights of Australia’s served many animals. The smaller wallabies were very fun largest city. Next trip to Australia we are going to skip the to watch. The larger gray kangaroos were more abundant. Viewing at close range a female with a joey hanging out of her large city and spend all our time in the beauty of God’s great pouch feeding on the grass was a definite highlight. outdoors. I have been invited to hunt on a roughly 2,000-acre We viewed a spiny anteater roll up into a ball for protection sheep station (ranch) and to go fishing for large freshwater cod as it tried to hide from us. We saw some of the non-native and burundi. I pray God gives me the opportunity. n
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Christian Living | March / April 2015
THE Brighter Side
Charity Majors beyond the crown By Ron Kern Charity: the voluntary giving of help to those in need; kindness and tolerance of judging others; love of humankind; generosity and helpfulness towards others. This definition is truly accurate when describing Charity, our current Mrs. Idaho. In speaking with her it is blatantly clear that she has many facets, and she as a person is much more than the accolades, titles, and degrees she holds. Her interests, passions, and goals supersede wearing a crown. So, who is Charity Majors? Besides being Mrs. Idaho, Charity is a wife, a former collegiate athlete, college graduate working on her master’s, and a speaker. Her goals, vision, and mission reach far beyond these.
Charity married Idaho native Chris Majors, a Boise firefighter, in 2010. “It was a celebration of God’s unconditional love,” she said after getting married. They look forward to raising their family in Boise. Charity and Chris not only want to have biological children, they also want to spread their love by adopting.
Charity competed in volleyball for the College of Idaho and was a force on the court. She holds two school records that are still standing, and have been for many years. She continues to be very active whether it’s on the slopes snowboarding, working out with her husband, or training others.
She graduated with honors and obtained degrees in psychology, exercise science, and a minor in coaching. She is a certified trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and is working on her master’s in health sciences. “I’m a bit of a nerd,” she said laughing. But what I observed is a very intelligent woman with a large heart for inspiring and helping others.
Some people have it and some don’t. Charity has it and is a natural when speaking. Recently, she spoke to 900 middle school kids on believing in themselves, making the right choices, and inspired them to lead by example. She touched on StandBEAUTIFUL, which seemed to resonate with many of the students. This initiative of Stand Up America is a program that mentors youth and women of all ages, addressing issues of self-esteem, negative thought patterns, body image, and healthy eating and fitness. Charity was selected to be the spokesperson for StandBEAUTIFUL and serves as its international liaison.
Mrs. Idaho America.
She competed in and won the title of Mrs. Idaho America after a friend suggested she try. With this win she will be traveling to Russia to compete in the Mrs. America pageant. “The relationships that come out of it are really special to me. I’m looking forward to meeting the other women participating in it, to collaborate on some great things like StandBEAUTIFUL, and Women Ignite,” Charity said. The majority of Mrs. Idaho America events, including travel, are self-funded by Charity and Chris. She appreciates any person or
10 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Charity Majors of Boise was crowned Mrs. Idaho America 2015 during a pageant held last October. (Photo by Josh Wolfe)
company that offers to help by way of sponsorships, donations, etc. “Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated,” she said. During our interview Charity often gave God the credit. “We’re not meant to salt each other, we are meant to be the salt of the world,” she said. One of her favorite quotes is, “Always remember to preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” I’ve heard this quote before but to find someone who actually lives it, leading by actions and not words, is refreshing. Charity exemplifies that lifestyle and is a Christian who leads by example. I asked her if she ever thinks that all of this is crazy, and if she ever gets caught up in it — being on the cover of magazines, in the news, on the radio, speaking engagements, interviews, being recognized in public, that sort of thing. Charity said, “I think it’s a great way to honor and bring light to the everyday person. I am not one to get starstruck. I’m just me and nothing separates or makes me better than anyone else.” It’s easy to see that Charity is genuine and sincere with her words and follows that up with actions. It’s obvious where her heart is. It’s obvious that she genuinely cares for others and doesn’t let obstacles keep her from helping them. She is just as strong mentally as she is physically, and is a positive influence for others, something rare these days. One thing that she really wants people to know is that you can do whatever you want to do. She told me that she wasn’t always confident and as sure of herself as people might think. “It’s a process to change and I urge others to follow their heart; it won’t lead them wrong,” she said.
Charity has already accomplished much, but as you might have guessed she has many goals, aspirations, and things yet to achieve. She’s not one to think small, which I find to be a huge asset. Exploring things outside of her comfort zone has become commonplace and is another positive attribute. What does the future hold? One of her goals is to write a book that will empower women to accept their beauty, encourage them to get healthy and fit, and show them how speaking positively can change actions. Her mission is to inspire and empower others, breaking down barriers that will allow people to maximize their potential. Specifically for women, she wants to provide a resource to allow the inner beauty to be found, recognized, and utilized. Charity will be speaking at the Women Ignite Conference in Boise this May, allowing her a platform for her message to reach so many women in the Treasure Valley. Charity believes that each person has amazing potential just waiting to be discovered. She wants to ignite that potential in others through the growth of a healthy mind, body and spirit. Recently, she joined the executive team of Premier Athlete Sports Management as its fitness, nutrition, and wellness specialist. Her extensive education, experience, and curriculum will help improve and elevate athletes all over the world, both physically and mentally. Dave Peterson, vice president of Premier Athlete, said, “Charity’s a huge asset and value to our team. With her vast knowledge and experience, our athletes will benefit in so many ways; it’s truly an exciting time.” Charity is one person who certainly breaks the stigma and stereotypes of beauty queens. She’s authentic as they come, with a heart for others, and has a passion to make a difference in the world. Charity is truly living, not existing. She appreciates the little things in life. She’s humble and gives God the credit. I am convinced her goals will be reached and her mission will continue to make a positive impact on others everywhere she goes. Her future and passion extend well beyond the crown. n More information can be found at: Mrs. Idaho America, mrsidahopageant.com; StandBEAUTIFUL, http://www.stand-upamerica.com/#!standbeautiful/cp0z; and Premier Athlete Sports Management, premiereathletesm.com.
A former business owner in Meridian for more than 20 years, Ronald Kern and his wife, Lisa, are now retired. They are founders of Kern Ministry Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit Christian organization that provides life’s essentials, medical supplies and educational resources for children, families and communities worldwide. Kern is an entrepreneur, business and life consultant, author, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Contact him anytime at RonaldAKern.com or TheBrighterSide@icloud.com.
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Christian Living | March / April 2015 11
‘Divine intervention all the way around’
Kyle Kurscheidt chose chiropractic as his profession and feels he works in tandem with God, the primary Healer. Kurscheidt survived a huge storm while on a fishing trip in his early 20s and credits his survival to divine intervention. (Courtesy photo)
By Sandy Jones In his sophomore year of high school, Kyle Kurscheidt suffered more loss than most high schoolers ever deal with. In a four-month period Kyle lost his wrestling partner, his best friend and a neighbor girl he’d known since kindergarten — all to separate auto accidents. They were friends he’d seen daily for years, all having had a huge impact on his life. He admits that his family attended church at Easter and Christmas, but they were not “devout,” so he didn’t have a strong faith at that time. True to his family heritage he sucked it up and tried to deal with the pain of his losses, leaving him with the questions: “God, why me?” and “If there is a God, why is this happening, because these are great people?” This worked until 2009 when he was 21 and away at college with many of his school friends. It was then that all the grief and heartbreak caught up with him one night. He shut down for the next couple of weeks, eventually seeking counseling to help him cope emotionally. “There was a point where I didn’t even … God wasn’t a thing in my life – God was nonexistent because of things that had happened.”
12 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
In the summer of 2009 Kyle, along with his brother, uncle, cousin and grandfather, traveled to Lac Seul, a lake in Ontario, Canada for a week-long fishing trip. The fifth day into the trip had been a beautiful day. Kyle’s uncle decided to take the boat out after dinner, leaving the rest of the party at the cabin. Suddenly the weather turned bad, with a thunder and lightning storm. The lake developed over 4-foot swells — big enough to capsize the boat. Lac Seul is bigger than Lake Superior, Lake Michigan or even the Great Salt Lake. But as quickly as the storm developed, it cleared. Soon the group at the cabin could hear the sound of the motor as Kyle’s uncle returned. Kyle and his brother, Cody, ran to the dock to help. As they were unloading the boat, a gust of wind caught the two unsuspecting brothers. They commented how it had come out of nowhere. As Kyle and Cody crossed the cabin’s porch, their uncle called to them to come look. They looked straight up into a funnel cloud full of tree tops, dust and debris as it descended on their cabin. The group ran for cover in the bathroom. Cody dove into the tub, but before the rest of the group got there, the tornado started lifting the cabin from its foundation. Kyle’s uncle and cousin were being sucked up into the funnel as Grandpa grabbed them both by their waistbands. Kyle was caught in mid-dive as they were all inhaled by the tornado; carried 30-40 yards in mere seconds, they were spit back out, bruised, but alive. Today, Kyle sports an amazing scar over his left eye as a reminder of that eventful day. Kyle reports that he’d never been so calm as he was during the tornado. He assumed that 21 years was what he’d been given, and he was good with that; he was ready to die. As soon as the tornado spit them out, his thoughts turned to Cody, his younger brother and the person Kyle is closest to — where was he? Was he all right? Fortunately, they landed facing each other. Their camp neighbors were amazed that they had survived. Sadly, three men in their 70s from Oklahoma did not survive the tornado’s impact. Returning to the site of the cabin, Kyle and his family members were startled when suddenly all of their vehicles burst into flames. They had walked within two feet of downed power lines and could have all been electrocuted. There was wood stuck in the buildings, in the vehicles — there was no reason that the five of them had escaped serious injury. Just the same, an ambulance took them in for treatment. The next day the five of them returned to camp. Kyle and Cody wanted to look for anything they could find. The cabin was gone. Only a dirt patch with some chunks of wood and copper piping from the bathroom was all that was left. Retracing their steps to where the bathroom had been, Kyle and Cody found a dirty, open book. Not recognizing it they picked it up and discovered it was a Bible, sitting right where they had been when the tornado had sucked them up. They had been there almost a week and had unpacked their clothes into the dressers and closets; none of them had seen a Bible during their stay. Yet here was one, as if God were letting them know that He’d been with them through this tragedy. Kyle says, “At that point it was very black and white, and I had accepted that there was a God…” Cody still carries the Bible with him in his backpack. Both young men view it as a family heirloom that changed their lives that day. Although the transformation took time, today Kyle
Everything happens for a reason, including Kyle choosing chiropractic as his profession. Kyle’s mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis by her chiropractor — an ugly diagnosis made bittersweet because it drew their family into a more holistic lifestyle. Kyle, now in his late 20s, has always loved anatomy and did several reports in his school years on chiropractic, never intending to really do anything with this knowledge he’d acquired. It wasn’t until the end of his first year of college as a business major that he sat down with his adviser and said: “I love anatomy. I want to do business. What would you recommend?” She pulled out an agreement with a chiropractic college. He wasn’t sold on it at first, but started reading more about how people heal when they get an adjustment. He came to this conclusion: “The amazing thing about chiropractic as far as that goes is I’m just moving a bone and the thing that made the body heals the body. God made the body so God’s healing the body... and solidified that this is what I need to be doing.” n Kyle Kurscheidt owns Innate Health Chiropractic Center in Meridian. http://innatehealthchiro.com
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Local families adopt beyond borders jumped in with both feet adopting Ava and Leora, who were 2 and 4 when we brought them home. LB: Adoption changed us from a couple into a family of four rather abruptly. Parenting changes you; it forces you to think beyond yourself and mature.
Kate Jones, second from left, and her pastor husband adopted three children from Liberia and also have two biological children, rounding out their family to five youngsters in all. (Courtesy photo)
By Angela Ruth Strong Many Idaho residents have made a difference in the world beyond our borders through international adoption. If you’ve ever been interested in the process or simply love the beauty of family, here is what three local mothers have to say about it in their own words. Camille McCauley is an aerobics instructor who adopted from the Philippines, Kate Jones is a pastor’s wife and teacher who adopted from Liberia, and Lena Biondolillo is a counselor who adopted brothers from Haiti. They each share the joys and hardships of their decisions and offer advice to anyone else considering such a journey. Q. When did you first consider adoption? CM: We had always considered adoption. KJ: Brent and I talked about our desire to adopt while we were engaged; about three years after we were married we chose to start our family with adoption, beginning the process of adopting two sisters from Liberia. LB: I’ve always thought about adoption and foster care. It became more clear on a short-term mission trip to Haiti in July 2008. That’s when I met my sons.
Q. What have been the hardest challenges? CM: That depends on the day. Small things can become huge things quickly. Helping our son truly understand that we are his forever family is the long-term goal. KJ: Becoming the parents of two toddlers with no parenting experience was really hard; there was a lot of trial and error! I thought that everything could just be hugged away, but that was not the case. It was a lot deeper and more complicated than that. We also added biological kids quickly and then adopted one more time. All in all we had five kids in five years. LB: As a family where we don’t all look like each other, we’ve had some awkward interactions with other people. There have been rude comments, assumptions, intrusive questions and unsolicited advice given by strangers. Because our family looks different, we are often “adoption ambassadors” even when we are just running to the grocery store to pick up a few things. That can be exhausting. We aren’t saints, we are just a family, living our lives. Q. What have been the greatest joys? CM: When I can see he feels safe with us. All the little things that make him proud of himself. KJ: Watching us become a family. When we started this process we didn’t know what it was going to “look” like, but here we are and we wouldn’t change a thing. Also, it has been a joy getting to know each of our amazing children and see their personalities, seeing each of them as the special individual person that God created them to be. LB: Watching my kids adjust to life in America has been very rewarding, and now they take many things that used to be novel or luxuries for granted. Watching them grow and mature. Seeing their faith emerge and grow is a joy that does any mother’s heart good.
Q. What influenced you to do so from overseas? CM: There was an announcement in our church bulletin that older adoptable children were visiting from the Philippines. We decided to go meet the kids. KJ: Both of us had spent time doing missions overseas and saw the great needs of orphans all over the world. LB: That is where my children were. Q. How did adoption affect your family? CM: Adoption has changed everything for us, and we are still changing. Some of the changes are consistent with adding any new family member: new personalities and interactions to consider. We are also now a mixed race family, and this took some getting used to. KJ: Adoption was our first experience being parents, and we
14 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Camille McCauley, center, along with her husband, second from left, adopted a boy from the Philippines. They also have two biological sons. (Courtesy photo)
Q. What have you learned from the experience? CM: Empathy has been my biggest lesson. Although we had the privilege of “choosing” our son, he was not afforded that same choice. He is the bravest person I know. At 11 years old, he left his country and the only family he has ever known to move to a foreign country with a totally different climate, language... wow. And he could not read — not at all. KJ: Love, patience, grace, that kids are kids, and that all kids can find success in a family. That they needed us, but more than that we need them! LB: To keep my focus on God. And to keep a sense of humor.
Be still and know that I am God…
Q. What advice would you give to anyone considering adopting from overseas? CM: This is going to sound harsh, but adoption is not saving someone. Adoption is brutal, and delicate, and heartbreaking for many parties. We are fortunate, but pay attention to the stories that don’t end like a fairy tale. We know too many of those, as well. KJ: Be committed to the process of bringing your child home. It can be a long haul, but it’s worth it. Have realistic expectations, understanding that your kids will not be perfect, and you are not perfect either. LB: Adoption is not for the faint of heart. But neither is parenting, whether you have biological, step, or adopted children. As a parent, it’s heartbreaking to watch your children grieve. But it is necessary. You must be prepared to assist with this and not take the children’s grief personally. I recommend talking with others, not just professionals, but the parents and families who are living with adoption. Thank you so much, ladies, for sharing your stories with us. We wish your families the best and are blessed by your shining example of James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” n
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Angela Ruth Strong researched international adoption for her March release of “The Food Fight Professional,” the third book in her Fun 4 Hire series for children ages 8-12. She also writes Christian romantic suspense and will release her novella “False Security” as part of the Love on the Run book set this March. Find out more at angelaruthstrong.com.
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Christian Living | March / April 2015 15
COVER STORIES COSMO Zimik
Giving hope a fighting chance
Left: Cosmo Zimik and his wife Sarah are more than just the owners of Empty Hand Combat. They care about the people who come to the dojo to study martial arts and have helped many turn their lives around. Right: Three of the students who work with Cosmo Zimik at Empty Hand Combat in Nampa include, from left, Chava Ramirez, Jenny LeBlanc and Juan Ramirez. Each has learned from Zimik not just martial arts skills but also the value of giving. (Photos by Steve Jones)
By Sandy Jones What do a mother of four, two former gang members and a Naga native all have in common? A dojo in Nampa, Idaho. First of all one might ask themselves ‘where is Naga?’ Naga is a region split between India and Myanmar. When the British left their occupation of the area in 1947, the area was split with no regard to how the division might affect the Naga Nation. Then a dojo? A dojo is a martial arts studio. We found Jenny LeBlanc, brothers Chava and Juan Ramirez, and Cosmo Zimik on a cold January evening at Empty Hand Combat in Nampa, just as they were celebrating a belt ceremony with a room full of youngsters and their families. Cosmo’s wife, Sarah, was behind the counter handing out certificates, calling each of the students affectionately by name. As the happy families left, there were many sincere “thank-yous” to Cosmo or Sarah — the joy of the event was contagious, and there was obvious pride on the faces of the many parents and grandparents. These were happy families going back to their homes and everyday lives. As the festivities dwindled down, Cosmo introduced my husband and me to Jenny, Chava and Juan. He explained that his story was their story, and left us to chat. Jenny’s bubbly personality spills over as she explains that 2½ years ago she’d brought her children to take classes at the dojo. As she heard stories of what Cosmo did in Nampa, she decided that she needed to join as well. Jenny explained that once she realized that there was much more going on than just a martial arts studio, that at the core it was all about “touching the hurting souls, and restoration and bringing hope back to people’s lives,” that she had to be a part of it. Today Jenny is an integral part of the mentoring program, a perfect fit for this natural nurturer.
16 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Jenny says it best in her own words when speaking of Cosmo and the studio: “He (Cosmo) wants people to catch his vision, be excited about it, and realize that a world full of people giving is a lot better than a world full of people taking.” She goes on: “I’ve seen lives changed. I’ve seen hope restored to the hopeless. I’ve seen kids that just didn’t care about anything soften their heart and just turn around and want to give back and help others. I’m excited to be in this environment that’s all about giving, it’s all about love, it’s all about bringing hope.” Jenny explains that Cosmo’s main characteristic is his brutal honesty, which she attributes to how he has motivated her in personal and professional development. “Cosmo is the glue that holds us together!” – Jenny LeBlanc Chava Ramirez is the undefeated house champion who currently holds three kick-boxing titles. A former gang member, he and his brother Juan, who trains Chava, have been coming to the gym for five years. Chava is quick to point out “Cosmo is always hopeful.” He met Cosmo when he and Juan were walking to the library one day and Cosmo stopped them and invited them to the gym — to come try it. In looking back Chava readily admits: “Cosmo did change my life. Right now I would, I can guarantee you, I wouldn’t be here, I would probably be in jail.” Chava went on to explain that it was Cosmo’s honesty and “straight bluntness” that won him over. Chava and Juan come from a broken home. Their mother was abused as they grew up. Their home life had no structure. Today these young men view Cosmo and Sarah as surrogate parents as their own mother was deported just months ago. Continued on page 23
Two very different ministries ASPEN Morrow
A hard obedience with blessed results
Aspen Morrow is a serial entrepreneur who once suffered with a serious disorder she never disclosed to anyone but her closest friends and family. She faced down her biggest fear by telling the world her secret. For doing so, God blessed both her courage and obedience. Among other successes, she is now a bestselling author.
By Gaye Bunderson Idaho born and raised, Aspen Morrow set off after high school to study at Oklahoma Baptist University. She had big plans of becoming a career missionary. She majored in public relations and journalism, with a minor in Asian studies. She received both athletic and academic scholarships, and all her life goals were coming together. But in her last year at the university, things began to come apart. Morrow struggled for years with bipolar disorder. In 1999, as a senior in college, the illness spiraled out of control. “I had a manic episode,” she said. “For two weeks I didn’t sleep. I suffered a nervous breakdown; you can’t get your brain to shut off.” She was hospitalized and put on what she calls “harsh antipsychotics... The doctor said I’d be on medication for the rest of my life.” “I was disqualified for what I’d gone to school for. I went from a college-educated, promising future to food stamps, public housing, and life as a mental health patient,” Morrow said. The last straw came when the doctor advised her not to have children because: her condition was severe; there is a hereditary link with bipolar disorder that could be passed on to her child; and he feared she could suffer from postpartum psychosis. “But my God is bigger than the doctor,” she said.
She did marry and give birth to a son, but in a classic textbook case, she went off her medications. According to Morrow, patients frequently either feel they no longer require medications or they struggle with the flat, no-feelings-at-all side effect of lithium and other bipolar drugs. The consequences of going offmed can be drastic, as she found out when the extreme mood swings returned immediately. “I was about to lose my son and my marriage,” said Morrow. “I started praying for relief or death.” Though she was praying to God, she said she had grown disillusioned with Him. She had lost the life she had worked so hard for. “I was mad,” she said. “I was praying but not expecting much. I was in plea mode. I felt like I was in a storm, and I saw a vision of a lighthouse and God said, ‘Hold on; something is coming.’” Shortly after that, her grandmother contacted her to say, “We have found something: a multi-vitamin for mental health.” Morrow is well-acquainted with skeptics who deny the efficacy of vitamins in treating serious disorders, as well as naysayers who don’t believe God is a healer or sender of visions of encouragement. She takes it all with grace because she is living proof to the contrary. Continued on page 19
Christian Living | March / April 2015 17
NOTES From Home
So much wisdom in 30 years I want to be kind. I want to leave By Dani Grigg If you woke up one day recently people better than I found them. I feeling like that day was a big deal want to be grateful. I want to be joybut you couldn’t pinpoint why, that ful. I want to uplift. I want to live up day may have been my birthday. to my heritage as a daughter of God. I turned 30 a few weeks ago and I want to be filled with light. the whole planet was like, “YEEEI work with the teenage girls at AAAHHH!!” my church, and seeing them realize I didn’t test this theory out, but I felt like if I’d walked down the street some of these same desires makes with my hands up, everyone would me happy. I remember entering have given me high fives. junior high just wanting to survive. I Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and I just feel so wise now, you know? happy mother of two young sons. wanted to do well academically, yes, Like, WAAAAY wiser than I was 30 and make friends, but what was most years ago. Back then, I didn’t know what a number was, let alone important to me at that time was surviving the decisions others were making — decisions about how to treat that the square root of 144 is 12. I couldn’t say hello other people and what to value. in English, let alone in Spanish, French, Italian AND Finnish (hyvää päivää, everyone) (though my Finnish In high school I started to gain more confidence and grandmother’s eyes go wide in horror whenever I try to figure out that my decisions and values were so much pronounce it in front of her). I couldn’t have told you more important to me than theirs were. I started to look who Elvis was, let alone achieve a 76 percent correct for the best in people and see how my optimism affected rate in the entertainment category of the smart phone people around me. More importantly, I recognized that game Trivia Crack. it felt good to love people. I know. SO MUCH WISDOM. Obviously, I’ve got a lot left to figure out, and hopeI’ve got skills, too. So many skills. For example, I can do a backbend FROM A STANDING POSITION. fully plenty of time to do that in. But as for these first I can scramble, boil AND fry an egg. And, believe it 30 years, I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. or not, I can ride a bike without using my hands for at I would be a little bit happier if I could achieve a recleast three seconds. ognizable wink with my left eye and if I could explain This is all impressive, I know, but I think my most important progress in the last 30 years has been toward to you the differences between the Sunnis and Shias, but that’s what the next 30 years are for, right? n figuring out who I want to be.
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Aspen Morrow continued from page 17 The multi-vitamin is the work of a Canadian company called Truehope. Morrow started taking the product in 2003. “Within three months I started to get my life back — and when the first bottle showed up, it had a lighthouse logo on it. I have been medication- and symptom-free for 12 years,” Morrow said. She became friends with the daughter of the man who helped create the nutritional supplement. “They’re a big LDS family. Her name is Autumn Stringam (truehope.com/about/story). She moved to Nampa and we became close friends,” Morrow said. The other part of Morrow’s story involves her life as an entrepreneur. In 2007, she started a company called Aspen Consulting, helping victims of identity theft in conjunction with a firm called Legal Shield. She and her company were featured in several area publications; but while she was interviewed, she said, she always kept her past a secret. Then, during attendance at a Christian women’s conference, she and other participants were asked to make a vision board detailing their future life goals. Morrow, whose consulting business was going well, put a car and similar superficial things on her board. “I had shallow goals,” she said, “so I prayed, ‘God, where do you see my life in five years?’ He gave me a vision: I saw myself on stage in front of an audience talking about bipolar disorder. Nobody knew about that — I didn’t want them to know. Those were the darkest and most shameful years of my life.” Realizing God was calling her to speak out about her difficult past in hopes of helping others, she said, “I went into the bathroom and threw up.” Now, she is the courageous face of a debilitating illness and how it can be overcome drug-free. She wrote a bestselling book titled “Med Free Bipolar,” which is available on Amazon, where it received positive reviews and a 4.6- out of a 5-star rating. Morrow also sells the product that set her free from the disastrous effects of bipolar disorder, but she doesn’t just push the product indiscriminately to whoever wants it. In short, she’s not in it for the money, and doesn’t sell it like snake oil. “I’m not a doctor. I’m just a recovered psych patient, I’m just a peer. I’m
on a mission to show people their options,” she said. “I pray to the Lord to send me the people who are in need. A lot of times when people hear of a miracle healing, they think it’s just for that person.” She continues to be a businesswoman through several enterprises, including Pottenger Publishing, and said she got her business gene from her grandfather, a highly successful, self-taught entrepreneur who literally went from hobo to millionaire. Her business card lists her as “Author. Speaker. Book Sales Guru. Mompreneur.” She and her husband now have three children. She said God blessed the obedience she showed in going public about her trials and writing the book. “I am really proud I did the thing I feared the most.” n Aspen Morrow offers a free book she wrote titled “Five Steps to Quintessential Health” to anyone who asks for it. For more information, email her firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 870-9238. Her websites include medfreechild.com and pottengerpress.com.
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Christian Living | March / April 2015 19
Why the Apostle Paul never wrote memes In my prior article, I shared the problems that come with accepting this common culturally-embraced belief that it’s perfectEditor’s note: This article is a follow-up to the ly OK to walk away from negative people. Christian Living January/February article titled, Here are just a few: “What if you got that wrong? Burn the memes!” 1. We are those negative people sometimes, if we’re being honest with ourselves. We’ve all heard it, usually making fun, Probably more often than we care to “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true!” admit. We laugh because we know that there are 2. It’s pretentious and prideful to believe people who are not, shall we say, as skeptithat we’re not. It’s also kind of silly. cal as perhaps they should be of what 3. The implication underneath these they read online. memes is that we’re somehow wiser, even Last time we looked at how we can more mature, because we’ve “moved on.” sometimes fall into that trap, even though 4. The entire vibe is one of indepenwe are usually skeptical. What gets us in Joel Lund is an executive coach, specialin helping people powerfully use their dence, striking out on one’s own, the trouble? Memes. You know those images izing entrepreneurial DNA to make an impact on that include words of wisdom? They’re those they lead in private, public and church captain of our soul. Which sounds great, often really, really funny. My favorites use sectors. He is an award-winning author in but for which… pictures from hugely popular movies. Like non-fiction and fiction (under his pen-name 5. There’s no Biblical basis for doing so. King). Starting in his teens, Lund Imagine the poor guy that God called on the one picturing Boromir, from “The Fel- Brandon has been an engaging speaker, and has prelowship of the Ring,” saying, “One does sented all over North America. In a former to go up and meet with the most-feared terrorist of his time, a religious fanatic not simply walk…” (which he does say in life, he earned two degrees in Christian the movie) “into Costco without buying a studies and served full-time for 8 years in named Saul. There was no person on earth 70-inch TV” (which, of course, he doesn’t youth ministry. Want to know more? Visit who would have been seen as more “negaPrepareForRain.com. tive” than Saul. Except that God had just say in the movie). We laugh because if transformed him into the Apostle Paul. He we’ve been to Costco, we get the joke. It went onto become the most influential disciple of Jesus, is hard not to come out of there with things we didn’t composing much of the New Testament, including 1 Corhave on our list. So before we move on, let’s redeploy Boromir’s famous line: “One does not simply walk into… inthians 13. Can you picture how many believers — especially those who had lost family members to Saul’s violent Costco without bringing a list.” past — were challenged to not leave this negative person behind? Some memes don’t aim to be funny. Instead, their goal But that’s exactly what they were called on to do. And they is to challenge us. Get us to think differently. Maybe it’s did. just on my Facebook news feed, but I expect you’ve seen As believers we’re expected to work at being reconciled them, too. Hundreds of memes that champion an idea with others (2 Corinthians 5:18), including non-believers. similar to this: If there is a negative person in your life, you just But especially with believers. Feeling justified for dumping need to move on! And who hasn’t felt like doing that? Unless you live in a someone else is just not there, even if they are “negative.” We get into really deep weeds, though, when we feel somebubble, you’ve encountered a negative person. how more enlightened when doing so. That’s trouble. Maybe they’re at home. Maybe they’re on the job. What’s so strange about this is that there is another comMaybe they’re even at church. But you know all too mon cultural theme — a good one! — that often comes well what it’s like to run afoul of a negative person. And from the same people espousing dumping negative people you’ve felt the powerful recoil: Whoa! This person isn’t any in their lives: “Embrace thankfulness.” Another way it’s fun to be around. presented is to “Have an attitude of gratitude.” I get it. There are difficult people in the world. It is a I suggest these two themes are not mutually exclusive. sure thing that we’ll encounter them. There’s no way Maybe the best way to maturely deal with negativity in our around that. But do we have to just put up with them? lives is to be grateful for all that we have… including those Our culture would say, “No. No you don’t. Absolutely negative people. Perhaps instead of walking away from not. You should just walk away. You’ll be better for it.” them, we’re actually called to walk towards them. Or are we There are loads of memes advocating this. so quick to think that the Lord wouldn’t place a negative As I’ve seen more and more of them show up on the person in our path? Ever ask for more patience? Could pages of Facebook and elsewhere, they’ve bothered me more and more. It took a while to finally discern why. We there be more fertile ground? Yet, it must be asked: are there times when it is appropriate too eagerly accept the meme’s statement as true. By Joel Lund
20 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
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to avoid people who are negative? Sure there are. Just not as often as our impulses would have us believe. Let’s look at those times when it is essential to walk away: • When someone in our life is “toxic,” they are certainly toxic to themselves. Chronic behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse, physical or emotional abuse, often are perpetrated by people who have, themselves, experienced horrifying things in their lives. But believing that staying within their reach, literally, will somehow help them is sadly misplaced. Two very broken people together doesn’t help either. Removing yourself from this kind of “negative person” is crucial to one’s healing. And quite possibly the perpetrator’s. • When someone is negative to someone else in your life, it’s time to walk away. Maybe even run. If an adult in your world is being negative, or worse, to your children, leave. Get some space between you immediately. Reconciling with someone is what we’re called to do as believers. Suffering at the hands of another is not. Let those never be confused. • When the leadership of your place of worship brings negativity to your world, it may be time to leave. If you are feeling attacked, emotionally or spiritually, then it is time to leave. As in the other situations mentioned, we don’t earn “High Pain Tolerance” badges for putting up with negativity, abuse or withering toxicity. Let’s recap. It can be appropriate to walk away from the negative people in our lives. But we do well to examine our impulse for doing so. There’s no free pass available to dump people. And, honestly, doesn’t leaving people behind sound pretty negative? Also, we must resist the urge to feel entitled or worse, enlightened, by leaving negative people behind us. However, we must leave when our safety is involved — or the safety of those we are responsible for, particularly children and the elderly. Efforts at reconciliation come later. Safety comes first. The central point is that, as believers, we are still just as human, just as broken, just as imperfect as anyone else. Let’s keep our hearts soft and open, even as we keep our minds strong and alert. And let’s seek reconciliation, even though it can be hard. Remember, no one in our life is as negative as Saul was to his contemporaries. And that story turned out better than anyone could have guessed. n
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Christian Living | March / April 2015 21
Fear freezes us; faith frees us By Dan Woodworth — fear of death, fear of judgment — is Have you ever considered the process of one not yet fully formed in love. how fear freezes us? How many of us battle As we live in the Spirit by allowing Christ fear every day? How many times a day? to work for us, in us and through us (His If Christ is living in you, the devil cannot FIT Plan) through prayer, meditating in and attack Christ, but he can attack you with his speaking His Living Word and living in His evil spirits. love, His love is perfected in us three ways: What is his number one weapon? He does 1. By Keeping the Living Word of God. not want you to know that it is fear. He is 1 John 2:5 powerfully proclaims: But afraid because he is condemned to the botwhoever keeps His word, truly the love tomless pit of the lake of fire on the final of God is perfected in him. By this we judgment. Since he is tormented with fear, know that we are in Him. (NKJV) he attacks people who have Christ living in 2. By loving one another. them. 1 John 4:12 radically reveals this transHow does he attack with fear? If we have forming truth: No one has seen God at any type of fear — fear of rejection, fear of any time; if we love one another, God failure, fear of abandonment or fear of (fill Dan Woodworth abides in us, and His love is perfected in the blank) — that provides access for an in us. (NASB) evil spirit to create a stronghold in our minds. 3. Know, believe and abide in His love because as How do we overcome fear? By the faith of God that works He is, so are we in this world. by love. Many people have faith, but they do not have faith 1 John 4:15-17 speaks His words of Spirit and life to us: in our Living Lord and in His Living Word and they do not Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, experience His love that causes the faith He gives us to work God abides in him, and he in God. We have come for us. to know and have believed the love which God has Our Loving Lord speaks to us in Hebrews 11:1 in the origi- for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love nal Greek language: abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence conviction of things not seen. in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are In The Message Hebrews 11:1 declares: we in this world. (NASB) The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust If you are plagued by fear that you cannot overcome, in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under evconsider reading and meditating in the previous three points erything that makes life worth living. and Scripture verses. I am confident you will experience Faith is a gift from our Living Lord. It is like a muscle. The a true transformation of fabulous freedom. If this process more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes. worked for me, I know it will work for you. Remember that Let’s see how we overcome fear. We hear our Loving Lord our Astonishing Abba deeply desires to transform you into speaking to us in Galatians 5:6 in Greek: the image of Christ in ever increasing splendor. He delights For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor unin your freedom in Christ. circumcision counts for anything, but only faith Pray these verses of Scripture continually out loud and expressing itself through love. believe that His Living Word will become flesh in your life! Faith Listen to His words of Spirit and life in The Message: that works by love will drive out fear and the number one tool For in Christ, neither our most conscientious reliof the devil will backfire on him and you will Live Freely! n gion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith Dr. Dan Woodworth was highly honored to earn the expressed in love. Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the King’s Let’s look at love. The Greek word for our Master’s love University in Los Angeles in 2009. He enjoys empowis agapé (pronounced ah-gaw-pay). This is the pure, perfect ering, creative conversations with his Living Lord, love from our Loving Lord. beautiful bride, sensational son, faithful friends and Listen to His wonderful words in 1 John 4:18 in Greek: future friends. His passion is to encourage and emThere is no fear in love, but perfect (complete) love power priceless people with the transforming power of drives out fear because fear has to do with punishhope and healing to become all they are created to be. ment. So the one who fears has not been perfected in He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three love. churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/ Listen to His Living words in The Message: cultural, cross/generational healing community solvThere is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love ing pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life reached at email@example.com.
22 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Cosmo Zimik continued from page 16 the seeds of God’s love, explaining that “I want them to pursue God with their heart.... if they fall in love with Jesus they are always going to find the right answers.” While Cosmo promotes church attendance, he refuses to tell the kids which church to go to; he will offer them guidance, but where to attend is something they will have to decide on their own — for him it’s all about God and Jesus, not about denomination. In the past Cosmo was all about the numbers, growing the dojo to as many students as he could. But he admits that without an adequate number of volunteers to help, he wasn’t comfortable with how things were going. Today Empty Hand Combat has smaller classes, building only as their volunteer mentor program grows. Cosmo says they are always looking for mentor volunteers to spend 30 minutes a week with the kids; outside of that he holds a mentor volunteer meeting for an hour once a month. He compares their new program to Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ blueprint for success as one that’s been endorsed by both the justice department and the correction department. Cosmo rejoices in the success of past students — “We’re not great in numbers, but we’ve got powerful stories!” “Part of my problem is I was always running ahead of God. Now I’m just happy and content with God.” – Cosmo Zimik Echoing what had been said by Jenny, Chava and Juan, Cosmo sums up his mission, his passion, in this way: “I really want people to know that I want them to go out and do better than us. I want people to really reach out. This is our story, but I want people to know you can do this, you know, shovel the snow next door, mow the lawn — it’s contagious! We’re in the hopeless generation, the war, the economy, gas prices going down or up, people are doom and gloom, so if you give them just a little hope it goes a long way. That’s the message I want to carry, that we are not just a dojo, we want to give hope to these kids.” “I’m here to give hope.” – Cosmo Zimik Leaving that evening I felt inspired, challenged and encouraged all at the same time. If Cosmo Zimik can travel halfway around the world to help the kids in Nampa, Idaho, what could I, a local, do? n Learn more about Empty Hand Combat at emptyhandcombat.com. Cosmo’s biography, “Empty Hand Revolution,” can be purchased at his studio in Nampa or online at amazon.com.
Juan, a young man of very few words, comes forward, still celebrating that he was awarded his black belt this very evening. What he really wants us to understand is that he views Cosmo as a father, and in the five years they’ve known each other Cosmo frequently talks with him about God, and about water baptism. Chava interjects, “It’s like Cosmo told me, it’s not about what you’ve been doing wrong, it’s about God’s forgiveness.” Juan continues his story, sharing with us that Cosmo led him to salvation and baptized him last year, and that Chava was also baptized just weeks ago. Although this doesn’t make their lives perfect — they have a younger brother who shows no interest in coming to the gym that gives their own lives so much stability, and they are still faced with the same temptations any young 20-somethings are challenged by — but what they do have is hope and love. They are paying it forward to their students. The influence Cosmo has had on their lives is filtering down through Chava and Juan to the students they now mentor, many of whom come from eerily similar backgrounds. As my husband and the others leave the room, Cosmo joins me. We start by chatting about his recent return to the Idaho State Penitentiary as one of the chaplains. Having served there in this capacity for six years, Cosmo admits that he was “grumpy” about being back out there. Until one day three weeks into his new position, an offender came in stating that he’d “hit the wall,” confessing that he’d tried everything else to no avail, and wanted to change his life. Cosmo shared with him the story of King David, how we all make mistakes, we’re all sinners, but only through God’s grace are we saved. Amazed that there was still hope for him, the offender gave his life to the Lord right then and there. That’s all it took; at that moment Cosmo realized that once again God had placed him at the right place at the right time. Cosmo’s biography, “Empty Hand Revolution” by David Mark Brown, portrays what it was like for all of the Nagas: “[Cosmo was] a victim of oppression, suppression, persecution, torture and more.” The book goes on to explain how Cosmo escaped the turmoil, how he quite literally fought his way through his young adulthood, but the desire to make a difference for his and all people has never changed. Regarding his move to Idaho Cosmo shares with me, “It’s like my wilderness. I’ve gone around the world and done things, but I really believe that God brought me here to learn more about myself and about God.” Cosmo is not shy about his faith, and is outspoken about his belief that we should all be trying to impact at least one person — to make a difference. Cosmo’s love for people is obvious, but his passion about the underprivileged, the kids from broken homes, the downtrodden, the hopeless is unending. He has dedicated his life here to help the kids in his own backyard of Nampa. Cosmo is quick to point out that his work is not about him, it’s about making a difference in these young people’s lives. In doing so he hopes to plant
Christian Living | March / April 2015 23
‘COACH ‘em up’
The power of a positive influence By Skip Hall One of my favorite books is “They Call Me Coach” by legendary basketball coach John Wooden. I wish everyone in leadership considered themselves a coach, realizing the huge impact they can make on the lives of their players and their teams. Clearly coach Wooden was equally known for his example as a man of character as he was for his coaching ability. The principles that made him a legend in the sports arena are timeless truths which transcend all areas in life, including the business arena. Core principles parallel sports, business and life. As a coach for 30 years in sports and 15 years in business, I have always tried to instill in our people and our teams that we can never be truly successful or attain peace of mind unless we have the self-satisfaction of knowing that we have done our best — mastering the fundamentals, paying attention to detail, caring about others, maintaining respect without fear, and hard work. A proven formula for success whether on or off the playing field. One of the principles that has influenced me greatly is the concept of “The Power of Positive Influence” and the fact that people need role models, not critics. I often share this story when someone asks me what was the one thing that gave me the most satisfaction during my 30-year college coaching career. I could certainly name big games, Rose Bowl victories and a national championship, but the thing that stands out most vividly occurred when I was coaching at the University of Missouri. A young man in his early 30s came to my office one day and asked to speak with me. As he sat down, he began to relate a story that had happened 10 years earlier at the University of Washington where he was a walk-on player and I was an assistant football coach. He stated that one day at practice he was really messing up and the young coach that was working with him became enraged and started screaming and yelling at him, embarrassing him in front of his teammates. He shared that I came over and got between the two of them, faced the young coach and said five words that had a major impact and great influence on this young player. He said the five words were, “Coach ‘em up, not down!” He had become a successful pastor in a small Missouri town and had driven over an hour to come and thank me for the positive influence which had had a great impact on him. In fact, he said the best sermon he had ever given and the one most well-received and requested was titled, “Coach ‘Em Up, Not Down!” You see, one of the most fundamental needs every person has is to be encouraged (to give courage to) rather than discouraged (to take courage from). Does the Bible have anything to say about encouragement? It certainly does. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a God-honoring way. Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (see John 13:34-35). Encouragement gives us hope (see Romans 15:4). Encouragement helps us through tough times and times of discipline and testing (see Hebrews 12:5).
24 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Skill Hall is a former head football coach at Boise State. After a successful, 30-year coaching career with BSU and other college football teams, he transferred his coaching skills to the business arena, serving in multiple leadership roles for more than 15 years with other businesses before launching his own company, Hall & Associates, a financial services firm. He is now an executive coach, senior strategist and professional speaker. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 871-8448.
Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life. Throughout Scripture we see instructions to encourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Why is encouragement emphasized in Scripture? Primarily because encouragement is necessary to our walk of faith. This doesn’t mean we overlook mistakes, but it’s how we handle the situation that matters most. I learned from Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, that how we handle a crisis or adversity is more important than the crisis or adversity itself. So true! Everyone can offer quality leadership and coaching because it’s a personal decision and action — not a title. As leaders, regardless of the sport, business, organization or family we’re coaching, it’s important to remember that we’re coaching way beyond the scoreboard or the bottom line. We’re coaching for life. n
THE overcoming life
Becoming more than conquerors through Christ By Ann Doupont As Christians, we are each called by God to be overcomers rather than to be overcome. According to Romans 12:21, we can see that we are not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. Step by step and day by day, we can find new ways of doing things which are different from how we had done them before. Sometimes these things are learned through others, and at other times, the Lord directs us by His Spirit and often as we’re reading the Bible. The key to overcoming anything in our lives is in knowing that it can be done. We need to believe that there is an answer for whatever we’re going through and that the Lord loves us and will help us as we pray. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is that of Romans 12:1-2. I especially like how it’s written in the King James Version. With the apostle Paul writing to the church at Rome, he said: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Upon meditating on these two verses over and over, understanding can come so that we then know how to apply them to our lives. As a new believer, I saw a professional Christian counselor. He asked me if I wanted to know what God’s will was for my life. Upon answering in the affirmative, he told me to do what was written in Romans 12:1-2. That is what I then did, knowing that in order to do what was written, I needed to first understand it. Being very overweight at the time, I didn’t really feel like my body was holy and acceptable to God. Still, I offered it to Him as a living sacrifice and He then began to undo for me all I’d done to get it into the condition it was then in. It took about a year and a half to lose those 70 pounds, yet little by little the weight came off.
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26 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
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Ann Doupont is the author of more than 40 eBooks and four print books, all of which can be found on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/anndoupont. She has lived in Boise for 12 years and is a member of a local church. In addition to writing, she is also an evangelist who has preached at rescue missions, in churches, and wherever else the Holy Spirit has sent her. She desires to see all of God’s children walking closely with Him and telling others how good He is with the hopes that many others will also be saved.
There are many things in life that we need to overcome. That tremendous weight loss took place over 30 years ago and gradually, I slipped back into some unhealthy eating habits and then found myself about 20 pounds overweight. Based on my past experience, I know that if I don’t make some changes in my diet, the weight will continue to gradually return and my health will begin to deteriorate. In Revelation 12:11, we can see that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. According to Proverbs 18:21, the power of death and life in is our tongues, and those who love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Getting God’s Word into our minds and hearts as we read it, think about it, speak it and hear it, we will become more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. It starts with the surrender of our lives to Jesus, with our knowing Him as Lord, not just Savior. Also in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, we can find messages written to the seven churches. At the end of each of the messages, we find the rewards for being an overcomer. God does reward people for their obedience. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (See Hebrews 11:6.) It’s been said that all the answers you need are in that Book if you’ll only open it up and read it. I believe this to be true. I have experienced it first-hand over the past 30-plus years since I first asked Jesus to come into my life. So will anyone who does likewise. As each person reads and studies it for themselves, they then become able to rightly divide the scriptures and be freed from all bondage. Like learning a foreign language, it takes time for our minds to be transformed through this process of replacing His words for ours. But, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to learn how to live the overcoming life, and great will be our rewards in Heaven. n
Eagle Laser Center: tattoo-removal ministry By Gaye Bunderson Lori Gergen moved to the Treasure Valley two years ago from a small isolated town in Nevada to expand her business in an area with more growth potential. Her daughter, Brandy Suydam, had already moved to the area, loved it, and encouraged her mother to make the move as well. “We began as Renew You Laser and Second Chance Ink, a 501(c)(3), in Nevada, helping individuals transform and begin new lives with the removal of tattoos that held them in bondage to their previous mistakes. Being community-driven, we made tattoo removal — as well as our other services — affordable to everyone to give as many people as possible the chance to show their ‘best’ selves,” the women said. Gergen and Suydam work together, both having learned their trade at the National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. They have now re-branded as Eagle Laser Center and are located within the offices of Dr. Lawrence Sassadeck at 233 W. State St. in Eagle. The ‘other services’ they offer include laser-based skin rejuvenation such as evening out skin tones, reducing pore sizes, minimizing acne and its scarring, tightening skin and reducing wrinkles. They also offer pain management therapy through laser technology used by athletes in the NFL, NBA and other professional sports organizations, Suydam said. The women call their services “non-ablative,” meaning they are non-surgical and require no downtime. “You can have a facial and go out to dinner that night,” Gergen said. The tattoo-removal side of the business is also something the women see as a ministry, though the motivations for wanting to rid skin of body art may vary from person to person. “We get people in their 20s who within hours of getting a tattoo want it off,” Suydam said. However, they also see people who’ve sported a tattoo for 20 years or more and now want to be rid of it. “Names are the No. 1 tattoo removal,” Suydam said (as in names of former love interests now gone).
Brandy Suydam, left, and Lori Gergen, right, stand near a RevLite SI machine that uses laser technology to remove tattoos. The women offer tattoo removal and other services in their Eagle Laser Center office. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
One of the overriding factors in tattoo removal, she stated, is that “people evolve...they change.” A grown man who got a swastika tattooed on his arm in his youth may now realize the extreme negative symbolism of such a design. Or a man may have gotten a Playboy “bunny” tattoo and has since become a man of faith. Gergen and Suydam said females especially are motivated to have “tats,” as they are referred to, taken off. “They got a tattoo in their 20s,” said Gergen, “and now they have kids, and the kids ask them, ‘What is that?’” Continued on page 29
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Christian Living | March / April 2015 27
YOUR Daily Bread
Savings key to financial stewardship greater flexibility to determine the next By Terry Frisk We live in a society that encourages chapter in my career. I decided to start my spending. Everywhere you look, there are own business providing financial advice messages stating we need the latest, greatto small business owners. Having the cash est gadgets and gizmos. Oh, and you must reserves enabled us to pay our bills while I have these items now. While God provides built my business. This allowed me to focus us with this abundance, God also wants us on my work without the added stress of to be good stewards with our finances and how to support my household. live within our means. In order to start your savings plan, you The wise man saves for the future but the foolish first need to establish a budget mapping all man spends whatever he gets. — Proverbs 21:20 of your income and expenses. Many people (TLB) find that their expenses equal or exceed There are many reasons to save: emertheir monthly income. The ability to build gencies, retirement, Christmas, college a savings account requires living within or for a myriad of other purposes. These your means and having a surplus of funds reasons all have one thing in common; they available to save. Critically examine your are all in preparation for future expenses. spending habits. Are you achieving value Some may say that saving for these future for the money you are spending? Are there events conflicts with having faith that God Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B more economical options that would proCFO, providing financial advisory services to will provide. But God wants us to plan for vide equal or greater value? For example, small businesses. He also counsels individuour future. if you have a cable or satellite television als on personal financial matters through the The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely subscription that costs $100 per month, do of the Rockies Budget Counseling as haste leads to poverty. — Proverbs 21:5 (NIV) Cathedral ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail you view the subscribed channels enough I have heard it said, “Why would I build at email@example.com. to substantiate the cost? If not, there may a savings account that only pays a few cents be a number of lower cost alternatives inper month in interest? I would be better cluding Internet streaming options or only off to spend now before prices go up.” The point is to build a subscribing during seasons when you watch television proreserve of readily available money in order to protect yourgramming. As you develop your budget, establish a savings self from unexpected bills. With a savings reserve, you can be goal and make it a priority item in your budget behind giving proactive and better able to deal with unforeseen expenses. to your church. Here are some additional ideas on ways to When the roof of my house started to leak a few years ago, build your savings account: I was faced with the decision to patch the leaking area for 1. Use automated saving techniques. Banks want you to $1,000 or replace the entire roof for $8,000. While the cost save money. Set up a savings account with a savings plan that of the patch was more palatable, I knew that the existing roof automatically transfers an amount from checking to savings. was over 20 years old and I would likely experience further If you have direct deposit available where you work, have a problems if I did not replace it now. Having the funds availportion of your paycheck go directly to your savings account. able meant I could react quickly and I was able to select the You likely won’t even miss it. long-term solution so I did not have to revisit the issue for 2. Receiving a cash windfall? Put at least a portion of it another 20 years. away in a savings account. Many of us will be receiving an Also, saving enables you to pay cash for an item you would income tax refund. This would be good seed money for a savotherwise have to borrow to purchase. Several years ago, my ings account. wife and I got tired of having the perpetual auto payment. 3. If you receive additional income from working extra We vowed to never purchase another auto on credit. After hours or receive a bonus, save it for times when income is we paid off our auto loans, we deposited the amount of our lean. monthly payment into a savings account designated for our 4. Save budget surpluses. If your utilities bill was $100 less next auto purchase. We found that our attitude about our than what you had budgeted as a result of mild weather, then vehicles changed. Instead of trading cars as soon as they put that amount into your savings fund. Extra funds left in a were paid off, we were content to drive the same vehicle for checking account always seems to vanish. 10 or more years before trading. Also, thinking in terms of 5. Have a yard sale and put the proceeds into savings. You the vehicle cost instead of the monthly payment resulted in will be surprised at how much you can get out of stuff that shopping for more modest vehicles. What about 0 percent you no longer use. financing that is currently being advertised on cars? You can 6. Monetize your hobby or other skill for extra income. generally negotiate a better price for the vehicle if you are With marketing tools available via the Internet, you can easily paying cash. In addition, there may be other strings attached sell your products or services online at very little cost. such as additional fees and loss of available rebates or other Financial stewardship is one important step in our faith incentives. journey. Striking a balance between giving, saving and spendAnother benefit of maintaining a savings fund is it provides the opportunity to do things you desire. Two years ago, I was ing is a matter for prayerful consideration. Achieving that faced with making a career change. We had built up a reserve balance results in financial security in accordance with God’s fund that would cover 6 months of expenses. This gave me plan for us. n
28 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Eagle Laser continued from page 27
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Neither woman is anti-tattoo, and in fact they work with some area tattoo parlors that refer clients wanting tattoos lightened through the laser-based therapy offered at Eagle Laser Center. But something they are both committed to is serving people who are trying to get out of gangs but still bear the symbols of the gangs they’re trying to flee. Suydom said — and a recent National Public Radio broadcast on gang activity also stated — that getting out of a gang can be extremely difficult, because ex-members are threatened with death. In both Nevada and Idaho, Gergen and Suydam have worked with people who’ve moved from larger metropolitan areas to escape gang retaliation. Gang symbols are universal, Suydam said. A teardrop under the eye can symbolize prison time, loss of a fellow gang member, or that the tattooed person killed someone. A series of circles on female gang members may indicate gang rape, a rite of initiation girls voluntarily undergo in order to belong to the gang. “They want so bad to be a part of something,” Suydam said. The businesswomen don’t want anyone to think gang activity isn’t alive and well in the Treasure Valley. Suydam, who is also studying to be a respiratory therapist, said that when doing clinical rounds, she sees evidence of gang violence in local hospital emergency rooms. “There is an active gang population; you see how many gangs are here,” she said. Gang tattoos are removed free of charge. “Our profit comes from people getting a new start,” Suydam said. n
Looking Out For Your Next Move
Christian Living | March / April 2015 29
The key to hiring the right people By Steve Jones
Attitude is one of the most important factors to consider. People who genuinely “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your possess a positive, upbeat attitude will be plans will succeed.” — Proverbs 16:3 at the top of my list to consider for hiring. They tend to be overachievers who strive When do you begin your hiring process? to do their best. As Christians, we should Do you wait until someone announces they all have this characteristic, right? After all, are quitting, or they just don’t show up for we know we are blessed. Well, we should all work? If so, you’re not alone. That is often have it, but we don’t. the norm in the world of small business Aptitude is the ability to do the job. This operations. is a skill-set that comes from God. I have yet When should we begin looking? Always to meet a person who can create aptitude be looking. Pay attention to the people you in a given individual. This often relates to meet every day. Look for people with excepthe four primary personality or behavioral tional attitudes and good work ethics. You characteristics we all possess. These go know who I mean: the people who really by various names, but I prefer the terms stand out from the norm. They are the ones Steve Jones is a business consultant, manage- Analytical, Amiable, Expressive and Driver. who go out of their way to help you in a ment trainer, featured speaker and magazine We all have varying degrees of each, but we restaurant, a “big-box” store or maybe even columnist for the powersports industry. He has typically have one dominant characteristic. a workshop for small business owners called a mini-mart. Capture their contact infor• Analytical people are detail-oriented, Christian’s Guide to Business Managemation. Ask them if they would be willing “A structured and organized. Analyticals are ment” that is available to local churches to provide a resume you can keep on file. and business groups. He may be reached at often accountants, technicians, scientists, Often, we depend on “Help Wanted” firstname.lastname@example.org. etc. They tend to be reserved, and may not signs in the window or ads placed in the perform well in a sales or customer-relalocal paper to bring us candidates. We have tions position. them submit a job application that may focus heavily on edu• Expressive folks are flamboyant, outgoing, talkative, cation in a certain field, or perhaps a certain level of experisomewhat disorganized, and they like to stand out in a crowd. ence in one type of job. Many are great salespeople, CEOs, artists, etc. Many years of experience have taught me that Attitude, • Amiable people are friendly, talkative, and family-oriAptitude and Training (AAT) are three major ingredients we ented. They are generally members or organizers of clubs should consider in our hiring procedure. We have all seen and organizations. They enjoy companionship and jobs where candidates who had the “right” qualifications, experience they can relate to others. and/or education who were totally incapable of meeting the • The Driver is a decisive, orderly, results-oriented person job requirements. who doesn’t appreciate small details and wants to get to the point quickly. Drivers tend to be decision-makers, managers and organizers. As you can see, these inherent characteristics can heavily influence our aptitude for doing a particular job well. Training is the final part of the picture. If you have an applicant who has the correct attitude you are seeking, along with the aptitude to do the job, then he or she can usually be trained for the position you have open. One of the common mistakes I see in business is taking a person who does not have BOTH the attitude and aptitude for a particular position and providing them with training. This is a waste of time and money and it creates frustration for both parties. As John Maxwell put it: “You can’t make ducks into eagles.” No matter how hard you try, a duck will always be a duck; and an eagle will always be an eagle. Start the hiring process before you NEED to hire so you have good candidates you can contact. Take the time to find the right person for the job. In the end, everyone will be happier, and you will save a lot of money. It’s expensive to replace an employee hired by mistake. n 30 March / April 2015 | Christian Living
Where He leads me I will follow By Brian Raymond
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” — James 4:13-15 (NIV) I am preparing to make a change in my life that will affect my wife, my children, myself, and others. This decision was not and is not an easy one to make. I have spent countless hours, days and weeks agonizing over the decision. I am almost positive that I have earned a few more gray hairs over this as well. My poor family has had their own share of stress over my decision and perhaps my wife has also earned a wrinkle or a trace of extra silver in her wavy locks too. We all have difficult decisions to make far too many times in our lives. Some of these decisions are the type that make men out of boys or women out of girls. Over the past few weeks I have often wished that I was still a young lad who could defer this decision to his mom; I have wanted to pick up the phone and beg my mom to please make the decision for me. I have failed in my feeble attempt to want to defer to my wife to make this decision for me. I quickly realized that I am the man of the house and God has put me in the position to make a decision such as this. How am I going to gain insight? To where do I look to find hope, answers, and wisdom? Do I follow my own desires and plans or do
I yield to my Good Shepherd to lead me? I need to look no further than to God’s Word for the solution to my dilemma. In his epistle, James reminds us that as believers we must seek God’s will in all things. We may make our petitions known to God, but we must always defer to His perfect plan for us. In this culture it seems like we always are taught to be prepared. As their motto states, the Boy Scouts are “always prepared.” We plan for our retirement through a myriad of investments, we plan a wedding, and we plot our climb up the corporate ladder. None of this planning and preparedness is bad, but we must always be willing to change the course that we have set before us if God wills for us to do something different. Recognizing that God knows the beginning and the end and that His will is always best, then we must seek Him for the answer to the question, “What do I do?” Only then, at the end of ourselves, may we find peace, rest, and godly wisdom to determine where, when, and how we should proceed. After much prayer, reflection, and meditation on God’s Word, I now have the answer to the decision that has been laid before me. I know that more of these dilemmas will present themselves and I will be faced with decisions for those, too. I do not know for how long I will have the answer to my present question before God chooses to present another crossroad, but when I am faced with choosing a direction, I will decide to follow Jesus... No turning back. n Brian Raymond is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in nouthetic/biblical counseling. In January 2010 he was the co-founder of Christian Clinical Concepts, LLC in Nampa.
Christian Living | March / April 2015 31