Christian living 5 6 2015

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Stevenson Boise-based chart topper 40 Days A different kind of fast


Landreth Laura Ingalls fan


Dougherty Dad ministered while hunting



God’s servants in India

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Contents May / June 2015 Volume 3, Number 3


“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go.” — Psalm 71:3


Publisher Sandy Jones

Outdoors with Dougherty: Dad’s ministry

Editor Gaye Bunderson 208-639-8301

Brighter Side: Features 10 The Prayers on canvas


Ellen Landreth: Laura Ingalls fan

Faith: 14 Challenging Comfort overrated from Home: 20 Notes Reliving childhood

Cover Story —

Free: 21 Breaking His call

Graphic Design Denice King

This: 22 Consider A pure image Toolbox: 24 Marriage Marriage mentors Health: 28 Maximum Healthful juice Daily Bread: 30 Your Financial stewardship

Ryan Stevenson: Chart topper

Train up a child:

Studying Proverbs 22:6

40 Days:

Looking back at Lent


Coping with divorce

16 Departments 18 26 27


Creativity in the Kitchen: Fresh Pear Smoothies


The Missionary Life: Beautiful feet

In Each Edition 4

Sales & Marketing Melva Bade 208-631-3779 • Vin Crosby 208-989-2097 • Sandy Jones 208-703-7860

Contributors Dan Bobinski, Dan Dougherty, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Angela Hayes, Leo Hellyer, Ron Kern, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Lauren Phillips, Brian Raymond and Dan Woodworth Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services Website Design SEO Idaho Webmaster Liza Morgan

Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2015 by Christian Living Magazine LLC. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 800 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at Find us on Facebook Badge

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Publisher’s Corner: Heart of the helper Christian Living | May / June 2015


Embracing the heart of the helper to be homeless, but more often than not, these By Sandy Jones As I sat down to write this I realized that it’s are people, just like you and me, who due to been a full year since my very first column. illness, loss of a job, or divorce — any number Many of you have reached out with story ideas, of circumstances — suddenly found themselves distribution locations, and gracious words of with no place else to go. encouragement. We’ve made many new friends Thanks to these tours I’m able to see how along the way. Every day I feel more blessed to very blessed my family is, which makes chooshave Christian Living Magazine as my ministry ing to be grateful and appreciative of what we and my j-o-b. already have, and less wanting of more things, The past couple of months it’s been my privimuch easier. The tours brought to mind the lege to tour the Women and Children’s Allistory of Jesus separating the sheep from the ance, the Boise Rescue Mission Ministry Center goats in Matthew 25:31-40 NIV, where in and Warehouse, City Light Home for Women verses 34 to 40 He reminds us how important and Children, and River of Life for men, and helping others is: to chat with some of the big-hearted staff and “Then the King will say to those on his Sandy Jones, Publisher volunteers at these locations. Although I know right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Christian Living Magazine that we have truly needy people in our comFather; take your inheritance, the kingdom munity, I had no clue how large the demand prepared for you since the creation of the actually is. world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to During my tour at the Rescue Mission, I learned the sobereat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, ing statistic that they serve over 1,000 meals a day, 365 days I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes a year in their facilities. I also learned that the many turkey and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, drives held for their benefit during the holidays help to feed I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ the homeless and downtrodden all year long. The head cook “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did at City Light informed us that they have turkey every Tuesday; we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you she cooks two turkeys each week, while the cook at River of something to drink? When did we see you a stranger Life cooks four. Although we host most of the holiday meals in and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? our home, I cannot even begin to fathom cooking four turkeys When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit at one time! you?’ At the Women and Children’s Alliance, we learned that Do“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you mestic Abuse Awareness Month is in October, the same month did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of as Breast Cancer Awareness. Although twice as many women mine, you did for me.’” will suffer from domestic violence as will be diagnosed with the I know that each one of us is dealing with something, and horrible disease of breast cancer, the topic of domestic abuse is while mine seems mighty big to me, I try to remind myself that still so taboo that it gets a fraction of the attention and coverage. Even with our own daughter-in-law fighting breast cancer, everyone’s “something” is big to them. Do I always succeed? No! I have not yet arrived. You’ll find that my shirt doesn’t this statistic was staggering to me. yield a big “SC” for Super Christian on it — but I haven’t These tours were quite humbling for me. As I fret about not having new clothes, or some other “thing,” I was suddenly quit trying either. Self-improvement, like intentional living, is made aware of how blessed we are, and just how much we a daily process, one that can seem to be one step forward, two really do have. So often people desire tropical vacations, new steps back — although I strive for two steps forward and one bling, meals in the latest new restaurant — while these centers step back! are full of people who are simply grateful for a roof over their I look forward to the coming year. God has clearly shown heads in a safe environment. us that His plan for Christian Living Magazine is firm — and I don’t write this today to pull heartstrings (although none bigger than our original one. We hope that you will pick us up, of these facilities would turn away donations of time, money, read us, visit our advertisers (without them none of this would food or clothing). I am writing this as part of my continuing be possible), and continue to reach out to us with your ideas theme of living intentionally. Yes, there are those who chose and support! Until next time, God bless! n

May / June 2015 | Christian Living


Fresh Pear Smoothies (NAPS)—Shake up your smoothie routine and add fresh pears to the blender to boost your breakfast or snack. Pears are packed with fiber, making them a sweet and satisfying smoothie ingredient. By pairing pears with other whole-food ingredients, you can fuel your day with fiber and protein. Pears blend well with a variety of smoothie staples, such as bright berries, vibrant greens, Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds. Keep the skin on your pears for optimum fiber content. Whether ripe and juicy or still slightly firm, pears add great texture and flavor to smoothies. Experiment with nutty textures and flavors to complement pears’ natural sweetness. Hazelnuts, chia seeds, shredded coconut, and oats all add nutrients for easier meals on the go. Rather than adding ice for texture, go with frozen berries for a smooth, creamy drink. In this recipe, pears, blueberries and oats combine for a hearty breakfast drink. Think of it as a bowl of oatmeal to go! See our story on juicing on page 28 for more drink ideas.

By pairing pears with other whole-food ingredients, you can fuel your day with fiber and protein.

Ingredients: 1 2 ½ 1 1

large, ripe USA Pear, such as Anjou cups milk or milk alternative cup quick-cooking oats cup frozen blueberries teaspoon cinnamon


Place all the ingredients into a blender and puree at high speed until smooth and creamy. Preparation time: 5 minutes • Serves 2

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Christian Living | May / June 2015

ELLEN Landreth

From Laura Ingalls to Mrs. Claus

Ellen Landreth likes to entertain as both Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mrs. Claus. Here, she reads to the children at Eagle Library, sharing the spotlight with her Laura puppet. (Courtesy photo)

By Gaye Bunderson At 71, Ellen Landreth juggles more activities than someone half her age. She seeks to provide multi-generational entertainment dressed up as either Laura Ingalls Wilder of the “Little House” series of books or as Mrs. Claus to her husband Vernon’s Santa. She entertains at both retirement centers and kids’ venues or birthday parties. “My friends say I make them feel tired,” Landreth said. A partial list of her interests and activities includes: • Little House storyteller — Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories come to life when Landreth dresses in costume and shares her knowledge of the famed writer. • The Sewing Angels — A national ministry of ConKerr Cancer aimed at sewing colorful pillowcases for chronically ill children in hospitals, Landreth started a local chapter at Ten Mile Christian Church. She is interested in helping other churches start chapters as well. • Memory Keepers 4U — A “Walk Down Memory Lane” with Landreth, who helps seniors “remember the good old days.” • Remembering Childhood Christmas Memories with Mrs. Claus, Santa’s “Better Half ” — Once again, Landreth helps spark pleasant memories in older minds, this time around happy holiday reminiscences. • Firstfruits Christian Guest House — Landreth works and lives with her husband in the caretakers’ cottage at Firstfruits Christian Guest House, a large house owned by the couple’s friends that will be used by invited guests seeking rest and relaxation. • Blogs and life stories — She wrote a Just2Amazing blog about God’s creatures, or “critters”; currently writes an Ellen’s Little Visits with God blog; and for her 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, she wrote Grandma Remembers, stories from her own life. Life legacies are a particular passion of Landreth’s.

May / June 2015 | Christian Living

Graduates of Boise Bible College, Ellen and Vernon married 51 years ago. Vernon served as a minister for 35 years, including in Newport, Ore. for 11 years before the couple decided to return to the Boise area in 2000. Ellen started teaching life stories classes in 1998 and brought her knowledge and skills to workshops in the Treasure Valley. She feels leaving a written legacy has great value, and she encourages everyone to see their lives as worthy of a narrative. She even wrote her own how-to book on the subject titled, “Your Historical Life-Line: The Times of Your Life Remembered.” (Available by title at “People think that nobody cares, or they say, ‘I’ve done nothing interesting,’” Landreth said. “When people don’t have a history written down, there is a chasm that can’t be crossed. No one knows what they were like, what they believed, or what they did.” Landreth is eager to try a new twist on life histories and is studying how to do so. “I want to help Christians pass on their spiritual legacy — a life story with a spiritual emphasis,” she said. The focus would be on what God has done in a person’s life: how God helped them triumph over adversity, or the blessings He bestowed upon them. Landreth also honed her public speaking skills through a membership in Toastmasters. Former fellow member Dan Woodworth said of her: “Ellen is an encouraging, empowering and enthusiastic wonderful woman of God. She is loving, lovely, kind and compassionate. Ellen is a bright, beautiful, living light in our dark and desperate world. She is an outstanding creative storyteller and teacher.” Dan’s wife Irene chimed in with: “She is so much fun, and stays up with technology.” Landreth is self-taught on many things and seems undaunted by learning new computer software. She helps others put their life stories into book form, complete with photos. One woman and her family who Landreth helped create a book for is Mary Madry Bradof. “Ellen is a master at helping others write their life story for future generations. She helped my mom write her story at age 90,” Ruth Blaha, Bradof ’s daughter, said. “Ellen asked questions to prompt Mom’s storytelling, typed the stories onto her laptop, organized the chronology, encouraged us to keep going, and put it all together to create a beautifully designed book of photos and stories. The biggest gift for me was to gain a new perspective on my immigrant grandparents, who I saw as poor farmers. Hearing the details of their struggles and journey to the U.S. made me so proud of their achievements. The book captures stories from two generations that might have been lost: details of my grandparents’ emigration from Poland and my mom’s story of growing up in the 1920s and ‘30s.” Said Landreth of her own and others’ written histories: “It is how we can outlive our lives.” Landreth charges minimal fees for some of her work and has created her own brochures to provide more information on what she offers. She may be reached at Her blogs, of course, may be read for free and are at and She and her husband also have a website at n

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OUTDOORS With Dougherty

Dad even ministered while hunting pecially corn. Dad would come home amazed By Dan Dougherty at all the ducks he saw — by the “thousands.” The famous epigram of Alexander Pope, Lake Lowell was a key stop on the Pacific Fly“...Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined,” way and home for over a half million ducks in helps explain the tendencies we acquire from the valley. environmental learning. Those leanings help The fall of 1964 I was a ninth grader. Dad mold our personalities. They can be helpful, and I now had our Idaho hunting license hurtful, or totally benign. The real truth is and Duck Stamp. My Uncle Joe was a board to bend a “twig” in a certain direction there member of The Deer Flat Free Methodist must be a natural disposition to lean that way. Church with pastor James McMillian. Uncle Fortunately, there is a wide diversity in our Joe introduced my dad to a gentleman that inclinations leading to our own individualworked for the Fish and Game at Fort Boise, ity. Depending on the environment we were an expanding management area that had raised in, we can rise above it or flourish from been around for only a couple of years. We it in our own unique way. Dan Dougherty loves everything went on a pre-season tour and were shown I had often been asked why out of the four about the outdoors, especially a good several locations for successful hunting. boys in my family I was the hunter/fisherstory. Our location of choice was on the bank of man. the Boise River just above where it entered into the Snake As I reflected on the answer the best I could come up with River. We had to cross a shallow side branch of the Boise to was I was just more naturally disposed in that direction. My get to our spot. It was a couple of feet deep and about 10 dad loved to fish and hunt. We accompanied him often as yards wide. Dad, wearing chest waders, would carry the guns kids. As I became older it became a special bond I shared and our gunny sack of six Carry-lite decoys across and then with him. Especially in fishing — we fished together for come and get me. He carried me across on his back. I was decades. 5 ft.-10 in., 140 pounds. (Same as I was when I graduated... My dad was always lovingly guiding our lives. Because Oh, for those days!) Dad was strong and stout. Following of all our times together I heard stories my brothers never the same procedure, we hunted there often, shooting many heard. Stories from great grandpa Dougherty’s days as a ducks. sharpshooter in the Civil War to how Dad and his brother After one hunt, as he was carrying me back across, there stole pigeons and watermelons from the neighbor, elaboratwas a man observing us on the bank. As I picked up my gun ing that when he became a Christian as a teenager, he went over and apologized to the neighbor and offered money. The and the decoy bag with our decoys and dead ducks, Dad went over to chat with the man. Watching from a distance neighbor declined, laughed and said he always thought it and knowing my dad, I knew what was coming. Dad reached was the other Irish boys, the Murphys. Dad’s stories almost out, and placing his large hands on the man’s shoulder, he always had a message. Would you expect anything less from began a loud verbal prayer. I couldn’t quite make out the a pastor? I recently was the speaker at our church’s Wildlife Banquet. words but could clearly hear the sentiment. As Dad turned I attend Cloverdale Church of God, where my brother Tom to leave, the man reached out and thanked him with a lingering handshake. is pastor. As part of the presentation I told a story about the Dad approached me with a smile and glistening eyes. I first year of hunting in Idaho with my father. questioned him on what had just transpired? He told me the We had moved to Caldwell in the fall of 1963. Being the gentleman’s name was Glen and he had observed our huntpastor of a small church, my dad took an extra job as he ing ritual several times from his position on a nearby pond. worked to build up the church. He worked for the new ValHe informed Dad he was deeply touched and longed to have livue School District as a bus driver. His route was in the that sort of a bond with his own children. His relationship country near Greenleaf. Most of that area was farming, esThe life you want to live, the price you can live with

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Reflection In the mirror I saw this face. Universal truth for the human race – Years go by and we get old. Same story – forever told. Yet as I looked with a knowing nod I couldn’t help think it just seemed odd The face of time in a reflected stare Of sagging eyes and graying hair Outward lines of age the years can’t hide, But to feel so young, still inside! How quickly all the years go by. We’re born, we live, we love, we die. Over birth and death we have no power. We do not control its date or hour. How we live and love, and what we treasure Will be the standard on how we measure. My nostalgic gaze ended with a sigh Thinking “I will live until I die.” Enjoying fully each day, month, and year Of my own mortality I have no fear. The thought of death I do not mind; It’s missing those I leave behind.


with his children was somewhat strained. Dad had prayed for him and his family. Glen was truly grateful and as Dad was leaving, he reached out and gave Dad a $20 bill and said, “Buy that boy some boots!” It was enough money back then to buy me a pair of chest waders which I used for the next 15 years. Dad’s message to me was, “Love and honor God and He will use and honor you.” Although I shared a special bond with my father for our love of the outdoors, my brothers had their own special bond. They all became pastors. Sort of like Duck Dynasty in reverse. My dad was surprised each time one of them was called to the ministry. God knew which way they were being “bent.” My dad loved us all equally and took pride in all our lives. I was fortunate to be able to spend quality time with him in his last years. He always wanted to know in detail about my hunting and fishing trips. He would giggle and clap his hands with glee at things he found humorous. He instructed me to make good memories because the older you get, the more they become an important part of your life. As he approached death, his only regret was leaving us. He knew we would be fine and would make sure Mom was taken care of. He died May 11, 2001. Mom died three years later. My oldest brother, David, followed him nine years later after over 40 years in the ministry. He had suffered from Walter Peyton disease and was moved to high priority for a liver transplant. He called me in early 2010 and gave me the latest diagnosis of his condition: terminal. Cancer had set in and prevented him from getting a transplant. We had a long conversation that evening. It was very upbeat for the circumstance. Life is good, God is great! We live to die, it is our fate! He was ready to go, but worried about his wife and girls. After our conversation that night I wrote a poem. He died on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2010, 66 years old. I read the poem at his funeral. Memorial Day will be marked this year on May 25. In memory of my parents and brother, I’ve included the poem. n

Christian Living | May / June 2015

THE Brighter Side

Amy Larson puts prayers on canvas After some time, Amy was able to hire othBy Ron Kern ers, and she chose to hire single mothers and As we sit down outside at a coffee shop, the sun provide them a flexible schedule, knowing all peeks out from behind some clouds, warming us too well how important that is to single, working both, and we’re ready to begin. As you will read, moms. Even during this difficult period, Amy our conversation covers a lot of ground, most of was still thinking of others. On a side note, she which has a common theme: amazing reliance also moonlighted as a real estate agent during on God, continuous prayer, and faith that God is this time. Yes, another self-taught skill, which she in control. would do after cleaning all day. It’s said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its One day, the same as many previous others, cover, which is an accurate statement when you she had to clean a dirty duplex. It was an evicare talking about Amy Larson. Considering that tion, so the tenant left thumbtacks on the carpet, just one of her many talents is being a writer, I food on the wall, tobacco on the ceiling, and suppose this saying is especially fitting. other unpleasant things. Let’s just say, it’s a place Many years ago, she had what most would that nobody would want to be in, let alone have describe as having it all: married, three kids, a to clean. Amy started by spraying the outside of country home on seven acres with a gorgeous the unit, and during that process, the hose came view. Amy was the general contractor for the undone and sprayed her everywhere. Cold, wet, home, getting licensed, overseeing the project, and with mascara running down her face, she and learning all of this in a short time frame. went back inside the grimy duplex and turned “I prayed my way through the entire project,” Amy Larson on NPR. She would often listen to National she said. Public Radio while cleaning to keep her On the surface, life was good. mind sharp. This led her into a profession she knew The NPR program that came on was nothing about, becoming a licensed about leading double lives. The lady who electrical contractor for the state of Idaho. was the focus of the show was Nancy Studying on her own and figuring it out Peacock. Nancy was a housecleaner by as she went along, she arrived to take the day and a New York Times Notable Book licensing exam. The guys also there to of the Year award-winning author at test asked her questions, as they thought night. She would clean during the day, she was administering the test. Oh, they and then visit universities, selling books certainly didn’t know Amy, not at all. She at night. That is when it hit Amy: “‘Wow, aced the exam. that is exactly what I want to do!’ I prayed The business she launched employed right then for God to make me a writer,” roughly six people, including her husband, she said. “If I have an opportunity to tell and it was located in Sun Valley. She people what God has done for me, I’m gooversaw the company, managed the home ing to jump at that.” and raised her children, while her husband “The next day, I took a break from cleanhandled the onsite jobs. The business ing, sat in the sunshine and just started lasted four years, but her marriage was writing,” Amy said. She then started writover. ing a blog, which in short order, became The home and acreage was too much for extremely popular and ranked No. 1 in her her to handle on her own, so she moved category. Next, she submitted an article to into a rental home in Nampa. She prayed a newspaper, and the editor published it about what her future would hold, and immediately. More articles were published, another company came to her through and then she took a freelance job writing prayer, down to the logo. QuickClean was for a company similar to Groupon. She a company that prepped apartments and would write about every topic you could homes for the next tenant. The plan was Amy Larson’s first painting as an adult was titled, “Portal imagine, and this made her very versatile. to hire people to do the cleaning, while she to Serenity.” After posting it on Facebook, it was purchased “I started praying in the apartments that managed the business. within hours. She then went on to create many more artworks, such as the flower painting also shown here. (Courtesy photos) I was cleaning,” she said. “I would pray That plan didn’t quite pan out. Amy that the next tenant would have a great exfound herself cleaning, too; from the perience. I poured my heart and soul into each job, both cleaning and kitchen floors to the toilets, she did it all. praying over it, as I wanted it to be a haven for the next occupant.” “I had to roll up my sleeves and found myself just months after havThis completely changed Amy’s perspective on cleaning, and her ing all the toys and money to scrubbing and cleaning toilets,” she said. mindset shifted entirely for the better. For the next two years she and It was a very difficult adjustment, in more ways than one. her crew cleaned over 400 units. At the end of 2009, her cleaning “I would listen to uplifting music while I cleaned, and I also prayed business and cleaning days were over. a lot, too,” she said. She had many conversations with God; not all of Amy’s writing took off. More columns, more blogs, and she became them were nice. What was He trying to show her? Why did this have an editor for others. She has written for seven different magazines, and to happen to her?

10 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

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 or


also has a radio spot with Randy & Alana on WOW 104.3 FM Friday mornings, focusing on free, family-friendly Treasure Valley weekend activities. “Anything good or kind that people may see in me, it’s not me, it’s Jesus,” Amy said. Throughout the entire conversation, she was always quick to give credit to God, and she is so very humble. Amy’s book, “Appetite for Idaho – Folks, Food, & Fun,” is an example of how far she has come. Clearly, God answered her prayer and gave her what she had asked for years before. He made her a writer. In addition to the New York Times quoting her for an Idaho story, she is hard at work finishing her second book. Remember the story that Amy heard on NPR about living double lives? Both ironic and just plain cool, Nancy Peacock actually wrote the foreword to Amy’s book, “Appetite for Idaho.” While editing for another book, she visited a client’s office and noticed a painting that spoke to her intensely. The painter was the mother of this client, who had passed away four months prior to that meeting. After sending the final manuscript to this client, it hit her to pick up the paintbrush again. She hadn’t painted since ninth grade. Her first painting was a yellow door, which she called, “Portal to Serenity.” She posted it on Facebook just to show people, but someone bought it within hours. Since then, she has painted 46 paintings, with 80 percent of them being sold. I highly recommend you view them at They are incredible works of art. Pretty incredible since painting wasn’t even a thought. Amy says that her job is to, “…show God’s love,” and she feels this is the reason her painting has taken off. It has clearly become a passion of hers. When I asked her what her biggest accomplishment was, she quickly replied, “My kids.” Even with that, she gave credit to God on how he put mentors, employers, and the right people in their lives, at the right and exact needed moment. She failed to mention her kind and loving heart, her generous gifts she provided them, and how incredible a woman she is. n

Christian Living | May / June 2015 11


The beautiful feet of God’s servants

The feet of God’s servants in India can, by biblical standards, be described as “beautiful” in accordance with Isaiah 52:7. (Photo provided by Lauren Phillips)

By Lauren Phillips While visiting India, one of the first things I notice is feet. I’ve always found feet to be an especially descriptive aspect of the person they bear. India is a playground for feet watching. As a follower of Christ I’m happy to know that God also notices feet. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation… (Isaiah 52:7).” He compares our feet to those of a deer, walking on high places — overcoming life’s obstacles (Psalm 18:33). Our feet take us places, and it is the same within the Body of Christ. The feet are the part of the Body that takes the mouth, the hands, and the heart to the people God loves, and He calls them “beautiful.” In the Hindu religion, the feet are the most defiled part of the body; they are shameful to touch. The lowest castes are described as coming from the feet of Purusha, Primeval Man, where mankind is said to have been birthed. While on Earth, the Lord lived within a similar cultural setting. This sheds a little light on why the example Jesus gave about washing another’s feet is so powerful. Within His cultural context, when someone wished to 12 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

show humble submission to another, he or she would bow down and kiss or touch another’s feet, as Mary Magdalene did when she washed the Lord’s feet with her hair and tears. While in India I was humbled to see the beautiful feet of God’s people in action. Off they go into some of the filthiest, most disease-ridden streets imaginable to serve a child, a family, a leper. They choose to live near the people God has called them to love. They dig babies out of trash heaps and give them a home full of love. They bring glasses to the elderly widow cast off by her family. They buy medicine for those suffering from disease and stay by their side. They hold the hand of the dying, befriend the poor, and embrace those no one else will touch. Their feet are more beautiful than those of the rich housewife, famous actor, successful businessman, or politician. Although they are cracked and worn, hard as shoe leather, tired and dirty at the end of each day, they are lovely, the most beautiful in all of India. n Lauren Phillips lives in Boise with her husband, six children and three grandchildren. She loves serving Jesus and His people and administrates Calvary Chapel Boise’s international outreaches.


Comfort is overrated; stretch yourself When Discomfort Is Good

We often avoid discomfort as if it is a bad thing. But a person in extreme cold is most at risk of death when they begin to feel...warm. Without immediate intervention, they’ll calmly drift off to sleep, content in their sense of comfort. Then they’ll freeze to death. Growing up, I was shy. Painfully so. And I was one of the shortest kids in my class until my sophomore year in high school. As you might guess, I got picked on, teased and bullied. A lot. My brothers (both older) didn’t help much. Before graduating from high school, sick and tired of what felt like an unpleasant spin-cycle, I determined to try new things. Things that others tended to recoil at. My intention was to push myself until I got comfortable with being uncomfortable. If I didn’t succeed, then I planned to completely freak out and crawl back into myself. Teenage logic. But I did uncomfortable things. First, it was hunting (deer, elk and bear). Then scuba diving (lakes, Puget Sound, English Bay, night diving). Then rock climbing, all over the western states. I’ve completed the STP (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic) several times, and rafted Class 4 rivers. Swinging 50 feet above ground on a ropes course always gets my attention (Waterhouse Center, in Snohomish, Wash., is my favorite). And it worked. Two super-positive changes resulted. First, I’d stretched my boundaries of comfort and had amazingly great experiences. Second, new — and very positive — action habits had been locked down inside of me. Persistence. Adventure. Courage.

The Worst: Comfortable Kills Your Dreams

Joel Lund steps out of his comfort zone by climbing Smith Rock in Oregon. He’s also hunted, scuba dived, cycled, and gone whitewater rafting. But his favorite activity for stretching himself is swinging 50 feet above ground on a ropes course. (Courtesy photo)

By Joel Lund

Too Comfortable

The best recipe for living a fulfilled life is to welcome discomfort into our lives. Early and often. Those of us who have the privilege of being born in the Western Hemisphere, especially into a family living in the First World, generally live in such amazing comfort that even kings of old would have a hard time competing with it. Comparatively, most of us have got it made. In a word, we’ve grown comfortable. We’ve also just grown. More than 2/3 of North Americans are obese. There are many forces at work in this unhappy cultural phenomenon, and I’m no expert on the topic. But it stands to reason that it’s quite possible that this epidemic comes from too much comfort. In which case, this comfort is extremely expensive.

14 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

All these experiences served me well for the most daunting of all my discomforts: going into business. Being a “Wantrepreneur” doesn’t cost very much. It is way more comfortable to just “go to work” and do your job, because when your shift is over you simply go back home. Sure, maybe the pay stinks but you’re not likely to spend much time thinking about the J.O.B. on the weekend. But when it is your business... it’s your business. Every day, including the weekend. While there can be tremendous satisfaction in owning your business, it requires guts, perseverance and a strong tolerance for the unknown. Being an entrepreneur is uncomfortable. But there’s the rub, right? At some point, we have to get so fed up with things as they are — sick of just wishing and wanting things to be different — that we finally choose to actually change. We decide enough is enough. We begin to take steps. And quickly we’re reminded that change is uncomfortable. The pathway to engaging our dreams goes right through the Valley of Discomfort. Fulfilling our purpose means creating new habits. Making our dent in the universe requires sacrifice and grit. But no one is alone in this journey. No one. How many people do you know who dream of a better life? Are any of those people you? Isn’t it time you considered willfully, consistently getting uncomfortable? Ask yourself this: If you knew that you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech, “The Man in the Arena,” challenges each of us: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Many times, we have others traveling with us along this journey of chosen discomfort. Sometimes, though, we are solo. At all times, God goes by our side. From Joshua 10:25: Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. Another way of looking at this comes from a man I respect a great deal. He’s helped launch thousands of businesses… by helping their owners seize the reins of their life’s journey. Jeff Walker has seen the truth of this in his own business, as well as his followers. He gently encourages them and then reminds them of this truth: All growth happens at the edges of our comfort zone. Ultimately, wouldn’t it be better to try and fail than not to try at all? If you have been sensing it is time for a change in your life, go for it. Be strong and courageous. Lean into your purpose. Why not you? Why not now? Live your more fulfilled life by getting uncomfortable. Early and often. n

Joel Lund is an executive coach, specializing in helping people powerfully use their entrepreneurial DNA to make an impact on those they lead in private, public and church sectors. He is an award-winning author in non-fiction and fiction (under his pen-name Brandon King). Starting in his teens, Lund has been an engaging speaker, and has presented all over North America. In a former life, he earned two degrees in Christian studies and served full-time for 8 years in youth ministry. Want to know more? Visit

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Christian Living | May / June 2015 15


Ryan Stevenson takes to the top of the c

Ryan Stevenson was born and raised in Oregon, but he and his wife now make their home in the Treasure Valley. The successful Christian musician travels frequently but, when time allows, he still serves as worship leader at Vertical Church in Boise. (Courtesy photo)

16 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

By Gaye Bunderson Most people chase dreams of one sort or another. Some catch them, while others pursue them for a lifetime and never quite reach them. Top-selling Christian musician Ryan Stevenson always envisioned himself doing what he’s doing now; after ups and downs on the way, he’s living the life he’s always hoped for. He writes his own songs, records them, tours throughout the world and hears his hits on the radio. His most recent single, “Not Forgotten,” reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Hot AC/CHR Chart for two consecutive weeks. Stevenson was born and raised in a little community called Bonanza in an agricultural area of Oregon. “I grew up going to church and my mom put me in a kids’ choir,” he said. “I played the drums since the 3rd grade.” When he was 18, his youth pastor gave him a guitar. “He said, ‘I felt like the Lord told me to give this to you.’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK, thanks...’ It didn’t make sense. I put the guitar on a shelf,” Stevenson said. Then as a freshman at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Ore., when all his dorm mates played the guitar, he gave it a try. He liked it and quickly became skilled at it. He and a roommate, Paul Wright, started a band they called Front Row Joe. The band traveled all over the Northwest for five years, singing pop songs. But eventually Wright got a recording contract and went out on his own. Stevenson married a Boise native named Kimberly; on their first-year anniversary, the two of them decided to make their home in the Treasure Valley, where they are currently raising two sons, ages 4 and 2. Stevenson continued playing music and writing songs and started leading worship at Vertical Church. For eight years, he worked as an Ada County paramedic, and that’s when a bolt from above made a big difference for him. “There was a 911 call one day. A lady was struck by lightning,” Stevenson said. In fact, the lady was Lara Eustermann, who made national news in 2007 by surviving the lightning strike. Her heart and breathing had stopped. Stevenson was on

Not F


Nobod y Nobod knows the moun y sees ta t His ey es are he valleys w ins we’ve be on us We go tonigh e are barely en climbing tt t surviv His ey o believe ing es are on us tonigh t We are not fo rgotte We are n n He is h ot alone olding He’ll n u ever le s and He’ll never t go let go Nobod y Nobod sees the fir es we y know ar His ey es are s the future e facing on us we’re We go to embra t to be lieve t night cing hat Hi s eyes We are are on n us ton We are ot forgotte ight n not alo He is h ne o He’ll n lding us and ever le He’ll n t go ever le t go Jesus we’re co We’re count unting on Y i ou n We’re count g on You ing on You We are n We are ot forgotte n not alo He is h n olding e paramedic duty that day, and when he and He’ll n u ever le s and He’ll other medical personnel arrived on scene never t go let go by ambulance, he was able to revive her. But C o -writte Eustermann’s full recovery took time and included coming out n by R yan Ste of a deep coma. venson and To byMac “Fast forward a year later and I meet up with her again at a county-hosted breakfast on noteworthy 911 calls. We hit it off and became kindred spirits,” said Stevenson. Along with more tours with Mac, Stevenson is also con“Ryan is genuine, pure, unadulterated love and light,” said firmed to perform in the 2015 Newsboys’ fall tour. His songs Eustermann. “There was something flowing through him the are regularly featured on Christian contemporary radio staday he saved my life, whether it was skill and training as a tions such as Boise-area’s KTSY. “Ryan Stevenson is a very paramedic or the power of something larger. Ryan is a conduit unique artist,” Brian Yeager, general manager of KTSY, said. for love, and his affection for the human spirit is inimitable.” “He’s a real guy, a guy who knows the life of being a dad, a Stevenson told Eustermann of his musical aspirations, and husband, and a searcher for God. He’s not afraid to share his in 2010 she funded studio time for him at The Mix House in life — whether the struggles of following a dream or getting Boise. It was his first record deal. The grist for some of his healthy — and that openness makes him very unique and a songs came from the things he saw while working as a paraspecial musician who is truly a minister through music.” medic — or as puts it, “experiences from the street, the 911 Stevenson, now 36, still leads worship at Vertical Church calls, the brokenness and tragedy...turning that into songs.” when his schedule allows. He’s on the road roughly half the Things went well for 10 months, then he was dropped from year and has performed for audiences in the contiguous 48 the label. “I was scared for my life,” he admits. “I went indestates, as well as in countries such as Denmark (before a crowd pendent for 1½ years. I was my own booking agent and manof 4,000), Holland, Belize, Guatemala, and Israel (“an unbeager. I kept at it. If the door opened, I was walking through it.” lievable trip,” he said). The decisive change came when he wrote a song titled, “I travel all the time. I don’t get tired of the touring and “Speak Life.” He happened to be recording it in a Nashville events, just of the logistical stuff like airport security,” he said. studio owned by Christian musician TobyMac. Mac liked the “But it took me 12 years to get here, and I’m not going to comsong, recorded it himself, and it was nominated for a Grammy plain.” for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song in 2014. Mac, He travels with a drummer, a guitar player, and “a sound age 50, owns Gotee Records; Stevenson has been on his label guy.” He is now his own brand: 356 Music LLC. He no longer for two years and tours with him nationally with Billboard-top- serves as his own booking agent and manager but has a Nashping hits including “Holding Nothing Back” and “The Human ville-based team of professionals who do that work for him. Side,” as well as “Not Forgotten.” Continued on page 19

s his talent charts


Christian Living | May / June 2015 17


Become a student of your students So how does all this relate to “train up a By Dan Bobinski child in the way he should go”? An explanaFrom day one, kids start learning. And all tion of Proverbs 22:6 can be found in The children — even identical twins — have Soncino Books of the Bible, a set of Hebrew unique life experiences that shape their disbible commentaries edited by Dr. Abraham tinctive personalities. As a certified behavCohen. Regarding Proverbs 22:6, Cohen ioral analyst, I’m convinced some of what says that the verb “train up” is derived from makes up our personality is set in place by the Hebrew word for “education” (chinGod, while other aspects are more impacted much). He also tells us that the phrase “in by our surroundings. Maybe you’ve heard the way he should go” is more accurately these differences described as “nature versus translated “according to his way.” With that, nurture.” However they’re labeled, the since the way Emily learns is not the way components of our personalities are many, that Sophie learns, we should make adjustand with the infinite number of possible life ments in how we educate each of them. experiences, no two people are exactly alike. Cohen also writes that the intention of Therefore, we cannot put people into easily Daniel Bobinski is the Director of Proverbs 22:6 “is not ‘the way of uprightness categorized boxes. Teaching at Family Experience ministry and good living,’ but ‘for the way in which That said, we can learn the fundamental (, the author he is to spend his life.’” Cohen goes on to say differences in behavioral style, the basic of several books, and the owner of core motivators that drive behavior, and the, an international the verse has to do with the type of occupations our children will have, and that our different ways people perceive and process training firm based in the Treasure Valley. purpose as parents is to help them develop He’ll also be presenting at the CHOIS information. Then, armed with that inforsolid habits that will influence their conduct mation, we can be better equipped to “train Homeschool Convention June 5-6 in when they get out on their own. Nampa. up a child in the way he should go.” We could look at this from the views of Unfortunately, too many people adopt the two sets of parents. One set of parents (let’s call them Michael belief that “I went through school and learned just fine using and Jessica) want their kids’ career paths to follow their own. ‘x’ methods, so that should work well for my kids, too. If it Michael works in construction, so he regularly points his kids worked OK for me, it will work for them.” to the trades. Since Jessica works as a bank teller, she suggests Maybe, maybe not. The same sun that melts butter will bookkeeping and other financial-oriented careers. harden clay. For instance, a math curriculum that Emily loves, Because they’ve not been students of their children’s attriSophie may hate. It doesn’t mean that Sophie is bad at math butes, when their son says he wants to be a speech pathologist (although some teachers can erroneously believe this if Sophie and their daughter says she wants to go into horticulture, both isn’t plugging into their chosen curriculum). It may be that Michael and Jessica downplay those ideas and even scoff at Sophie is wired very differently from Emily. Perhaps Emily them. likes rote drills and worksheets while Sophie likes hands-on What Michael and Jessica did not notice was that their kids learning with lots of conceptual exploration. What works well had natural talents to succeed in those fields. With a little for one doesn’t work well for the other. guidance, they could have selected classes and extracurricular Whether you homeschool or have your children in a public studies to help their children thrive in their chosen professions. or private school, being aware of your children’s unique style Instead, their children became young adults who believed their will help you train up a child in the way he (or she) should go. own interests were invalid and that they’d have to go through The career of “parenting” is one for which we receive little life doing work they didn’t really like. training. Therefore, it is up to us to take initiative to learn On the other hand, let’s consider James and Lisa, who talked how to be a good parent. This means we, too, must become openly with their kids about their interests and attitudes on students. Allow me to suggest a framework to explore. various things. James and Lisa noticed when their kids got ex1. Behavioral styles: Are our kids task-focused, or cited about new things. They also paid attention to how their people-focused? Do they like high risk, or do they prefer more kids learned, including their decision-making processes and calculated decisions? motivations. 2. Cognitive styles: Are they more focused on the here As a consequence, when James and Lisa’s kids talked about and now, or the future? Do they process information intercareer options, the conversations and decisions flowed easily. nally, or do they prefer to talk about it? And, as adults, their kids were in fulfilling careers. 3. Motivations: Are they driven by acts of service, or by The idea here is to become a student of your students, and accumulating wealth? Perhaps they prefer aesthetic environlearn the uniqueness of these awesome people God put in our ments, or maybe gaining knowledge, or positions of power. lives. What worked well for us might not work for our kids, As parents, we must be genuinely interested in our children but the only way to learn that is to become a student of them. as people. Our little ones (who grow up way too fast) are After we do that, we can truly train up our children in the way individuals with unique interests, curiosity, and skills. As my they should go. n wife and I have observed, way too many parents talk “at” their This article is adapted from Daniel Bobinski’s latest book, “Becoming a Student kids and strive to control them, rather than engage them in of Your Students,” co-written with his wife, Jeralynne. genuine conversation.

18 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

Ryan Stevenson Continued from page 17

Along with Mac, other artists record his songs, and earlier this year he won two awards for Top Performed Christian Songs of 2014 at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Music Awards. “I remember as a young kid, growing up on Petra and other pioneers in the business. I envisioned doing this. It was a dream. I never doubted, but it’s such a long shot. It has tremendously grown me in my faith and my relationship with the Lord,” Stevenson said. “I try to minister. I have a theme and a poignant topic for the night, and I have a testimony. I may invite people to come forward, or to be where they are and respond to Jesus right there.” His fan base is a diverse demographic from 7 to 70, he said. Asked if he and his family will ever make the move to Nashville, he replied: “We have a home here. Everything we’ve done, we’ve done from here. We haven’t sensed we’re supposed to leave. God brought me to this region for a reason. I have favor in this community, and I want to be a good steward and see that through.” n For more information, go to,, and

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Christian Living | May / June 2015 19

NOTES From Home

Mom relives magic through her children 5-year-old sister’s drawing to say, “It’s By Dani Grigg When I was 4 or 5, a babysitter told not really the best picture ever. She’s me something fantastic: If I sprinkled a just trying to make you feel good.” little bit of salt in the bathtub with me, I Yikes.) would turn into a mermaid. When we remark with amazement I know there was a part of me that that Jonah is super fast, he proudly thought the science behind that promagrees that, yes, he is exceptional in that ise was a little shaky, but another part department. (He doesn’t know that I couldn’t entirely rule it out. Mermaids could EASILY beat him in any kind of did, after all, live in salt water. race. ANY KIND AT ALL.) When I say So at bath time, I brought the salt to Andy, “That is a really great song you shaker into the bathroom. I climbed in just made up!” he doesn’t bring up the the water, shook in some salt, and stared Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and fact that he’s tone deaf and to anyone at my legs, tan and kissed with bruises. but a parent’s ears it would sound awful. happy mother of two young sons. I swished the water around a little. I When we tell Jonah he’s a good eater, added more salt. I waited for magic. he matter-of-factly chalks that one up on his internal list of For those of you who know me well, you’re probably Special Talents Jonah Has. (Note: NO ONE is impressed aware that I’m not a mermaid. The magic didn’t happen when I clean my whole plate and then go back for seconds for me that day. Neither did it happen in front of the mirror and thirds.) in the dark, chanting Bloody Mary with friends (THANK These things all make me smile, but the giddiness starts GOODNESS, am I right?). I eventually caught on to the to kick in when they think they’re fooling me. When Andy disappointing realities that my dad’s “magical sack,” which ducks under an overturned laundry basket and I theatrically produced small treasures to keep us kids entertained on road declare “I can’t find my Andy!” you should hear his shrieky trips, was really just a bag of stuff he’d bought at the grogiggles. When Jonah puts a blanket over his head and makes cery store, and that there was no giant bunny hiding pastel “oooOooOOh” noises and I quake in horror, you should see eggs in our backyard every spring. how he collapses under the weight of his hilarious caper. The magic trickled out of my life. It’s not that joy trickled Their happiness is all-consuming and contagious. There out along with it — joy stayed. But it didn’t sparkle in the are times when sunshine just pours out of their souls. It same way it did back when at any moment my world could explodes from their cheeks and eyes and ears and noses and be rocked by something incredible. sweet blond hair. But! Now that I’m the mother of little ones, my joy is at Sometimes in these moments I catch my breath. Tears times sparkly again. have been known to come to my eyes and something in my My boys Jonah and Andy are 4 and 2, and they don’t heart tries to burst its way out. I don’t know quite how to understand yet about adults humoring children. For every explain why, but in these moments the only thing I can think little compliment we give them, they take us at our word. (I is: MAGIC. n babysat a 7-year-old once who interrupted my coos over his

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Being faithful to His call

By Brian Raymond After writing my last article, several people wanted to know the dilemma that I was facing and the decision that I had to make. Inquiring minds wanted to know, it seems. First of all I want to express a big THANK YOU to those who have inquired and to those who have been praying for me and for my family. I am a person who gets comfortable and then I am not easily moved from my comfort zone. I know that God desires for us to be ready to move when He wants for us to do so. God presented an opportunity for me to work for a major hospital system in Twin Falls, Idaho, that I ended up taking. I am here in Twin Falls 16 days out of the month and then back to Meridian, where I then continue to get the opportunity to do some biblical counseling as well. I am not sure what God’s purpose was for this new opportunity, but it is a blessing to help me provide for my family. I have been made aware and am continuing to realize that God gives us opportunities to be used for His purpose and we need to be open to following his lead... to be faithful to His call. There will be difficulty and we may feel that we are being stretched to our breaking point; at that point we have to recognize that God does His best work when we are broken. I may or may not realize the ministerial impact that I may have in my present position here in Twin Falls during this lifetime. I may not see why God gave me this opportunity until

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I am in eternity with Him. I believe that all of us are called to follow no matter where that may be. Twin Falls is surely NOT Ninevah, but I have felt like Jonah at times over the past two months. I have come here alone. I know no one here. I am without family here. I am without my creature comforts. I am additionally without a home. However, I recognize that I am truly not alone. God’s Word is full of promises that He will be with us. I am clinging to them all! I am focused today on the following: Psalm 73:23 ESV: Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. I want to encourage those of you who are either in the same position that I am currently in and also those facing difficult transitions. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will always be your light and your compass. He too will be your encourager. One day we will see His hand working everything out according to His purpose. Be open to His calling. Be available to be used. Then you can say that you truly lived out the life that God gave you with a purpose. Be blessed, my friends. Praying for all of you and coveting your prayers as well! n

Christian Living | May / June 2015 21


Understanding ‘projected versus pure image’ we are all “losers.” We forget verse 24. By Dan Woodworth This type of language reiterates the fact During the past few months, Our Loving that drives us deeper into our feelings Lord has set me aside to pray. I have never that we are “bad.” Making ourselves look really had this type of experience during my “good” does not make our Living Lord look 43 years as a pastor. Sometimes our Living “better.” He does not need to look “good.” Lord calls me to pray several hours during He is “good.” We are His body. a day. Let me make a case in point. One of the I am discovering that purity is produced characteristics of Christ in the fruit of the during prayer. I am “perceiving” with Spirit for believers in Galatians 5:22-23 is sharper discernment and clearer revelation goodness. In The Message, goodness is in the Spirit. Of course, testing and trials described as “a conviction that a basic holiare contributing to this purifying process as ness permeates things and people.” In other I walk in the Spirit (see James 1:2-4). words, God created everything, including I will share some experiences I have had people, to be good. in my conversations with our Astonishing The first Adam lost it (goodness), but the Abba. Jesus was completely “Abba Censecond Adam (Jesus) restored it and is contered” when He walked on this earth. He tinuing to restore it much more forever. Let’s only did what He saw Abba doing and what Dan Woodworth look at Romans 5:17-21in the Spirit: He heard Abba saying (John 5:19 and 30). For if by the transgression of one So I have been asking Abba to teach me how man death reigned through that one, MUCH MORE to be “Abba Centered.” Our culture in America is the most affluent and most addict- will those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through one, Jesus ed in the world. We are spiritually, emotionally and physically Christ. Therefore, just as one man’s transgression sick. I believe we have allowed our culture to creep into the church. I do not believe it is an intentional act of disobedience. brought condemnation for all men, so also one man’s righteous act brought justification and life for all It has been a long and subtle and seductive plan by the rulers of the darkness of this world (spiritual wickedness) as we see in men. For through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through one man’s obediEphesians 6:12. Dr. Wess Pinkham (my mentor in my Doctor of Ministry ex- ence the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in so that the transgression might increase; but perience) made a bold and brave statement during one of our cohort seminars. He said, “There is more culture in the church where sin increased, GRACE INCREASED ALL THE MORE, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also than there is church in the culture.” grace might reign through righteousness leading to I believe that this experience is due to shame. We feel defeceternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. tive and damaged so we “do” good things for others in the Notice the comparisons the Holy Spirit is revealing. Adam church to feel better. Instead of “being” loved, accepted and blew it. Jesus restored us much more than Adam lost it. We valued, we “do” activities and keep busy with programs and are the righteousness of God in Christ because Jesus events to mask our “bad” feelings. We try to “look good” and became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t believe it! that “projected image” prevents healing. Instead of “being” We believe we are “sinners.” We feel shame. That makes us and then “doing,” we reverse the order. feel “bad.” So we try to “look good” to feel better. Romans Jesus did not need to “project” an image. He was and is the 6:14 in Greek declares sin shall not have dominion over image of God (Hebrews 1:3). us because we are not under the law. We are under The early church in the book of Acts did not need to “projgrace. ect an image.” They were pure through the love, grace and The person in our secular community who does not have mercy of our Loving Lord. And they knew it. They knew the Christ living in him or her sees “sin” and he or she says: Spirit and they walked in the Spirit. They never tried to com“What’s the difference? If we are all ‘bad,’ I’ll have much more promise the pure image of Christ by trying to “look good.” fun than you church people. Watch me.” They were transparent because they were continually transLet’s look at a practical example of how we think and feel for formed into the image of Christ in ever increasing splendor (2 the most part in the church. Imagine a 6-year-old boy waking Corinthians 3:18). up on Christmas morning. He is excited beyond excitement. Let me explain further. Many times we quote Romans 3:23: He is thinking, “What surprise does my father have for me? I For all have sinned and come short of the glory of can’t wait!” Now we see the father giving a wrapped gift to his God. But we forget to interpret that verse of Scripture in son and saying, “Son, you really don’t deserve this, but I’m context. Notice verse 24: They are justified freely by His giving it to you anyway because I really love you!” No. A lovgrace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. ing father would say, “I love you!” No putdown! Because we are a “performance oriented” society, we meaThat’s the way most of us see grace. We think of it as “undesure our “worth” based on how smart we are, how wealthy served favor.” We are righteous if Christ is living in us, but we we are and how strong we are. So we take Romans 3:23 and don’t really believe it or “deserve” it. major on that point. Basically we are “bad.” We try to “conWhere do we see in the Scriptures about us deserving or not nect” with others by saying no one is better than anyone else. But what the church and the secular community “hear” is that deserving? The truth our Astonishing Abba wants us to feel

22 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

is that we are Lavishly Loved, Absolutely Accepted and Victoriously Valued! No judgments. No condemnation. No “bad.” He does not add any ifs, ands or buts. We do. Why? Because we have “bought into” our corrupt culture that we are “shame-based.” We feel we are “bad” because we do not “perform perfectly.” We feel our character is “corrupt.” We “miss the mark” or “sin” sometimes and that “missing the mark” is “larger” in our minds than His “grace.” Jesus is not full of “undeserved favor.” He is full of grace and truth (John 1:17)! His “grace” is His ability in us to “Be” who He created us to “Be” and to “Do” what He created us to “Do!” It has nothing to do with “deserving” or “undeserving.” Stephen was a man like us and he was full of grace and power (Acts 6:8). Our Living Loving Lord loves us as we are and as He deeply desires us to be! We will continue this daring discussion in the next issue of Christian Living for July/August. In our last article we laid the foundation of shame being so prevalent in America and how that has crept into the church. Because of shame we have learned to “project” an image instead of allowing His pure perfect image to shine through us. We will continue this theme in this second article. n Dr. Dan Woodworth was highly honored to earn the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be reached at

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Christian Living | May / June 2015 23


Seek out marriage mentors, or be one business person, scholar, singer, or ChrisBy Leo Hellyer tian leader, the best way to achieve that Sometimes, as a man and woman is to hang around those people. We need united in marriage, the challenges we to be in relationship with people who face in life can seem overwhelming. I exhibit success in the areas of life that we think it is time that all of us face our chalare interested in. This person is called a lenges head on and seek God’s direction mentor. A mentor is “an experienced and and blessing on our sacred covenant of trusted adviser.” marriage. Let’s take advantage of new All of us could benefit from having a life, warmer weather, beginning growth, “marriage mentor couple” in our lives. and put a spring into our marriages. Let’s A husband and wife who have lived their springboard our marriages to new heights marriages, not perfectly, but in a manner that we have not experienced to this that honors God and places Him in the point. center of the relationship that He deMost of us have read books on marsigned. Marriage mentoring is a lasting, riage, attended one-day seminars on marrelational opportunity where experienced riage, attended weekend marriage confer“not perfect” couples and less experiences, and maybe even taken a five-day marriage cruise. All of these things are Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a lo- enced couples build marriages together, cal church and has been married to his wife, as they go through the daily ups and good things to do, but they are a temNorma, for 41 years. The couple volunteered downs and challenges that every marporary, short duration, shot in the arm, with FamilyLife on its Boise ministry team riage faces. attempt at enhancing a fully fluid, daily Over 80 percent of couples in a survey challenging relationship that is constantly for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at stated that they wanted a mentor couple under attack from the world around it. City Light Home for Women & Children to walk with them. Those who want to For our marriages to be able to fully and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. have a marriage mentor couple in their flourish and honor God as they were They may be reached at silverplate426@ designed to, we need to have something in If you have questions about Mar- lives need to seek out a couple and apour Marriage Toolbox that is a constantly riage Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo proach them. Your local church may already have a marriage mentoring minavailable resource and growth culture for may be reached at (208) 344-1357. istry; if so, get connected with it. If your our marriages. Have you ever had the church doesn’t have a marriage mentoring ministry yet, experience to know someone you thought had a marriage talk with your pastor. Seek your pastor’s recommendation relationship you really admired, one you hoped your own on a couple as a marriage mentoring couple, or seek out a marriage could look like? In life, if we want to be like a couple on your own. There are probably married couples certain type of individual, such as a successful athlete,

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in your church who would be honored at the opportunity to mentor you and your spouse in having a marriage that lasts a lifetime and honors God. If you are interested in becoming a marriage mentoring couple, talk to your church leadership, ask God for His direction, and look forward to Him bringing you couples to guide on their journey of marriage. If you are interested in becoming a marriage mentor couple and would like some excellent training to do so, there is one website I highly recommend you check out. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott started Marriage Mentoring in 1990 while working with students at Seattle Pacific University. Through the years they have continued to refine and expand Marriage Mentoring to the point now where individual couples or churches can access training to become certified marriage mentor couples. There is a very minimal financial investment and a time investment, but the rewards in your individual life, your marriage relationship, and the marriages of the couples you will work with are more than worth it. The Parrotts’ website is at Entering into marriage mentoring either as a mentor or as a mentee can greatly impact your life on a daily basis, and enable you to be a missionary to confused and searching people right where you live. Men and women who are joined in God-honoring holy matrimony are faced with many challenges, distractions, temptations, and misinformation on a daily basis. Marriage mentoring is an excellent way to enter into battle with others by your side. Mentoring has two main aspects: one, it is learning, and then, it is being a coach to the learner. Taking a step of faith and entering into a mentoring relationship with another couple can impact your communication, problem solving, spiritual walk, parenting, intimacy, legacy, etc. Each of us needs to have mentoring as one of the tools in our Marriage Toolbox. Remember that the tools in your toolbox are worthless if you don’t use them. n



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Christian Living | May / June 2015 25

40 Days

Going without: a look back at Lent By Angela Hayes Going without coffee for 40 days…nope! No more chocolate for the next five and a half weeks…absolutely not! Giving up bread? Not even close. How about passing on the social media for close to what may seem like a lifetime? That’s a big fat negative. My internal struggle was fierce. As Lent 2015 was fast approaching, I knew I had to abandon some habit that was holding me back from drawing closer to the Lord. I wanted to pass up my pleasure for the sake of Him. As my list grew longer and each item was scratched off, I began to feel defeated. “How is giving up coffee going to get me closer to God?” Or, “If I don’t eat this piece of chocolate, I will now officially be holy? How so?” The ideas running around in my head were talking back to one another and not seeing eye-to-eye. Then it hit me. It hit me hard! The Holy Spirit gently sat me down and spoke to this hard head of mine. “Young lady,” He said. “You’re right. Giving up your daily favorite indulgences won’t bring you closer to Me. It may work for your neighbor Sally, but no, not you. You, my dear, need something more distinctive, something more profound. Have a wonderful day.” “What?! That’s all you’re going to leave me with, Lord? No specific ideas? Something a little bit more profound?” Needless to say, I never heard back from Him...for over a good solid week. As I was praying early one morning, I realized something. Giving up my favorites won’t make me more like Him. In fact, giving up my caffeinated beverage daily will make me agitated, irritable, and bitter, all things not associated with my Lord and Savior. Instead, I needed to BE more like Him. And how I was going to accomplish that task was now an assignment I was ready to take on. Instead of giving up something that in turn will alter my personality in a fashion that’s neither healthy nor beneficial for anyone, I decided to go another route. For the next 40 days, my way of honoring Him during Lent would look a little different. “Acts of service” became my mantra for the next five and a half weeks. I prepared for my honor to Him by creating a list numbered 1 through 40. Each line had an “act” to perform in the name of Jesus. Such as: 1. Bring a meal to someone in need. Day one I cooked a crock pot full of pulled pork. I accompanied the pork with freshly baked rolls, a colorful garden salad, and topped the meal off with fresh fruit. As I drove to my friend’s house to drop off the meal for day one, my heart was so full. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she opened the door and there I stood, followed by the aroma of pulled pork. My friend couldn’t have been more delighted to see me with a delicious meal in hand. We visited for a bit and I was on my way. 2. Volunteer your cleaning services. Day two I arrived at Linda’s house. Linda has ovarian cancer and is undergoing chemo, leaving her tired and weak. I came upon Linda through my church. Since I own a residential cleaning business, I wanted to volunteer my services to a person who was in need. I drove to her house with my clean-

26 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

ing supplies and cleaned away her dust bunnies. After I got done sprucing up her house, I sat and chatted with her for a bit. I learned what a warrior she is for Jesus Christ, how He has brought her so much glory through this struggle of hers. I wrapped up our visit and was on my way back to my unkempt house. 3. Let someone know you care. Day eight I arrived at the front doors of St. Luke’s Hospital. I knew there was an individual somewhere in that hospital who needed to know they were cared about and loved. I walked into the gift shop and picked out a balloon that read: “Praying for your recovery.” I had the sweet gal behind the counter inflate the beautiful purple balloon. I took my gift to the third floor: ICU. I handed the balloon to the nurse in charge and said I would like to give this to someone who doesn’t have any family by his or her side — let them know someone cares. As I wiped tears from my eyes and entered the elevator to leave the third floor, my heart ached for that individual (the patient remained anonymous to me). Not knowing the circumstances, I prayed for the patient’s peace and comfort. My journey continued throughout the next 40 days. My mother-in-law and I donated coloring books and crayons to the pediatric unit of St. Luke’s. I wrote notes and left them on random cars, telling people how much they are loved, adored, and sought after by Jesus. I listened rather than talked (a big feat for this gal!). I paid for the person behind me when I ordered my coffee. I bought groceries for our food bank and donated gently used clothes to the Rescue Mission. I wrote numerous “just because” cards, emails, and texts to my friends and loved ones to let them know how much I appreciate and love them. I sparked conversation with the checker at the grocery store, asked her how her day was going, even though mine wasn’t turning out so great at that particular moment. I passed on gossiping for the sake of someone else’s reputation, and while I was at it, I built them up instead behind their back. As my journey wrapped up, I sat and reflected on what had occurred over the past 40 days. Not only did I possibly change the day for several people, hopefully for the better, but I changed mine as well. I didn’t need to give up coffee or chocolate to draw closer to Him. What I needed to do was be more like Him. Love like Him; speak, act, and do like Him. For it is when I gave up myself for others, I became more like Him. My journey through Lent was indeed service, acts, and works. Jesus drove those three attributes strictly during my 40 days; He was behind my actions 100 percent. When I sit here days later after the Lent journey has ended, I can’t help but reflect back on how Jesus spoke to me during my odyssey. He gave me eyes to see like Him, ears to listen like He listens, hands to give as He gives daily, and a heart to reach out to the needs of others the way He does for you and me every single day. I am truly blessed to have been brought front and center through this spiritual adventure. I gained much more than I ever thought possible. I know my journey will not stop at 40 days, but rather, beyond 40. Giving of myself is a difficult task more days than not, but with Him by my side, anything is possible…maybe even giving up coffee. n Angela Hayes is a local freelance writer, business owner, wife and mother.

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Just inside the children’s room is a chart labeled “Herby’s Feelings.” The youngsters get to choose which of 25 feelings they are experiencing at the moment, including lonely, scared, guilty, proud, silly, jealous and more. If the children’s feelings change throughout the program, they are welcome to select another mood from the chart. Since so many children in divorce situations experience a lack of control over events in their lives, allowing them some sense of personal power is an essential element in DC4K. “Kids feel they don’t have a say in anything. The program is based on choices,” Towle said. Learning Scripture is a part of both the adults’ and children’s programs, with the exception that the younger set is taught Scripture in smaller amounts and learns through play and fun, such as song and dance. Bible verses for them include Nehemiah 2:2: “Therefore the Wendy Towle leads DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) king said to me, ‘Why is your face sad, while her mother helps lead the DivorceCare adult since you are not sick? This is nothing classes. Here, Towle shows the various emotions that children may express about their parents’ divorce. (Photo but sorrow of the heart.’” by Gaye Bunderson) Continued on page 29

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By Gaye Bunderson Even among Christians, there remains a very real possibility that their marriages won’t last a lifetime. Splitting a family can cause grief among both spouses, as well as their children. Engage Boise, a church located at 270 E. Pennsylvania Ave., hosts programs for adults and kids who are struggling with the trials of divorce. The programs are DivorceCare for grownups and DC4K for kids ages 5-12. Program director Wendy Towle (pronounced toll) said DivorceCare and DC4K are national programs new to the Boise area. The adult program has only been offered twice here, and the children’s program three times. The first step is making participants feel they’re in a secure zone where they can be free to open up and discuss their feelings. For the children especially, the process starts when they walk through the door. “It’s a safe place, and people love them here. We make them feel comfortable,” Towle said.

Christian Living | May / June 2015 27


Health-boosting juice repairs, cleanses parsley supports the liver and the kidneys in the elimination of toxins. Chlorophyll is a potent anti-carcinogen and it helps to purify “I ate no choice food; no meat or the bloodstream. Parsley, cilantro and bok wine touched by lips; and I used no lochoy leaves are rich in chlorophyll. The bok tions at all until the three weeks were choy stem is rich in water and electrolytes over.” – Daniel 10:3 that are fantastic for juicing. “What? Know ye not that your body Celery and cucumber are rich in trace is the temple of the Holy Spirit which minerals like silica and key electrolytes like is in you, which ye have of God, and sodium and potassium. These nutrients help ye are not your own?” – 1 Corinthians to flush stagnant extracellular water out of 6:19 our system. This reduces inflammation and acidity in the tissues of our body. It also Your body is new every 6-12 months so helps to reduce cellulite and improves skin what you consume will determine what tone and texture. quality cells, tissues and health you will Rosie Main is a chiropractor, USA team Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory have now and in the future. Diet is not the doctor and a Maximized Living doctor. She and digestive enhancer. In particular, ginger only factor in being healthy, but it’s a major owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. helps improve liver function, bile flow and one and deserves much focus, energy and Everest Lane, Suite 175, in Meridian. hydrochloric acid production from the financial investment. It’s always cheaper to stomach. stay healthy than to attempt to regain health She may be reached at 859-6170 or For more informaLemon provides vitamin C, citrus bioflaonce it’s lost. tion, visit vonoids (vitamin P) and citric acid as well I try to drink green juices or use my Alkaas key electrolytes. These things help to lize and Detox greens every day. Fresh green stabilize blood sugar and improve liver, kidney and gallbladder juices using powerful ingredients are the best way to provide health. micronutrients and phytonutrients into the body to enhance Green apples are low in sugar and a unique antioxidant methylation and detoxification. Most chronic disease is due to inflammation and by alkalizing and removing toxins and sugar called procydan which helps to destroy cancer cells. Be sure to get as much of these organic as possible. This is especially for 3-10 days, your body will get rid of the toxins, and inflamimportant for the thick-skinned veggies such as the cucumber, mation will subside. I recommend that my patients try a 3- to parsley, cilantro, green apple and celery. 10-day juice fast with no food and only the juice to gain the Most people feel awesome when they start drinking green benefits. drinks regularly, but occasionally people experience some detox symptoms such as headache and fatigue. If this lasts Why separate the juice? for more than 2-3 days when you begin drinking green super All nutrition that your body can absorb to repair and credetox drinks, then consult with a functional health practitioner. ate new cells is in the juice of a vegetable, fruit, or grass (i.e. wheatgrass or barleygrass). The Why should you fast? fiber, which cannot be absorbed Juice Recipe While this juice fast is cleansfor nutrition by the body, simply ing your body by omitting cerholds it all together and helps 6 kale leaves tain foods for a limited time, the your body get rid of waste. Of Handful of spinach (pre-packaged works, deeper and true basis of intent course, your body still needs is for spiritual connection. The fiber at mealtime, but in between but I prefer fresh bunches) purpose of Christian fasting is meals, fiberless juice goes straight ½ cucumber to seek a more intimate relato the bloodstream like a super 4 celery stalks tionship with God while ridding vitamin loaded with all-natural 1 Granny Smith apple whole (only this type, your physical body of unnutrition. as all others have much higher glycemic index) natural, self-gratifying food and And by the way, a blender is drink. Your focus is to be on NOT a juicer; juicers separate ½ lemon (lightly peel the yellow exterior, leaving God, not on the fleshly things the juice from the fiber, blend as much of the white as possible) of the world. Too often, the ers do not, which defeats the ½ inch of ginger (finger thickness, increase a focus of fasting is on the lack of purpose of isolating the juice little if you can) food. Instead, the purpose of from the fiber. You can go to my 1 inch turmeric root (same) fasting should be to take your Facebook page, Main Health eyes off the things of this world Solutions, and watch my “Juicing Made Simple” video online. Extras to add if you can, as they aid in detoxification: to focus completely on God. Be blessed. Parsley (10 sprigs) Visit my Facebook page or Ingredients Cilantro (same) call me at (208) 859-6170 for Cilantro helps with heavy more information. n metal detoxification while By Rosie Main

28 May / June 2015 | Christian Living

DivorceCare Continued from page 27 Both groups also watch videos, with the adult group watching experts speak on marital- and divorce-related topics and the younger group watching two short videos, the first showing children of divorce speaking out about their experiences and the second a telling of a short Bible story. The children then make crafts and get involved in other creative activities. There are many siblings in the kids’ group, and all the children are encouraged to support one another. “It’s fun to watch the kids,” Towle said. “They will notice when another kid is troubled and try to comfort them.” “We always pray with the kids,” she said. It’s just as important for the adults to feel they can speak in a nonjudgmental, supportive atmosphere among people in similar circumstances. Towle’s mother, MaryAnn, is one of two facilitators for the adult group. DivorceCare requires a male and female, both of whom have experienced divorce personally and bring relatability to the program. “We can share our testimony, our story,” MaryAnn said. The adults need to heal, she said, and apply the principles being taught in the program. They’re encouraged to think through their problems and find answers. “It’s very therapeutic for them to come up with solutions themselves.” MaryAnn said the adults discuss everything from custody issues to child safety. “I like that safety for the kids is emphasized so much,” she said, explaining that some of the divorces involve domestic abuse, and a large number of them involve spousal infidelity. One of the primary topics is forgiveness. MaryAnn said people are obviously not forced to forgive and are not told that forgiveness in any way lets the other spouse off the hook or opens the door for them to come back to the marriage. Forgiveness benefits the person giving it. “‘It’s your choice,’ we tell them. But forgiveness is the first step to healing yourself,” she explained.

Could your Life and Family use a little more… Calm Coping

Scripture for adults includes Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” The adults also discuss dealing with single sexuality; at that point, they are separated by gender, with the male facilitator leading the male group and the female facilitator leading the female group. Both adults and children are given age-appropriate workbooks. There is also a toddler room for the littlest members of the family. “We don’t want the adults to not be able to come because of the cost of child care,” Towle said. The toddlers get lessons too, modified for them, with “all things pointing them toward the Lord,” she said. Everyone involved in DivorceCare and DC4K is a volunteer, and there are roughly a dozen of them. “All the volunteers need a background of familiarity with divorce,” said Towle, who earned a Bible degree from Boise Bible College. The February course had 16 children in the kids’ program and 10 adults in the grownups’ program. People may join groups at any point during the 13-week run. No one is required to be a member of Engage Boise, nor have any church affiliation at all. Everyone is welcome, and the programs are non-denominational. Classes are held weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $25 and includes activity books, snacks and supplies; financial options are available. Sign-ups for fall classes will be taken during June, July and August by emailing or by calling (208) 336-1925. More information may be obtained at or n


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Christian Living | May / June 2015 29

YOUR Daily Bread

Contentment through financial stewardship By Terry Frisk rich fall into temptation and a trap There was a time in my life where I and into many foolish and harmbelieved that if I could just increase ful desires that plunge people into my income, then my money problems ruin and destruction. For the love of would be solved. However, every time money is a root of all kinds of evil.” I received a pay increase, there always (NIV) seemed to be an additional need. The Now, I am certainly not suggesting that more I made, the more I spent. This you should only spend money on food left me with the empty feeling of always and clothing. Quite the contrary, God needing more. This was when I realized has blessed us with an abundance of that my problem was not related to my choices that enable us to enjoy our time income, but how I managed the money on this earth. However, we must be good I spent. stewards with our money and be conOverspending is certainly not a new tented to live within our means. Below phenomenon. But, there are many are five tips to help you take control of additional ways to spend money today your spending behavior: than ever before. Many items we see 1. Before purchasing, ask yourself, “Do Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B as necessities today did not even exist I really need this?” Stop and ask yourCFO, providing financial advisory services to a generation ago. The first cell phone, self whether the product or service will small businesses. He also counsels individuthe Motorola “brick,” was introduced in als on personal financial matters through the provide more value than it cost or will it 1984. Now, Pew Research estimates that Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling just wind up in your next yard sale. ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail 91 percent of American adults have a 2. Avoid buying more than you need. at cell phone. In addition, technology has I recently went shopping for a portable made it very easy to locate and purchase gas barbeque grill. I found a huge price items in the comfort of our homes and it will be delivered range from $100 to $10,000. WOW! While the more to our doorstep in just a few days. Another issue is we get expensive models had some cool features, I really did not a daily dose of advertising for new and improved prodneed one with all the options. I selected one with a price ucts to better our lives. How do we deal with all these of $250 (on sale) and, with care, I know it will last me for influences? Consider the message in 1 Timothy 6:6-10: several years (the grill it replaced was 16 years old). “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For 3. Limit credit card use. Studies have shown that we we brought nothing into the world, and we can take tend to pay more for items we purchase on a credit nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, card. Many financial advisors encourage “cutting up” we will be content with that. Those who want to get your credit card. However, for many of us, this advice is

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impractical. I have to travel periodically in my business and it is nearly impossible to rent a car or stay at a hotel without a credit card. If you have a credit card, devise a plan for how and when it will be used. Try to pay the balance off each month. For Internet purchases, consider using an online payment service, like PayPal, that is connected to your bank account. 4. Avoid impulse purchases. Give yourself a cooling off period to ponder the purchase. Go home and pray about it or sleep on it and determine the next day whether it is something that makes sense and you can afford it. I have found many times that the answer is “No.” 5. Develop a spending plan. Create a budget that allocates your income between giving, savings and spending. Commit to staying within your budget. Make sure you allocate funds for a periodic treat as a reward for your dedication. Financial stewardship is one important step in our faith journey. Striking a balance between giving, saving and spending is a matter for prayerful consideration. Achieving that balance results in financial security in accordance with God’s plan for us. n


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Christian Living | May / June 2015 31

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