JULY/ AUGUST 2017
4th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
TOUCO Ministry for orphans
Christa Starn Fueling a fitness fire
Christian private investigator
Unshakable foundation Thereâ€™s only one
Father Bruno Mgaya stands with two of the many orphans he has helped in Tanzania
Talk Radio From a Christian Perspective We’re known by the company we keep!
Family Life Today Weekdays @ 4:30am & 9:30am on KBXL Weekdays @ 2:00am & 5:00am & 8:00pm on KSPD
Jay Sekulow Live Weekdays @ 10:00am on KBXL
Truth for Life Weekdays 5:00am & 1:00pm & 9:30pm KBXL Weekdays @ 4:30am & 9:00pm KSPD
Dr. Charles Stanley
In Touch Weekdays 2:30am & 9:00am on KSPD
941thevoice.com • 208.377.3790 • 790kspd.com
Bob Lepine & Dennis Rainey
Contents July / August 2017 Features Encourage children: 5 Don’t coddle them
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” — Proverbs 8:17
Connecting with teens:
Christian private eye
Partnership with God:
Obey and receive
Health: 11 Maximum Drink(s) to your
health Notes from Home: A reason to love sports Challenging Faith: Activities of success
with 22 Outdoors Dougherty:
Cover Story —
Green Giant memories
A living sacrifice: Romans 12:1
What is your foundation?
Departments 24 Understanding Relationships: The 50/50 Plan
Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen email@example.com 208-854-8345 • Scott McMurtrey firstname.lastname@example.org 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones email@example.com 208-703-7860
Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services Website Design SEO Idaho Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017 by Christian Living Magazine LLC. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org Annual subscriptions available for $10/year. To start your subscription or give one as a gift send your check or money order, along with complete address information, and a phone number to call in case there’s questions about your subscription to Christian Living Magazine LLC, PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680. Find us on Facebook Badge
In Each Edition Corner: 4 Publisher’s It’s a ministry www.boisechristianliving.com
Editor Gaye Bunderson email@example.com 208-854-8345
Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Hilary Cobb, RM Drury, Dani Grigg, Doug Gross, Vincent Kituku, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Gary Moore and Dan Woodworth
Consider This: 26 Spiritual armor 18 Are They 29 Where Now?: Fitness coach 20 Christa Starn
Proud dad, happy son
Publisher Sandy Jones
Graphic Design Matthew Sanchez
Fly fishing memory: 25
Volume 5, Number 4
CMYK / .ai
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Don’t mistake a ministry for a hobby By Sandy Jones “You + Jesus = A Majority” Words from a powerful sermon on a beautiful Sunday morning; the sermon was titled “Be A Champion,” and it followed along with so many thoughts and emotions I’ve been processing recently. Our pastor was speaking on how much God loves each one of us, how He sees us as “Champions,” and reminded us that we are “not fighting alone.” What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31 (NIV)
ed. He just didn’t ‘get it.’ I share this with you today, not for sympathy because I don’t feel sorry for myself — I feel blessed beyond measure. I share these thoughts with you today because I want you to ‘get it.’ Please understand that here at Christian Living Magazine we all live for the Trinitarian God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and recognize that it’s through His grace we are saved. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. —James 2:26
We are told in Scripture ‘faith without works is dead,’ so we come to work each day to encourage you with the hope and promise that It is not lost on me the magnitude of the fact Sandy Jones, Publisher is in God’s love. To lift you up by sharing what that our Heavenly Father, God, The Creator of Christian Living Magazine your friends and neighbors are doing as the the Universe, The Alpha and Omega — The Hands and Feet of Christ, right here in the Treasure Valley. Timeless One — knows who I am, and, what’s more, He cares And for those who aren’t real sure what this “Christian-thing” about me. Regardless of the fact that compared to Him I’m is all about, we strive to show you what we’re called on to do smaller than the common sugar ant, He still cares. He loves me — to love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul and so much He sent His one and only Son to live a perfect, sinless body, and to love your neighbor as yourself — and what that life, and to die a horrific death on the cross, be buried in a bormight look like. rowed tomb, and rise again three days later — for me. Now I haven’t gone all egocentric on you, our readers. I ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and know He did this for all of us, but I want to share that I marwith all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love vel every day at the blessing of getting to do this ministry we your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. call Christian Living Magazine, as I am one more example of — Mark 12:30-31 how God uses ‘the least of these’ to do His work. In the middle of it all we get to minister to the lost, to the I have shared before that I have a secular past, that I have hurting, to the scared and unsure. We get to pray with the ill, made much different choices in the past 21 years than I did with those less fortunate than us. We get to hear the praises for previously. answered prayer, and rejoice in blessings both big and small. In our last issue I divulged how my husband and I came to This, my dear friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is no be the owners of Christian Living Magazine. What I didn’t hobby; this is right where Our Heavenly Father would have me. share was the prayer life that I believe actually got us to this Until next time – God Bless! n point. You see, for 11 years I had my “dream job.” I was good at what I did; I had a fantastic crew, who I loved like family; and I was as happy as anyone can be at work. During those years I would pray for wisdom, courage and strength. At the same time I knew deep down that regardless of the contents of my prayers, my true intentions had to be “Thy will be done,” so my prayers also went something like this: “God, if this isn’t my for-the-rest-of-my-life job, could I please do at least a little ministry? Maybe a half a day a week or so? I’ll be happy with whatever You send me.” And I meant it; I so badly wanted to give something, anything, back to Him. Imagine my shock when He blessed me the way He has — I’m so unworthy, and, yes, one of ‘the least of these.’ In life there are trials, and our life is no different. Recently my husband’s employment had become unstable, and in researching our options we had two confidants inform him that it was time for me to give up my hobby, this magazine, and to get a ‘real job.’ The first time I heard these words, I was devastated. I don’t cry often, but that day I cried. Not because I was insulted, but rather because this person, someone we have viewed as a brother-in-Christ, clearly didn’t understand that Christian Living is not my hobby, it is my ministry. I was so disappoint-
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Encouragement over sympathy
Do your children expect to be coddled? saw him do it, and then fall when mom or dad are close by, you know how well our “training” can work. If nobody is around, children often How do we raise children who are willing to look around, then get up and continue on their take calculated risks and, more importantly, way. But if they see mom or dad (or some other get back up after a fall? Such a mindset may person they know will provide sympathy), the come naturally to some children, but I’m a firm tears and wails start up while the child sits there, believer that we, as parents, can foster strong waiting to be comforted. And the wails can grow “can-do” attitudes in children simply by how we even louder if the parent doesn’t respond. respond to their efforts. Instead of offering sympathy with every Our job starts by considering the ripple-effects mishap, parents do well to consider the encourof our words and attitudes. agement alternative. I was glad to witness this Unfortunately, I see some parents actually recently when the child of a friend of mine tried castigate their children whenever they make jumping from one rock to another in a pond mistakes. What a tragic loss. What an initiative— but missed and ended up in the water. Instead killing, demoralizing choice. Every successful Daniel Bobinski of mocking or coddling, the parent offered person I know has experienced failure. One genuine praise for the attempt. It’s this kind of quote, often attributed to President Theodore encouragement that helps kids develop good self-esteem and Roosevelt, is, “Show me a man who doesn’t make mistakes and healthier, “can-do” attitudes. I’ll show you a man who doesn’t do anything.” If we criticize To further encourage your children, you could also share with (or worse yet, mock) children when they make mistakes, we are them several lessons from history. destroying their self-confidence. One is the oft-told story about inventor Thomas Edison. On the other side of the spectrum are parents who coddle and When asked about why he was failing in his efforts to create a comfort their children every time something goes wrong. No light bulb, he gave his now famous reply, “I have not failed. I’ve doubt you’ve seen it, and you may even do it: The child trips and falls, and mom or dad run over immediately, saying, “There, just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Then there’s Abraham Lincoln. Born to illiterate parents, there.” Lincoln’s first fiancé turned him down because she thought he Don’t misunderstand — there’s certainly a time and place for would never amount to anything. After he did marry, three of sympathy and comfort. But if that’s ALL we do, then we are his four children died before reaching adulthood. His business training our children to expect coddling every time something ventures failed, and he lost three out of four races for elected ofgoes wrong. fice before being asked to run for the presidency on the ticket of A better choice when things don’t go as intended is to offer a newly established party. Yet many consider Abraham Lincoln encouragement. to be one of our country’s greatest presidents. Most mistakes, oversights and failed efforts are not life-threatEdison and Lincoln experienced tremendous failures, but ening. They simply take us to a fork in the road with our choices instead of choosing to be victims, they chose to move forward. being criticize, coddle or encourage. If you’ve ever seen a child fall down when he thought nobody By Daniel Bobinski
Continued on page 9
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Connecting with teens
They’re complicated, but reachable By Janet Lund
How in the world?
learning how to parent them. Do so wholeheartedly. They will be out the door before you know it. So embrace this time.
“How am I supposed to connect with my Connect by engaging son when all he wants to do is play computer games or sports?” “How am I supposed to Choose to be interested in your teens’ interconnect with my daughter when all she wants ests because they are. to do is listen to music, text her friends, and You may be thinking to yourself, “Why watch movies?” should I be interested and engaged? She Connecting with your teen when you have doesn’t care about what I am interested in,” very different interests can be a challenge. or “He thinks what I am interested in is just You love art, they love sports. You love classidumb or boring.” cal music, they love dubstep. You love reading First, remember that your child is a books and quiet time while they love talking teen. This means he or she is very self-aband hanging out with friends. sorbed right now. It’s just the way it is. There Janet Lund Whatever the case may be, if you feel like is so much growing going on inside of them. It you are from different planets and the little is highly distracting! The result is that they are person you used to share picnics and blow bubbles with is focused on their interests, their stresses, their world. floating away, know this: There is something you can do Second, you are the parent. It’s been your job to be enabout it! gaged in your child’s life from the start. Just because they are more independent doesn’t mean you are done raising them. Connect by embracing this time Teens need you engaged in their lives even more, not less. Even if they don’t act like it. From the beginning, parenting has been an adventure. On Third, you need to show your child by example this journey, you learned the magical powers of the binky, the astonishing impact of Oreos before bed, and the breathtaking how to think beyond themselves. Lead the way by 1) being fully present when spending time with your teen, speed that a clean room can transform into a pigsty. 2) choosing to be interested in his or her world, and When you first became a parent, you had, obviously, never 3) giving your teen a chance to practice inviting someone done it before. More specifically, you had never parented this unfamiliar with their interests (you) into their world. unique little person before. You had to get to know this little package of personality. It took time and focus to figure out the best way to connect with your baby, toddler, and grade Steps to get connected schooler. 1) Invite your teen to teach you how to play their favorite Because your teen is still on their journey of growing up computer game and play it with them. — continuing to discover their own individual strengths and 2) Ask your teenager to teach you how to play their favorite weaknesses — your company and support are still required. sport, if you are physically able. If not then have them teach As they keep learning about themselves, you can continue you the rules, what the terms mean, and how a person scores,
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
so you can understand it. (Sometimes we don’t like things because we don’t understand them.) 3) Attend games and be their cheerleader. Even if you still don’t like the sport, be interested in the sport because your child is interested in it. 4) Enquire about what music they like. Ask if you can listen to it with them. Have them share with you what they like about their favorite songs. 5) Enjoy the time your teen spends telling you how things work and why they like them. As they share the details, you will learn more about how your child’s mind works and discover new ways in which they express themselves. This will provide you a chance to have more interactive dialogue with your teen other than, “Did you clean your room?” or “How was your day?”
Caring opens doors to conversation
Asking what it is that they like about these different sports, computer games, and music, shows your teen that you care. In doing so it opens doors to conversations about other things. The important stuff about growing up is hard to talk about, especially if you don’t talk that much about other things that are important to them. This is an exciting and scary time right now for your teen. They are trying to discover who they are and what they are
made of. Having you reach out to them and be by their side will mean a lot. Even if they don’t show it right away. One day the lightbulb will go on and your young lady or young man will say, “Thanks for being there for me.” Embrace. Engage. Connect. You’ve Got This! n Janet Lund is a relationship coach who specializes in nurturing the bond between moms and their teen/pre-teen daughters. She leads moms through coaching, speaking, and songwriting. Janet has spoken and performed in Canada, the United States, and Norway. Follow her on facebook.com/momkeepcalm and visit her website momkeepcalm.com for parenting tools and words of support to be a calm mom.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
A private eye in business with God By Gaye Bunderson Private investigators often figure highly in the plots of crime novels, movies and TV shows. Barbara Jacobson wants you to know they can also be very pivotal in performing God’s work. Jacobson’s resume is one of varied employment, including working as an eligibility examiner for the California Department of Health and Welfare. But it was when the San Diego District Attorney’s Office needed an investigator that she discovered her calling. “They had incredible training,” she said. “I found my gifting. I had done well at other jobs, but with investigative work, I found where my strengths were.” In her 30s at the time, she worked as an investigative specialist in the Family Support and Fraud divisions, among other responsibilities, and honed her investigation and interviewing skills. She eventually decided to escape San Diego’s high crime rate and move to the less crime-plagued Boise area, bringing her years of experience with her. Unable to find a job in the investigative field, she spent 11 years in real estate banking. But as she was approaching her 50s, the bank started letting people go. “I was thrown off,” she said. “But when I started to pray, I started to get excited. I got the sense God was about to do something great, something big in my life. I thought, ‘God is closing this door.’” Indeed that employment portal did shut tight, and Jacobson survived on a six-month severence package. When that was about to run out, she started calling around for jobs. “Investigative work is the only thing I’ve ever enjoyed, so I called looking for that kind of work. I got many ‘No’s,’” she said. It wasn’t until she met a fellow Christian positioned at a firm called Vec-Tel Investigations that the entryway to that “some-
thing big” began to open — even though initially Jacobson was hestitant. For many years, she’d worked 60-hour weeks, and while she wanted to return to investigations, she’d hoped to trim some hours off her schedule. This time it was her turn to say no. Vec-Tel wanted to open a Boise office, and her newly acquired Christian friend asked her to manage it; when her first response was in the negative, he told her to go home and pray about it. She did and returned again and told him no, again. Undeterred, he encouraged her to go home and continue to pray. She ultimately accepted the job, 60-hour work weeks and all. “Within nine months, I was able to start my own business,” she said. Jacobson Investigations has operated in the Boise area, and beyond, for 21 years now. The agency offers many services (go to SpyIdaho.com) but specializes in divorce, infidelity, child custody, fraud/theft, missing persons, asset searches, and comprehensive background investigations, both personal and corporate. Jacobson built up a reputation as someone who leaves no stone unturned. She works hard, but she doesn’t see herself as sole proprietor of the company. “I began to see God and I as a team. In the beginning years, I was in training with God. My relationship with God grew,” Jacobson said. “The people who come to me for help...a large percentage of them have serious issues. Almost everybody that comes to me is hurting or frustrated and angry. I never realized what a field for ministry it was. “In the beginning, I didn’t tell people about my Christian walk, but I just got bolder and bolder. They needed God more than they needed me to fix their problems. I’ve opened people up to God more than I ever imagined.” She doesn’t do it by going “religious” on
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
them. “I tell them I have a relationship with the Living God. I always let God lead,” Jacobson said. “I talk to them about what God means to me in my life. God is my all-in-all in my personal life and my professional life. I pray with and for my clients. God is the only source of abundant life.” The once-reticent Jacobson walked with God a long time before she was able to open up about her faith. “I came to the Lord at age 10, kneeling before the TV with a Billy Graham Crusade on — I’ve always known God was there for me. But I was praying ‘Band-Aid prayers’ until God said, ‘Why do you ask for so little? Expect great things from Me.’ I was very timid in the beginning of my Christian walk, and the people I was attracted to were very bold. I started praying for boldness. “I can remember the day I realized that God is smarter than I am and that God is for me even more than I am for myself and that I could trust Him for everything.” She’s still putting in those 60-hour weeks. Her work, she said, cannot be relegated to an 8-to-5, 5-day-a-week schedule. Now 71, when asked if she plans to retire she replies with complete sincerity: “I intend to retire somewhere in my 90s.” “Almost all the people who call me now (as clients) are Christians. Some don’t know I’m Christian. It’s become a business AND a ministry. I’ll continue to do this as long as God needs me and gives me the strength and encouragement,” she said. She likes to help others and said each day when she wakes up, she asks God, “‘How many people can we bless today?’ Life with God is exciting. Every day for me is an adventure with Him. He’s parted the Red Sea for me so many times I’ve lost count. God is my business partner.” He is her soul proprietor. n
Encouragement over sympathy Continued from page 5
Allow me to emphasize something: It’s a choice. And we can help our children make that choice. I have no proof, but it’s my guess that each of these people had parents who encouraged them to get back up and press on whenever they experienced a failure. Letting our children choose victim status has unhealthy consequences. When people choose victim status or get overcoddled, there’s no need for them to take responsibility. No learning occurs. The only result is a “poor me” attitude that leads to our children remaining dependent on other people. That said, Scripture is pretty clear that we are to depend on the Lord. Yes, we are to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), but that doesn’t mean we want our children to leave God out of the picture. Scripture also tells us, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength,” and it further tells us that through our hope in God, we will soar on wings like eagles, and we will run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31). The Apostle Paul, writing in 2 Timothy 1:7, says, “The Spirit God gave us does not
make us timid, but gives us power, love, and selfdiscipline.” So yes, like us, our children will make mistakes. As parents who are training up God’s next generation of adults, it’s how we respond whenever those mistakes happen that can impact our children’s self-image and their attitudes for decades to come. Sympathy may be needed from time to time, but if that’s all we do we are not helping our children grow. We do better when we encourage kids to get up, shake themselves off, and move forward. If the situation warrants, we can also ask kids what they learned along the way, and remind them to check in with God to find out His take on the matter. But the bottom line is strive to encourage. n Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed., is the CEO of Workplace-Excellence.com, helping teams and individuals learn how to use Emotional Intelligence. He’s also a homeschooling dad, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 375-7606. NOTE: Daniel will be a keynote speaker at the Parenting Conference in Caldwell on September 23.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Partnership with God
His help follows acts of obedience, faith later told where to cast his net, after fishing for a whole night without catching anything, Here is the point. God will not do for you he obeyed — we know the outcome in both what you can do because He does what you cases. can NEVER DO. For God to do what you The woman in 2 Kings 4, whose husband cannot do, you need to do your part. had died and creditors wanted to take her We read in the Bible situations that were sons as bondmen, did as Elisha instructed her beyond what any human being is capable of to do. When Mary and Martha and those in rectifying. Yet in those situations, God invited their company obeyed and removed the stone somebody to do his or her part. The situafrom Lazarus’s grave, the dead man was tions had reached a point were people were resurrected. desperate, had given up or were on the verge In some situations, people’s unbelief or of giving up. They knew that their circumunwillingness to do their part delayed the stance was beyond their control. rectification of the situation they wanted Resurrecting Lazarus required God’s power (even prayed about) to be rectified. Lazarus Vincent Kituku (John 11). But Christ Jesus wanted Mary, remained dead as his sisters were trying to tell Martha and those mourning with them to Jesus that there was no need to remove the stone since he remove the stone that covered Lazarus’s grave. had been dead for several days. God provided manna, but He didn’t put it in His people’s It is interesting that the church prayed for Peter’s situation, plates (Exodus 16). It was their responsibility to pick up the but when he knocked on the door, they didn’t open it at first, free food. forcing him to keep knocking. You know, if those guards In Acts 12, we see God delivering Peter from a prison where had followed him, they could have found and arrested him he was chained. There were guards and soldiers and an iron outside because people had delayed doing their part when gate — impossible obstacles for a prisoner to overcome. Yet God had done His. He didn’t open the door to the house where Peter went to be Naaman (2 Kings 5: 1-19) suffered longer than he had to with his fellow Christians. They had to open that door. from leprosy, a dreaded disease, because of his unwillingness There are two unquestionable attributes, obedience and to follow instructions that seemed silly. He had to be confaith, that are needed for God to do His part. Not a single vinced by his servant. situation was rectified without obedience, people doing what To bring hope into hopeless situations in partnership with God told them to do even if it sounded or seemed stupid God, we need to pray, obey, have faith and not be surprised and/or strange. when God does His part. n Peter did what the angel instructed Him to do. A veteran Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, award-winning international speaker and author, is the fisherman, Peter had never seen a dime in a fish’s mouth. founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring Hearts High School But when he was instructed by Jesus to go get money for in Kenya. He may be reached at (208) 376-8724 or email@example.com. their taxes from a fish’s mouth, he obeyed. When he was By Vincent Kituku
10 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Fight allergies with superfood drinks By Rosie Main
1-2 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar God put amazing superfoods on our earth for 1 Tbsp lemon juice us to enjoy and benefit from. I believe that if we 1 tsp cinnamon can daily include drinks like the ones described in 2 cups boiling water this column in our diet, we can help detoxify and Optional to taste: liquid stevia or 1 Tbsp. raw improve our immune system to protect us from organic honey or unrefined maple syrup (core disease and inflammation. plan only) The benefits of adding turmeric, ginger, apple cider vinegar, cayenne and green vegetables are Directions amazing in helping reduce inflammation and Stir ingredients together and sip this drink oxidation, and in helping our liver to detoxify and steaming in the morning or before bedtime. clean out the debris that lingers in our tissues. Try Serve warm or cool depending on your tastes drinking the apple cider vinegar drink first thing and you are surely going to fall in love with it. in the morning and then having an amazing Rosie Main green juice for breakfast. For lunch have a salad with quality protein such Ingredients as grass-fed meat or wild salmon with avocado and then for din1 Tbsp fresh grated (or juiced) turmeric ner include free-range chicken and organic vegetables with a salad 1-2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice and have the turmeric shot before bed. The benefits of eating and Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) drinking these foods will allow you to live to your potential. My kids love these drinks and actually crave them. Once your body starts to alkalize and drift away from being acidic, you will Directions also drift away from disease and symptoms such as allergies, sinus Blend all ingredients and mix well. Shoot back on empty issues, headaches, joint pain, gastritis and even cancer. stomach. God wants us to be well, and we have a responsibility to honor the temple He gave us. Nourish your body to allow you to live to the full capacity He has called you to. 6-8 kale leaves (or 2 cups of spinach) 1 cucumber 4 celery stalks 2 green apples 1/2 lemon, peeled 1-inch piece of fresh root ginger On an empty stomach, shoot back 1-2 tablespoons of raw, n unfiltered apple cider vinegar. If you find this is difficult on Rosie Main, DC, owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, your stomach, try this variation:
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink
Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. For more information, visit MaximizedLivingDrMain.com.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 11
Notes from Home
One thing to love about sports By Dani Grigg Here’s one word you would never use to describe me: athletic. I use it to describe myself sometimes (“Yeah, I did drag myself out for a jog today — didn’t you know I’m an ATHLETE?”), but I’m not fooling anyone. In addition to skill, I lack the confidence for sports. One year I played a few games of soccer in the backyard with my siblings and got it in my head that I was good. I signed up for a soccer team. On the first day of practice, I rode my bike to the field, carrying my water bottle in a backpack. It leaked. The seat of my pants was soaked. I was too embarrassed to show my face, but my mom said she’d take care of it. We walked up to the assembled group of 8-year-olds and she announced, “Dani wants you all to know that she didn’t pee her pants.” The 8-year-olds were unimpressed. During a game later in the season, I was playing defense and the ball popped
12 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
up and hit my hand. The ref called “hand ball” and the other team earned a shot on goal. They scored and won by one point. I haven’t forgotten the disappointed — maybe even disgusted — looks on my teammates’ faces. I finished the season, but in my heart, that moment ended my athletic career. When I was a freshman in college, I lived in the dorms and I guess I got caught up in the giddiness of being surrounded by a few dozen hyper and happy girls and in the freshness of redefining myself in a new place, because I signed Though his mother isn’t an athlete, t-ball player Joup for our floor’s nah, age 6, gives his mom at least one reason to enjoy flag football team. sports. (Courtesy photo) When I got out
to the field, picked up a ball and had a look around, I remembered: I am not good at sports. Everyone around me had been competing in sports for years while I’d spent my adolescence twirling flags and reading books. That first practice was my only practice. Since then I’ve kept to the sidelines, even when as a church youth group leader the kids tried to get me to play kickball with them. I claimed adult privilege: I’d earned the right to skip the performance anxiety and humiliation of playing sports. So that’s part of my definition of who I am: Someone who is not an athlete. I keep my physical activity confined to quiet endeavors: jogging, hiking, biking, swimming, weight machines in the women’s room at the gym, racquetball with a friend who is also not an athlete. Watching sports is not my thing, either. When I was dating my now-husband, he asked me if I liked to watch football. I thought about sitting in the stands at a college football game, eating hot dogs, singing the fight song and watching the crowd. Yes, I told him. I’m a football fan. Turns out liking hot dogs and fight songs is not the same thing as liking football. My wonderful husband is a true football fan, his days made and ruined by how his team does. Just after Boise State’s tumultuous Fiesta Bowl victory of 2007, the cops showed up at our apartment door to make sure I was doing okay — apparently the neighbors had misinterpreted howls of frustration and the crash of the remote hitting the wall as a domestic disturbance. I waved at the cops from the kitchen table where I sat calmly piecing together a puzzle, and my husband explained
about the football game. The cops had been listening to the game in their car and understood. We’ve reined in the football craziness since then. My husband has forgiven me for my misdirection about my relationship with sports, and I’ve forgiven him for telling me he liked to read books. But now I have a favorite sports team. It’s called the Brewers, and they are magnificent at t-ball. They’re five to six years old, and sometimes they decide to crawl instead of run, just to change things up. They don’t always know what to do when the ball comes their way, if they even notice. They knock over the tee just as often as they hit the ball. I watch those games eagerly. I follow where the ball goes, but mostly I look into the face of player number six, Jonah Grigg. I admire the concentration in his brow as he swings the bat and the lopsided gait he demonstrates as he runs the bases. I swell with his excitement as he hustles to home plate. I smile at the signs of budding friendships with his teammates. I guess there is something for me to love about sports after all. n Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and happy mother of two young sons.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 13
Learn the activities of success By Joel Lund The core of this article comes from Joel’s book-in-progress called Prepare For Rain; The Ten Essential Steps for Creating the Life You Want.
Activity precedes success
An inconvenient truth
Early in my first year, I attended a two-day training conference for new advisors. The trainers were highly seasoned, very successful leaders. Their enthusiasm for us was contagious. Everyone was excited to go back to their respective offices and launch exemplary careers. The energy level was stratospheric on our last day…right up until the closing session. That’s when the leaders shared with us that of the 20 of us in the room, only two would still be around in two years. The fellow I was sitting next to — by then a friend — turned to me and whispered, “That’s nuts! There are really sharp people in here. Some have way more experience than I do.” I nodded, and whispered back, “Well, if it’s true, how about you and me plan on being those two guys. Deal?” We shook hands. Two years later, he and I were the remaining two still with the company. A year after that, it was just me. Why? The reason, it turned out, was precisely what my manager had been trying to tell me. In any venture, there are certain activities that lead to success. Not a truckload of things. Only a few. Engaging in those activities moves a person forward. Not engaging in them — doing something different — makes it much harder to win. In fact, it may even doom a person to failure. Most of our classmates engaged in the wrong actions for too long.
Intention is similar to purpose. They’re related but not quite the same. People with a passion for impacting their world can still lose their way. They are fully capable of losing their focus and drive, just as much as they are of making progress. Intention is what makes all the difference. And the primary clue that intention is present is activity. Joel Lund In the world of sales, it’s almost an incantation: “Activity precedes success.” But what does this mean? At first, it struck me as incredibly stupid when my sales manager declared this in my first week as a financial planner. Of course, I thought, if I’m not doing anything I can’t expect to win. It turned out I was incredibly stupid. The key word in his short declaration is “activity.” I made the nearly career-ending mistake of believing I understood what he meant by activity. Because I didn’t, I initially suffered at succeeding in business. Once I wrapped my head around Brad’s meaning, things got much easier. As I observed my colleagues in the office, certain patterns emerged. Everyone was busy, bustling around, “getting things It gets real done.” Everywhere I looked, there was activity. Lots of it, in Once back, it didn’t take long before I more deeply observed fact. But there was a wide variety of success. Eventually, I realthe nature of the bustling. Those that progressed with their ized there must be something about the type of activity that was influencing the success of some and, by extension, the lack career engaged in a pretty narrow set of activity: they were primarily focused on setting meetings with prospective clients of it for others. and then holding them.
Continued on page 19
14 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 15
Idaho nonprofit helps He now has a Ph.D. in sociology, among other degrees. (For the full story, go to www.touco.org.) Ronald Rugimbana learned the truth behind the sayFr. Bruno envisioned the orphanages as a small faming “it’s a small world” when his mother came to Boise ily unit — they are in fact called “family centers.” He from Tanzania to visit him one year. He had come to incorporated a matron program into each orphanage. the U.S. from Africa in 1998 on academic and tennis Women ages 24 to 55 who are widows, single moms or scholarships to Boise State. Following graduation and never married live in the orphanages and take care of a career in professional tennis, he set up home in Boise the children. It is often a bonus for the matrons, as they and got a job at Hewlett-Packard. may otherwise be just as unfortunate as the children. While here, his mother decided to go for a walk one People in Tanzania are looking for opportunities, day. Along the way, she came to St. Mark’s Church and Ronald said, and may want to work at the orphanages went inside. There, she met Father Bruno Mgaya, who just for that reason; but Fr. Bruno has a filter for getting was a priest at the church at the time. She discovered just the right people with the right motivation, which is that Fr. Bruno, as he is frequently known, was also from to love the children. Tanzania. When she got home, she asked Ronald if “The matrons are ladies who want to give back, and he was aware a fellow Tanzanian lived so close by. He they devote themselves to taking care of the kids. They admitted he was unaware of Fr. Bruno. come from not-so-good areas, so it’s a win-win for the That was eight years ago, and Ronald is now very familiar with the beloved priest. Fr. Bruno started Tanza- women,” he said. Both Ronald and Kevin praise Fr. Bruno’s ideas about nia Orphan’s Upendo Community to help children in self-sufficiency and what they call his “self-sustaining his native land. After Ronald got to know Fr. Bruno in Boise and became aware of his work, he traveled home mindset.” “He’s got a good recipe,” Kevin said. “I was delighted to Tanzania for his annual visit. He and his mother with what I saw when I went there.” drove to see one of Fr. Bruno’s four orphanages, the “Fr. Bruno made it very clear he did not want an one in Mafinga. “We wanted to cross-check and make organization that just relies on donations. He wants sure of what Fr. Bruno had told us,” Ronald said. sustainability,” Ronald said. Indeed, there stood the orphanage, just as Fr. Bruno Local people in the communities of Mafinga, Ibumila, had said. Ronald decided he wanted to dedicate his Madeke and Uwemba, where there are Upendo Family time to Fr. Bruno’s work, helping raise funds back in the U.S. and visiting the children and assisting where he Centers (“upendo” is Kiswahili for “charity and love”) donate their knowledge. That may include instructions could when in Tanzania. He joined with other people at St. Mark’s to form a TOUCO board of directors and on growing a garden or milking cows. Each child must contribute to the well-being of the orphanage by workbecame close friends with the current board president, ing at various tasks. Kevin O’Sullivan. Both men are immigrants to the “He builds independence in them,” Kevin said. “Fr. U.S.; Kevin has lived here 32 years and worked as a civBruno is a clever person, and he does his homework. il engineer at Trus Joist in Boise prior to his retirement. His doctoral thesis was on how to help orphans become The former New Zealander designed the roof structure better contributors to society.” for the Kibbie Dome at the University of Idaho. Each orphanage has one acre of land attached to it, Ronald was ‘all in’ when it came to TOUCO before with wells and a septic tank. Kevin signed on, and said, “I am so grateful Kevin Land is surveyed and utilized. showed up for duty.” “Fr. Bruno has pineapples and avocados growing “My life has been blessed and wonderful and success— he’s a horticulturist, too,” Kevin said. ful,” said Kevin. “I give myself freely to the undertak“Fr. Bruno has intensity. His Ph.D. defined him even ing.” better,” Ronald said. Both men share a high regard for Fr. Bruno. Central The former tennis player explained the reasons to the priest’s motivation for starting the orphanages is behind the number of orphans in Tanzania include the fact he, too, grew up as an orphan in Tanzania. As migration, health issues and poverty. Fr. Bruno resists a frightened child, he slept under trees and scrounged labeling the orphans — such as referring to them as for food. Despite being on his own, however, he stayed in school — a Herculean task for a small, lonely boy. “AIDS orphans” — and said they are all children of 16 July / August 2017 | Christian Living www.boisechristianliving.com By Gaye Bunderson
Tanzanian orphans God, and that’s the only label he wants for them. TOUCO does need some initial funds to get the orphanages up and running and, at present, to keep them running at full steam. That’s where the board of directors comes in. TOUCO is an Idaho 501(c)(3) nonprofit. “We have very low-key fundraisers,” Kevin said. “People who know Fr. Bruno know he’s a very loving personality. … It’s been exciting. The money just seems to come. Americans are very generous.” “People on the board have faith and the spirit to give it back. We are driven by helping others and sharing what we know,” Ronald said.
Kevin explained that by American standards, the orphanages are very modest in structure and have limited operating budgets. But both men said there is a palpable sense of happiness among the children. “They have nothing, but they are joyful,” Ronald said. On one trip, Kevin wanted to teach the children baseball. There was no equipment, so the matrons fashioned a baseball out of whatever they could find. It was a day of fun for everyone — even with a makeshift ball. n For more information, go to touco.org. Ronald Rugimbana may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ronald Rugimbana, far right, is a native Tanzanian who now lives in Boise and works at Hewlett-Packard. Next to him is Father Bruno Mgaya, who started homes for orphans in Tanzania. The woman on the far left in the red headscarf is one of the matrons that Fr. Bruno selects to help care for the children. (Courtesy photo)
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 17
A living sacrifice
Understanding the meaning of Romans 12:1 By RM Drury In Romans 12:1 Paul encourages us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices.” The entire verse says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV) Quite honestly I just could not wrap my RM Drury head around exactly what this meant. I always thought of the Old Testament rules and regs when the word “sacrifice” came to mind. This passage of scripture is in the New Testament — the part of the Bible that is more specifically directed to the here and now. And the words were a bit troubling. What was God expecting of me in this regard? So, because I am an edu-
cator, I decided to educate myself. Whenever I don’t quite understand a portion of scripture, the first thing I do is ask the Holy Spirit to open and clear my mind so I can understand what I am reading with no preconceived ideas. This is so important. Next, I reread the scripture, sometimes several times. I also might read the same passage in other versions of the Bible. And of course looking in commentaries or online can prove to be very helpful. The American Heritage Dictionary defines sacrifice as “to forfeit something for something else considered of greater value,” “to sell or give away at a loss.” This word was easy to understand. As moms, we know sacrifice. Am I right? If there is only one donut hole left in the box, who gets it? Not the mom, for sure! So the word “sacrifice” I got. I have given away a last donut hole or two in my life. Where I was having trouble was pairing the words “living” and “sacrifice” with “offering my body.” The kids at church heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These men who loved and served God had refused to bow down to a gold statue of the king and remained true to the one true God. Because of this they were put in a fiery furnace (Daniel 3). Now that is what I call giving your body as a living sacrifice. How exactly could I do that? How does God want me to do that? The New Living Translation offered some help by wording the verse just a little differently. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to
Miss an issue? Want to re-read a past article? Our Past Editions can all be found at:
BoiseChristianLiving.com “Like” Us on
18 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.” These words speak of commitment. They speak of surrender. These words screamed to me: present yourself to God wholly, completely, to use as He sees fit — EVERY DAY you are alive! Why? Because of all He has done for me. I am a living being with a live body; I need to give myself to God daily — a living sacrifice. Giving God the last donut hole daily as it were. Living my life in such a way that everything I do, everything I say, everything I think is an act of worship. None of it is for me, it is all for Him out of love for Him. This pleases Him. John W. Ritenbaugh said, “Worship is our response to God, and real worship is the offering of our everyday life to Him. Loyal devotion given to please God in every labor of life is the most satisfying and acceptable response we can give God.” Sacrifice is an action. Setting aside my own agenda, wants and needs and living for His agenda, what He wants, what He needs from me. It’s deciding to stay true to God, no matter what everyone else does. It’s letting God use me every day. It’s more than that even...it’s asking to be used every day. It’s being committed to God as His servant to do His will on earth while I am alive. It’s a daily choice. Will it be easy? Not likely. Will I fail at times? Most definitely. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a happy ending though — God was with them and saved them from the fiery furnace. Can I count on God to help me as I try to offer myself as a living sacrifice daily? You bet. And that is very reassuring. n Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired Christian preschool teacher with a Certificate of Achievement in Early Childhood Education from Moorpark College. She is a former insurance executive and trainer. She has served the Lord for over 40 years in a church setting in many capacities, with most of her time spent in children’s ministry. Her heart is sharing God’s Word and its life application through her blog at thatslifemissroxanne.blogspot. com.
Challenging Faith Continued from page 14 The advisors who were not getting far, which included me until I finally got the connection, had very long lists of activity. The problem was that most of the activities were diversions from setting appointments. For all kinds of reasons, they just didn’t set many appointments. The core problem with that pattern is it inhibits building strong skills. With only occasional opportunities to conduct a good meeting, there was no consistency to their skills.
Spin cycles of doom
My fellow newbie professionals set the wheels in motion for not succeeding because they weren’t assuring they could improve their skills. Sitting behind their desks thinking about getting better wasn’t enough to actually get better. So, with few appointments, by the time they would sit down with someone keen on learning more about the benefits of financial planning, my colleagues were so uptight about “making a sale” they telegraphed their anxiety to their potential client. Rather than enter into a professional relationship based on a strong bond of trust and understanding, my colleagues created a self-defeating spin cycle of pressure and fear. There were so many people who could have had great careers, making a real difference by helping people develop a sound financial future. But they weren’t willing to engage in the activities that would lead to eventual — and predictable — success. The simplest way to put this is that without the daily intention of doing what was necessary to succeed, my colleagues — and very nearly myself — were committing to fail. How was this possible? The answer to that question came in another often-heard quote from those same leaders: “To be successful, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” — Les Brown
Answer your call
Which begs the question… “Is there something you’ve been avoiding, something you’ve been thinking about doing, but not actually doing?” If you’ve read many of my articles, you know by now that I believe none of us are here by accident, and that all of us have a calling — a purpose. You also know that I believe most people in North America suffer from overthinking and under-doing. It takes work to stop thinking about getting better and actually… get better. It’s uncomfortable. Yet consider what the result of that lack of activity means for people of faith. When God calls people to action, they’re not called to be successful. God’s measure of “success” is not built on the world’s. Rather, we’re expected to be faithful to our call. So, get uncomfortable. Stop thinking about things. Instead, do things. Step out in faith and make a difference. Be faithful to your calling. n Joel Lund is a certified master coach and business marketing expert. Are you a business owner? Check out his newest enterprise, PurposeDrivenAcademy.com, an online business accelerator. Owners and entrepreneurs using the academy quickly break through to higher revenues, with less work and more fun. Download his (free) simple 10-step guide for living with more purpose and joy: www.prepareforrain.com/ebook.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 19
What are you building your life on? my faith and belief in Jesus are an ongoing part of my life, but what is the foundation I Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a am building my sense of security and hope recurring theme in the worship songs I’ve on? Is it in Jesus’ promises? The hope of listened to, the Bible verses I’ve read, and the eternal life with Him? Am I half-heartedly sermons I’ve heard: what is the foundation building a foundation on the identity of beyou are building your life on? ing a Christian but not actually doing what Recently, I’ve been pondering the section He calls me to do? from Luke 6:46-49, when Jesus is preaching When I have (yet another) unexpected car to the crowds, sharing the beatitudes and repair, is my foundation rooted in a strong guidance for our lives. At the end of Luke sense that God will provide for my family? 6, Jesus shares about the man who built his When I am passed over for some opporhouse upon the rock: tunity through the church, is my foundation “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do built on the knowledge that my identity is in what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears God, not the success of my ministry? Hilary Cobb my words and does them, I will show you what he I do often find a sense of peace in God’s is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug provision and sovereignty eventually, but it takes a while. deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the My initial reaction is often one of panic. Of stress. Of worstream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had rying about our finances and the future. Of hurt or frustrabeen well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a tion. Of feeling like I’m not good enough. Of feeling that man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the God is absent or uninvolved. stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house When Jesus was sharing the parable of the men who built was great.” — Luke 6:46-49 (ESV) their houses on the rock and sand, he shared that both If you grew up in the church like I did, you have heard houses were covered with flood waters. It wasn’t that one this set of verses numerous times. You’ve probably sang man’s life was easier than the other man’s life. Both men the song, “The wise man built his house upon the rock, the knew that the floods would come and they had to make a house upon the rock, and the rains came tumbling down.” choice about where they would build their homes. The man But over the last few months, as I’ve begun to evaluate how on the rock had to “dig deep,” but it was worth it. When I spend my time and energy, these verses have taken on the flood waters came, they “could not shake [his house], more depth for me. because it had been well built.” At any given point in my day, if you ask me what foundaThere will be flood waters in this life. Jesus said that, tion I have built my life on, I would easily say, “Jesus.” In “…for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends my heart, I believe that everything — my ministry, blessrain on the just and on the unjust.” — Matthew 5:45 (ESV). The ings, gifts, and faith — are all from God. question can’t be, “What if something bad happens?” It has However, when I am really honest with myself, I realize to be, “When adversity comes and I’m rocked to the core that I’m so quick to forget this in the face of adversity. Yes, By Hilary Cobb
20 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
by life, what is my foundation built on?” Do you find that when the flood waters come, your foundation is built on prayer? A deep sense of peace in God’s plan? Or is your foundation built on your own success, your own financial security? Is it built on what others can do for you or what they think of you? Is it built on fear? Worry? Are you living a life built on the all-encompassing, gracious love that Jesus calls us to? Or is it built on bitterness? A sense of injustice or resentment? Intellectually, I can tell you that I want my life to be built on Jesus; but when I’m too distracted or lazy, and digging deep into the Word and prayer seems like too much work, it is easy to shift to more “worldly” foundations. And as I am getting older, I realize how dangerous and unstable those foundations are. I’ve seen too many people around me build their lives on weak and shaky foundations, and ultimately fall “to ruin” as Jesus warns us will happen. Over the past few months, I’ve become more aware that I want to have a secure foundation in Him. Not in myself, not in my successes, not in how good my marriage/children/house look. Those are the things that the world tells us will make us happy and secure, but they aren’t long-lasting. They are unstable and weak. You will be secure until you lose your job or your marriage, or you gain 50 pounds, or your church falls apart. Life is too unpredictable and difficult to have a weak foundation. Instead, I want a foundation where I am unshakable in
the face of persecution, instability and fear. One of my favorite worship songs (“Build My Life”) has a bridge that says, “I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation. And I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken.” Do you feel that way? Or does your life feel wobbly these days? Do you find yourself defining yourself by the size of your savings account or the number of social media followers you have? Do you find your emotions constantly shifting when the foundations you’ve built your house on start to shift and shake? I hope that you find comfort and direction in Galatians 2:19-21 (ESV): “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” I want that — to have my life be built on the firm foundation of Jesus, where I am joined together with the body of Christ. So let’s dig deep, my friends, and build our lives on the only foundation that can withstand the crazy, torrential rains of this life: Jesus Christ. n Hilary Cobb is a Treasure Valley therapist, writer, wife and mother. You may find her at her blog, www.blessedbyhislove.com, or on Facebook @blessedbyhisloveblog.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 21
Outdoors with Dougherty
Green Giant article starts memories flowing By Dan Dougherty I chanced upon an old article the other day about the outlined image of the 300-foot Jolly Green Giant fading on the hillside overlooking Dayton, Wash. Dayton had been the site of the world’s largest asparagus cannery for almost 70 years. In 2005 the plant was moved to Peru and the city lost 50 full-time and almost 1,000 seasonal jobs. Since then the town’s famous unmaintained symbol has been fading into obscurity. I never did see the image. It was built some 14 years after
Why Advertise in Christian Living Magazine? • Encouraging stories about your friends and neighbors being the Hands & Feet of Christ • 68% Female Readership • $50,000-$75,000 average readership income • Our readers frequent our advertisers • 15,000 Copies delivered in over 800 locations throughout the Treasure Valley • Locally Owned & Published
One new advertiser said it best: “I was sitting here reading your magazine, thinking about how much I love it – then I stopped and asked myself – why aren’t we in here?!”
my experiences in the area. In reflection, it reminded me that life is a transitional existence — the ebb and flow of now and then. Thanks to our God-given capabilities, our memories can be stimulated back to a fresh picture of “then.” The memory of the asparagus fields outside of Dayton, along the Tucannon River, brought back with clarity many almost forgotten fishing experiences. My pastor father left Pendleton, Ore. to take a new pastorate in Clarkston, Wash. My father loved to fish, and as May rolled around each year, he was ready. He liked to fish streams and small rivers like we had in Pendleton. The Snake River in Clarkston was too big. My dad took my brother, Doug, and I on about a 60-mile drive to the Tucannon River between Pomeroy and Dayton. He had observed the river on his many trips back and forth in the moving process. It was a beautiful, small river of clear water meandering through the flat farmland. We seemed to almost always be fishing alongside asparagus and hayfields. We had a good catch of mediumsized, bright-colored rainbow trout. On returning home and talking about the Jolly Green Giant’s asparagus fields, my little 5-year-old brother, Tommy, asked in all seriousness if we saw the giant. We all had a good laugh — Ho! Ho! Ho! It did not take Dad long to find several nice creeks just outside Clarkston that offered good fishing. Asotin and Alpowa creeks were both within eight miles. Alpowa was further out and not by any town. Less fishing pressure provided better fishing. It became our stream of choice. On the dirt road heading up the creek from the main road, a large mail-type galvanized box was posted. Fishermen recorded their fishing success in number of fish caught and time spent. It made for a good read to check out the
Uplift, Entertain & Enlighten Call today to schedule a time to meet with one of us! 208-957-6430 or email email@example.com
22 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
quality of recent fishing. Early summer 1962, Dad took my fishing friend, Sid Palmer, and I out to the creek for a day of fishing. He took us three miles up the creek on the old road and let us off. He had pastoral business to attend to. He instructed us to fish back down toward the main road and he would be back and pick us up. We had our metal telescoping rods with level wind reels, pockets with hooks/sinkers, and a large canvas creel (with a couple tuna sandwiches in tinfoil until we caught fish). We soon had no more sandwiches and a creel filling with fish. We stuffed wet grass in the creel to keep the fish fresh. Walking down the one section of road near a farmhouse, we saw a large snake stretched out in the middle of the road. We thought it was dead. As we approached it, it slithered off to the side, coiled up, and made that distinctive buzzing/rattling noise. Being adventurous kids we retrieved large rocks and bombarded it to death. Just as we were gaining the nerve to get a closer look, a farmer who had been watching us came up with a shovel. He took his shovel and dug a deep hole. He next took the tip of the shovel and chopped off the snake’s head, flipped it into the hole and replaced the dirt. He said to us, “Never leave a rattler’s head on the ground. Someone could step on it, even years later and get all messed up.” Later we were mad at ourselves for not getting the rattle. We had no knife, but we could have asked the farmer to chop it off for us. By the time we reached the main road we were soaked. As we continued to fish, the day got hotter. We started wading down the middle of the creek as we fished. I think we still had snakes on the mind! It was perfect timing — we arrived just as Dad turned up the road. He wasn’t overly happy about our dampness but smiled as we recounted our experience. That fall my dad took over teaching our Sunday school class of 11- and 12year-old boys. We had the only classroom in the church without windows. Someone (Cardwell brothers) would reach up and turn off the light, and in the complete darkness, crayons would be flying. We had already chased out two teachers (as a PK, I was not part
of the “we”). With Dad things totally changed. We had great lessons. He took the class on all kinds of outings. The most memorable was to the Tucannon River for an overnight fishing trip. In our ‘62 VW van, there were five boys and my dad. We went a couple miles past Pomeroy on Highway 12 and then took a back road to the upper areas of the Tucannon. No farm fields and broad-leaf trees, but the great outdoors of fir, pine, larch, and spruce. We passed areas in the river with wide, graveled ponds set up for spawning fish. We passed near several small lakes and found a good place to camp just a couple miles before the road ended at the primitive area. We caught several nice fish in a couple large pools. We caught trout (rainbows) and a couple nice furious Dolly Varden (now called bull trout, a protected species since 1998). Sid caught a very large, weird fish. We thought it was a type of squaw fish. Dad identified it for us. It was a mountain whitefish, a game fish. Sid was going to take it home to eat. Walking down one of the fishing trails along the river, we ran into large bear scat. One of the Cardwell brothers, The image of the Jolly Green Giant used to grace the hillside overlooking Dayton, Wash. Dave, asked, “What’s that?” Bob Munden answered, “Bear The image has started to fade away, but an article about the former cannery in the community pooh.” We all laughed. Then Dave yelled to those behind sparked memories of fishing in the area. the creek, it was full of 14 decaying salmon swimming listlessly us to come up and see the bear “sh--”. Just as he was saying it, around. Their bodies were quite beat up. Dad told everyone to Dad walked up. Dave turned bright red and with a meek voice leave them alone. said, “Sorry.” With a disgusted look, Dad just shook his head We returned home that afternoon. Dad didn’t want to give the from side to side. As he turned and our eyes met I could see a boys any excuse for not being in church. faint smile. I knew what he was thinking. It was his “crazy kids” The next day, Sunday, I asked Sid if he ate is whitefish. He look. said, “Yes.” I responded, “How was it?” He answered, “Boney!” We had a nice campfire, hot dogs and marshmallows. After The primitive area just past the road’s end is now part of the the devotional, we told jokes and funny stories. It ended up Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, established in 1978. It covers that everyone slept in the van. Some of those planning to sleep parts of one county in Oregon and three counties in Washingout got scared by owls hooting and thoughts of bears. We were ton. It covers a total of over 177,400 acres. It is Washington’s tired, we slept well. largest wilderness area and a prime elk habitat. The next morning we had bacon, eggs and fried potatoes. I pray that you will have those instances that bring back the A couple of the boys volunteered to go to the creek and wash pleasant times of life that you can reflect on with a smile. Reout the pan. Shortly, one returned all excited. He said we had member, it’s such memories that keep us young. n to come and see the big fish. When we got to the deep pool on
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 23
Is your marriage hanging on a 50/50 Plan? By Gary Moore
of waiting for the other person to meet us halfway? Or by keeping score to see who did his or her fair share? The 50/50 Plan is destined to fail for several other reasons: • Acceptance is based on performance. Since we all keep score in our relationships (whether we believe it or not), we unknowingly base acceptance on the other person’s performance. Performance is a very poor glue to hold a relationship together. • Giving is based on merit. With the “meet-me-halfway” approach, I extend affection to my wife only when I feel she has earned it. And she, in turn, will only show me affection and praise when she feels I’ve
I’ve recently been reading “Staying Close” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. I’ve intertwined some of their thoughts on the 50/50 Marriage Plan with my own. We all get married with expectations of how we think the relationship should and will work. For many couples, there is an expectation that the other will “meet me halfway.” In fact, most couples have been “trained” in society’s plan for marriage — the 50/50 Plan. This plan says, “You do your part and I’ll do mine.” This sounds good. This Gary Moore sounds logical. The only problem is that this plan doesn’t work and just leads to disapearned it. pointment. • Motivation for action is based upon how each There’s even a “Christianized” version of this plan with partner feels. During the “hormone happiness” phase a few Christian concepts and a few Bible verses thrown in. of our relationship, it’s easy to act sacrificially because But the basic idea is the same: “You do your part and I’ll emotions are high and our romantic feelings fuel us to do mine.” perform. Those couples who subscribe to the 50/50 Plan each • Each partner has a tendency to focus on the bring to the marriage their expectations of what a 50/50 weaknesses of the other. If you were to ask husbands marriage looks like. When these expectations are not met, and wives to list their mates’ strengths in one column and disillusionment rears its ugly head and kills constructive their weaknesses in another, the weaknesses will usually dialogue. If the couple fails to communicate and make outnumber the strengths five to one. necessary adjustments so expectations can be met, loneliAs we continue to focus on weaknesses rather than ness and isolation are almost inevitable. strengths, we log them and categorize them in our minds. One of the biggest weaknesses of the 50/50 Plan is that We remember those times when our mate let us down or it is impossible to determine if your mate has met you halfdisappointed us. If we’re not careful we will totally lose way. As Thomas Fuller said, “Each horse thinks his pack perspective on any of the things that attracted us to our is heaviest.” In most marriages today, both partners are mate. Then when our mate is not meeting his or her 50 busy, overworked, tired, and feel taken for granted. In this percent, we look at our 50 percent and say, “Why bother? situation the question is, how do we build oneness instead
24 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
‘I’m proud of you’ It isn’t worth it. I don’t see them changing. I’m not doing my part because they aren’t doing theirs.” Expectations remain unmet. Unmet expectations lead to disappointment. Expectations go unmet in marriage for at least three reasons: 1. Sometimes you don’t know what your mate’s expectations are. 2. If you do know, you may not be able to meet them. 3. There are times when you may know what your mate wants, and be perfectly capable of doing it, but you just don’t want to. The truth is that for your marriage to succeed, the 50/50 Plan must become the 100/100 Plan. The biblical plan for marriages states, “I will do everything I can to love you, without demanding ‘an equal amount’ in return.” This is a 100/100 Plan of unconditional acceptance. This plan will build oneness instead of isolation. Christians must do more than simply “add a few Christian touches” to the world’s 50/50 Plan. The 100/100 Plan calls for a total change of mind and heart, a total commitment to God and one another. Remember, the spouse who says, “I’ll meet you halfway, dear” is usually a poor judge of distance. n
Young boy hears four best words ever By Doug Gross
Back in the 1950s, when I was a little boy of maybe 9 or 10 growing up in Washington, I had a deep, deep yearning to know what my dad was like. He lived across the state and I lived with my mom in Tacoma. I grew up outdoors. I considered myself the king of the monkey bars at school. When I left the house to play outdoors with my friends in the morning, my mom told me to be home by 5 p.m., and the neighbors fed whoever (kids) showed up at lunchtime. My play involved imaginary adventures, playing cowboys and Indians or army — either way, surviving in the wilderness of the neighborhood empty lot or the local city park was at the center of my life. In those days we got to see my dad twice a year. Yes, just twice. It was kind of like we had a dad who loved us, but he was mostly invisible. Once, he came and took me and my big brother to a “fish farm,” one of those places where you throw a hook into a pond and 30 trout fight for your bait. The most amazing part of that day was my discovery that my dad also loved outdoor stuff, especially fishing. I was amazed that he loved the same things I loved. When I was about 10, my brother and I got to ride the bus from Tacoma to Moses Lake to visit my dad for a whole week. This was the Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale Church of God adventure of the year. And it reached an even higher pinnacle of exin charge of Adult Education. He’s served as associate pastor there for the past citement when he told us he was going to take us fishing on an Indian reservation up north, near the Canadian border. 11 years. He’s principal of .003 Coaching, providing life coaching, couples’ coaching and business coaching locally and around the country. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continued on page 30
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 25
Spiritual armor against spiritual attacks know the truth and the truth sets you free from his lies (John 8:32). Speak truth and live in truth to combat every lie from hell. When we think about the armor of God, The second piece of His armor is RIGHwhat usually comes to mind? Do we think about TEOUSNESS. When the adversary attacks you protection and peace? Do we think about standwith sin and shame and condemnation, quote ing strong in the Lord in battle with His tools to Romans 8:1-2 by telling him that because you defend ourselves against spiritual attacks? are in Christ Jesus, you are not condemned and I know that we think about all those things. As that the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus I have been praying and meditating in Ephehas set you free from the law of sin and death. sians 6:10-18, our Loving Lord has shown me a Then, proclaim that you are not a sinner saved new perspective that I believe will help you win by grace, but that you are the righteousness of spiritual battles. God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:21). Ephesians 6:10-18 reveals His healing, transThe third piece of His armor is the GOSforming truth within the Word of God: PEL OF PEACE. When evil spiritual rulers Finally, be empowered in the Lord and the strength of Dan Woodworth attack with chaos and confusion, remember the His might. Put on the whole armor of God so you can Good News of the Gospel for you and everyone stand against the schemes and strategies of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authori- around you. Jesus took all of our sin, shame, rejection, failure, confusion and every other assault from hell. Why? So we don’t ties, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of have to have them. He has given us the Good News of Peace. evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God so that The fourth piece of His armor is FAITH. Evil spirits always you may be able to stand on the evil day by having done everything to stand. attack with doubt, unbelief and fear to try and stop our faith. Stand, therefore, your waist girded with the belt of truth, by putting on the Remember, our Loving Lord has given us faith in Jesus and faith breastplate of righteousness, by fitting your feet with readiness of the gospel in His Living Word. We activate that faith by speaking His promof peace; in addition to all these, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the ises out loud. Say, “I have faith in You, Lord, and in Your Living Word.” There is no room for doubt and unbelief in faith. Jesus helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying with all prayer and petition, pray at every time in the Spirit by keep- speaks in Mark 11:24: Therefore, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you ing alert with all perseverance with petition for all the saints. receive and you will have them. At the beginning of chapter 6, Paul instructs children to obey Faith works through His perfect, pure love (Galatians 5:6). their parents, slaves to obey their masters with service to the Lord Perfect Love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). and not eye service to people, and masters to realize that our The fifth piece of His armor is SALVATION. Satan and his Loving Lord is everyone’s master and He does not play favorites. army will attack us with doubt about our salvation whenever Isn’t it interesting that our submission and our obedience with they can. They are terrified of salvation because it destroys a grateful heart are the transforming themes of truth that precede His command of being empowered in the Lord and putting damnation. To combat his lies, speak out loud: “I have been saved from sin and death and I have been saved to righteousness and overflowing on His full armor? He reveals to us how to have victory over the supernatural life in Christ and nothing can separate me from His love.” schemes and strategies of the devil that attempt to destroy us. (Romans 6:23, 6:14 and 8:37-38) The only way our spiritual enemy can defeat us is through his Now, let’s explore His offensive pieces of armor. “Offensive” sinister deception or our willful disobedience to our Loving Lord. means you march forward in His strength in the Spirit to drive Jesus destroyed all of his evil power on the cross (Colossians out any assault from the devil. 3:15). The first piece of armor is the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, When we put on His full armor, perfectly prepared for us, we His Living Word empowered by His Spirit. The Greek word must humble ourselves and submit to His rule and authority. Then His armor works miraculously for us with His resurrection for sword is “machaira.” It was a short sword or dagger about 12-18 inches in length which was used to kill the opponent. Can power. The Apostle Paul is using terminology relating to armor in real you see His Living Word in your mouth, chopping up all of the battles of war in his day about 2,000 years ago. These terms can devil’s tactics? His Living Word is forever settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89) easily be applied to us today. His Living Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. (HeNotice the five pieces of defensive armor and the two pieces of brews 4:12) offensive armor. How do we wield this light weapon of destruction against every First, let’s explore His defensive pieces of armor. “Defensive” spiritual enemy? We do it by asking our Risen King to empower means you stand empowered in Him and the strength of His His Living Word as we speak His Living Words out loud. His might. Do not let any spiritual enemy push you backward. How Living Words have all power and all authority to destroy every do you do this? By putting on the full armor of God. evil scheme. If we do not strike them with His absolute authority, The first piece of His armor is TRUTH strengthening our they will not fall. waist. Our waist is very vulnerable without His protection. The You are probably asking, “How do I use the sword of the Spirit reason He started out with that first piece of truth is because the to destroy the works of darkness?” I believe that anything that first thing any force of darkness attacks us with is a lie. Satan is the father of all lies. When he lies to you, tell him boldly that you prevents us from being transformed into the image of Christ in By Dan Woodworth
26 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
ever-increasing splendor needs to be removed. We must ask and thank our Loving Lord for revealing what those things are. 1 John 3:8 boldly declares: For this purpose was the Son of God revealed that He may undo, dissolve and destroy the works of the devil. We are His Healing Hands Transforming Our Wounded World! If we look at the life of Jesus, we see that he healed every sickness and every disease and relieved people of all oppression from the devil (Matthew 9:35-38, Acts 10:38) and He has given us that same authority and power (Matthew 10:1). Some other oppressive experiences are poverty, lack, fear, doubt, unbelief, rejection, confusion, perversion and any other negative influence that hinders the fruit of the Spirit from growing (Galatians 5:19-23). What I have learned from the Spirit and His Living Word is that anything that binds or grips us and hinders our ability to follow Him and allow Him to lead us needs to be cast out through the Living Word of God as we speak His Living Words. A practical way to use the Living Word as a weapon to destroy injustice is to look up His solutions to every problem we face in everyday life by asking and thanking our Loving Lord to reveal His perfect will. An example is the spiritual attack of worry and His solution that He reveals in Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
The second and last piece of armor is PRAYER for all the saints. Our Loving Lord will not do anything without us and we cannot do anything without Him. If we don’t ask or intercede, He will not answer. He is the Head. We are His body. He leads us by His Spirit when and how to intercede for all the saints. The last piece of His armor is perfectly placed by Him. Prayer produces His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Our Loving Lord radically reveals how the adversary of our souls attacks us. Each attack is the opposite of each piece of His armor. I challenge us to speak Ephesians 6:10-18 out loud until those Living Words become flesh. Then I challenge us to ask and thank our Loving Lord for revealing His solution and victory over every scheme of the defeated devil. Our Loving Lord has given us His full armor. Let’s expect more victory day by day over every spiritual attack trying to destroy us. Instead, let’s defeat every work of darkness through His resurrection power by speaking His Healing Words. The battle is the Lord’s! The victory is ours! n Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be reached at email@example.com.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 27
CHURCH DIRECTORY MERIDIAN
CHURCH & PRESCHOOL 765 E. Chinden Blvd. Meridian, ID, 83646
Sun. Worship: 8:15 &11am Sun. School & Bible Study: 9:45 am
Pastor: Thomas Hausch Please Call about our Youth Group Times
Family to grow fruitful in Jesus Sunday Morning Service 9:30
Sundays 9:30 a.m. Bible Classes 10:45 a.m. Worship
(*Must be 21 or older)
Loyal To One Ministry
Join us Wednesday Nights at 6:45 pm for: • AWANA - Pre-K - to 6 grade • Youth Group • Adult Bible Studies Pastor Clint Henry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Worship Service - Sunday 10:00 am. Youth Service - Sunday 6:00 pm Adult Bible Study - Wednesday 7:00 pm
3755 S. Cloverdale Boise • 362-1700
Check out our website for info on our Valley School of Supernatural Ministry! www.valleychurchidaho.com
School of Ministry starts in September.Please call for info.
Sunday Morning Services & Sunday School 9:30 AM & 11:00 AM 3/4-17
Come Join Us for Sunday Services at 10:30 AM 232 N Main St, Meridian
You are invited Sundays...
Worship Service 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am Bible Study 9:30 & 11 am Children’s Church 11 am
To Equip and Empower You to Fulfill your purpose in Christ
2900 Life Way, Caldwell, ID (208) 459-9133
600 N. Ten Mile Rd. Meridian, ID
Serving the least, the lost & the forgotten.
615 N. 9th Street • Boise
All Bikes & Hot Rods Welcome Meeting at Busted Shovel Bar & Grill — 704 N. Main • Meridian
1203 7th St. North Nampa, Idaho (208) 477-8600 www.goodnewsnampa.org Sunday Service 11:00 a.m.
Call Us About Our Saturday Youth Group 3/4-17
28 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
Like Us on
Where Are They Now? The Sanctuary
Sunday Service 10 AM Wednesday Service 7 PM New Location! 212 W. Main Street Middleton • 546-9845 Scowboychurch.com
Christa Starn fueling a fitness fire By Gaye Bunderson Christian Living contributor Angela Ruth Strong visited Christian fitness trainer Christa Starn to tell her story for the January/February 2015 edition of the magazine. I recently caught up with Christa to find out what’s new and discovered her fitness ministry is growing by leaps and bounds (and Holy Yoga positions).
Four years ago, God nudged Christa Starn to say goodbye to her decade-long job at an accounting firm and take up her mat and walk — her exercise mat, that is. God was calling her to leave the 8 to 5 behind and start teaching fitness classes. Christa had learned Zumba and Holy Yoga and one of the things that made her classes unique — whether she taught at a secular or a faith-based gym — was that she always used Christian music for her routines. Even in secular classes, she would sometimes have people tell her after class they liked the music. The thing about Christa is, she doesn’t separate the fitness from the faith. She teaches at The Journey, a church at 9105 W. Overland in Boise, and has named her program Faith Fueled Fitness. “A lot of praying went into that name,” she said. “It’s about using Christ’s strength to fill our bodies. The mission is based on loving God and loving others,” she explained. “It’s focused on freedom, empowerment, and the strength of God to move and empower us. God has this desire for you to be healthy. Let Him lead you and guide you in your everyday life.” Christa works with three other trainers now, rather than going it alone. They include Denalee Bell, Kim Mura and Kayla McClure. She plans to certify two more trainers by October. “God said, ‘Create disciples,’ and I felt He was telling me to bring in more teachers. I feel like God is encouraging me to bring people alongside me to follow Him,” said Christa. She offers the classes for free but accepts donations, which she uses to pay insurance and music fees. The church allows her to hold the classes there without cost. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes come, they are allowed to bring their children, and the children may participate in the exercises if they want. “I take all the excuses out of attending a fitness class: you can bring the kids, there’s no gym to go to, it’s free, and it’s all women,” Christa said. The classes the trainers teach are known as Fire, Flow, Funk and Freedom — which all sounds like Fun. It works like this: • Christa teaches Fire, which is faster-paced yoga. • Denalee teaches Flow, which is mid-paced yoga and is “very worshipful.” • Kim teaches Funk, which is dance fitness. • Kayla teaches Freedom, which is a restorative yoga. Class sizes keep growing, and the ministry is expanding outside of the church walls. Just this past May, Christa started
teaching fitness to refugees at HISway on Fairview Avenue in Boise. The refugees, she said, are mainly from the continent of Africa and the nation of Nepal. Interpreters are present to bridge language barriers, but Christa wanted to keep using the beloved Christian music she always plays in class, even though it’s all in English. She came up with the idea to switch to Christian instrumental music — no language, but the same comforting feeling. Also earlier this year, one of her certified teachers was heading to a female correctional facility to teach fitness to the incarcerated women. Since the original story appeared, Christa also launched her own website, FaithFueledLiving.com. She is growing her online presence and also makes YouTube videos so that class participants may continue working their routines at home. Her husband, who works in construction, was always on board with Christa’s calling and is even more supportive now, as God has provided for the family as He promised. Her husband also likes that Christa is able to spend time at home with the couple’s three children, who are now in older elementary and middle school. Christa teaches classes on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and another instructor teaches on Thursday evenings. However, a new class schedule is coming in September; visit the website for more information. While a number of changes have taken place for Christa Starn over the past couple of years, one thing remains steadfastly the same — the mission she feels called to, which she defines as, “Bringing people into a closer relationship with God, and to trust God.” n Christa may be reached at ChristaStarn@yahoo.com.
Christa Starn, left, has grown her fitness ministry to the point she’s added other trainers, including Denalee Bell, center, and Kim Mura, right. (Courtesy photo)
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 29
‘I’m proud of you’ Continued from page 25 It wasn’t going to be 40 days and nights, but I knew we were going into the wilderness where few white men had ever walked and even fewer had returned from. That day we hopped in his car with three fishing rods, three bottles of cheese eggs, two pairs of jeans, a pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, some Wonder Bread, and peanut butter and strawberry jelly, my favorite. We stopped in some little farm town to pick up a cast iron frying pan — a small detail overlooked in our excited exit from Moses Lake. From there we drove a narrow, winding road, north, over basalt cliffs down to a little park with a very small ramp descending into the waters of Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam. Across the lake we caught sight of a motorized barge slowly plowing its way toward our little ramp. This barge was known as the “Keller Ferry.” It carried just six cars across the lake to the mouth of the Sandpoil River on the Colville Indian Reservation. As our car pulled forward onto the ferry, the near edge of the ferry dropped three feet and I was ready to jump. Then, as we pulled forward, the bow dropped three feet. I thought we were going to roll right into the lake. We were doomed! My dad never drove under 90 mph, so
it was really exciting on the open range country of the reservation to find giant cows resting on the roadway and to smell our smoking tires at the same time. (What seatbelts?) We slept under the trees at 21-Mile Campground. In the morning, we ate fried eggs marinated in one inch of bacon grease, grabbed our cheese eggs and hit the road for my dad’s favorite section of the river. By the way, my dad was the best fisherman in the state of Washington. I knew this because he told me so. He was taking me where I’d never been before, so I was really “walking in faith,” although I didn’t know what that meant at the time. After all, I was a 10-yearold child. That day I saw him catch more fish, big fish, 10- and 12-inch rainbows as we waded in tennis shoes, jeans and t-shirts through uncharted stretches of a river never seen by white men before. My fishing rod was a metal telescoping type with a level wind reel, housing 30 feet of line. At one bend in the river, Dad sat me on a log and told me to dangle my cheese eggs under it. As I sat there in the sunlight I could see whoppers — 3- to 6-inchers — milling around my egg. But their mouths were too small to bite my hook. I didn’t have a knife so I just bit an egg in half, placed it on the hook and, whoopee, I caught that first rainbow, complete with
30 July / August 2017 | Christian Living
the pink band on its side. I had arrived. I held up my wiggling, shiny prize to show it to my dad 20 yards upstream, and he smiled and said, “Way to go, Doug. I’m proud of you!” That was it. I was the second best fisherman in the state of Washington. My dad was “proud of me.” I had never heard those words before. Never. Later that day we waded through a logjam. My dad waded up to his thighs. I was up to my chest. He didn’t care and neither did I. I didn’t possess any temperature sensors in my body at that time. As we hiked and waded upstream and along the banks, I looked back from time to time, straining as far as I could see through the ponderosa pine. I wondered if there might be a bear or a mountain lion lurking back there somewhere just out of sight, sniffing the air for our scent, secretly spying on us, creeping around licking its lips. I was unarmed, not even a slingshot. Up on the hillside, on the sunny side of the river, something suddenly caught my eye. I could make out a slight trail, gently curling out of a draw, angling gently downhill toward the river. I looked and looked and looked, straining, squinting. I kept looking at that far edge of the trail as it disappeared around the crest of the hillside. Spooky. I thought I’d caught a movement right in that edgy spot. It flashed just for a second. I looked away and then back again to do a reality check. No kidding — for a moment, it looked like the hat and giant bandana of John Wayne, along with two horse’s ears. I was in shock. It had just appeared and disappeared in the same moment. A wisp of a breeze cooled my face and brought the slightest scent of a campfire from somewhere up the canyon. Could it be that the cowboy ghost of John Wayne was ambling through the same western mountains that we were fishing in? My eyes bugged out. I looked up there again. Nothing. I splashed water on my face and shook my head ferociously and looked again. Still nothing. I better tell my dad. No, he’ll think I’m a crazy 10-year-old. I’d lose my status as the second best fisherman in the state of Washington. ... Holy crap! Where is Dad? Where’s my big brother? Neither are in sight. I can’t even hear them talking over the sounds of the river. Where’s the mountain lion or the bear licking its lips? They pick off the stragglers in the herd, right? I don’t want to slay a bear or a lion with a fishing rod. No one would believe that anyway. Okay, okay, what would Davy Crocket do? He was the king of the wild frontier and I’m the king of the monkey bars. I’ve got it! I’m going to rock hop upriver. I’ll jump from rock to rock, balancing left and right, using my telescoping fishing rod to balance me like a high wire artist at the circus. Five fluid ounces of adrenaline dumped into my
stomach. I’m as light as a feather. With the agility of an NFL running back dodging would-be tacklers, I hop from one bolder to another. First three rocks in a row, then seven. Wow! I’m amazing. Fifteen rocks and not even a wet toe. My arms waving in the air, my rod flailing all around my head, cheese eggs in my pocket. Forty yards of river slide under me as I approach the right-hand bend in the river. I glance over my shoulder: no bear, no cougar. Good. Then I hear it. It sounds a little like a steam locomotive whistle. Kind of breathy, medium-pitched. I can just hear it over the rush of the river. It’s a human whistle, but it belongs to just one person — my dad. If a thousand angels whistled with him, I could pick out the sound of my dad’s whistle every time. Hop two more rocks to look upstream to the right, around the brush. There he is standing on the left bank about 60 yards upstream with my brother. From here, he reminds me a little of John Wayne. That night we drove up to the Sandpoil Lodge, a little log-built restaurant with five or six little bunkhouses in a semi-circle out back across the patchy lawn. The proprietor cooked up our fish for us. I looked around the restaurant and was astonished to observe the heads and horns of every big game animal on planet earth staring down at me from the log walls. Antique guns hanging everywhere. We sat on stools at the bar and a great big jolly guy sitting next to me asked me if I’d seen “Rolling Rock.” Rolling Rock? What’s that. Who’s that? He proceeded to tell me the legend of an Indian boy who had been in a contest to win the hand of a beautiful Indian princess. Whoever shot his arrow the farthest would win her hand in marriage. Rolling Rock shot his arrow clear out of sight, took off chasing it and that was the last anyone ever saw of him. He told me that’s why those signs are along the mountain roads: “Watch for Rolling Rock.” I was amazed that people would still be looking for him. The bunkhouses were full up, so we got permission to throw our sleeping bags out on the back lawn for the night. I’d never seen the Milky Way before. My eyelids were slipping a little. Then...oh my gosh
— a huge flaming ball of fire came whooshing across the night sky. It was so close we could actually hear the thing. It looked like a flaming basketball with red and yellow flames and sparks streaming off behind it in the night sky. “Dad, what the heck was that?” I asked. He said, “It might be ‘Rolling Rock.’” “What?!” I replied. “Just kidding,” he said. “I think it was a big shooting star Doug Gross has caught many a fish over the that made it further than usual years since he went fishing with his father as into earth’s atmosphere.” a young boy. (Courtesy photo) He seemed just as surprised as me. I could swallow that, so as my eyes grew heavy, I replayed that moment earlier in the day when I held up my rainbow trout and heard the four most important words I would ever hear in my life: “I’m proud of you.” We caught more fish the next day. Heading home, we slammed on the brakes for a few more cows, smelled smoking tires, stayed afloat crossing the lake on the Keller Ferry, and drove back to my dad’s house at 90 mph with a cast iron frying pan. My dad was awesome and continued to be awesome. Not perfect. But awesome. I think he had been king of the monkey bars when he was a kid too. It’s great to have a King who is proud of you. Get it? n Doug and Cam Gross live in Eagle and are independent distributors of Advocare Products. They are mountaineers and, of course, fly fishers. You can meet them at www. meetdougandcam.com or call Doug at (208) 890-9495.
July / August 2017 | Christian Living 31
32 July / August 2017 | Christian Living