SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
More than a mustard seed AMERICAN HERITAGE
A farrier of faith
CANINE Steve and Wendy Smith grow produce at their Community Supported Garden in Meridian
A dogâ€™s view of humans
Contents September / October 2018 Features Youth ministry group plans events
American Heritage Girls:
Caring for His horses
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair...” — 2 Corinthians 4:8
Real Man’s Toolbox: Being significant
with 12 Outdoors Dougherty:
Dots: 20 God A hard-life story
Cover Story —
Faith: 30 Challenging No regrets?
Daily Bread: 14 Your Canine wisdom
Healing our land:
25 Understanding Relationships:
24 In Each Edition
It’s about trust
2 Chronicles 7:14 Spiritual storage
Kids have them too
Publisher Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Gaye Bunderson Editorial and Editorial Submissions: Send all story ideas and article submissions to this email address email@example.com Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen firstname.lastname@example.org 208-801-0491 • Scott McMurtrey email@example.com 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Heather Kern / HK Photography Graphic Design Denice King
The Brighter Side: Spyglass Gardens
Volume 6, Number 5
Marital boundaries – Part 2
Publisher’s Corner: A summer of lessons
Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Hilary Cobb, Dan Dougherty, RJ Drury, Martha Falk, Terry Frisk, Leo Hellyer, Ron Kern, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Gary Moore, and Bethany Riehl Website Design SEO Idaho Distribution D&S Distribution Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2018 by Christian Living Ministries Inc. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at email@example.com Annual subscriptions available for $10/year. To start your subscription or give one as a gift send your check or money order, along with complete address information, and a phone number to call in case there’s questions about your subscription to Christian Living Magazine, PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680.
Christian Living | September / October 2018 3
A lesson in ‘Love Thy Neighbor’
By Sandy Jones (*If you or your family are spending your I seem to say it every year in our Septemtime there, I’d be honored to pray for you.) ber/October issue — I can’t believe how I realize this is a unique column, but fast this year is going. But I can’t. This sumthis has been a unique season in our lives. mer has truly flown by! Things are returning to normal, or a new Lately we’ve been blessed to find ournormal in some cases. Most of us are back selves surrounded by some truly wonderful, at work. The grandkids are back in school. Spirit-filled, Spirit-led people who have We are all back to living life, but I don’t come alongside of us, prayed with, as well think any of us are living our old life — I as for, us, fortified us, and have been the sincerely believe that those days at the hosideal cheerleaders and supporters. Let’s just pital changed each of us in our own way, suffice it to say that the Summer of ’18 has while uniting many of us in ways we never been full of challenges. Lots of distractions, anticipated. interruptions and we’d like to believe more As we are preparing for our Relaunch than our share of spiritual warfare. Sandy Jones Party in September, I look back and it’s Early in July a family member was in a hard to believe we’ve been sharing with you terrible accident. Over the course of the next days and for 5 years! Having spent 17 years in the secular adverweeks, we sat in the front row observing miracle upon tising world, I didn’t really know anyone outside of my miracle, and saw prayer after prayer answered. (We are pastor and friends from church in the “Christian comhonoring their request for privacy — we’ll just say all’s munity,” and we worried that we would run out of story well that ends well.) ideas. As time passes, God has brought countless amazing Much of our family spent 9 days in the ICU waiting people into our lives, and continually delivers tale upon room, and on the third day in the CCU waiting area I felt tale. Many of our subjects share with us how much our the need to post this message on my personal Facebook stories have helped their ministry, or organization. And page. I’m sharing it today at the urging of several who we absolutely love hearing from readers telling us how saw it there and suggested it would be a great column. “If nothing else, this past 12 days has been a reality we’ve encouraged or helped them in some way. check. We’ve been blessed to help put shoes on children in “9 days in the ICU waiting area, and now entering the Third World countries; aided the homeless; discussed isthird day in CCU — you know what? Not one person sues surrounding foster kids as they age out; haven’t been has asked if we’re a Republican or a Democrat. Not one afraid to talk about the horrors of human trafficking; and person has asked if we have any religious affiliation — have learned so much about those who dedicate their although some have been a bit obvious just by their attire lives to prison ministry, just to name a few topics we’ve — we were all just people, regardless of skin color or covered. At the same time our wonderful columnists have what language was spoken. entertained and enlightened more than 50,000 readers “We said ‘hello’ to total strangers of ALL walks of life. in each issue. We’ve found, and shared, that regardless Shared food & goodies amongst the various groups. of what Christian denomination we visit, we’re all more “Asked if we could call someone for them. alike than different, we all love the Lord, and want to “Went to the hall to shed our own private tears ‘with’ serve Jesus! them when one family lost their loved one. I’d like to invite you to our Relaunch Party and soft “And if they wanted to talk, we listened to their stories fundraiser on September 13. I hope you will join us as we and have added them to our prayers. celebrate our 5th year publishing this wonderful maga“Why does it take something so earth rattling to remind zine, and help us kick off the newest chapter in our jourus again — we’re just called to love one another, not ney as Christian Living Ministries Inc., a fully recognized judge one another? nonprofit ministry. Look for our ad on page 15 for details “I challenge you today to, first, say a prayer of Thankson time and location. Please RSVP so we’re sure we have giving that it’s not you or your family spending your days plenty of dessert for everyone. I sincerely hope to see you there*; second, say a prayer for any who ARE spending there! their days up there (for healing for the patient and for Until next time… wisdom, strength and unity for their family if nothing God Bless! else); and last, but certainly not least, go out and love people today. Quit letting the news media control and polarize your life — ultimately, at the end of the day that’s PS — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, please frequent our just the enemy distracting you from what you were put on advertisers; without them we would not be able to do what we do. this earth to do.” Tell them those nice folks at Christian Living Magazine say “hi!” n
4 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Youth ministry group plans events The state chapter of the National Network of Youth Ministries (NNYM) has a number of events planned for September and October. The following information was provided by Cory Freese, Idaho State Coordinator of NNYM.
See You at the Pole Sept. 26
For over 25 years, See You at the Pole has been about one simple act: prayer. SYATP is about students uniting themselves in prayer before God, interceding for their generation. Students will be gathering at their flagpoles, praying for their schools, friends, families, churches, and communities. See You at the Pole is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for the younger generation. For more information, visit www.syatp.com or contact Cory Freese at 208-484-7177.
Pray for Schools Sunday Sept. 16
NNYM is calling on the body of Christ in America to inspire churches with resources to pray for students, teachers, and schools on the third Sunday of September â€” September 16 this year â€” so every school can be covered in prayer. A 30 Day Prayer Guide can be downloaded at www.prayforschools.com/prayer-support-and-resources/. For more information visit www.prayforschools.com or contact Cory Freese at 208-484-7177.
Youth Leader Training Day
Are you a volunteer youth leader? On Saturday, September 15, from 9 am. to noon, the National Network of Youth Ministries will be hosting a youth leadership training at Calvary Boise. Topics to be covered will include the role, values and actions of a youth leader. (Please note, this date is tentative. Check with Cory Freese at 208-484-7177 to verify.)
United Night October 2018
What would it look like to gather students together from throughout the Treasure Valley and celebrate unity? What would it look like to gather youth leaders together from across the Treasure Valley for the same purpose? What would it look like to really work side-by-side with one another so that teenagers come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord? October 2018 (date to be determined), there will be another gathering of junior high and senior high students to celebrate unity in Jesus Christ under the sponsorship of the National Network of Youth Ministries. NNYM hopes to have around 1,200 students from the area show up and experience being united in heart and worship. For more information contact Cory Freese at 208-484-7177. n For more information on any of these events, go to www.facebook.com/ NNYMIdaho/ or contact Freese at the number listed.
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 5
AMERICAN Heritage Girls
Valuable life lessons mixed with fun
Hanging out with troop ID0334 of Calvary Chapel Nampa are, left to right, Pathfinder Abby Heland and Tenderhearts L. Baker, Salem Seyer, Jenna Nelson, Briley Krug, Sarah Descalzo, and Alina Gorman. (Courtesy photo)
By Martha Falk Few things mark time more vividly than the growth of children. Their childhood passes in the proverbial “blink of an eye.” This truth intensifies parents’ desire to focus their dreams for their daughter, use their time wisely and choose children’s and youth programs with care. Without question, there is a smorgasbord of offerings available today, but most specialize in specific areas like the arts, sports or academics. Of those, a scant few support Christian beliefs. With the biblical worldview under siege more than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a youth organization that adheres to biblical principles or one that upholds any kind of moral standard. Well, how does Faith, Service, Fun sound to you? That tagline succinctly expresses the core values of the faith-based ministry called American Heritage Girls, a Christ-centered, character development program for girls ages 5-18 years old. Back in 1995, the American Heritage Girls program, or AHG, was started by a group of parents, much like yourself, who had a dream for their daughters. They desired a scout-type program that reflected the Christian values they held dear. With their daughters at their side, together they began developing an organization that would be fun, challenging, memorable and above all, honoring to God. Its mission: to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. AHG is a family-friendly, multi-level troop which provides the opportunity for sisters of all ages to attend troop meetings together. Girls are divided into five age-appropriate groups where they engage in exciting and purposeful activities.
6 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
It offers progressive lessons and skills, meaning knowledge and skills will become more advanced as the girl grows. For example, a 6-year-old working on the Home Care & Repair badge will learn how to tighten and loosen a screw and change a lightbulb. When she is 10, she will learn the correct way to hang a picture and do it in her home. As a 16- year-old, she will explore how to make a home energy-efficient and develop an implementation plan for her home. Girls may choose from 240 badges in seven categories and these can be completed individually or as a small group called a patrol. A typical troop calendar also features activities that promote character development. This is accomplished through its service and citizenship programs. Each American Heritage girl memorizes and strives to fulfill its oath, “I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and serve in my community.” Favorite service programs include visiting a retirement center to play games with the residents, hosting a fall carnival for kids in the community and filling care packages for deployed military troops. In a ‘’selfie’’ generation, AHG fosters an outward focus in place of a “me’’ focus and reinforces it by awarding girls with service stars worn on their uniforms. Kristin Hundhausen, Vice Coordinator of troop ID1412 at Boise Church of Christ and mother of four American Heritage Girls, expresses her thoughts about her mission in their AHG troop. She explains, “We want to show our girls that God is all around us. Whether it’s baking cupcakes, hiking or doing service work, we want to be able to point them towards God. And we get to have some fun adventures while doing all of it.”
Leadership is learned best through experience, so leadership opportunities are woven into each age level and into every troop activity. The responsibilities begin small, such as being a snack helper, then a song leader, and then a flag ceremony caller. It progresses further to becoming a service project committee member and finally, a young lady can become a ceremony planning coordinator. Hailey Stevens, a Pioneer (7th-8th grade) from troop ID1412 at Boise Church of Christ, recalls her role as a girl leader. “I got to take charge and be responsible for helping the other girls learn how to be good leaders,” she says. The goal is to train girls to become future ‘influencers’ to impact the world for Christ. Fun abounds in an AHG troop and the girls rate time with their friends as the main reason they love AHG. A popular troop social activity is known as a ‘late-over’. It’s not an overnight event, but it is late enough to fill an evening with dinner, an outdoor scavenger hunt, a silly string fight, science experiments in the kitchen, paper crafts, Bible stories, a mani-pedi spa, s’mores and a sing-a-long around a fire. Being an adult volunteer leader with AHG isn’t all work either. They embrace the fun as much as the girls, and many share it with their daughters. When asked why she would invite a friend to her troop meeting, Zion Seyer, an Explorer (4th-6th grade) from troop ID0334 at Calvary Chapel Nampa, replied, “Because we would get to see each other more often and it would probably be a lot of fun, and she might get to do things at AHG that she didn’t get to do very often.”
Patti Garibay, Executive Director and Founder of American Heritage Girls, writes, “American Heritage Girls has been, is, and always will be a program solely for girls. AHG is the girltailored and Christ-centered answer to the incredible need for meaningful and worthwhile programming for girls today.” What dreams do you have for your daughter? Are you searching for a place to help build your daughter’s confidence in a safe environment where she can learn a variety of skills useful throughout her life, where she will be challenged and strengthened in her faith and make friends with like-minded girls who share new and fun experiences together? If so, consider joining more than 50,000 other members nationwide in one of the three American Heritage Girls troops in Treasure Valley, or start a new troop near you. AHG troops exist as a ministry of a church, school, or civic organization that shares the same ministry values and goals. Associating with a charter organization ensures that AHG stays true to its faith-based nature. Find out more by visiting the website at www.americanheritagegirls.org. If you are a parent with sons, check out Trail Life USA at www.traillifeusa.com. n Martha Falk is a national volunteer for American Heritage Girls serving as a Ministry Expansion Lead. She meets with families throughout Treasure Valley to encourage participation in AHG and with church leadership to encourage new troop formation. She also teaches biblical worldview and Spanish classes through The Potter’s School, an online organization providing middle school through high school classes to homeschoolers around the world. She may be reached at adacountymel@ahgonlineorg.
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 7
REAL Man’s Toolbox
Significance as a mature man of God We need to do our very best to live a life that By Leo Hellyer honors God as much as we possibly can, but God The fall of the year is a time of year where will continue to work with us, and mold us, until leaves turn colors and eventually fall from the we are face to face with Him. We need to realize, trees. The hot days of summer begin to cool and and accept, that God desires to have good Chrisbecome more refreshing. As men, as the fall of our tian men who are Tier One Operators, Sports years approach, there are changes that take place Champions, Politicians, Business Leaders, Church as well. In our physical bodies it seems like every Leaders, etc. We also need to know that God deday, when we get out of bed, we find something sires men who will serve him in the “background,” else that doesn’t work like it used to. If we are men who quietly and effectively speak truth and Christian men, one of the changes that takes love into the lives of men and women who are place is that we begin to reflect on how we have searching for change in their lives. Hero’s come succeeded in serving God. Many times we look at in many sizes, colors, vocations, and abilities, and other Christian men like Bill Bright, Max Lucado, most of them do their duty without much fanfare. Lee Strobel, Dennis Rainey and Billy Graham, Remember, men, Christ was a Servant Leader. or just look at other Christian men that we know, If we want to be significant as a Christian man and look back at ourselves and may decide that we Leo Hellyer before God calls us home, we need to adjust our aren’t very significant as a Christian man. priorities. Regardless of our position on the “ladder of success,” As patriotic men, maybe we put ourselves up against Tier-One we need to love and respect those who are above us and below Special Ops men, or First Responders who risk life and limb on a us on the ladder. We need to seek our praises from God and not daily basis. Maybe we feel that we didn’t do our part because we man. We need to soften our hearts, open our eyes and ears, and didn’t get injured in battle. These traits and achievements are all laudable and in one aspect do reflect a man’s significance. Our true actively be searching for God’s divine appointments to serve Him and His children. significance needs to be measured by how well we follow God’s The confusion that we experience from time to time in underguidance in our lives. We are all created in God’s image. God loves standing what true significance is comes from Satan himself. We each of us as we are, where we are, and who we are. God has a are powerless in our own strength to battle Satan and his lies in plan for each of us and we need to realize that God’s plan may our lives. We are in spiritual warfare on a daily basis. We cannot differ from our plan. survive these battles on our own. The only way that we are going Robert McGee wrote a book in 1998 titled, “Search for Significance.” A statement from Billy Graham that says “‘The Search for to be victors is through God’s presence, love and power. We need to place our significance in God’s hands. God will Significance’ should be read by every Christian” is on the cover allow us to move up and down the so-called ladder of success as of this very impactful book. As men, we find it difficult to live in He wills. The evaluation of our significance and success needs to a secular and carnal world, with secular and carnal definitions of come from God Almighty, not from ourselves or from mankind. what it is to be significant and successful. It is almost as if we have We were created by God to be in relationship with Him. It is God blinders on and we can’t see the spiritual component of our lives, who we need to be seeking to please. We need to let go of the when that is the part of our lives that should be foundational. reins and let God lead our “Search for Significance.” After all, His David wrote a psalm, Psalm 139:23-24, that is in Chapter 1 of opinion is the only one that counts. Our lives will be much more the aforementioned book that speaks directly to where our mind enjoyable if we will learn to listen to man less, including ourselves, and life in Christ should really be. “Search me, O God, and know my and listen to God more. n heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Men, as we judge ourselves, and Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife do so many times in an incorrect way, we need to remember that we are on a journey. This journey is not a sprint, but is definitely a Norma for 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at marathon. God loves us so much that He continues to mold us every single day. God has a unique plan for each of our lives. In Phi- City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms Instructor with Helping Hands Firelippians 1:6, Paul writes some very clear words concerning God’s love and direction in our lives, “And I am sure of this, that he who began arms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at email@example.com or 208-340-5544. a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” If you found this or another article valuable, please help us bring stories like this to our community by supporting Christian Living Magazine at
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8 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
A farrier taking care of His horses
Cheryl Smith is one of a handful of woman farriers in the Treasure Valley. She knows her way around horses and all the equipment that goes along with shoeing them. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
By Gaye Bunderson The Pacific Ocean is wide and deep, and when Cheryl Smith wanted to be baptized, she was immersed in the Pacific’s salty, frothy waters in California. It was 1984 on an Easter Sunday — a day she’ll never forget. “I got baptized in water and by fire, as it says in Acts,” she said. For 18 consecutive years following that, Smith taught a Sunday school class for 2- to 3-year-olds in Milpitas, Calif. The children were frequently the offspring of pastors and choir directors. Now, Cheryl lives in Idaho, attends Ten Mile Christian Church in Meridian, and sometimes finds herself at the Snake River Stampede in Nampa, carrying a sign that reads, “Ask me about horseshoeing.” Her faith remains consistent, but her vocation changed over the years. As a young woman, Cheryl got a geology degree in 2000 from Humboldt State University. She later worked in soil remediation at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, Calif. But, she said, a steady job in the field of geology proved challenging, and after the company she worked for lost its contract with Vandenberg, she was laid off. So, she did the next best thing she could think of: she went out to where she boarded a bay paint horse named Bubba and decided to go for a ride. She may have thought she’d find some stress relief in climbing on Bubba’s back; surprisingly, that day ultimately led her to a new calling: horseshoeing. For a woman not raised on a farm, it was a pretty circuitous route that led Cheryl to bending beneath a horse and securing metal shoes on its hooves — in other words, doing the work of a farrier. But that’s what she’s been doing for years now, both full-time and part-time. The path to horseshoeing didn’t completely start with riding Bubba. It pretty much started with one of her two sisters — a girl who wanted a horse so badly she talked her siblings into saving their money to buy one. In 1968, the three sisters worked selling cookies and lemonade and raised $75. Unfortunately, a horse cost around $250, so Mom and Dad came through, made up the difference, and purchased a horse named Rocket for their girls. A thoroughbred broodmare, the horse had to be shipped from Los Angeles to the family’s home in Whittier, and Cheryl said all three sisters waited in the front yard for the horse to show up.
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10 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Rocket ultimately arrived, was showered with kids’ attention, and then was taken to a nearby stable for boarding. Cheryl’s dad had Rocket bred and she produced a foal the family named Royal King. Later, Cheryl’s father had a surprise just for her, his 10-year-old daughter. “I didn’t know I wanted a horse,” Cheryl now says. But her dad took her to the stables, pointed to another offspring of Rocket’s that came later, and said, “There’s your horse!” The foal was christened Blossom, and Cheryl kept her for 17 years. She now laughs thinking about how little she knew about horses back then. She would hand-walk Blossom all over, and let kids ride her — or try to ride her. “She bucked all the time,” said Cheryl. “She was stubborn. She wasn’t mean; she just thought, ‘I ain’t doing that, and you’re not making me.’” Cheryl, out of lack of knowledge of horse behavior at the time, thought all horses bucked when you rode them. “I didn’t know any better,” she said. “I learned how to hold on tight.” Later, when she was older, she worked at Sunset Riding Academy in Fremont, Calif., helping children ride gentle horses. But it may have been the strong-willed, bucking Blossom that helped prepare her for the rigors of horseshoeing. “I’ve been kicked and stomped on,” Cheryl admits, and she can show the evidence of minor injuries she’s endured. But back to the day she took Bubba for a ride. … She was just laid off work and went to the stables. The stable owner came out, and Cheryl told her she’d lost her job. The owner asked, “What are you going to do?” Cheryl thought she was asking what she was going to do at that moment, so she responded, “I’m going to ride my horse.” The stable owner was actually inquiring about what Cheryl was going to do to make a living, now that didn’t have a job in geology. Ultimately, the owner told Cheryl she’d pay her to work at the stables, and Cheryl accepted the offer. Cheryl had met a woman farrier who had come out to shoe Bubba. She befriended her and started to learn about horseshoeing. Her farrier friend described Cheryl as “freakishly strong.” The farrier told a teacher at a horseshoeing school that she thought Cheryl would be an excellent farrier, and the teacher told Cheryl, “If she says you’d be a good farrier, you’d be a good farrier.”
She apprenticed for a year with another woman farrier and then attended Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif. in 2006 before opening her own business. In the beginning, she found the vocation unnerving, though not from fear or horses or being injured. “As with everything, when you’re starting out and trying to master it, it was nerve-racking. I had a lack of confidence, that I wouldn’t do well or the horse wouldn’t cooperate,” she said. “I’d pray about it. “I felt like the Lord was saying, ‘Why can’t you just take care of My horses for Me?’ After that, I stopped worrying so much and decided I wanted to be a blessing to the customer and the horse.” Cheryl moved to Idaho five years ago and is one of five woman farriers in the area. “There’s a lot of horses, and there’s plenty of work,” she said. “There’s a big demand for farriers. I’m mainly a farrier for the backyard horse owner, a person with one horse. Sometimes it’s one horse that won’t stand still so someone can shoe it, and I’ll show up and do it.” One of the biggest horses in this area she’s ever worked on was a Percheron, a breed of draft horse. She jokingly tells about how “the owner was in one county holding the horse still, while I was in another county shoeing it.” Then, she admits with a smile, “Okay, it wasn’t quite that big.” At 58, she’s now a part-time farrier. She tries to keep her overhead low, and because she’s frequently done work for a low fee, she’s had people donate services to her. She got free business cards from a client, free signage on her truck from another client, and a free t-shirt that has her farrier services listed on it. In late April she started a full-time job in shipping and receiving at W.L. May. Her exact title is warehouse lead. She said the man who gave her the very first horse she ever owned would be highly pleased with her now, but didn’t say that because of her farrier skills. “My dad was in shipping and receiving too,” she said. “He’d be so proud of me.” A member of the American Farriers Association, she intends to keep her hand in the business for as long as she can. When she gets to an age when it’s harder to lift a horse leg, bend up and down, or take the bumps and bruises that go along with the trade, she vows she’ll still be a part of the industry somehow. As long as there are horses, there will be farriers; and as long as there are farriers, Cheryl Smith will be involved. n
Christian Living | September / October 2018 11
OUTDOORS with Dougherty
Traditions of fishing, love and learning By Dan Dougherty We are each individuals having the memories and passions of our life experience mold us into who we are. As I have mentioned in the past, I was the one preacher’s son who had a special bond with my father in the love of hunting and fishing. My three brothers shared in his passion for the ministry, all becoming pastors. I never had the “calling,” but have left my life open to God’s leading. This past June, I took my grandsons, Daniel, 14, and Zack, 13, to Brown’s Pond to fish. It’s been a couple years since they had been there. The last time, their younger sister, Paige, was with them. They all three limited out. Paige was pleased to be the first to do so. This trip it took them little time to get their fish. On returning to the cabin, I put them through the fish cleaning ritual my father and I practiced. Each of us had a specific job in the process. The fish were quickly cleaned, bagged, and put on ice for a future meal. After cleaning the fish, the boys went down the road to the Paddy Flat Pond to fish some more. They took a bucket; they wanted to catch some brook trout to release into the front stream. I checked on them a short time later. They had four fish. Just as we were leaving, Daniel hooked into a nice fish. It was a 15½-inch brookie. He wanted to keep it to add to ones to be eaten. As I cleaned her, I was happy to see she had recently spawned out, adding to a healthy natural population.
A family tradition
My middle son, David, was the one who caught the fishing passion early. I can still see him at 5 and 6 years old, bringing in brook trout from the creek for eating — “trout and eggs” for breakfast. It has been fun seeing him pass it on. Since about age 4, his oldest son, Cashlan, has been out watching David hunt and learning how to fish. Last fall, 8-year-old Cash went out with dad and his friends to watch a very successful dove
hunt. David recently bought a fishing kayak and was out in front of his house the other day, giving his 3-year-old, Archer, fishing lessons. Hunting and fishing are good passions, but nothing comparable to furthering God’s Kingdom. I did not learn and accept God’s love by just watching my father, but also by listening to what he said. Hunting trips, fishing trips, traveling to see relations, everything was a conversation about topics like love, thanksgiving, acceptance, forgiveness, expectation, and similar things. Many times in the morning, to get us up he would come in singing, “Rise and shine and give God the glory.” My brother recently said how he hated hearing that when he wanted to sleep. I often could hear my father saying as he went to bed at night, “God bless the good old bed!” From the ages of 12 through 15, I spent the summers working with my older brothers on my Grandpa Dougherty’s fruit ranch in California. I often heard him at bedtime saying the same thing. It’s generational. I say the same thing; but unlike my forebears, I say it quietly or to myself. In the last few years I had shortened it to just saying, “GBTGOB.” I think this new age of texting and Facebook has affected me. I asked God to forgive me. Now I’m back to the original but much louder. I fear my shyness may have broken the generational chain. In a recent sermon my brother, Pastor Tom, was talking about the PC world we live in today. We are afraid to say things for fear of offending others, including our own family. We do not want to make them uncomfortable. Do you remember the Sunday school song, “This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine”? (Matthew 5:15) We as Christians should not hide who we are. As my children grew up, I told them many things. I reflected back that I could have always said more. Even though I was not a pastor, I was a father. I still give them advice, even on Facebook. Not too long ago I wrote:
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A Father’s Wish Son: How inadequate are these words I write. They mean alot but yet in spite Of this I want you to know. There’s more than just words can show. When I write that “God loves you,” In your heart you know it’s true. To increase your Faith and be Assured, “Pray each day” and “Read His Word.” — Dan Dougherty One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” As Christians we need to know our priorities, “let our light shine,” and speak up! May God guide and bless you. n
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YOUR Daily Bread
Canine wisdom a human can use By Bodie Hi, readers! My name is Bodie and I am a 4-year-old pug dog who lives with Terry Frisk, my master. He is taking a break this month, so I am writing his column for him. While I don’t have any formal training beyond sit and stay, I have learned much about people that I want to share. Here are some of my observations. A dog’s life is pretty simple. All we need (besides loads of love) is food and shelter. People seem to think they need more. They see things on television or that others have and they become convinced that they have to have it. They seem to ignore the things they have in a quest to get something more. While I have a basket full of toys, Bodie there are only two toys that I play with regularly. One is a tennis ball that I will chase after endlessly as long as somebody is willing to throw it. The other is a rubber bone that I like to chew on as I wind down at the end of the day. While the other toys are a variety of brightly colored creatures, many with squeakers, the bone and the ball are my favorites and I am blessed to have them. After all, Jesus said, “…one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15). More possessions would not make me any happier. I think happiness comes from being thankful for the blessings you have. While most people think I have a pretty easy life, I do work a full-time job. I am on call 24 hours a day to spring into action when the doorbell rings, there’s a squirrel in the yard or when I hear something unusual. Some of my big dog friends have careers in hunting, security, personal guides and a number of different tasks. Our wages are paltry, usually a dog treat and a pat on the head, but we find joy in the work we do.
But, most of all, our job is to please our masters. We will take on any task our masters are willing to train us to complete and do it to the best of our ability. In return, we are grateful for the rewards we are given. I think Colossians 3:23-24 sums it up best: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” I do have one weakness that I just cannot overcome. I have to rely on others to survive. If anything happens to Mom and Dad, I have not saved up food and water in order to make it through the crisis. We dogs consume all the food and water put in front of us without giving thought to what would happen if our food source disappeared. A lot of people do this, too. They do not set aside a portion of their income for unanticipated expenses. We learn from Proverbs 21:20, “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” While it would be difficult for dogs to save for tough times, people have many ways to set aside a portion of their bounty. Banks offer automatic savings plans and businesses often offer a number of different ways for employees to save money. Build your emergency savings so that you do not have to rely on others like I do. Dog’s love the simple life filled with simple pleasures and being close to their masters. People can learn much from their animal friends. Serve your master and you will be justly rewarded. Focus on your blessings to avoid the allure of the “shiny things” that may tempt you. Be thankful for the work you are able to do with the talent God has given you. Prepare yourself for life’s setbacks. Lastly, give a little love to your furry friends! n
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The Brighter Side
Spyglass Gardens: mor
By Ronald Kern The world we live in moves very fast, with the emphasis oftentimes being, “the bigger the better.” We not only expect big and wonderful things in life, but we want them right now. In reality, many things that end up great and long-lasting start small. This is true in business, relationships, and even our walk with God. Steve and Wendy Smith, who founded Spyglass Gardens 18 years ago, remind me in many ways of the mustard seed parable in the Bible. It, and the lesson it teaches, appears three times in the Bible, in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Luke 13: 88-19 says, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.” Although knowing each other for 10 years prior to dating, it was a blind date that set the course of the Smiths’ future, in both their relationship and business — both starting out small. The connector (the person who arranged the date) said to Steve, “You would be great friends so call her and see what happens.” What happened is a lovely story that yields many lessons and has brought joy to so many people. Wendy was brought up Christian and had a love and faith in God. This wasn’t necessarily the case for Steve. Steve was brought up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and while he always believed in God, he wasn’t very confident in the church he was attending. He left that church when he was 14 years old. Early in the Smiths’ relationship, Steve needed a physical and Wendy referred him to a doctor who frequently spoke about God during visits. Ironically, Steve was the one who asked Wendy, “Would you like to go to church with me?” In 2007, he was saved. Steve had some acreage which had a little garden, and he invited Wendy over. She thought, “This might be pretty fun to do. ... I think God started working on us right from the beginning.” Within a short time period, she explained, “A guy just showed up and plowed our field. Then, due to road construction, all vehicles from Meridian/Kuna highway were detoured on a path that took them right past Spyglass Gardens, which allowed us to sell all of our produce.” Now people knew where they were and what they offered, and with each passing year, the business grew and grew. After eight years of running this business with zero issues, Ada County got involved and, long story short, told them to cease operation. (County officials did the same to two other farms.) Steve and Wendy had long ago obtained all required permits and paperwork, but due to a small, obscure and rarely enforced rule, the farm business was halted. The year was 2008, the recession had hit, and they felt that perhaps God was testing them. Having the farm shut down was indeed a large test of faith, but what came next was an even bigger test — but also a blessing. Do you ever question God’s timing? That same year, Steve was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctor who helped him through this was a great Christian man. The same doctor who “preached” to Steve during his physical exam also was involved. People from their church were supportive, as well as the many clients and friends they’d made over the years. Due to the farm ceasing operation, Steve had more time to focus on his health. His prostate cancer was not a traditional type, so
16 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
if he’d been prescribed the normal course of action, “he would have been dead within a year,” Wendy said. The cancer was in an unusual location and had God not been involved and time not made available, this story would not have a happy ending. One might surmise that the reason the farm was shut down was so there wouldn’t be any distractions for Steve’s recovery. His cancer was eliminated and, as of today, he continues to be cancer-free. As Wendy sat down at the computer and searched how to sell their farm, something popped up that caught her attention: CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The website had free downloads, information, and all that they needed to pursue a new direction for the farm. Sending out an email to their client list to test the waters, 35 people signed up for their newly formed CSA. Being one of the first to have a CSA in the valley, you could say they were pioneers of what has become a very popular program over the last decade. (Information from https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/communitysupported-agriculture: “Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.”) Ten years have gone by and the CSA continues to flourish. Interestingly, the vast majority of their CSA members are Christian. This certainly isn’t a prerequisite, but when you visit the farm, you will encounter a strong sense of calm and goodness from all directions. While picking up produce, the CSA members find it a natural occurrence to have discussions (fellowship), and the Gospel is oftentimes a topic. Isn’t it interesting how God works? With weekends oftentimes being spent in Cascade, Idaho, the Smiths found a church in the area and joined. Oddly enough, this church decided that there was too much “Bible talk” and changed how sermons were led, and things just weren’t the same — it became foreign and strange. Steve and Wendy, and countless others, left that church and started meeting together in...you guessed it...a small way. This small group has now grown and turned into another new church, which doesn’t have restrictions on “Bible talk.” In addition to a variety of farming skills they have acquired, Spyglass Gardens uses open-air ditches, drip systems, and a settling pond, which means the water used actually leaves the farm cleaner than when it came in. They don’t use chemicals or pesticides either, allowing you to know exactly what you are eating when you get produce from Spyglass Gardens. Although their farm is not certified “organic,” it’s fresh, all-natural, and as close as you can get. What most people don’t realize is the definition and requirements of being organic in the USA are not the same as in other countries, although the FDA claims to be cracking down on food coming into our country. This is a big deal, considering a bulk of the fruit and vegetables you see in the grocery store are from other countries. Wendy spends the morning in prayer in their greenhouse, and Steve talks to the plants and prays over the food during his morning walk of the farm. They appreciate what God has provided to them, which in turn provides such amazing things to others.
re than a mustard seed When they tried to use all of the acreage to farm, “something always would fail,” Wendy said. “It didn’t matter if we had 12 people helping or 5, we found that you have to give something back.” Giving something back, such as leaving one acre fallow as they do each year, is another lesson from the Bible. “It’s not how much you plant; it’s how well you take care of it and nurture things,” Wendy reminded me. In addition to providing fresh and allnatural food to people, the Smiths offer classes on planting, canning, preserving, and bulk orders, and are heavily sought after for custom flower pots and baskets. They also sell eggs from the chickens they raise, and the list just goes on and on. A certain portion of their yield is donated to help feed others, a program they have had in place for years. Whether you end up buying anything from them or not, I would highly recommend stopping by and introducing yourself. What you will find in Steve and Wendy are genuine, loving, caring, and giving people. When taking a walk around their farm, I might have “accidentally” picked a few things and sampled them right then. Their little slice of heaven provides so much for people on an individual basis, but also they are a huge asset to the community. When you tour their farm, you absolutely will leave in a good mood and will likely have two new incredible friends. You can consistently count on Steve and Wendy, and Spyglass Gardens, to bring back your faith in humanity. This couple, brought together by God, proves that when you listen and obey God, amazing gifts overflow in your life, which blesses others. You can visit their website at www.spyglassgardens.com. n A multi-business owner in Meridian for more than 20 years, Ronald Kern and his wife sold their businesses in 2013. Ron is a serial entrepreneur, personal and professional consultant, author, columnist, motivational speaker, and philanthropist.
Wendy and Steve Smith sell produce at Spyglass Gardens in Meridian. (Photo by Heather Kern / HK Photography)
Christian Living | September / October 2018 17
The one element every couple needs
healthy sex life. One where both partners feel conBy Hilary Cobb nected and fulfilled, one where they can bare their Problems with physical intimacy are rarely somewhole selves — slightly overweight, stretch-marked, thing that bring couples to see me for marriage counand starting-to-sag — and know that their partner will seling, yet it often comes up within the first one or two be complimentary and loving, not mocking, distracted sessions. The difficulty with eroding intimacy is that or dismissive. it is a complicated blend of physical and emotional So if you find yourself shying away from your partconnection; and for many couples in crisis, they don’t ner, ask yourself: do you really trust your spouse? Not even know where to start to fix the problem. just in terms of their faithfulness. Do you trust their Over the course of a marriage, it is not uncomreactions, their commitment, their love? Sometimes, mon to have times where external factors such as a trust issues develop because your partner has been new baby, medical issues, or opposite work schedules untrustworthy in the past; other times it may be the can impact intimacy. Sometimes there are deeper isresult of your own insecurities. When adults have sues — untreated medical or mental health issues, an parents who have had affairs, they often share that addiction, affairs. However, for couples that report a they have difficulty trusting their spouse, even if there decrease in intimacy without an obvious cause, there is no infidelity. is often one underlying factor: trust. Hilary Cobb If you are unsure what is causing your mistrust, You might read this and think, “Are our problems meet with a counselor or a pastor. They will be able really related to trust issues? We haven’t felt sexually to help you identify the source of your unease so that you can work on connected in months, but it’s not like either of us has cheated.” rebuilding trust and intimacy with your partner. When we think of broken trust in relationships, we often associate it Perhaps you are in the opposite position. You find that your partner with an affair or pornography addiction. The problem is, we view trust is retreating and rejecting advances more and more. Make sure that in terms of infidelity, but it is much larger than that. Trust is an integral, daily part of your relationship. It is the sense that you ask yourself honestly: are you acting in a trustworthy manner? you can trust your partner to react kindly throughout the day. That you Can your partner trust you to listen when they are struggling? Can they trust you to handle difficult discussions with grace and humility as can trust that your spouse will leave the frustrations of work at work, instead of sulking for the rest of the evening. It is a deep sense that you opposed to anger? If the answer is no, focus on changing your behaviors and rebuildcan trust your partner to handle difficult conversations about money, ing trust with your partner. Demonstrate kindness consistently, so at sex, or parenting with grace instead of defensiveness. the end of the day, they can trust that you will embrace intimacy with The difficult thing is that even if there are not trust issues around physical intimacy per se, problems with trust in other areas will impact them with that same kindness. If you are struggling with intimacy in your relationship, know that it a couple’s sex life as well. Unfortunately, couples often minimize the role of emotional connection as part of sexual intimacy, but Ephesians is not hopeless. With a little counseling and some honest conversations, many couples will overcome declining intimacy and report a stronger, 5:31 reminds us that, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and more connected marriage. It just takes a little work. n hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (ESV).” True intimacy is more than a physical act. It is the joining of two souls where we literHilary Cobb is the owner of Still Waters Behavioral Health in Middleton, Idaho ally become one flesh. and blogs about God, marriage and parenting at Blessed By His Love. Find her at Many Christians limit their conversations to only focusing on sexual www.blessedbyhislove.com. sin, yet it is crucial that we identify the elements that contribute to a
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 19
God’s glory reflected in a life story By Jim Day When Jesus walked this Earth, He intentionally spent time with sinners and miscreants, the people in the margins, the outcasts of society. When religious leaders of the time questioned Him about the company He kept, He answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” — Mark 2:17 This story, or God Dot, was sent to me about three months ago. I felt led to share it with you. We never know how God will use our life stories, but He can’t use them if we don’t share them. Please send me your story so that it can be used by God to help others. Send stories to me at email@example.com.
How Jesus found me in an isolation cell
me hug my mother one last time before I went to jail. I feared this would be the last time I would be able to hug my mom before she died. I needed to comfort her so she would believe that I was okay. What a crazy thing to think. I sat there with my shoulders aching from trying not to lean against the cuffs that were cutting into my wrists. My mind was racing like a little mouse trapped in the corner by a hungry cat — if I didn’t figure a way out, surely I was going to die. I just needed a window of opportunity, and that is when it hit me. Without thinking I slipped my cuffed hands underneath me and pulled my feet through and over the top of the cuffs. The window I was given was a very small one that separated the front seat of the police car from the back. Before I knew it, I had wiggled my way through the window into the front of the car.* I shifted the car into reverse and floored it. I am not sure how I didn’t hit anything flying backwards up the road from my mom’s house. As I turned the corner and began a U-turn to drive forward, I had a moment of clarity. There was a car coming towards me, and there were two people in the front seats, a man and a woman in a blue car, yielding for a police car to make an illegal U-turn. I thought how nice it was for this couple to stop and give me the right of way, considering the way I had come flying around this corner backwards and all. They looked so happy and peaceful. I would have given anything to be in their car and not in the police car. After a moment of confusion as to what I should do next, I raised my hand up the best I could to wave at them to show my appreciation for their kindness. Then shifting the car into drive was like shifting my mind into overdrive. As I completed my U-turn, a thought came to me — this is the road my dad used to take when he would take us for ice cream cones.
I know I am not thinking clearly, who would in this position? I see the gun pointed straight at my head. Then the man holding the gun comes into focus. He is shouting something, something that sounds familiar. “Jeffrey Epperson, get down on the ground!” This can’t be me. I’m Epperson #38784. It’s funny the things that will go through your head when someone has a gun pointed at it. The first thoughts are usually, “How am I going to get out of this?” Or, “Will this guy really shoot me if I run?” The insanity of it all. And the sad part is that this is not the first time this scenario has played out in my life. I had just swallowed 3 bottles of pills from my mother’s medicine cabinet in anticipation of this encounter. I was ready to just fall asleep and let this life slip away. I was tired, afraid, and out of options. The cycle of going to prison, getting out, getting high, going back to prison was more than I could take. I knew of no other way to end this insane process. How sad it must have been for my Savior to watch as I desperately struggled to solve this problem on my own. I didn’t know it at the time, but my Shepherd had left His flock to come and find me. “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing.” — Luke 15:4-7 Being lead to the police car in handcuffs, I remember the look on my family’s faces. Their hearts broke for me. They felt lost and confused. As much as they wanted to help, they knew there was nothing they could do. They had tried so many times before. Here I was in handcuffs headed back to jail, back to what had become familiar to me: #38784. Sitting in the hard plastic seat in the back of the police car, I tried to work out how much time I had left before the pills would put me to sleep forever. I begged my parole officer to let
I don’t believe there was any conscious thought as to what I was doing, or how I ended up with the police car buried up to the doors in sand next to the Boise River. Running across the rocks towards the water was the first time I looked behind me; no one was there, no one was following me. As soon as I hit the water, my hopes of falling asleep forever were ripped away from me as I began to choke up the pills that I thought were my answer to all my problems. There was going to be no falling asleep forever. I pulled myself out of the river after swimming a few hundred yards and buried myself in the mud underneath a fallen tree. As I drifted off into what must have been an adrenaline
20 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
I remember being 10 years old, and I and my 3 sisters and 2 brothers would be piled into Dad’s 1969 Ford Falcon headed to get ice cream. I knew Dad kept his bottle of alcohol under the front seat. It was easy to sneak it out from the back seat and sneak a drink. So I did it. The alcohol felt hot going down, but then it made me feel funny. I liked it, and my dad always had a bottle somewhere to sneak a drink from.
crash and the effects of the pills that made it into my system, my mind kept trying to stay focused on what was going on. I couldn’t help but think, “Where did I go wrong?”
DAVE’S QUICK LUBE
I was 16 years old when my brother-in-law stuck a syringe of meth in my arm and shot me up. I was scared; I had always been afraid of needles. But my desire to be a part of something outweighed my fear of needles. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had just invited the devil into my life, and he was prepared to stay for a very long time. After the shot of meth, my body filled with electricity. It felt like I could feel my hair growing, and it felt amazing. Life seemed perfect in that moment; I didn’t feel so empty. I knew I found something to take away that lonely feeling. But it wasn’t long before that good feeling went away and I needed more of the drug to try and feel good again. Most kids my age were involved in sports and preparing for college. I was learning how to navigate life as a drug addict. “Epperson #38784, grab a mattress, you’re in cell 6!” Finally something familiar. My mind begins to search for more familiarity as I enter the tiny little cell with no windows, one bunk and a sink on the back of a toilet. My new home is solitary confinement. I’ve done it again, but this time it is different. I am worn out and I feel broken. Every part of me is telling me I need rest. Jesus found me in that isolation cell. Lonely and broken, my life had been of worldly things. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 Continued on page 23
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 21
HEALING our land
Lessons from 2 Chronicles 7:14
Forgiveness without repentance. If By Daniel Bobinski there’s one thing that’s been hitting home to Over one hundred years ago, William Booth, me the past few years, it’s the importance of refounder of the Salvation Army, said, “I conpentance. Verses such as 2 Chronicles 7:14 and sider that the chief dangers which confront Psalm 51:17 are several of many that underthe coming century will be: Religion without score the vital role of repentance in the lives of the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, God’s people. Yet, in today’s society, tolerance is forgiveness without repentance, politics without now seen as a virtue (it’s not), and we exonerate God, and Heaven without Hell.” people without them showing signs of repenRemember, this quote was recorded over 100 tance. This does nothing to strengthen anyone’s years ago. Was Booth rightfully concerned? relationship with God. In fact, it weakens it. Let’s consider his statement in reverse order. Christianity without Christ. I hear too Heaven without hell. I don’t like using many topical sermons (especially on the radio) fear as a motivator, but there are times when that leave Jesus out of the message and instead it proves useful. That said, my conversion to focus on modern living. Jesus is the way, the Christianity was not the result of a hell / fire / truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father brimstone sermon, but rather being shown in Daniel Bobinski except through Him. This is a core message scripture that God is a God of love who wants to bless us. This was foreign to my upbringing, which essential- that should refresh us after a week of dealing with the world. If fact, I believe our spirit craves to absorb as much as it can ly taught that God watched over us with a clipboard, keeping about Jesus. I recently heard about a young man who had track of our good and bad deeds. realized the truth about Jesus and started attending a church. I liken the need for remembering about hell to driving on a But before long, he told the pastor he was leaving that church beautiful mountain road that’s lacking a guardrail. I can enjoy beautiful surroundings and the stunning landscape around me, because the teaching didn’t have much to do with Jesus. This begs the question: How many people are leaving for similar but I know that if I let my tires go off the road, I’m tumbling reasons but not saying anything? down a 200-foot embankment to almost certain death. The Religion without the Holy Ghost. A lot to unpack here. fear of that is not my focus, but it keeps me disciplined to stay First, at the time Booth said this, the word “religion” was on the safe path before me. almost always used as an alternative way to say “Christian Politics without God. It befuddles me how many people faith.” When someone asked, “What religion are you,” it was believe that “separation of church and state” is in the U.S. another way of asking, “What’s your Christian denominaConstitution. Not only was the phrase taken from a private tion?” letter written by Thomas Jefferson, it was taken out of conSecond, I know the term “Holy Ghost” or Holy Spirit has text. The “wall of separation” to which Jefferson was referring different meanings in different denominations, and so, attemptmeant that the state was to stay out of church matters, not the ing to avoid controversy, I’ll say that to have the Holy Spirit is other way around. For more on this and other eye-opening to have clear evidence of God working in your life. Using that facts about the role of the church in early America, I highly definition, Booth was concerned that we would have churches recommend David Barton’s book, “Original Intent.” that don’t have clear evidence of God working through them. Again, I’m inclined to say that I’ve seen this. And, I think it’s caused from all of what I’ve mentioned so far. Sermons that Christian Living Magazine’s don’t focus on Christ. Christians being tolerant of sin. Not standing up for Christian principles in the affairs of state. And Annual Recipe Contest no fear that veering off God’s path for our lives will result in anything bad. Do you have… Bottom line, I think it’s fair to say that Booth’s concerns were validated. The question for today is, “What can we do about a favorite holiday recipe it?” There is no one right answer. But I do believe that if each from when you were a kid? of us, as Christians, would spend at least 10-15 minutes alone a recipe you make for your kids with God each day doing the four things outlined for us in 2 or grandkids every year? Chronicles 7:14, then things will start getting healed. Here’s SUBMIT that holiday recipe for a chance to WIN! the verse. The four things we’re supposed to do are in the first Winners will also be featured in our November/ half: December issue, and invited to our annual If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and Gratitude Open House for recognition! All Recipes pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear must be Recipes will be judged on: from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. n received Taste, Ease of Prep and Holiday Appropriateness
Savor the Season II
by Friday, October 5, 2018.
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22 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed., teaches teams and individuals how to use Emotional Intelligence, and he blogs regularly on that topic at www.eqfactor. net. He’s also a homeschooling dad, a home fellowship leader, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-375-7606.
God’s glory Continued from page 21
I cried out, “God, if you are real, please take my life.” My plea was not what I expected. I wanted my life to be over. He wanted my life to begin. It wasn’t like there was this huge transformation that took place, but I felt something that I considered hope and it felt refreshing. I spent hours a day in my cell studying the Bible and learning to trust in the Word. My faith grew stronger, but I continued to hold Jesus at arm’s length. I was ashamed of who I was and I felt so unclean. I felt there was no way that Jesus would want to live within me. “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” — Matthew 9:13 I soon learned that “repentance” meant to turn away from my old life and turn towards Jesus. My burden had been lifted, and I could feel the Holy Spirit with me. Repentance for me was turning away from what was holding me back, turning away from Satan and giving Jesus my full attention. I don’t have an empty feeling inside now, and my desire is to share God’s Word with anyone and everyone that will have it. I stay focused and keep Jesus in my sights. He leads me and protects me. The blessings I have been given are incredible and have lead me in a direction I never thought possible. I share my story because there are people out there who can relate to what I have been through. Hopefully, they can find strength in the testimony I have been given. If you are reading this and you think you are not capable of giving your life over to Christ, I promise you that you can.
Read your Bible and pray; ask God to come into your life and fill you with the Holy Spirit. Remind yourself throughout the day that you are a child of God and He wants nothing but good things for you. — Jeffrey Epperson
I have been in contact with Jeff’s mother and want to share some additional information concerning what God is doing in Jeff’s life. Since Jeff has been incarcerated, he’s been taking a class to become a sponsor for AA. He’s worked up several levels in AA, is a strong Christian in his faith, sings and leads worship in church. He participates in two Bible study groups and is a strong advocate for inmate rights, both in prison where he is housed and the Canyon County jail where he was before he was sentenced. Praise God for delivering Jeff from his old life and into a new life in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. — 2 Corinthians 5:17 n *Please note: The police officer placed Jeffrey in the police car and then was speaking with Jeffrey’s family members. Even though it was only a minute, it was enough time for Jeffrey to jump into the front seat and drive the police car away.
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“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalms 100:5
Christian Living | September / October 2018 23
Sustenance in your spiritual cupboard rush hour? My kids can attest that my attitude By Bethany Riehl I have this picture on my Instagram feed from is less than loving in those moments. “Oh, last spring. It’s a stack of “sugar detox” cookcome on!” might be a common phrase from the books…with a handful of gummy bears resting driver’s seat. on top. Obviously, my research into the topic I may agree that it is good to not allow any was going well. It’s one thing to read along and unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but agree with how I should eat and quite another what about off-color television shows that I find to stock my pantry with healthy food while myself laughing at? I may not be speaking ugly keeping the junk far away. things, but I’m definitely allowing myself to be Many years (and pounds) ago, my husband entertained by them. and I watched a show called The Biggest Loser I may agree that He gives peace that passes all once a week. Remember that one? A show understanding, but am I truly leaning into that, about overweight people who were chosen to or am I picking up my problems to worry over live on a campus away from home and, under them until my nerves are in tatters? the supervision of trainers and doctors, were Agreeing with Him and living for Him are put on a strict diet and exercise regime for sevBethany Riehl two separate, important, intentional things. eral months. We as a nation watched the tears In the same way that eating well comes pile up and the pounds melt away. naturally when the vine is lush with ripe fruit and much harder On the nights that the show aired, I would head to our local when the seasonal offerings are not as appetizing (hello, watergas station for candy and chips, or to Arctic Circle for shakes, melon season vs butternut squash season), so is living for Him and we would watch this show meant to inspire us to eat well, much more natural when life is full and easy. And much harder while stuffing our faces with junk food. It was glorious. Show when He’s requiring me to put my faith into action. of hands for everyone else who did that. Yes, I imagine there Eating well takes training and self-control to override cravare plenty of you as, over the years, I’ve learned that nearly all ings. Our bodies need whole foods for nourishment, but our of my friends had the same tradition. taste buds and emotions have been tricked by “frankenfoods” So why bring up these bad habits of my past? As I’m writing and we typically choose chips and queso over veggies and this, it’s the middle of summer when, in my opinion, it is the hummus. No? Just me? easiest time of the year to eat healthy. The farmers’ markets In the same way, our souls have been tricked into relying on are open, grocery stores are stocked with delicious, fresh our own wisdom, the tides of the culture, and diet Christianity vegetables and fruits, not to mention many home gardens are instead of feeding on the Word of God. It takes intentionality flourishing. But now, the air is getting that bite we all crave in and diligence and a great deal of faith to absorb God’s Word mid-summer heat, school is in full swing, and we’re settling in and then live by it. for a season of cozying up indoors. Before we know it, eating It’s not easy, but it’s possible simply because it’s what we were well will take much more thought and intentionality than it created to do. Serve Him. Worship Him. Love Him. does right now. Next time I think about cutting out the sugar, I’ll have to As I sat that day, reading articles about what sugar does to leave the gummy bears out of the equation. And the next time your body while eating a bag of gummy bears, I was doing nothing more than agreeing with the authors while not doing a I find myself grumping about yet another car that cuts me off, I will choose to remember that when Jesus said to love my single thing to implement new habits. Obviously I recognized the hypocrisy or I wouldn’t have documented it. neighbor, He meant it. n My pastor said something a few months ago that made me realize how much this hypocrisy can occur in my spiritual life Bethany Riehl loves to write stories and articles that explore the complexias well. He said that agreeing with the Bible does not mean the ties of relationships and encourage readers in their relationship with Jesus. same as doing what it says. She joyfully serves in the children’s ministry at her church, teaches at a hoYowza. How true that can be. meschool co-op, and drinks more coffee than necessary to keep up with her I may agree with the command to love one another, but do I only-slightly-crazy life. She is the author of four Christian fiction novels put that into practice while driving down Eagle Road during and lives in Kuna with her spunky kids and very handsome hubby.
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24 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Good marriages need boundaries – Part 2
Each spouse must take responsibility for the By Gary Moore following things: feelings; attitudes; behaviors; Remember the story of Adam and Eve in choices; limits; desires; thoughts; values; talents; Genesis 3:1-13? Adam had chosen to disobey love. God’s command not to eat of the tree of Responsibility tells us we are the ones who knowledge of good and evil. There was no must work through our feelings and learn how doubt about it, Adam had done it. When God to feel differently. Our attitudes — not those asked what had happened, Adam claimed no of our spouse — cause us to feel distressed and ownership of the situation. Eve was deceived powerless. How we behave and react is part of and took no personal responsibility for her acthe problem, and we have to change these pattions. terns. We allow ourselves to get pushed beyond In essence, like Adam and Eve, and like you certain limits and then become resentful or and me, we’re saying, “If it were not for you, I powerless. We do not turn desires into accomwould be a more loving, responsible person.” plished goals, or we do not deal with our sick So the first way in which clarifying boundardesires. ies helps us is to know where one person ends Responsibility empowers us to have a good and the other begins. What is the problem, and Gary Moore life. To give Adam and Eve the responsibility where is it? Is it in you, or is it in me? Once we God gave them was to empower them to have the life all of us know the boundaries, we know who should be owning whichdesire — one filled with love, wonderful surroundings, and lots ever problem we are wrestling with. The issue of ownership is of opportunities to use our abilities and talents. He gave them vital to any relationship, especially marriage. Boundaries help us to determine who is responsible for what. the ability and the opportunity to make the life they chose. When they did not choose in a life-giving way, they also bore If we understand who owns what, we then know who must the responsibility for that choice as well, just as we do. take responsibility for it. If we can discover who is responsible But the good news of boundaries is that God’s plan of refor what, we have an opportunity for change. sponsibility has not changed. We are not at the mercy of our If we can see that the problem is our problem and that spouse’s behavior or problems. Each spouse can act both to we are responsible for it, then we are in the driver’s seat of avoid being a victim of the other spouse’s problems and, better change. For the first time, we are empowered. yet, to change the marriage relationship itself — even if your Responsibility also involves action. If something is going to spouse is not interested in changing. But the process always happen, it’s going to happen because we take action. We need to change some attitudes, or behaviors, or reactions, or choices. begins with taking responsibility for your own part in the probWe must actively participate in the resolution of whatever rela- lem and changing yourself. Here are 10 laws of boundaries that you should apply to tional problem we might have, even if it is not our fault. your marriage: Proverbs teaches us that a lack of boundaries and anger go hand in hand: “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is Continued on page 27 a man who has no control over his spirit” (Proverbs 25:28 NASB).
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 25
Ask a child: ‘How may I pray for you?’ By Janet Lund
Prayer Request = Key to the Heart
Providing your child space to verbalize their feelings will nurture their heart, make them feel loved, and give you great insight into what is going on in their world. They may talk about friends, classmates, neighbors, subjects in school, or how well they get along with their teacher. You will grow your understanding of them so much deeper than you would by asking a yes/no or direct question.
Back when I was doing youth ministry, a question I often asked my kids was, “How can I pray for you this week?” I loved the look in their eyes the first time I asked. Initially, they would seem puzzled and then a slight smile would appear. It was clear they appreciated being asked, especially by an adult. Having a grownup inquire about Keep Communication Flowing their world made them feel valued. The routine of asking this question and listening as they shared with Your Young Adults built a relational connection much faster than just When your child moves out of the house talking about the day. Providing them the space to and/or starts college, they will become more inlead the conversation and express whatever feelings dependent (good) and possibly less communicaJanet Lund they were willing to share was a gift to them. tive (not so good). Try reaching out to them by I also found their sharing a gift to me. If a kid is calling or texting them each week and asking, willing to trust me with a piece of their heart I should view that mo- “How can I pray for you this week?” to keep communication ment as holy ground. When we listen well and respect what matters flowing. to a child’s heart, it grows a connection between you. Something like This open-ended question gives them the freedom to share that should be honored and nurtured. what they wish with you. Even if it isn’t as much informaOnce, I even had a parent confide in me that their son had shared tion as you would like, it keeps the door open. Otherwise that I cared about him because I listened and prayed for him. your conversation may sound more like a game of “20 questions” where they feel like they are getting grilled. This kind of exchange lacks the emotional connection you need to even Language of the Heart A counselor and good friend of mine recently shared with me that maintain your relationship, let alone enhance it. Prayer requests are an excellent way to communicate to your “emotions are the currency of relational connection.” When we child, “I care about what is going on inside of your heart.” share and listen to each other’s hearts we build a bridge of deeper Validate their feelings. Know their heart. Keep love flowing. n understanding.
Prayer Requests for All Ages
This being the case, I encourage you to use this same question with your own child. A preschooler would treasure being asked, “How can I pray for you today?” before heading off to school. Even little people have things they worry about and/or look forward to each day.
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.
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26 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Continued from page 25 1. The Law of Sowing and Reaping: Our actions have consequences. There are no “neutral” interactions. They are either positive or negative. 2. The Law of Responsibility: We are responsible to each other, but not for each other. 3. The Law of Power: We have power over some things; we don’t have power over others (including people). 4. The Law of Respect: If we wish for others to respect our boundaries, we need to respect theirs. 5. The Law of Motivation: We must be free to say no before we can whole-heartedly say yes. 6. The Law of Evaluation: We need to evaluate the pain our boundaries cause others. 7. The Law of Proactivity: We take action to solve problems based on our values, wants, and needs. 8. The Law of Envy: We will never get what we want if we focus outside our boundaries onto what others have. 9. The Law of Activity: We need to take the initiative in setting our limits rather than be passive. 10. The Law of Exposure: We need to communicate our boundaries to each other. Good marriages have boundaries. n Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale Church of God in charge of Adult Education. He’s served as associate pastor there for the past 11 years. He’s principal of .003 Coaching, providing life coaching, couples’ coaching and business coaching locally and around the country. He also does a weekly radio program on KBXL 94.1FM on Fridays at 8:45 a.m. called Life Point Plus. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Living | September / October 2018 27
Praying anytime, anywhere, about anything By RM Drury
thinking on prayer. The cover of the book invites us to read the spiritual secrets of a I believe it is God’s desire for us to communicate humble brother who enjoyed closeness with with Him. Communicating with God verbally or God. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite in our thoughts is called prayer. His Word encourmonk whose sole purpose in life was to reages us to talk to Him “without ceasing,” and “at all main always in the presence of God — no times.” matter the task, no matter his circumstance — anytime, anywhere, about anything. “Pray without ceasing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:17 In his seventh letter to an unnamed “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with friend, Brother Lawrence wrote, “The all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in least little remembrance will always be acmind, be alert and always keep on praying for all ceptable to Him (God). You need not cry the Lord’s people.” — Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) very loud; He is nearer to us than we are aware of.” God is always available — just a RM Drury I have charge of the preschoolers in our church. thought or even a whisper away. I can’t imagine serving anywhere else. Preschoolers The book goes on to talk about S. Clement of Alexandria. are so much fun and they learn through movement. Anyone He was a gifted teacher of new Christians in the church at with a 4- or 5-year-old knows they love to move —A LOT!! Jerusalem. I can easily identify with Clement on several levels. And practically all the time. Anyway, one of the things we You might want to look him up and read about his life. It is teach them when we are learning about prayer is that we can quite interesting. Back to topic... Around 190 A.D., Clement talk to God anytime (we point to our wrist, aka wristwatch), wrote the “Stromata” in which he described a man that might anywhere (we move our hands to each side of our body at be very much like Brother Lawrence. He wrote, “...the great about shoulder height), about anything (we reach our hands to the sky). This, of course, is a simple way to teach kids about business of a philosopher, that is, a wise Christian, is prayer. Such an one prays in every place, at every time, not indeed talking to God, and they totally get it. using many words, or thinking to be heard for his much speakBut as adults, prayer needs to go deeper still. Every occuring, but in secret in the depths of his soul, while walking or rence, every occasion, every circumstance, every decision we conversing with his fellow-man, or reading, at the table, when need to make can become a stirring of the Holy Spirit within at work. His praises rise to God unceasingly; not only in the us to pray. Prayer needs to become a habit. So much a part of morning, and at noon, but in all his actions he glorifies God ourselves that it is as frequent and natural as breathing. as do the Seraphim.” Anytime, anywhere, about anything. I have read a book called “The Practice of the Presence of Unceasingly in thought, word and deed. God” several times over the years. This book changed my
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28 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
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.
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These types of prayers are called breath prayers; they are short, simple, heartfelt, meaningful, spontaneous, important and valuable. Examples might be when you are watching your child quietly play, you speak a blessing over your child, or pray for his or her future. When you see a beautiful flower, thank God for the gift of nature. When someone you know comes to mind, ask God to give that person the desires of his or her heart. Short, simple prayers keep us communicating with God and in His presence all the time. Breath prayers can be prayers of praise, worship, love, needs, thanksgiving, blessing, help and so on and so on. Anytime, anywhere, about anything. Today might be a good day to begin practicing breath prayers and perhaps, like Brother Lawrence, they will become a habit in us, leading us to remain always in the presence of God. I pray it is so! Breathe in — “Father” — breathe out — “draw near to the person reading this today.” n
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Christian Living | September / October 2018 29
Having no regrets is most regrettable By Joel Lund You’ve seen them, too, right? Those Facebook comments, Twitter posts, online articles, blogs — even entire books! — dedicated to the idea that “life should be lived with no regrets.” Or similar blather. But is it true that life should be lived with no regrets? Really? Maybe so. Then again, maybe not. Embracing wildly popular notions doesn’t make them true. Perhaps living your life with the goal of not having regrets just means you’re skilled at not paying attention. Being oblivious isn’t a worthy goal. In fact, making it your ambition in life to have no regrets is, of all things to regret, the most Joel Lund regrettable. Here are eight things to immediately regret: 1. Missing the Beauty of the World Around You. How many times have you heard the admonition that you should “Stop and smell the roses”? How many times have you actually done that? Isn’t it regrettable that so many opportunities have already passed you by? Get busy sniffing and seeing the wonder around you. Glory in it all. 2. Not Saying “I love you” Enough. Another truism calls us to recognize, earlier than later, that no one will reach the end of their life wishing that they had spent more time at the office. It’s sad that we let life so often get in the way of what matters most to us…which is not a “what,” after all, but a “who.” So, who needs to hear you say that you love them? Why not do so? Now. Call them. Better, hold their face in your hands and tell them. 3. Not Saying “Thank you” Enough. Much has been written about the importance and value of maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Is it true that here in the U.S., we have hardships? Sure. Is it true that most of the population of this world would love to live here anyway, because it is SO MUCH BETTER than their world? Amen, and amen.
4. Not Risking Enough. Ask yourself this: what do I want out of my life? Unless you answer this question with, “I want to live with no options, and no influence over my choices or future!” you’ll need to risk taking risks. You can’t sail to new horizons without leaving the sanctuary of your anchored harbor. So, where’s your anchor? Is it on the harbor floor or hanging from the bow of your boat? 5. Bad Money Habits. Since our schools have never excelled at teaching financial intelligence, most of us end up behaving like idiots with our money, regardless of how much of it we have (or lack). But poor decisions often lead to more poor decisions, which then turn into habits. Regrettably, many people never move to a higher level of monetary stewardship, even with a wealth of resources at their fingertips. 6. Not Listening Enough. A simple rule in business is that intelligent salespeople should spend 75 percent of their time in a meeting with a potential client…listening. However, most of them spend 95 percent of their time talking. Then they wonder why they’re not succeeding. You’ve heard it said that “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” How well are you utilizing your ears, bud? HINT: “listening well” isn’t the same as being quiet. 7. Not Sharing Enough of Your Time. Each one of us gets the same 168 hours each week. How we use those hours varies enormously. What goals and dreams do you have that could be realized by simply turning off a device (fill in your preferred time-consumer)? Do you monitor — at all — how much of your limited time is dedicated to that device? Imagine what you could accomplish on behalf of others, as well as your own dreams, by paying attention to how you utilize your time. I use this tool to help monitor how my time gets spent: https:// www.rescuetime.com/. 8. Not Sharing Enough of Your Talent. Everyone has talents that can benefit someone else. It doesn’t need to be such a glorious talent that it must be validated on a reality TV show to count. Can you read and speak? How about reading to those who can’t due to age, injury or disease? Or pick something else. But do something. There are many more things to regret, of course. As Don Henley sang so truthfully, in “My Thanksgiving,”
It’s too long we’ve been living These unexamined lives. So, let your regretting begin! Embrace an examined life so you can live your life of purpose, on purpose. PS: What are your thoughts? What do you regret? What will you regret? What will you change because of it? Let us know. We love to hear from you. Email email@example.com. n
Regrets are part of life. Should we really try to avoid all regrets? (Photo by Pixaby)
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.
30 September / October 2018 | Christian Living
Christian Living Magazine September October 2018