January / February 2021
Dillabaughs Caring is key to business
Small town, huge ministry
Generosity It happened in 2020
Helping heal hang-ups Andrea and Casey Dillabaugh, owners of Dillabaughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Flooring America, stand at a counter in one of their stores
Contents January / February 2021 “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” — Psalm 25-16
Priest River Ministries: Small town, huge heart
Celebrate Recovery: Help for your hang-ups
Avoid wrong places
Volume 10, Number 1
The Days of Noah – Part 2:
Pass It On!:
Ark of ‘God’s mercy’ Share your life story
Be excellent in 2021
How should I be?: Behaving ourselves
Men’s group to hold Wild Game Feed 29
In business to minister
Choosing to Love: No boasting
Man’s Toolbox: 10 Real Something great
Mom Keep Calm: A guide’s importance God Dots: A plan revealed
Understanding Relationships: Busy couples
Health: 18 Maximum A 3-day fast
IN EACH EDITION 4
Read the Bible in a Year
Jerry’s Life 39
Get To!”®: 30 “I The cancer of regret Road 32 The Less Traveled:
What adventure is
Faith: 36 Challenging Country Club Church
Daily Bread: 28 Your Abundant generosity
Need Prayer? Call Idaho Chaplains Association
Talk to a Chaplain
Publisher’s Corner: www.idahochaplains.com Praying for patience
Publisher Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7860 Editor Gaye Bunderson Submit story ideas, article submissions & press releases email@example.com Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7509 • Katy Nelson email@example.com 503-816-3042 • Scott McMurtrey firstname.lastname@example.org 208-841-4583 Cover Photo Jennifer Whittig Photography Graphic Design Denice King www.greentreedkdesign.com 208-918-5190 Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Jim Day, Roxanne Drury, Joan Endicott, Terry Frisk, Leo Hellyer, Jason Herring, Holland Johnson, Ellen Landreth, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Jerry McMurray, Gary Moore, Steve Nelson, Bethany Riehl and Vincent Kituku Website Design SEO Idaho Distribution D&S Distribution • 208-985-6904 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 2021 by Christian Living Ministries Inc. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout the Treasure Valley and Twin Falls, including 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 $12/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 | January / February 2021 3
Who prayed for patience and got a lesson? I finally got around her and headed into Boise. By Sandy Jones Things were going smoothly until I was about 5 or 6 It was an early summer Friday morning a few blocks from my turn, and traffic came to a stand-still. years back. Clear blue skies, and I was running a It was a lovely, late spring day so I rolled down my tad behind. If you know me you’re probably asking, car window and called my sweet hubby to vent a bit. “What’s new?” Right?! What an aggravating trip to town this had been! I stopped by the fridge in the garage to grab a Steve started to tell me something, and I had to ask bottle of Pepsi out of the 6-pack, and wouldn’t you him to wait – what was that sound I was hearing? I know it, that silly plastic ring just would not let go. took the phone from my ear so I could really listen, My husband, Steve, offered to help, but in my frustraand that’s when I realized it was gunshots! Gunshots tion I waved him off. in downtown Boise? No way! I could not believe my Jumping in my cute little car, I was surprised to ears! see him approaching the driver’s side, victoriously I told Steve I had to hang up – that whatever was holding my soda. He never ceases to amaze me. I get going on, I needed to give it my complete attenfrustrated and walk away, and he comes along behind tion. Eventually the police started re-routing traffic me and things just fall in place. another way and out of the downtown area. It wasn’t I thanked him with one last kiss goodbye, reminduntil later that evening that I learned there had been ing him that I had to get going as I was late for the an actual shootout in the very intersection I had been weekly sales meeting. And as the leader it wasn’t good Sandy Jones heading toward. for me to be late – it set a bad example for my team Today that now infamous Pepsi sits on my kitchen window sill, still of 6. unopened, caved in and discolored, as a reminder to not let things that We were living in Kuna at the time and the fastest way to the office slow me down get under my skin – to stop and realize that sometimes was up Meridian Road, otherwise known as Highway 69, a five-lane we get slowed down for our own protection. Maybe it’s God Himself, country equivalent of the Autobahn. As I crossed Lake Hazel, climbor perhaps angels He’s sent to form that oft-prayed for hedge of proing the bit of a rise that’s on that stretch of road, I saw something fly tection around us. through the air. The car I had at the time was little, and sat low to At the time of this writing we are ending the year 2020 and heading the ground, and I remember literally telling myself to pay attention into a New Year, a new beginning, and what so many hope and pray because whatever it was I didn’t want to hit or run over. will be a fresh start. We’re all tired of masks, restrictions, mandates, I crested the hill to chaos. What I’d seen flying through the air had and COVID-19, but we need to remember that everything is all in His actually been the back end of a pickup truck that had been t-boned. perfect timing. I was not the first on the scene, and people were scurrying about Not to be cliché, but we don’t know what the future holds but we do checking on the occupants of the pickup and the car that had hit it, so know Who holds the future – and perhaps there was a reason for slowI quickly pulled over and dialed 911. The pickup driver was life-flighting us all down this year. Only time will tell if it’s His perfect timing. ed to the hospital, and I learned later that that individual had became Regardless, let’s not lose sight of the fact that God is still on The an organ donor. A beautiful gift, in such a devastating time. Throne. We’ve read the back of The Book and we know Who wins. This was not the first time I’d had such a close call. A couple years before this, I had left home in a hurry to get to down- It’s ours to believe with child-like faith and trust Him every day. Until next time…. town Boise. Upon reaching the on-ramp to the freeway I got behind God Bless n Granny Grunt, who would have had to stop on the ramp to have gone We want to take this opportunity to thank our advertisers for their continued support any slower. Running behind again all I could do was to pray that we of Christian Living Magazine. Without them, there would be no magazine. Please all didn’t end up getting killed merging onto the freeway at that speed. support them as you can – and thank them for bringing you this hope and promise Frustratingly I continued to be boxed in behind Granny, for what seemed like ages. of God’s love and His Word.
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4 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
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Busy couples choose their hectic busyness By Gary Moore One of the biggest stressors affecting healthy marriages is the breathless pace at which we choose to live. Busyness comes with an expensive price tag. Many struggling couples have allowed their busyness to distract them from what is most important. And, a high percentage of these are not willing to pull out of the fast lane. That choice will end up crashing their marriage. Whether or not you want to believe it, busyness is a choice. Much of the drift in marriage points back to the choices couples make. To keep your marriage on a healthy course, headed toward your intended destination, you’ll need to make tough choices about the many opportunities that compete for your time. You’ll have to choose to say no to important options so you can say yes to what’s most important. If you find that you have no time for your marriage, you must shift into crisis mode and make immediate course corrections. You can’t just make more time for your marriage. Here’s the good news and bad news about time. The good news is – you have all there is. The bad news is – you have all
there is. All married couples, regardless of income, region, religion, upbringing, and personality, have the exact amount of time: 1,440 minutes a day. Forget about time management. You can’t manage time. It is a constant. You can only manage yourself. You have the amazing ability to choose how those precious, fleeting minutes are spent. It’s both a privilege and a burden. If you don’t learn how to use those minutes to breathe life into your marriage, the drift in your relationship will become apparent. Several years ago, a big-city commuter trained crashed, killing several and seriously injuring hundreds of people. The train was traveling too fast in a location that required it to go slow. When investigators looked into the accident, they identified three factors that contributed to the devastation: (1) A comparable crash had already taken place in a similar location, and the lessons it offered were ignored. (2) The warning lights that informed the conductor to slow down were working, but the conductor didn’t give it proper attention. (3) The conductor was apparently distracted by his phone. Continued on page 7
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 5
CHOOSING to Love
Jesus: Our ‘love does not boast’ example
1. We are IN Him and he is IN us. 2. He is love and He loves us, valuing us more than we can know. Note: In March of 2020 I decided to use this 3. Because His Spirit is in us, His love is space to focus on God’s greatest command. If you’re within us, ready to be given to others. connecting with this series for the first time and When I was attending a Bible study as a new would like to read the earlier columns on this topic, believer, the topic of “self-esteem” came up. I encourage you to visit Christian Living’s website Oftentimes we teach that self-esteem comes to read the whole series. Visit https://www.chrisfrom self – which is why it’s called self-esteem. tianlivingmag.com/columns/ As we grow up, we develop self-esteem by setting out to accomplish things and seeing the Let me start this installment in the series by projects through. referencing Proverbs 27:2 – “Let someone else There’s certainly truth to that. But beyond praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, that is the overarching truth that we have and not your own lips.” Christ’s love within us, and having a relationIt’s not a direct correlation, but keep that ship with Christ means we must receive and principle in the back of your mind as we step Daniel Bobinski accept that love. To me, the scariest verse in into our next “don’t” verb in our examination the Bible is Jesus saying, “Away from me, I never of godly love: Love does not boast. knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23). The Greek word used here is the verb perpereuomai (per-perFor a more explicit understanding that we are loved and valyoo’-om-ahee), derived from perperos, which means braggart. ued, we must deeply understand that Jesus values us so much To not perpereuomai means to not boast about one’s self or that He died on the cross for us. It’s from that understandembellish one’s abilities. ing that we can feel secure and valued – and it’s not so much Have you ever been around a person who always seems to inflate his or her knowledge or skill levels? Have you ever been “self ” esteem that we need, but rather “Jesus” esteem. My friend from the Ivy League school had the right idea such a person yourself ? (humility), but his growth came from receiving and owning the As always, we must look at Jesus as our example, for God is truth that he was secure in Christ and valued beyond measure. love, and Jesus is the personification of God. Here was a guy With that, he stopped puffing up his sense of importance. who could call down legions of angels if He wanted, but He never went around bragging about it. He turned water into wine and fed 5,000 men and their families with just five loaves The Opposite of Boasting and two fishes, but He didn’t say He could also feed 50,000 By way of review, we’re in the section of 1 Corinthians 13 with the same five loaves – even though He knew he could do in which Paul tells us things we shouldn’t do if we’re going to it. live a life of love. And because nature abhors a vacuum, it’s Jesus did not boast. not enough to just not do something. It’s better if we identify a I recall someone I worked with decades ago. He’d attended godly opposite that we can strive for. an Ivy League university and graduated near the top of his In the case of “Not Boasting,” an alternative behavior many class – and he wasn’t timid about reminding you of that fact. people chose is “Be Humble.” In fact, whenever I talked with him, he was always pointing A common definition of humility is lowering our sense of out how he did things better than others. importance. But that doesn’t mean we’re worthless. Quite the After he came to a position of saving faith, he developed a contrary. We must guard against false humility. Humility for a passion for studying the Bible and discussing various doctrines, Christian is gaining that quiet confidence that we are valued but he never really lost his “cockiness.” The man’s brother, also beyond measure, and therefore have no need to seek approval a Christian, finally had a talk with him – saying that he needed from others. to practice more humility. About two months later, several of Allow me to close with a story I heard about a Christian opera us were gathered at the man’s apartment, and out of the blue singer. As tradition goes, people brought her flowers after her he told us he was “getting pretty good at the humility thing.” performances. She used to refuse them, stating she gave all credThe rest of us looked at each other and then looked back at it to God for her singing gift. But when she found out she was him until he finally realized what he’d said, and we all had a offending her fans and it was coming across as a false humility, good laugh. Ahh, humanity. she chose a different response. Instead, she graciously thanked people for the flowers, and later she took them to her dressing room where she “gave” the flowers to God, thanking Him for Why People Boast loving her so much and blessing her with her singing voice. Professionals who work in mental health tell us that boasting I believe receiving and “owning” the fact that God values us often stems from insecurities, a lack of self-esteem, or a lack immensely goes a long way to reducing our need to have others of feeling valued. Puffing up one’s own deeds or knowledge or be impressed with what we can do. n qualifications is an attempt to gain such approval or admiration. Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is an award-winning and best-selling author To address this, it’s helpful for us Christians to understand and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at our position in Christ: email@example.com or (208) 375-7606. By Daniel Bobinski
6 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
Continued from page 5
The crash could have been prevented. It’s really treme multitasking can cause “inattentional blindnot all that different from what happens when a ness.” It won’t affect your actual vision, but it does marriage crashes: (1) Couples don’t take the time to influence your psychological perception of what is learn from their past mistakes. most important. Superficial relationships – your life (2) Couples ignore the warning lights that tell them feels as though it’s a mile wide and an inch deep. their marriages are in danger. (3) Couples find other As a result, you become a shallow person – possibly priorities distracting them and preventing them from so shallow that you don’t even understand how the giving needed attention to their marriages. pace you keep is affecting your marriage. Jim Burns and Doug Fields say in their book, The Relationship fatigue – you have little or no time for First Few Years of Marriage, that to experience a the people closest to you. Spiritual emptiness – your lifelong marriage filled with refreshing time mardesire for worship disappears, your compassion dries gins and deep intimacy, you must understand the up, and you have little, if any, concern for spiritual cause of your busyness as well as the consequences. intimacy with your spouse. You suffer from soul It’s easy to simply cast blame on busyness without erosion. looking within your own heart to see why you might To conquer busyness, you have to make intentionbe so busy. If this is you, ask yourself these three al course corrections. Gary Moore questions: In the second half of John 10:10 Jesus says, “I (1) Is the pace of my life really sustainable over a have come that you may have life, and have it to the long period of time? (2) Do I like the person I’m becoming as a result full.” He didn’t say, “I came that you might be overwhelmed and of the pace I keep? (3) Am I giving my spouse and my family my best busy.” during this season? It’s your choice. n When I’m busy, the answers to these questions are always no, no, and no. Gary Moore served as associate pastor at Cloverdale Church of God for 15 The warning lights of busyness are fairly obvious. Here are some years. He does couples’ coaching and leads couples’ workshops and retreats called that Jim and Doug give: Clutter – rushed lives are often reflected MUM’s the Word. He does a weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on in clutter. Addiction to speed – you find yourself spending most of KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 a.m. on Fridays. Monday mornings at 10 a.m. he your waking moments fueling the adrenaline rush that comes from does live relationship teaching called MUM Live on his Facebook page Mutual juggling your many “essential” priorities. Extreme multitasking – ex- Understanding Method. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 7
PRIEST River Ministries
Small Bible study to big support group
A Priest River Ministries child advocate holds one of PRM’s client’s children. “It was a sweet moment,” Rhonda Encinas, PRM executive director, said. Priest River Ministries is an advocacy group for women and children in need. (Courtesy photo)
By Gaye Bunderson When Rhonda Encinas moved to Idaho 30 years ago, she sought to leave her past behind and live a quiet, anonymous life. In the previous state where she had lived, she’d been married to a man she calls “violent,” and she suffered his abuse. It was when he was eventually murdered that Rhonda packed up and left. The serious turn of events made her want to flee to a safe little corner of the world where no one knew her history. She ended up in the Gem State near Priest River – population 1,853 as of 2018. “I had no plan to share my experiences,” she said. “But God had a different plan. He’s going to use your experiences to make good out of them, even really bad ones like I had.” Initially after the move to Idaho, Rhonda flew under the radar for quite a while. But in the early 2000s, she started a regular women’s Bible study group; and, at one point, the members of the Bible study were asked to take home a questionnaire and fill it out. One of the questions asked the women to state whether they had ever been abused or not. Half the women in the group said they had experienced, or were currently experiencing, some form of abuse. The other half of the group was offended and angry by the question and told Rhonda that wasn’t the kind of thing they came to Bible study for. Rhonda said she felt her heart was with the former half of women, so in 2002, she started a Bible study support group for women experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault. “I had so much compassion for women who were suffering,” she said. She connected with a national group called PASCH: Peace and Safety in the Christian Home, started by a woman named Cathie Kroeger. A PASCH conference was planned for Portland, and Rhonda attended, meeting Cathie and other PASCH leaders. “They became my friends,” she said. “They took me under their wing and flew me around the country.” She learned a lot that way, and it was the foundation for what she was going to end up doing in Priest River: launch a faith-based nonprofit called Priest River Ministries-Advocates for Women. Rhonda serves as its executive director. “Our little Bible study became a big support group,” said Rhonda. That, as it turns out, is almost an understatement. It has turned into a huge, multiservice non-profit, with sites in three Idaho communities. But its humble beginnings were in a church with a handful of people. It eventually bounced around from church to church. “It caused a lot of division in the churches, because leaders and members felt the church looked bad that church women were being abused. But that was God’s way of getting us out on our own,” Rhonda said. “God grew it and got both men and women involved.” There are now three domestic abuse shelters, and the list of services now offered is extensive and includes, in brief, a 24/7 helpline, client transportation, court assistance, tutoring, and more. One of the biggest services are facilities where free food, clothing, and supplies are available so that families have access to products they need. Rhonda said having access to everyday essential items keeps the stress down in families. “When you keep the stress down, it keeps the violence down.” The largest such facility is Lydia’s Place in Priest River. A similar facility called Phoebe’s Place is located in Spirit Lake, and a third facility called Tabitha’s Closet is located in Sandpoint. “We take care of all of Bonner County and a third of the people who come here are from other counties. In fact, we’ve had women escaping violence come here from all over – from California to Florida.” Rhonda explained that the women who seek help from Priest River Ministries often need to start all over from the bottom up. They need more than an overnight stay in a shelter; they need to work on putting their entire lives back together, with help. “They stay with us for years, and continue to receive our services,” said the executive director. The budget for Priest River Ministries is large, and funding comes through grants and donor and community support. In all, donated aid comes through individuals, businesses, and churches, and includes both money and services. “It’s a miracle,” Rhonda said, also stating that the ministry is so big and helps so many, she’s astounded at how God provides for it all.
8 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
Accountants keep track of all the funds. “Every single penny is triple-checked. People give to us expecting us to do what they ask us to do,” said Rhonda. “This is a gift given to us – a gift! – and we have to be careful about where and what we do with the money.” Asked how many people avail themselves of Priest River Ministries services in a month, Rhonda explains she doesn’t like to deal in statistics or figures exclusively because the value of what PRM does can’t always be measured that way. “If an entire family is transformed through our help, and it thrives, it transforms the community in return.” In other words, the family gives back in ways that can’t be quantified when it becomes a happy, cohesive group that contributes to the good of the town – “if we help one family, the whole community benefits.” Nonetheless the non-profit does keep figures, and Rhonda said that on average, roughly 350 people come for services during any given month, and that may include some people who return for services, as well as new people availing themselves of services for the first time. The ministry just keeps growing. Rhonda said, “Two years ago, we had two paid positions, and now we have six.” That includes paid advocates, a receptionist, and Rhonda – “I get a little,” she said. The ministry gets a lot of volunteer help, including many men who make themselves available when something needs fixing. Regarding the churches that still don’t want anything to do with them, she said, “Some churches think we advocate divorce. We don’t advocate divorce, and we don’t tell the women what to do. We don’t even suggest anything. We want to build them up to make their own decisions; we give them options. We never say anything like, ‘You need to leave your husband,’ but if they want to do that, we’re going to help them the best way we know how. If a woman wants a divorce, that’s between her, her family, and God.”
Rhonda gives high praise to the citizens of the area for how they help Priest River Ministries thrive. “The community as a whole is amazing,” she said, and to illustrate her point she tells about when COVID-19 first struck the area and many people lost their jobs. “The hotels put up 28 people for free. Since those people had no food, individuals in the community started cooking for them. They donated homemade meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They came constantly and left us with meals in all three communities. “It was just a miracle. We worked seven days a week. The people in Priest River worked hard and stepped up – even those without religious backgrounds,” said Rhonda. Wendy Gruner, a 9-year volunteer at PRM, feels that working at the non-profit is very fulfilling. The staff is like a family, she said, and always tries to make the women who come there feel like family too. “I regularly – daily – tell myself I’m being the hands and feet of Christ,” Gruner said. She said she tells herself that even on days when nothing is happening, because there are quiet times and downtimes when no one comes in for help. But she’s there, waiting; and then one day, a woman walks in who needs a lot of help, has no food, no job, no place to stay, and is trying to get away from an abuser. That’s when Wendy’s really glad she’s there, even if it meant a number of days of inactivity. “We’re there night and day...waiting...and then a woman comes in and we have a lot of work to do to help someone. Waiting is a service to the Lord too. It’s fun to see the Him work things out, and the answers to prayer.” And what does she have to say about the executive director? “Rhonda is a good mentor, and she’s a force to be reckoned with. If anything ever happened to me, I’d want her in my corner.” Hundreds of women have had the opportunity to meet and be blessed by the “force to be reckoned with” in North Idaho. n For more information, go to prmafw.org or check them out on Facebook.
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 9
REAL Man’s Toolbox
A new year: the start of something great
the earth, our leaders, whoever they are, are not By Leo Hellyer perfect, and everything they do and say does WOW! What a year we just came through. not always reflect the heart of God. We need to Change is always a part of life, but this past stand up and be heard, in a godly manner. We year definitely set the record for changes – need to be part of the solution, not part of the worldwide, nationally, locally, and individually. problem. We need to maintain or open lines of Throughout all of these changes there has been communication, not shut them down. one thing that has been constant: God has been If the United States of America is to survive in control of all things. as a world leader, we need to follow and comNow we are entering into a new year, not municate the biblical foundations that this great knowing what the year will be like. If nothing nation was founded on. Our government, laws, else, we may have some uncertainty, some aplaw enforcement, and educational system were prehension, and maybe even some fear. all developed following Christian faith foundaThe Prophet Isaiah speaks to us words of tions. wisdom that still apply today. “Do not fear, for I The more we allow non-Christian tenants to Leo Hellyer have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you become part of our nation’s foundation, the are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I weaker the foundation will become. As a nation, we need to will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. seek a government that will follow the Bible and God Almighty When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will when we seek to align ourselves with other nations. We need to the flame burn you.” – Isaiah 43:1b-2 support and protect God’s chosen. As we enter into a new year, a year with unknown events and As individuals, we must consistently reflect the love of God to challenges, we also look at a new year of unknown blessings. others we interact with. We need to remember that while Jesus If we try to plan for and solve all of the new year’s issues, we Christ was here on earth, He associated primarily with people will quite probably be stressed out and maybe depressed before we call challenged, less fortunate, or needy. These are the exact the year even gets out of the starting blocks. Putting this year people with whom Jesus wants each of us to have relationships all together is not our responsibility, nor are we capable to do with. That’s what it means to be Christ-like. so. If we attempt to do this it will result in frustration, exhausIn 2021 we have an opportunity to increase the probability tion, and defeat. We must remember, God Is In Control. We of being recognized as a Christian. Live your life to the fullest must wait upon the Lord and see what He puts together. from a Christian perspective. Do not live your life in a man“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will ner that will lead people to say, “Oh, I didn’t know you were a mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, Christian.” We must be known they will walk and not become as Christ followers. weary.” – Isaiah 40:31 Each of us, in all aspects of If we will wait on the Lord “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, our lives, must follow the fruit and see what He does and, of the Spirit as presented in peace, patience, kindness, goodness, more importantly, see what he Galatians 5:22-23: “But the challenges us to do, we must faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, respond and take action. If against such things there is no law.” peace, patience, kindness, goodwe follow His lead, we will — Galatians 5:22-23 ness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfsucceed without becoming control; against such things there exhausted. Remember we is no law.” achieve much more when we Let’s live our lives in a manner that if there were ever a court function in God’s strength and not our own. proceeding to determine if we are a Christian, there would be As we look at our society, leadership, laws, and politics, we more than enough evidence to convict us. would be good to remember the words of a hymn from the May God richly bless you in 2021 as you reflect Him to those 19th century. In 2 Timothy 2:3 we read Timothy’s instructions: you come in contact with. n “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” The first verse of “Onward Christian Soldiers” says, “OnLeo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married ward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. Leo has also been serving the foe; forward into battle, see his banner go!” with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries for 20 years and is currently serving As Christians, we are going through spiritual warfare on a at the River of Life Rescue Mission. He is president and chief firearms daily basis. We must ensure that the one that we are following instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have is Jesus Christ. Men (any man or woman) are flawed human questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be beings. Although we live in the greatest nation on the face of reached at email@example.com or 208-340-5544.
10 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
Helping heal ‘hurts, hang-ups and habits’
By Holland Johnson Celebrate Recovery (known as CR) is a Christcentered recovery program in churches throughout the United States and parts of the world. It is similar to other recovery programs such as AA and NA, but CR is very biblically-based and Jesus Christ-centered. It is a program that has become a vital part of thousands of churches of different denominations. Celebrate Recovery started in 1991 at Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forrest, Calif.; the church was founded by Pastor Rick Warren. At that time, Saddleback was meeting in a high school gymnasium. John Baker, a former Air Force pilot and businessman, had allowed his alcohol addiction to disrupt his personal and family life. His wife, Cheryl, and their two kids had started attending Saddleback Church. Eventually John also began attending and had recommitted his life to Christ. At the same time he continued going to his AA meetings and sharing how Jesus had become his “higher power.” Getting some push-back from the AA folks for his “Christian” explanation of his recovery, he wrote Pastor Warren about his vision for Celebrate Recovery. Pastor Warren said, “Great, John, you do it!” That first night 43 people showed up and Celebrate Recovery was born. Now, Pastor Warren says, “over 27,000 people have gone through the CR program at Saddleback alone since 1991.” Today there are over 35,000 CR church hosts all over the country. People often think of CR as only for those battling drugs and/or alcohol addiction. And, admittedly, in the early days that was the initial focus. However, it soon became apparent that almost everyone has a need of recovery from some painful issue in their lives, even Christian believers, and CR “expanded.” It is now a program for every kind of “hurt, hang-up, or habit.” Some examples are anger, sexual addictions, co-dependency, anxiety, control issues, unwillingness to forgive, judgmentalism, financial recovery, food addiction, etc. Specifically, CR follows Christian guidelines and a biblically-based philosophy. The overall intent of CR is fourfold: 1. Help people understand the purpose of personal responsibility. 2. Encourage participants to let go of the past and focus on the future. 3. Introduce, or renew, a dedication to Jesus. 4. Move people into ministry. Although the majority of CR ministry outreaches are in churches, the program is also in numerous prisons, jails, rescue missions, and other venues. Currently here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, Celebrate Recovery is in eight different churches that meet in the evenings of the week. • On Monday night: 1. Tree-City Church of the Nazarene (Boise) – www.treecitychurch.com 2. Christian Life Fellowship (Ontario) – www.clfontario.org • On Tuesday night: 1. First Church of the Nazarene (Nampa) – www.nampafirst.org 2. Weiser Community Church (Weiser) – www.weisercommunitychurch.com • On Thursday night: 1. Bethel Church of the Nazarene (Nampa) – www.bethelnazarene.org 2. Deer Flat Methodist (Caldwell) – www.deerflat.org • On Friday night: 1. Vineyard Christian Fellowship (Boise) – www.vineyardboise.org 2. Life Church (Meridian) – www.lcboise.org To find out more about Celebrate Recovery for yourself or someone you know, or if you think your church would be interested in starting a CR ministry, contact any one of these churches. n Holland Johnson is a retired school principal and school counselor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 11
WHERE are you looking?
Searching wrong places for useless things
“Things” have their place and value in our By Vincent Kituku lives. I truly appreciate a functioning car whenA story is told of a man who, after a long ever I recall my 1973 Ford Maverick, our famday at work, found his wife searching for a lost ily’s first car when we moved to Wyoming from sewing needle in their living room. Dinner was Kenya. It seemed to drive just fine for half of not ready. Children’s homework had not been the trip, forcing us to provide manpower (push checked. And stamped envelopes with payit) the rest of the trip or to the nearest mechanments for their monthly bills were still on the ic. But material things are only that, objects table where he left them in the morning. that lose their value and/or perish. Can you After greetings, and noticing her frustration imagine how relationships would be strengthas she searched for the needle, he asked her ened if they were provided the same level of what was going on and she replied that she was attention people give to their “toys?” looking for a lost needle. Then he asked her, There is no substitute for inner peace. The “Where did you lose it?” She calmly said, “In good thing is, that peace has nothing to do with the bedroom,” which naturally invited his next material possessions. In fact, it is available to question, “If you lost it in the bedroom, why you, free of charge. are you searching for it in the living room?” Vincent Kituku Stop looking for happiness where it will never “It is where there is enough light,” was her be found. Start your day with the right attitude: response. • If you woke up alive this morning – count it a blessing. Are you sometimes involved in activities that you had hoped • If you had a meal and are assured of the next one – would bring you fulfillment only to be disappointed? Have another huge blessing. you changed jobs or moved to another location with the hope • If you have clothing on you – count that too. of having peace of mind, only to find it elusive – a common • If you have someone to love you – count it. occurrence in industrial countries? Do you sometimes feel like • If you have a job – consider it a blessing. you are running on an empty tank? • If you have the joy of loving and serving others – Then your dilemma grows bigger as your search bears no it’s a blessing with added value. fruits regardless of your intentions, your energy, and the ef• If you have hope – add that to the above. forts you invest. At the end of the day, you are tired, mentally exhausted and physically fatigued. You are spent. You just drop • If you have faith in God – don’t take it for granted. • If you have goals that are keeping you occupied – with no fuel remaining for things that matter. that’s a blessing. n The question is, are you searching in the wrong places or for completely useless things? Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, award-winning international speaker and I recall a man I met in the early 1990s who seemed to have author, is the founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring everything we associate with modern success. There was golf Hearts High School in Kenya. He may be reached at (208) 376-8724 or after work. Weekends were spent fishing, camping, and other email@example.com. activities that he told me kept him from the stress of his job. Out of curiosity, I asked him what his wife and children felt about his absence. “They understand,” was his response. Images of his emaciated body still go through my mind when I recall the day I met him a few years later after his wife had left him. Hobbies have their value in our lives. Nothing could take away my sense of accomplishment after climbing Mt. Borah, Idaho’s highest peak, or surviving the annual Race to Robie Creek, a self-punishment of 13.1 miles that leaves you wondering, “Why do it?” But hobbies cannot provide the sense of belonging experienced in healthy relationships, spiritual exploration, or serving the less fortunate. Unrestrained desire for excessive material possessions at all costs has been known to wreck lives. I knew a relatively wealthy retired woman whose level of dissatisfaction was evident from some distance. A naturally upbeat lady, she was walking with her head bowed and shoulders lower than usual. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “Why don’t I have as many things as my sister?” She had not visited her sister, who lived in a different state, for years. It was during the last visit that dissatisfaction with her “limited wealth” started when she found out the sister had more material things than she did. Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay
12 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
MOM Keep Calm
A good guide makes all the difference That’s one of the big reasons why moms get so anxious. We worry about the “what if ” situations that come up in our child’s life. So, we naturally want to protect them, wrap them in cotton, and keep them home. But after the first few months of life, we just can’t do that anymore. As our children get older, we must stop doing all the protecting. We need to teach them to protect themselves. Here is how you do that, no matter how old they are:
By Janet Lund
“Mommy!” I quietly cried to myself. I watched in horror as not one but two pieces of my protection popped out of the crevice in the rock and slid down my rope. All I had now keeping me attached to this cliff was my fingertips and tiptoes. “Janet, what have you gotten yourself into?” Lead climbing was vastly different from any Steps to Guide Your Child rock climbing I had done before. Fifty feet up 1. Make time for your child every day. with nothing and no one to catch my fall. Never 2. Listen well as they share about their day. had I experienced such fear. I was 24 years old 3. Encourage them to share more by saying, but felt two decades younger. Oh, how I wish “Tell me more about that.” Janet Lund my mama’s arms were there to catch me. 4. Ask clarifying questions. Clinging to the rock, I tried to figure out what It is important to do this to do. Nothing but “Hang on tight!” came to mind. “Yes, for several reasons: I’m already doing that, thanks!” Thank goodness my hus1. It keeps you dialed into what is going on band Joel was below. He ran for help. If it hadn’t been for our in their world. guide nearby, who was helping fellow students at the time, I 2. Builds relational glue between you. don’t know what I would have done. I didn’t have the skills or (A useful foundation for the teen years.) experience required to get myself out of the situation, and I 3. Creates a routine of sharing with you. was too terrified to problem-solve my way out of it. (Helpful to have in place before the teen years.) Thank goodness for our guide! Our rock-climbing class provided us with the chance to practice, talk through hypothetical 4. You can gather little insights into their relational dynamics with friends. situations, and to have someone guide us. 5. You can stay tuned into how they get along with their teachers. Your Turn to Guide 6. It keeps your finger on the pulse of their comprehension in It’s the same with your children. They are learning new classes. things all of the time. They need practice, a chance to talk scenarios through, and your guidance. The last thing you want is The Importance of Guiding Your Child for your child is to be alone in a situation that they didn’t know Why is all this information important? Because it prepares how to handle and have them quietly crying out, “Mommy!” you for life-changing conversations. Seriously!
“HOPE through Transition”
KATY NELSON COACHING
Certified Professional Life Coach • Certified DISC Facilitator
14 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
You will be able to guide them and equip them to deal with difficult situations like a friend’s gradually increasing verbal abuse, a member of the opposite sex invading their space bubble, or how to respond when a friend offers them drugs. You can help your child become more relationally intuitive, dialed into their physical surroundings, and grow confident enough to say no. Plus, your one-on-one time keeps you in the know on how well your child and their teachers communicate with each other and whether your child is comprehending what they are studying. Kids, especially teens, already feel insecure. Talking with you about not understanding a class just makes them feel stupid. The last thing they want to announce when they come is, “Hi, Mom! I feel like an idiot!” On the same note, verbal and nonverbal communication with anyone can be challenging. But with teachers, the intimidation factor complicates it even more. Assure your child that asking for help is a good thing. It communicates to the teacher that they want to understand and that they are trying. Everything a teacher could wish for – a student that wants to learn! These are all skills we use as adults every day. But your child can’t just pick them up through osmosis. They need your guidance.
Ultimately though, we can’t prepare our child for every situation possible. So, we need to lift them in prayer daily and guide them on their faith journey. God needs to be the Guide
of guides in their life. Your child needs to know they can turn to God anytime, anywhere, in any situation, and cry, “Abba!” And He will be there. Growth. Guidance. Grace. 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 at momkeepcalm.com for parenting tools and words of support to be a calm mom.
Christian Living | January / February 2021 15
Simple coffee table represents a special plan By Jim Day Editor’s note: This is the second column about a group’s mission trip to Tonga. If you have not read the first column, you will find it online at https://www.christianlivingmag.com/god-dots-godconnects-the-dots-geographically/ Welcome back. I know that in the last issue we ended with a teaser about the Queen of Tonga getting involved with our friends from Washington, but I realized that there is so much more to tell before we get there. Before their first trip to Tonga, mutual friends Doc, Charmayne, Joe, and Mary had been getting together frequently to pray for the nation Jim Day of islands. They prayed for a year and a half before even booking a trip. One night during their prayer time together, they stood around the coffee table to pray. To them, the coffee table represented Tonga. Joe remembers distinctly praying that God would use an organization, like YWAM (Youth With a Mission), to establish an outpost or school in Tonga and prayed that He would provide the way for that to happen. They had no knowledge of the fact that YWAM had been looking at Tonga as a location for a new University of Nations campus. YWAM had already spoken to the King of Tonga to attempt to procure a parcel of land. You see, at that time in Tonga, the king owned everything. Houses and businesses were only built with his approval and the land was leased. Ownership was retained by the king. Shortly after speaking with him, YWAM had permission to build a University of Nations on a parcel donated by the king. They hired a contractor from Switzerland to build the school. Everything in Tonga that is produced outside of Tonga must be brought in on cargo ships. This makes building materials almost threee times more expensive than here in the States. Out of nowhere, a ship came to Tonga loaded with building materials, but there was no one to buy them. At least not in the quantities that the ship held. The crew of the ship needed to sell off the cargo in order to make space to reload the ship with export goods. YWAM purchased all the materials at a huge discount and the University of Nations was built. The prayer group had no idea that YWAM had a presence in Tonga and was trying to make any kind of connection with any church or organization in that region for the whole time that they were praying. All of this was so that they could understand
why they were praying and why God had put it on all of their hearts. When they couldn’t make any connections in Tonga, Charmayne suggested that they just go there. There was no argument in the group and planning ensued. With flights booked just a week before they were to leave, someone at the Nazarene Church in Leavenworth, Wash. brought a YWAM newsletter to church. There was an article about the newly built university. Charmayne called and made the first connection in Tonga the next day. The group visited the YWAM campus and that’s where they met the contractor from Switzerland. They got to comparing their notes and found out that the ship, with all that building material, had shown up right after the foursome had prayed around the coffee table. God had answered their specific prayer! It is interesting that, after their arrival, on the second morning after breakfast and prayer, there was a knock on their door. It was a native Tongan asking for prayer. They all prayed and were invited on a tour of historic places. A couple of hours later, the man returned with friends and the now-large group piled into several four-wheel drive vehicles and went to several locations where they paused to pray at each spot. That became the pattern for the rest of their first trip. Every morning, they would get a knock on the door. Joe says that God had their whole trip planned down to the smallest of details. God even gave them a couple of days to go and enjoy the beaches and the beauty of the wonderful island paradise that is Tonga. They just got up every morning and walked around praying. One day, some locals joined them. As they got near to a forested area, they heard something in the bush. It was a child. The locals explained that the child had a disability and had been abandoned by its family. The child needed medical care, so Joe and Charmayne prayed for and treated the child. Later that day, they found more children – and they knew why God had called them. They all returned home together as planned, but they knew that they would be going back to Tonga. Our God hears our prayers and calls us to pray, sometimes for people we don’t even know. I am always amazed at how the God of everything wants to partner with us to accomplish His good will. There is so much more to the story and so many God Dots. Next issue we will continue this saga. Many blessings! n
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Time for fasting and what to expect
to burning fat instead of sugar, detoxifying and By Rosie Main cleansing, and beginning to repair months or years Your immune system is your body’s defense of damage. system against bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, Day 2 – Going on a 3-day fast helps to de-weed and other harm. To function properly, your imyour gut flora. It gets rid of bad bacteria, helping mune system needs your support through a healthy to balance your microbiome. By day 2, there is indiet and lifestyle – including fasting. According to creased cellular cleansing, autophagy, a rise in huresearch, embarking on a 3-day fast can reset your man growth hormone (HGH) to preserve muscle immune system and make an enormous difference mass, and a stem cell rise to help cellular repair. in your health. This 3-day fast also helps to reset your DNA turnPeriods of fasting are natural for your body. If ing off ‘bad’ genes that may increase inflammation you think about it, our ancestors went through peand chronic degeneration. It also helps hormone riods of famine when food was simply not available optimization and detoxification. for a few days. In our modern world, we are used On day 2, you may continue to experience to everything being readily available. If our fridge similar symptoms as on the first day. Your hunger is empty, all we have to do is go to the nearest grolevels may diminish but emotionally you may have cery store, go to a restaurant, or order in. a more difficult time. You may experience more faRosie Main When food is so easily available, we need to do tigue, brain fog, and mood changes. As your body intentional fasting to reduce the stress on our digesis cleansing itself and getting rid of bad bacteria, fungi, and toxic tive system and body. A 3-day fast allows your body to rest, repair, substances, you may notice a white, yellow, or even black tongue, or and renew. skin rashes. While a 3-day fast will certainly bring many positive changes to Your body will also begin to down-regulate your thyroid horyour physical, mental, and spiritual health, a 3-day fast is also new mone, resulting in feeling colder than normal. This simply means and stressful to your body. You may experience some unwanted that your 3-day fast helps to rest hormone sensitivity. Your body is symptoms associated with your fast. learning to need less thyroid hormones and insulin to function well. I want you to know that some unpleasant symptoms are normal Day 3 – On day 3 you will have a large rise in ketones. There and natural. This is what you may expect on your fast: will be a further rise in autophagy, HGH, and stem cells. Your Day 1 – Unless you are already keto-adapted from practicing a blood sugar levels become more balanced. What does this mean for keto diet and intermittent fasting, your body is used to using sugar you? You will be feeling better! as a primary fuel source. During your 3-day fast, your body will You may notice pain reduction and more energy. Your brain adapt to using fat as fuel, resulting in an initial rise in your ketone loves using ketones for energy so you will be feeling mentally betlevels during the second half of your first day, with a period of adjustment. Don’t worry; becoming keto-adapted allows higher levels ter, sharper, and more alert. If you were not keto-adapted before, you may still experience occasional tiredness, brain fog, or other of cellular cleansing. unpleasant symptoms. By the time you will be ready to break your On your first day, you may experience some fatigue, mental fast, chances are that you will be feeling better than ever. lethargy, hunger, cravings, mood changes, increase urination, How to prepare for a 3-day fast – While going on a 3-day headaches, and sleep disturbances. This is nothing to be concerned fast is beneficial and healing for your body, it can also be a huge about. These are all happening because your body is adapting shock and stressful if you don’t prepare your body and mind well
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18 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
for your fast. To prepare for a 3-day fast, I generally recommend going on a ketogenic diet and practicing intermittent fasting for at least 2 to 3 weeks before your 3-day fast. This will help you to become keto-adapted and put your body into a fat-burning mode, which will reduce your negative symptoms and ramp up your benefits. Trying one or two 20- to 24-hour fasts the couple weeks leading up to your 3-day fast may also be beneficial. Here are more tips: 1. Create a low-stress schedule – During your fast, your body will be cleansing and repairing. Stress can be incredibly draining on your body, mind, and soul. A 3-day fast is time for healing. Find ways to reduce stressors in your life. Meditate, pray, journal, and relax. 2. Do your best to avoid negative people – Negative people in your life can increase your stress levels and drag you down. During your 3-day fast, try to distance yourself from people who bring you down. Surround yourself with supporting individuals and practice the attitude of gratitude for the loving people in your life. 3. Get plenty of filtered water – Hydration is key when you are fasting. As your body uses up stored sugar from your muscles and liver and your insulin levels drop, you may experience dehydration. This is why it’s crucial that you drink at least an ounce of water per pound of your body weight. 4. Have some good salts available – Using good quality salts, such as Himalayan sea salt, Celtic sea salt, or Redmond’s real salt, helps to maintain electrolyte balance while fasting. If you feel tired or dizzy during your 3-day fast, mix a pinch of salt with 4 to 8 ounces of water or simply put it under your tongue. 5. Schedule a spa day – During your 3-day fast, you will be saving money on food. Use this money to pamper yourself. Get a massage. Go to a sauna. Relax. 6. Avoid the kitchen if possible – The kitchen can be a tempting place and remind you of all the good food you are not
eating. Avoiding your kitchen is the best way to reduce emotional cravings and temptations. If you have cravings or feel hungry, drink some water or herbal tea. If you are normally in charge of cooking for your family, ask for help for three days or cook for them ahead of time. 7. Drink strategically – During your 3-day fast, the most likely time you will feel hungry is around your normal meal and snack times. Make sure to drink plenty of water or herbal tea during these times. 8. Try a sweet drink – If you are missing flavor or feel deprived during your 3-day fast, try a calorie-free lemonade by adding organic lemon juice and a bit of stevia to your water. A bit of sweetness can make your 3-day fast much easier. 9. Get grounded daily – Grounding has many benefits, including more energy, relaxation, mental clarity, and feeling of connection. Stand or walk barefoot outside. If it’s cold outside, try a few minutes in your socks, as long as you can tolerate it. 10. Get sunshine each day if possible – Sunshine helps to stimulate vitamin D, enhances fat burning, and boosts your mood. As long as the sun is out, make sure to get some sunshine. You may combine this with your grounding practice and walks. 11. Move your body – While I recommend that you stay away from serious exercise during your 3-day fast, going out and taking some easy walks can be helpful. It stimulates your circulation and lymphatic system and boosts your mood as well. Aim for 10 to 15 minutes 3 to 5 times a day or whatever feels best for your body. 12. Give yourself permissions to rest – Our society puts so much emphasis on productivity and hustle. Give yourself permission to take it easy during your 3-day fast. Take naps, take a warm bath, try some essential oils, journal, meditate, and simply relax. n Rosie Main, D.C., owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. For more information, visit MaximizedLivingDrMain.com.
Christian Living | January / February 2021 19
Casey & Andrea Dillabaugh
A business and mini
By Gaye Bunderson Anyone who might ask entrepreneurs Casey and Andrea Dillabaugh, “Is that any way to run a business?” could be told without hesitation, “Absolutely affirmative.” That's because the manager duo sticks to a threefold plan to care for their staff, customers and community – and, yes, caring is key to their success. The Dillabaughs own Dillabaugh's Flooring America, a business that has been in the Dillabaugh family since 1982. For Casey, involvement in the company goes way back to when he was a boy of 12 and his father put him to work. “He had me working with the installation crews,” Casey said. In fact, the patriarch had his son working in a number of departments, including accounting. It was a foundation in the family firm that Casey would leave for while, return to, and eventually build upon – all in God's perfect plan and timing. As for Andrea, her involvement didn't come until after she and
Casey met while attending Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego; they got married right after graduation. Then the newlyweds both got jobs in San Diego. However, a God-motivated life change was ultimately on its way. “In 2008, the Lord laid it on my heart that it was time to begin the transition of taking over the family business,” Casey said. When he told Andrea what God had shown him, she admits she was initially surprised. Then God worked on her heart too, until they both realized that the move wasn't going to be 'just business.' “We weren't being called back to Boise just to sell carpet,” Casey said. The plan was bigger than that. The business was also going to be a ministry. “Carpet – flooring – was a means to reach people and to further His kingdom,” Andrea said.
Andrea and Casey Dillabaugh are seated with their three children, from left: Kendall, age 9; Caleb, age 4; and Kyla, age 7. Right: Andrea and Casey Dillabaugh created a program they call Dillabaugh’s Restores, emphasizing “Hope Love Community.” The couple is shown here during the 2020 kickoff of the giving-back program. (Photos by Jennifer Whittig Photography)
20 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
istry model of caring If it sounds a bit unconventional for a ministry field, Casey explained that when he would go to church and see a map of the world designating all the places missionaries were serving, he'd wonder how he could possibly do something like that. He had family and other commitments right here in the U.S. He experienced a bit of a revelation when he realized that you don't have to go somewhere else in the world to be a missionary and serve the Lord and other people – you can do it right here at home, even from a flooring store. “We're here to love; this is our mission field,” he said. He explained his and Andrea's business-ministry model this way. “We live to love on three different platforms: “The first platform is, we want to love our staff. We want them to be safe and secure; we want them to make a healthy living and have benefits. “The second platform is, we want to love our clients. We want them to feel loved and heard; we don't want them to feel like they're just a transaction. “The third platform is to love on our community.” One creative way that Dillabaugh's recently created to love on the community is a program they call Dillabaugh's Restores (www.dillabaughsrestores.com), a way of giving back. The couple researches charities and “does a lot of praying about it,” said Andrea. They then select five philanthropies and have creative t-shirts made with the organizations' logos on them – and this is where Dillabaugh clients enter the picture. “We wanted the clients to be involved,” Casey said. “They get to choose a charity.” He explained that when clients sign the paperwork for their purchases, the salesperson asks them which of the five charities they'd like to support by selecting a t-shirt that highlights that charity. When a charity is chosen by a client, the Dillabaughs donate $5 to that organization. The clients are given information about the charity they chose, so that, if they're wearing the shirt and someone asks about it, they're ready with an explanation. (There is no obligation, of course, but most people enjoy the opportunity to, as the Dillabaughs put it, “be a hero to a variety of well-deserving organizations.”) Organizations' charitable work has included assistance for cancer patients; help for abandoned animals; service to military families; and more. “Over time, the program has gotten bigger,” Casey said. He continued: “The why behind the program is that we have a unique platform with a relatively large business. We wanted to raise not just money but awareness about the non-profits we help.” The Dillabaughs have not been without their own challenges. They returned to Boise in 2008, right in the middle of a major recession. Andrea said that while it was a bit scary and sometimes quite difficult, they continued to trust God. “It was amazing watching the transition from Casey's dad owning the company to Casey taking it over, and they worked together on it. There were hard years, and we had to make changes,” she said.
Casey confirmed her view and stated, “Hindsight is 2020. Looking back, I see that God knew exactly what He was doing. In 2008, when the economy was crashing, my dad and me together learned much through the recession and weathering that storm. It prepared us to handle the COVID-19 better. God writes the story; we're a part of the story, and He directs it.” Regarding the pandemic, Casey said, “We shut our doors for a while.” But Dillabaugh's isn't just a retail store. It sells product when homes are built, and sells to commercial enterprises. When construction was deemed an essential business, there was still revenue coming in. “And when we unlocked our doors, business came back strong,” Casey said. “All through my life, God knew exactly what He was doing, and the skills I would need.” Casey and Andrea bought the business on January 1, 2015. Asked if they feel any pressure to act differently when clients and staff are watching them as believers, Casey said, “When people see our lives, it piques their curiosity.” But he said he feels no pressure to be perfect, since he walks in grace. “I am a self-described sinner. There are 115 people on staff who are imperfect.” “What the Lord has done in the business, and His hand on the staff... We have been with them in their joys and in their tragedies,” Andrea said. “We have been in the hospital with some of our staff, praying for them.” “We walk alongside our staff – there's not a lot of places that do that,” Casey said. “There is a Dillabaugh family,” Andrea said, meaning employees and clients. But there is also a Dillabaugh family of two parents and three kids. Both Casey and Andrea come from families of faith and were brought up Christian from the beginning of their lives. They are raising their own children the same way. Their daughter Kendall is 9 and in the fourth grade. “She has a heart for the Lord and loves worship music,” her mom said. “Our daughter Kyla is in first grade, and she has experienced a hearing loss and wears hearing aids. She calls them 'her pretties',” Andrea said. “She's a tough kid and won't let her deafness stop her.” Caleb is 4 and his dad said he's “pure boy.” He recently learned a new prayer in school and taught it to the rest of the family over dinner. There is a huge chalkboard at the Dillabaugh's store at 2895 S. Federal Way in Boise, and a large chalk message is written on it. It is a statement very important to Casey and Andrea. In reads, in part: “The abundance of good that resides in the community leaves
us humbled and blessed, yet obedient to the tremendous responsibility as stewards not just to our clients but to those less fortunate.”
“We don't see people as transactions,” Casey said. “We want to serve them, not sell them. After almost 40 years in business, we've been blessed.” n
Christian Living | January / February 2021 21
THE DAYS of Noah — Part 2
Ark construction goes on amidst ridicule By Bethany Riehl
A note from the author: The Days of Noah is a three-part fictional work based on biblical truth. Every effort has been made to stay within the confines of Scripture while exercising creative liberty to bring this time in human history to life. While the Bible tells us very little about this era, we can piece together a vibrant picture from what we know of the nature of man and of God as is told throughout Scripture. My hope is that you’ll be inspired to seek out the truth for yourself and see the ways our current times parallel the time of the Flood just as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24. Sweat dripped from Shem’s forehead, stinging his eyes. He paused to rub his face against one shoulder before lifting another chunk of stone from the rubble beneath his feet. Exhaustion pulled at him and the next rock slipped from his numb fingers, clattering down the pile. The muffled voice pleading for help from under the pile was growing faint and chaos all around him had swelled to a fever pitch. More destructive than the stampede were those clambering in and out of shops, taking what they could, fighting one another for anything of value. A woman darted by, an assortment of valuables in her arms. A man grabbed her hair from behind and she grabbed a chunk of stone from the pile and turned to slam it against the man’s face. He lost his grip on her tunic as he fell back. She fled, laughing. Despair burned through Shem. Beneath the next stone, he saw a small fist. Adrenaline surged and Shem called out to his brother Japheth. Together they pulled a small woman from the rubble. Her cloak was torn and covered in dust. Tangled black hair veiled her face and neck. Shem’s attention was pulled away as a mob began to form down the street. “We need to get her out of here.” The woman groaned in pain as they lifted her. Dark eyes rolled back in her head and she went still. Together they carried her down the street. Their father Noah and brother Ham waited near the edge of the city. “We couldn’t get to anyone else,” Noah said. It wasn’t until they had brought the woman into the main house and settled her on a mat near the stove that Shem realized she was one of the women that had tried to rob him. *** Light and shadow danced behind Zahara’s closed eyelids. She began to open them only to slam them shut against the bright sunshine. Then she remembered – the loud roar as the brontosauruses rushed through the city. Her sister Magara pulling at her, but Zahara dropping to the ground in fear, scrambling back against a shop wall. Magara left her, disappearing around a corner just as the herd thundered up the street. One slammed into the corner of the building and a wall of stones fell on top of Zahara before she could flee. As sounds of chaos erupted all over and hope began to fade, light penetrated her prison and a hand reached down to save her. Zahara tried opening her eyes again, slowly adjusting to the sunlight that filtered in from a window. She laid in the corner of a large room near a weaver’s loom. Shelves lined one wall, filled with different sizes of pottery. In the opposite corner an older woman was seated at a potter’s wheel. Stone ground against stone as she turned a jar on the wheel, humming to herself. She exuded a peace Zahara had never known. She watched, unnoticed as the woman formed the clay into a jar. When the woman was finished, she turned the wheel again, hands running over the outside. She paused, a frown pulling at her lips. Without warning, she mashed the creation back to a shapeless lump of clay. Zahara gasped and the woman looked up. A smile broke over her face and she stood, wiping her hands on a cloth. “It’s so good to see you awake. We’ve been praying…” She stood and ladled soup from a pot perched on the edge of the stove’s opening into a bowl and brought it to Zahara.
22 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
“I’m Emzara. Can you can drink some of this soup?” She set the bowl on a small table nearby and reached to help Zahara move into a sitting position. Zahara was sore all over, but her stomach cramped as the tantalizing aroma of the broth wafted on the air. “Let’s start with just a little bit, okay? You’ve certainly been through something. God must have been watching over you.” Emzara lifted the edge of the bowl to Zahara’s mouth. “Why?” Zahara finally whispered, once she’d eaten what she could. Emzara wrinkled her forehead. “Why, what?” “Why did you destroy it?” Emzara only smiled and helped Zahara lie back down. “It spoiled in my hand. I’ll remake it into another.” Puzzled, Zahara fell back to sleep. For the next few days each time she awoke, Emzara or one of the other women in the home would bring her water or soup. She began to stay awake longer, watching the family move throughout their strange routines. They spoke of food storage, animal care, and more that she couldn’t understand. Such an odd family. She’d never known anyone like them. From the way they behaved, always a basket to weave, pitch to mix, herbs to dry, and scrolls to consult, it was clear they were working on something. They repeatedly spoke of an “ark.” Most intriguing was their nightly routine. They sat together each evening after dinner while Noah read to them from various scrolls before they prayed together. For peace, for the repentance of the people of earth, for stamina and direction as they built the ark. Ten days after the stampede, after Japheth’s wife Adah had brought Zahara her portion of the meal, she finally asked the questions that had plagued her for days: what they were reading, who they were praying to, and, most importantly, what was the ark they spoke of ? All eyes turned to Noah. A warm smile lit his eyes and he came close to sit near her and began to recite the words she had read on Shem’s scroll before the stampede. “We read the account of creation as told by Adam. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and all that roam on the land and in the sea. Everything that has been made was by Him and for Him. That is who we pray to – the One true God. He formed Adam – the first man – from the dust and breathed life into him; then fashioned Eve – his wife – from Adam’s rib. God made them in His image…” Zahara listened as Noah spoke of Adam and Eve living in fellowship with God, before they sinned and were separated from Him. He spoke of God’s promise of a future man to crush the head of the serpent who had deceived Eve, and of the difficulty that followed them outside of the garden. Their sin had spread to taint the earth; even animals had grown violent as they had seen just days ago with the stampede. “Though the world is filled with sin, some have remained righteous. My ancestor, Enoch, walked with God and didn’t taste death because the Lord took him. Years ago, the Lord told me He is sending a flood to cleanse the earth and make it new. He instructed me to build an ark so that I, my sons and our wives would be saved from the wrath to come. We’ve spent nearly one hundred years devoting our lives to this work.” Zahara looked to Emzara. “You believed him?” “What Noah didn’t tell you is that when the Lord spoke to him, we had been married many years and had no children, yet the Lord spoke of sons. Soon after this, Japheth was born, my first confirmation that it was true. I know it’s hard to take in; even harder to believe. God is the Potter, the Creator of all things. By His grace, He’s not just destroying it all. He’s provided the plans and means for us to make this. We’ve had years to store food and prepare. He will make His creation into something new.” Zahara thought of the jar she’d seen Emzara crush that first morning. “But you’re saying God will destroy everyone who lives; what of mercy?”
Noah spoke up. “The people of earth have had one hundred years of mercy. Day after day men and women have come from all around to see the ark and to mock us. I preach righteousness daily but no one will listen. If they would repent, perhaps the Lord would stay His plans.” An ache pushed inside of her, so strong it felt she would tear in two. “I want to see it.” Noah nodded. “Tomorrow.” The next morning Emzara removed the bindings around Zahara’s bruised ribs and helped her to stand. Embarrassed by her stiff, awkward movements, she concentrated on what she would find outside. Bethany The courtyard outside of the main house was just as busy as inside. Japheth and Ham were scraping large boards; their wives, Adah and Keziah were tending a large garden. A kiln stood at the edge of the house, a large fire pit for the second firing next to it. Both were lit and full of Emzara’s pots Shem had taken from the house that morning. Beyond the busy courtyard was a large, looming structure. It stretched wide and stood over three stories tall with a large opening in the center, a ramp leading to it. Hammering echoed from inside. “The ark?” Zahara asked, awestruck by its size. “God’s mercy,” Emzara corrected. The others joined as Emzara helped her up the ramp. The inside was even more impressive than the outside. Three decks rose above them, circling the walls with an opening in the middle from floor to ceiling. Windows at the top filtered light down through the space. The lower deck was filled wall-to-wall with stone jars, neatly organized and secured with rope.
“Food and water storage,” Emzara explained. They found Shem on the second deck, hammering a gate into place on a cage. The deck was filled with hundreds of similar cages. “God told us to take animals; two of each kind, male and female, and enough food for all of us during the Flood, and after.” Some cages were small and stacked on one another, others nearly as tall as the ceiling. Each was fitted with a clay jar that opened to a trough at the bottom. A pipe stretched from the pot to large funnels at the top. Ramps above them gave access to the tops of the cages and more funnels with each cage. “To get food to the animals more efficiently,” they
said. On the upper deck were separate living spaces for each couple, and one for Shem. She refrained from asking why Shem would be the only one that didn’t have a mate in the “new world.” But the red in his cheeks told her he knew what she was thinking. The rest of the upper deck held a shared kitchen, large pantry, a room for woodworking, another for metal works, and a library filled with scrolls. Zahara wanted to flee from their words and frightening predictions. And yet, the truth held her in place. She stood on one hundred years of toil, sweat, and devotion that spoke of unwavering faith in their God. She’d lain awake all night thinking of it; seeing it in living color was overwhelming. What if it was all true? “I need to find my sister.” n
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 23
PASS it On!
Why leaving your life story is so important By Ellen Cole Landreth “Memories – we go through life collecting them whether we will or not. Let us make them carefully of all good things, rejoicing in the wonderful truth that while we are laying up for ourselves the very sweetest and best of happy memories, we are at the same time giving them to others.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
I would have loved it! How about you? Let me assure you, it will also impact those who come after you. Just think, you can help one of your descendants perhaps even come to faith in Jesus after reading how God led and guided your life. Don’t preach, just share your heart for God. After writing my story for years, reading scores of other life-story writing books, and teaching many life-story writing classes, I came up with a simple idea to create a timeline of your life. It’s called PASS IT ON and will make creating this timeline simple. It becomes the outline of your life. As it begins taking shape, you will realize God’s blessings and guidance, observing His faithfulness throughout your life. You will gain a whole new perspective of how you lived your life and how God was ever-pres-
Your life is every bit as valuable and interesting as the life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yours is a precious collection of forget-menots, personal memories that should be passed down to coming generations! To your family Ellen Cole Landreth you are the connection, the bridge between your remarkable past and the present day. Unent with you. less you leave your personal information behind you will be This PASS IT ON project is simpler than writing the story of forgotten within two generations. I know that as a fact because your life. It will help you create a year by year list of the events my grandmothers both died before I was born, and I have no of your life. You will start with the year you were born and evpersonal knowledge of them. They did not leave behind any personal information and it is in this sharing of personal infor- ery year up until today. For each year you will recall life-events that took place, historical happenings that impacted your life, mation that connections are created. inventions perhaps, key events and recall how God made HimUnless we take the time to write our faith-stories, we leave self evident to you. God’s working is often seen better looking our descendants without a bridge to what is most important in the rear-view mirror. Looking back over your life may help in our lives – our Savior Jesus Christ. Oh, how I would love to you gain a better perspective. It also provides therapeutic benknow my grandmothers’ faith-stories. This is a great void in efits. Some are able to let go of past mistakes and embrace the my life. In the mid 1990’s, feeling this void of not knowing my grand- inevitable passage of time. When all is said and done, we all long to know that our lives, mothers, I wanted to start writing my life-story. I wanted my struggles, and experiences meant something – that we made descendants to remember Grandma Ellen, not be unknown a difference to others – an eternal difference. This manual like my grandmothers were. It was not happening! In 1998 will help you jump-start your life-stories. I am available (in the I invited some neighbors to join me in this project. We used Treasure Valley) to hold a seven-week class for you and your the book, How to Write the Stories of Your Life, by Frank friends to help you gain confidence and get to writing. Email Thomas. (I still highly recommend this book.) The key to me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. You success was working together with others. Accountability kept can also purchase the book at www.lulu.com and invite some us moving forward. I used that book for many years, leading friends to join you in passing on your faith-stories. I can also many other groups of would-be story writers. help you get your stories published to share with your family. At some point, I came to realize that as good as passing Leaving a recorded history of your life is an important gift on our stories, even more valuable would be to include our to both you and your descendants. More than sharing your faith-stories. In recalling the stories of our life, let us recall the hand of God throughout our life. Let this be your testimony of stories, sharing your faith-stories is a rare opportunity to pass along specific wisdom, life lessons and point future generations faith to pass on to coming generations. Ask yourself, “Would to Christ. n I have liked my ancestors to leave their faith-stories for me?”
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Learn how to pass on your “forget-me-not” faith-stories to coming generations. Psalm 102:18
Write down for the coming generations what the LORD has done, so that people not yet born will praise him.
Ellen Landreth email@example.com
24 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
FIVE daily tips
Spiritual actions for a life of excellence The two things the Devil doesn’t want us to do: love God and love others. Therefore, the bigger the problem, the bigger the OPPORTUNITY to rise above the problem and continue loving God and loving others. This is not merely some self-help motivational slogan, it’s a reality. Remember a guy named David and the big problem he faced – Goliath? Remember a gal named Sarah and the big problem she faced – barrenness? One key for any victory is how we focus our mind. The Bible term to describe this process is called “renewing your mind.” Get rid of defeating thoughts from the world and replace them with spiritually awesome thoughts from God. Put off the old. Put on the new. Make our minds fresh and new to the moment. Spiritual realities, when believed, always trump the physical circumstances. (See Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:2223 and Colossians 3:9-10 for more about “renewing your mind.”)
By Steve Nelson
Recap of 2020
2020 was a year of OPPORTUNITY. Read that again, it was not a typo. Every year is an opportunity... to love God and love others. That’s what life is all about, Jesus taught us. (Mark 12:30-31) Once reminded of these priorities, the next question we must logically ask is: HOW do I love God and love others? In this article we will list five specific things we can each do to love God and love others. We can love God, respect God and please God by following God’s loving instructions, by following His “commandments” – not merely the “Ten Commandments,” but all throughout His Word the many things He teaches us on how to live life. Anything God tells us to do is in our best interest. It’s not “grievous,” not burdensome. It’s a joy. If we are loving God, we will be loving others. (1 John 5:3)
Continued on page 27
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 25
HOW should I be?
Behaving yourself isn’t just for kids By Roxanne Drury As a preschool teacher, I always felt it was important to share how a child’s day was with their parents. I also liked to capture things the children said. I would ask the children a leading question and then jot down their answers; and at the end of the year, I would provide the parents with what I called a Dictation Book. After one particularly bad behavior day – lots of tattling and bickering going on because that’s what 4- and 5-year-olds do, right? – I thought we needed to take a breather so I had everyone sit criss-cross on the floor. I turned out the lights and we sat in silence for about 3 minutes. To them, that was an eternity, and by the end of the 3 minutes, someone started giggling Roxanne and of course it had a ripple effect. Once the hilarity died down we were ready to have a talk, and I asked a leading question. “Okay,” I said, “we have had a hard time getting along today. Really, guys, how should we be?” That’s all I said. Micah’s hand shot up and he said, “I should be good and loving.” Brayden chimed in. “I should be nice.” Laura was more specific. “I should be nice to people.” Andrew piped up. “I should be a sharer.” And so it went. I should be: a listener of God, noble, kind and not listen to the devil, be myself and be good to God’s creatures, good to my friends, kind, forgiving, and on and on. These kids had it right. They just forgot for a moment. They were all caught up in doing what preschoolers do and they forgot how they should be. As adults, sometimes we forget how we should be. We get all caught up in the excitement of a kid’s baseball game and we forget. We get caught up in a heated political discussion and we forget. We get caught in the middle of a neighborhood dispute and we forget. When we feel ourselves being some way other than how we should be, it is time to stop and take a breather. Looking at how God is – His character – serves as a reminder and gives us a plumb line to hold ourselves up against. We are filled with God’s love – not dotted, not sprinkled, but filled. It should ooze out of us like the jelly when you bite into a jellyfilled donut. “...for we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” – Romans 5:5
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26 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
God is good. Even Jesus proclaimed God as good. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.” – Mark 10:18 Being good isn’t just about being obedient; it isn’t just for children. Oh, no! Being good can mean so much more: being honest, virtuous and noble, and having integrity. The Bible is very clear about how we should be. “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them Drury to do to you.” – Luke 6:27-31 Kids sometimes forget how they should be. Adults also sometimes forget how they should be. It is just a fact. I think God’s expectation of us is that we always aim to be the best person we can be. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Finally, brothers, farewell. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11 And Mark instructs, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Mark 5:48 Perfection is a pretty high bar. We won’t truly be perfect until we get to heaven, but we can aim for it now. Aim to be more Christ-like. Look inside yourself and see what area God might like to see you work on. I know what area He has pointed out to me. As you peer deep inside, go into it with an open heart and mind and a can-do attitude, claiming the verse: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 Let’s take it from the mouths of the babes and be how we should be. How much more beautiful our homes, our blocks, our towns, our cities, the world would be if everyone was how they should be. It could happen. But it has to start somewhere – let it be with me! I invite you to join me. n Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in children’s ministry for over 40 years and is currently on staff at Rockharbor Church.
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Continued from page 25
We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control what we do about it, right? Do we look only at the problems, and thus allow doubts, worries and fears to overwhelm us? Or do we look at the solution, and thus allow our eyes to be enlightened to see the best path God has prepared for us? Renewing our mind. Changing our mind. Transforming our mind. It is practical, simple and fundamental to success. In good years and in bad. 2020 was a “great year” because we had LOTS of opportunity to overcome troubles, didn’t we?
1. Study – We have the perfect instructions of life, in one convenient collection of writings, in a single book and written in our own language. Looked at it today yet? Search the Scriptures. (Acts 17:11) 2. Fellowship – Spend time with others who believe today. Fully share with one another, if possible in person, or on the phone. Be together with others who are good influences, who believe. (Acts 2:42) 3. Pray – Reach out to God. Out loud or in your mind. Do it alone or with others, often. Find promises in the Bible and claim them in the name of Jesus Christ, with confidence. (Acts 12:12) What to do in 2021 4. Give – In time, effort, finances and other Politics aside. Pandemics aside. Social conflicts resources. Not out of obligation, but out of a givaside. 2020 is over. 2021 is here. No matter how we ing lifestyle. Go big. Make a difference. Be the fuel did in 2020, we can’t change the past. Let’s make and muscle to the movement of God’s Word. (Acts 2021 the best year yet. Let’s seize the OPPORTUSteve Nelson 4:34-35) NITY to believe the Truth that has been laid at our 5. Speak – This requires opening our mouths. feet. No matter our race, culture, gender, age or People will never know what is available unless someone tells them. social class. The opportunity is for all to believe. Speak the good news. Tell about the greatest OPPORTUNITY Look at the OPPORTUNITIES, not the troubles that may come ever. (Acts 5:42) this year. Remain hopeful and encouraged. Be mindful of GOOD Scripture references above are from the “Book of Acts” or as news, such as... God is still on the throne and greater than the Devil some like to call it the “Book of Actions.” Follow the examples (1 John 4:4). And, God loves us and cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). And, of the first century believers by doing these actions DAILY. Jesus already defeated death, saved the world and is still comGod bless you! n ing back for us someday (1 Corinthians 15:57). How inspiring to remember these truths! Steve Nelson has been a Bible teacher for over 25 years. This article comes from Here are five things we can do, and indeed should do, to live a Segment 51 of “CORE,” a 24-hour course for families on how to read and life of excellence. By following this recipe, we will make a dynamic understand the Bible, now in digital format. See T4FAMILYCENTER.COM impact in this world, love God and love others. or reach Steve at T4FamilyCenter@gmail.com.
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 27
YOUR Daily Bread
2020 was a year of abundant generosity
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By Terry Frisk Happy new year! It feels good to put all the issues of 2020 behind us and greet the new year with renewed hope for the upcoming year. While there was much unrest over COVID-19, elections and racial tensions, there was one positive trend that emerged in 2020: generosity. In a report by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, charitable contributions in the first half of 2020 increased 7.5% from the first half of 2019. This is despite the increase in the unemployment rate from 3.5% at the beginning of the year spiking to 14.5% in April before settling back to 11.1% in June. In addition, GivingTuesday, the largest global generosity movement, reported that its December 1, 2020 one-day campaign received $2.47 billion in the United States alone. This was a 25% increase from the 2019 GivingTuesday campaign!
28 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
WOW! It seems that the worst of times brings out the best in many of us. This reminds me of the Scripture passage in Paul’s first letter to Timothy: “As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.” – 1 Timothy 6:17-19 While many people have struggled financially as a result of the economic issues of the year, many have prospered. God created us to be generous. It is natural for us to be thankful for the riches that God has given us and to share our rewards with others. In that act of sharing, we experience joy in “life that really is life.”
The renowned physicist Albert Einstein once said, “We know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all, for those smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.” This is why we celebrate the birth of our Savior by sharing the rewards of our good works through our gifts to others and, in so doing, bring great joy to us. Generosity not only brings us Terry Frisk joy, but we also reap rewards for our generosity. The cliché, “What goes around comes around” is generally used in the context of mistreating others. But the opposite is also true. Generosity begets generosity. Jesus stated this: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 We know this to be true with friends and family. Those that we extend generosity to will reciprocate with generosity. Taking this concept to a higher level by practicing extreme generosity with those you do not even know will return even greater rewards. This does not mean a lapful of money will fall from Heaven. It means that people will respond warmly to your generosity and kind deeds. In her book, In the Garden of Delight, Lily Hardy Hammond wrote, “You don’t pay love back, you pay it forward.” This is widely considered the origin of the phrase “Pay it forward.” I have this written on Post-it notes hanging in my home, office and vehicle as a reminder to perform random acts of kindness each day. The personal rewards these random acts have brought include much joy. Advent season is a time of great generosity. Keep the momentum going into the new year. Experience the joys and rewards for your continued generosity. Let’s make 2021 the best year ever! n Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s group to hold Wild Game Feed Payette Church of the Nazarene’s Men’s Group will be holding its annual Wild Game Feed on Saturday, February 6. This annual men’s dinner will take place from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., with guest speaker Pastor Ken Groves from Calvary Chapel in Bangor, Maine sharing from 7 to 8 p.m. (The dinner is for men only, but the speaking portion is open to families as well). Dinner is $8 and includes a raffle ticket to win a Remington 870 shotgun (100 max dinner attendance). A love offering for Pastor Groves’ live-in discipleship program will be taken, and there will be a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for the Payette Nazarene’s Men’s Group. For information, call 208-642-3139. n
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God Bless The U.S.A.! Christian Living | January / February 2021 29
“I GET TO!”®
Replace regret with a reset mindset
Alfred read the obituary and was appalled at By Joan Endicott the idea that he would be remembered in this “What is happening to me?” I thought. It’s way. His decision to posthumously donate the Saturday afternoon and I’m now in the fetal majority of his wealth ($250,000,000 by today’s position on my bed. My spine is on fire – my standards) to found the Nobel Prize has been joints are screaming in pain. “Dear God, please credited, at least in part, to him wanting to help me!” leave behind a better legacy. (Source: WikipeMy husband Mark quickly called the doctor’s dia) after-hours emergency number to see what I first heard about Mr. Nobel’s decision to could be done. “My wife’s in terrible pain. She redirect his life years ago from my dear mentook one pill of the prescription you gave her tor and the leadership legend, Ken Blanchard. earlier today.” He shared the side effects I was What impacted me further was hearing how Alexperiencing. “If I take her to the Emergency fred’s story personally impacted Ken, and what Room, can anything be done to reverse this he did with it. drug? Is there any antidote to counteract these Ken shared with me, “Hearing the story of terrible effects?” Alfred Nobel motivated me to create my own Joan Endicott “No, there is nothing that can reverse it – no purpose statement so I wasn’t having others tell antidote. It just needs to run its course,” the me who I was. My purpose statement is, ‘To doctor told him. Even more concerning was that this was an be a loving teacher and example of simple truths that help extremely high dose, a one-week time-release pill I had taken myself and others to awaken to the presence of God in our at noon. It was only afternoon and my body was in full-on lives so we realize we’re here to serve and not to be served.’” rebellion from this drug that was poison to my system. Don’t you love that? In addition to his purpose itself, I loved In addition to the physical pain, enormous regret set in. hearing why it became so important to Ken to write it: So I Questions began bombarding my brain: “Oh Joan, why did wasn’t having others tell me who I was. Friend, if you ever you take that stupid pill? Why didn’t you do more research… feel off-purpose or a lack of clarity on who you are or what ask more questions…get other expert opinions, before acting you’re here for, this is the perfect time to start writing your own on one doctor’s recommendation?” statement. After all, isn’t that what life is all about – to live onpurpose for the purpose for which God put you here? I hope Regret: To feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over [something that Ken’s example inspires you to start yours today! has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity]. Also think about Paul, who used to be Saul. He certainly had a great deal to regret from his life prior to his real-life, comeRegret can come by our own hand, by others, or life circum- to-Jesus, road-to-Damascus experience. Having been a chief stances. But no matter the source I’m sure you’ll agree, regret persecutor of Christians, can you imagine the potential for is one of life’s biggest thieves. Every time you think about regret? Of all people, he would have every reason to wallow in something in the past that you can do nothing to fix, change or past failures and allow them to swallow any present and future control, you just wasted even more irreplaceable moments of positive performance, but he did not! your life. Is that worth the price it demands? Left unchecked, Phil. 3:12-14 (NIV) – “Not that I have already obtained all regret is like a cancer that will consume everything in its path. this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold One of the greatest challenges we face in life is to have a of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not series of struggles, stumbles and setbacks and still choose the consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: courage David demonstrated when facing Goliath, to overForgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I come our own giants. That is exactly what separates those who press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called will stay in the Land of Regret by giving up on what could be me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” next, and those who look back long enough to learn life lesIn the study footnote it makes the distinction that, “Forgetting is not about losing all memory of his sinful past but sons, then choose to begin again. So why do they get up and get going? Because they know that what’s even harder than the leaving it behind him as done with and settled.” Looking back should be with a specific, empowering purpose struggle itself is living with having given up. of learning, growing and helping ourselves and others to live A powerful example of one who chose to let go of the past our divine destiny even more effectively. and begin again is Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engi“So, what do I do when I can’t undo what was neer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He held 355 done?” different patents, dynamite being the most famous. Though In the midst of that medical emergency, here’s what helped it appears his intention for this invention was for mining and me move on: commercial use, it did end up being used in war. 1. Replace Regret with a Reset Mindset – Remind In 1888 when Alfred’s brother Ludvig died, a French newsyourself that regret offers you zero benefit. You have the power paper mistakenly published Alfred’s obituary instead. The to reset your mindset to positive forward thinking – which obituary stated, Le marchand de la mort est mort (“The results in positive action. merchant of death is dead”) and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred 2. Ask yourself only empowering questions, not Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people disempowering ones: “What is the best thing I can do right faster than ever before, died yesterday.” now?” Not, “Why’d you do such a stupid thing?”
30 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
CHURCH DIRECTORY 3. W.I.N. – To take any situation and make it a “WIN”, ask “What Is Next?” or “What’s most Important Now?” Make a list of your options. 4. Ask for Help! If you, too, are someone who hesitates to ask for help, I have two words for you: Stop it! I’m not sure why, but some of us really hesitate to ask for help. NEWS FLASH: We all need help! God designed us for community. 5. Find Treasures in the Trial – Some of life’s gifts are wrapped in struggle paper. Your brain is wired to find what you decide you’re going to look for. I can regret what is lost or reset my thinking and choose to look at what is left. Where did I see God’s blessings? What am I grateful for? I love the healing hope delivered in Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” WOW! Just pause for a moment to ponder and breathe in that beautiful, blessed truth of God’s character. His mercies are new every single morning. No matter where you are in life, if your heart is beating and you’re breathing, it’s not too late. In fact, today my friend, is your day – the exact right time for you to begin again. Hope is on your horizon! n Grab your FREE copy of Joan’s “I Get To!”® book at JoanEndicott.com and sign up for her FREE blog videos. Joan Endicott is an Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, Author of “I Get To!”® founder of GIANT-Slayer Coaching and “WOW!” Women Owning Their Worth©. Her coaching reaches over 30 countries. Follow her on FB and IG for more encouraging words!
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For information on adding your church to this directory, please call 208-703-7509 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Christian Living | January / February 2021 31
THE ROAD Less Traveled
Adventure is the response to inner longing By Jason Herring Years ago a friend gave me a copy of Jim Wickwire’s Addicted to Danger. Wickwire was the first American to summit K2 – the second tallest mountain in the world and considered the most dangerous. The mortality rate is so high for those attempting to summit the “Savage Mountain” that you would have better odds of surviving Omaha Beach on D-Day than making it down from K2 alive. Two years ago in Seattle there was a 40th anniversary celebration of the American summit of K2 held at The Mountaineers Club. Wickwire, who happens to be a good friend of mine, invited me to attend. Twelve of the fourteen members of the 1978 expedition were there to tell their stories, including Jim Whittaker, the expedition leader and the first American to stand on the summit of Mount Everest in 1963. I was in awe. Hearing the stories behind the stunning pictures that were taken with the finest Kodak of its day set my imagination on fire. These men and women were pioneers. They put four of their team on the summit and lived to tell about it. And for the United States, they were the first. In the ensuing decades, climbing has become more en vogue as thousands of adventurers and would-be-mountaineers head for the hills. Consider the fact that in 1963 there was only one expedition on Mount Everest that put five Americans and one Sherpa on the summit, bringing the total to a dozen people who had stood on the highest point on the planet. Today, nearly 800 people attempt to summit every year, and as of 2018 there have been 9,159 successful summit attempts. In 1963, California’s El Capitan had been climbed by only two routes whereas today there are more than 70 lines up the 2,700 foot face. If you had the time and money to climb Everest today it would be nothing like what Jim Whittaker and the American team experienced in 1963. Today, base camp at Mount Everest is a global village during climbing season. And you’re
probably familiar with the photo taken last year of the human traffic jam near the Hillary Step, with climbers standing shoulder to shoulder like Disney vacationers shuffling along for a few hours to experience Peter Pan’s Flight. The only difference is that you don’t freeze to death or die from a buildup of fluid in your lungs or brain while waiting on your trip to Neverland. In Limits of the Known, David Roberts bemoans the fact that the “highest and hardest mountains of the world have been tamed” and “climbed out”. He ponders whether caving or “spelunking” is the next great uncharted territory where explorers are still searching to find the Mount Everest of caves. Such men who are driven to be the first – or at least among the first – are drawn farther into the wilderness to remote peaks and ranges to make first conquest. And yet even on the well worn paths there are always more “firsts”. In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to summit Everest, and 64-year-old Sherman Bull became the oldest. In 2003, 21-year-old Jess Roskelley became the youngest climber to summit Mount Everest. In 2006, Sophia Danenberg became the first black woman and first black American to reach the summit. In 2010, 13-year-old Jordan Romero became the youngest person to summit Everest, breaking previous records. Three years later Eli Reimer became the first teenager with Down Syndrome to climb to Everest Base Camp. In these few examples you can see that these adventurers used their age, ethnicity, gender, and disability as an opportunity and not a handicap. The road well worn by so many others was still the road less travelled for them. In 2016, I climbed my first mountain when I reached the summit of Mount Borah, Idaho’s tallest peak. The sign at the trailhead informed me that between three and four thousand people attempt to climb Borah every year. By alpinist standards this was a simple “walk-up”, and only a short section known as “Chicken-Out Ridge” qualified as a Category 3
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32 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
scramble. But none of that mattered any more post pictures of his latest Spartan Race and than the eight other climbers I met on the thinking, “I would like to do that!” Or like mountain that day. At 12,667 feet it was the knowing that you’ve always wanted to serve, most thrilling and terrifying thing that I had but it wasn’t until you heard an advocate for ever done. I was hooked. For the first time I women and children being trafficked that you heard the mountains calling, and I wanted found your outlet or calling. Adventure is gomore. ing on a mission to a third world country as Idaho has nine peaks that are over twelve much as climbing a mountain. thousand feet called “12ers”. I am only one Stepping outside of your comfort zone summit away from completing my goal, at has become so clichéd, but it still rings true. which point I will join a list of over 214 finishOnly when we step out in faith or when we ers. It’s not pioneering by any stretch, but it are forced out by fate into the unknown are Jason Herring feels like pioneering to me – especially when we able to conquer our doubts and fears and you’re on a summit chase where the trail disappears and you self-imposed limitations. Only then is our ego subdued as have to do your own route finding. And when you compare we learn to rely on God who sees what we cannot see, who the number of people who choose a weekend at the lake or knows what we do not know, and who is already present in an afternoon in the park to those who ascend Idaho’s wilderwhere we are yet to be. As Jim Whittaker said, “You never ness temples, it certainly seems like the road less travelled. conquer a mountain. Mountains can’t be conquered. You But the point is not whether the road is less travelled or well conquer yourself.” n worn by others. The point is that the road is new for you. For you, it is the road never-before-travelled. “For you have not Jason Herring is a father to four amazing kids and husband to his wife, passed this way before” (Joshua 3:4). Life brings us opportunity Suzanne, of 21 years. In 2009 they experienced two miscarriages and for adventure. Adventure is always there beyond the limits of the loss of their 4-year-old son Josiah to cancer. In the wake of that devthe known. It might be volunteering at a food bank, a homeastation, Jason has sought to share hope with others who walk that same less shelter, or your local church to serve in a new capacity. valley. He is passionate about his family, mountains, Spartan Races, Adventure happens when we respond to a sudden awakening history books, writing, and speaking on the grace of God. of an inner longing that is often hidden. Like seeing a friend
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Christian Living | January / February 2021 33
Read through the Bible in one year Facts about the Bible:
• Written by forty different authors • Written over a period of 1,500 years • Divided into two main parts— Old and New Testaments or 66 “books” • Old Testament is an account of a nation through whom Jesus would be born • 39 “books” in the Old Testament
• New Testament is an account of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ • 27 “books” in the New Testament • The Bible was written under the guidance of God to bless humanity by revealing His presence and forgiveness in our lives because of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. • Jesus loves us this we know for the Bible tells us so.
34 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
Image by meneya from Pixabay
Why read and/or listen to the Bible?
1. The subconscious mind takes in EVERYTHING we see, hear, read and experience and adds it to the “data bank” tucked away in the brain. 2. The subconscious mind doesn’t make choices; it accepts EVERYTHING—good & bad, positive & negative and adds to the “data bank.” 3. Our beliefs and values are formed out of this “data bank” we have amassed over a lifetime and affect our every conscious choice. 4. Therefore, whatever the subconscious regularly “feeds on” most affects our conscious choices. 5. Daily we are seeing, hearing, reading and experiencing input from our world. Daily we need to input God’s Word in order to overcome the negative, Godless influence that bombards our thoughts. 6. God Himself works through His Word so by feeding your subconscious a steady diet of His Word you will reap the many rewards God has in store for you. 7. Increase the benefits by praying as you read for understanding and guidance from God. 8. By reading or listening to the Bible in the hearing of your children you will add positive input into their subconscious minds and bless not only their lives but the lives of future generations. 9. You can make it through the entire Bible in a year by listening or reading three chapters a day and five on Sunday. Keep track of your progress with this chart and request a certificate when completed. 10. Abraham Lincoln said: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.” n Compiled by Vernon & Ellen Landreth. For more information, email email@example.com.
Christian Living | January / February 2021 35
Do you attend a ‘Country Club Church’?
Photo by Philips Wei at pexels.com
By Joel Lund
What The World Doesn’t Need: The Country Club Church
Does pairing “country club” with “church” grate on your sensibilities? If it does, then I am much pleased and we’re halfway home. To get the rest of the way there, let’s unpack the differences between a country club and the church, as well as examine how devastating the result is when they are paired together. Because there are a staggering number of just such pairs, and the world is worse for it. A quick search using “What is a country club?” delivers nearly 3 billion results in under a second. To simplify our lives, here is a brief definition: A country club is a privately owned club where members join through an admittance process or sponsorship. They typically offer a wide variety of opportunities that appeal to their members with shared interests. Did you spot the problem? It’s not in the definition, but in the implications that come from it. Because by replacing the first eight words, we have a comfortable definition for the church: A church is a religious organization where members join through an admittance process or sponsorship. They typically offer a wide variety of opportunities that appeal to their members with shared interests.
36 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
Both sound quite nice, don’t they? Everything in it’s place, beautiful grounds, pleasant behaviors, no one out of line, and plenty of opportunities to feel a comfortable, gratifying sense of belonging. And certainly, nothing to disturb or challenge those “member benefits.” Except that’s not what a church is intended to be. The more a church seeks to be nice, pleasant, beautiful, and the provider of opportunities, the more aligned it is to a country club.
The Church As Country Club
The church as a country club is not a new problem. In Revelation 3, the church of Laodicea incurs severe criticism from God: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Ouch! Can you imagine being a member of that church, hearing the Lord intends to spit you out? But that’s also interesting, isn’t it? Normally, we’d think that “lukewarm” is pleasant; it neither threatens scolding heat nor frigid cold. Members of a church like this wouldn’t require much, would they? In fact, who wouldn’t want to be a member there? Everything would be just so, the facility would be very nice, and there would be loads of opportunities to feel a gratifying sense of belonging. Most importantly, there would be nothing to disturb the delicate sensibilities of its members. After a year like 2020? Sign me up! So, why did this church receive such a stern rebuke? The short answer is this: they were so earthly minded they were of no heavenly good. We see that here: “For you say, I am rich,
I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Ouch, again! This church took pride in its wealth. It gloated in its prosperity. It arrogantly believed it lacked for nothing. Oh, oh! Before you indulge the impulse to scoff at such a shallow and haughty church, take a moment to reflect on how mainstream this condition is. It’s not as if we’re immune from desiring wealth, prosperity and comforts. Indeed, isn’t that the foundation for human Joel conflicts? We must examine ourselves – and our own church – for these attitudes, because they take us in entirely the wrong direction (Lk 9:23).
Is Your Church Spit-Worthy?
My entire life has revolved around the church. My father was a minister for 30+ years. My wife and I have been involved in full-time church work, as well as volunteering in many ways, also for 30+ years. From this context we could, like kids on the playground, show you our “church scars.” But the odds are, you could, too. Comparing our scars might have some therapeutic value. “Hey, you think that’s something? Well, take a look at this baby!” It might even lead to useful insights. Still, the risk of using those scars as an excuse to stand in judgment over the church is very real, and that would do nothing to build up the church, which is the whole point of God’s stern rebuke of the country club church. They weren’t doing anything.
More importantly, let’s be clear: the “church” is not an institution, denomination, or set of dogmas. It’s people. God’s people. It’s you. And it’s me. It should not surprise us that the very nature of the church makes it “spit-worthy.” Jesus came precisely to heal the sick, not those who think of themselves as righteous (Mark 2:17). So, you’d be right to expect that the church, your church, any church, is full of sick people. We’re all of us desperately sick people (Jer. 17:9). So, is God saying this country club church is worthy to be spit out because it’s full of spiritually sick people? Not at all. Read that verse again. The distinguishing factor that brings judgment has to do with awareness. Those church people were guilty of self-deceit and an utter lack of humility. The first draft of this article included a litany of examples of how badly churches can go wrong. You probably would recognize similar behaviors from your experiences of churches. But again, let us not forget that you and I are among them. The entire point here is not to indulge a dump-fest on the church, but to encourage you to own your responsibility for spiritual growth and maturity and in so doing, build each other up. Continued on page 38
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Country Club Church The Country Club Church is a Complacent Church
Fun fact: “spit you out of my mouth” can be translated as “vomit.” That’s the nuance used by the Lord. Sit with that for a moment: the church in Laodicea was lukewarm and God despised it enough to vomit. Sobering, isn’t it? Today, we’d say the church of Laodicea is “fat, dumb and happy.” It’s bland. It has no salt, no taste, and nothing to offer to a dying world. You see, a complacent church willfully chooses not to speak boldly about our lost condition. It avoids sharing the good news of a Savior who ransomed his life for anyone aware of their wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked condition, because a country club church doesn’t want to offend. And telling people (or reminding them) that they’re wretched sinners is certain to offend someone. Yet nothing could be better than that from God’s perspective. The church in Laodicea was such a place. It was spiritually compromising, not wishing to disturb anyone. It sought peace at the cost of conscience, preferring comfort over truth. Ray Stedman puts it this way: You could have attended this church for years and it would have probably been very pleasurable, but nothing much would be happening. You would not be challenged, or rebuked, or corrected, or exhorted, but only encouraged and respected because it was a comfortable church…a compromising church.
What the World Needs: The Suffering Church
The church is not a building or, worse, a “campus.” It’s people. Christ died to redeem people. He did not suffer the cruelty of the cross for the benefit of a facility, pews, a fellowship hall, or staff salaries. He certainly did not leave his heavenly throne, condescend into a frail babe in a manger, and live a sinless life, all so that his followers could be assured of having a pleasant
Continued from page 37
and prosperous club to join, lush and exceedingly comfortable, and replete with a gratifying sense of belonging. Not even close! The church is a ragtag mess of spiritually sick people, young and old, rich and poor, of all skin colors and hues. We’re all messy because we’re all human, and the human condition is messy. Christians are not somehow transported above all that messiness. Nor are we inoculated from being jerks to each other. As such, rest assured that all churches are screwed up and that we’re in good company since we’re all part of that reality. This is why God gave the letter to the church of Laodicea – and to us – as a warning. We’re called to humbly serve each other, individually and collectively, in direct response to God’s astounding mercy to all the earth. Not to seek a spiritual country club where we expect people to be as angelic as we think we are. He says, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich… Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Rev. 3:18-22 (partial)
Dump Your Membership
The Lord expects his disciples to be committed (not lukewarm) and to properly understand the truth about their nature (wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, naked). He doesn’t call on his people to “be nice.” In fact, that word isn’t in the Bible. However, we are called to be zealous about pursuing those needing comfort. He counsels us to seek his gold that is refined by fire, conquering the world’s demand for compromise. Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Certainly doesn’t begin or end with being “nice.” Still, that’s the message God brings to our country club church mentality. And if we’re honest, country club churches exist because of demand; we’re attracted to them. However, in this pandemic age, with the world lurching further toward whatever it pleases, untethered from truth, relentless in its quest for meaning apart from a Creator and
Your Fellow Realtor in Christ
Araminta Self “She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.“ ~Proverbs 31:16
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firstname.lastname@example.org mintameara Aramintamountainrealty 38 January / February 2021 | Christian Living
rabid in rejecting its Savior, we must seek to be members of the vibrant church. Stop looking for reasons to dump on it while excusing yourself as if you’re not part of the mess. Seize every chance to nurture it. Are you expecting your church to pamper you, or are you investing in personal Bible study? Buy the gold refined by fire, and spit out anything lukewarm. Ask God to warm your complacent heart! Instead of yearning for “nice,” answer the door and accept the Lord’s loving discipline and reproval. Be zealous. Repent your attraction for lukewarm churches. Instead, embrace suffering with those who suffer. Reach out to
the missing. Pastors, call on your flock. Members, pray for your pastors. Behold, the Lord knocks on your door. He invites you to sit with him as a conqueror. If you have ears, hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 3:20-22). Is it time to dump your membership in a country club church? Yes. Yes it is. For all of us. n Joel is a certified master coach, business strategist, and author. Most importantly, he’s worked with a lot of people just like you. Chat with him. There’s no charge. Schedule here: http://bit.ly/Curious-PFR.
Christian Living | January / February 2021 39