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March / April 2020

GREG

Laurie

Sharing the gospel

POLITICS &

Polarization Being our Christian best

WALKING WITH

Women A friendship focus

YOUR TAX Evangelist Greg Laurie addresses a crowd

Refund Stretch it wisely


Beyond

the Shadow

of the

Cross…

Lives!

HE

He is not here

HE has RISEN! Just as He said… d

Matthew M tth 28-6 28

Equipping you to impact the world for Jesus Christ

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Contents March / April 2020 “Those who suffer belong to all of us. And if all of us respond, there is hope.” — Max Lucado

FEATURES

Ambrose School family story hour 5 Meridian Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast 5

Cover Story —

16th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk 15 Nampa Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast 15 Idaho National Day of Prayer 15

Merrin Packer:

Children’s ‘guardian’

Walking with Women: A friendship focus

Sweet friends: Greg Laurie: Gospel sharing

Choosing to love:

The greatest command

COLUMNS 6

16 8

Consider This: Shepherds’ care

Get To!”®: 10 “I Forgive

13

God Dots: God-ordained appointments

DEPARTMENTS 12 Understanding Relationships:

Emotional security Health: 29 Maximum Thyroid health

IN EACH EDITION 4

Publisher’s Corner: Accountability

www.christianlivingmag.com

God’s good gift

Fight bitterness: Key tips

Firefighters’ group: A global fellowship

18

22 23 26

28

Man’s Toolbox: 14 Real ‘Age of outrage’ Keep Calm: 20 Mom Powerful words

Faith: 24 Challenging Transform your thoughts

Daily Bread: 30 Your Tax refunds

Need Prayer? Call Idaho Chaplains Association

Talk to a Chaplain

208-968-1991

www.idahochaplains.com

Volume 9, Number 10 Publisher Sandy Jones christianlivingmag@gmail.com 208-703-7860 Editor Gaye Bunderson Submit story ideas, article submissions & press releases editorgaye@gmail.com Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen kim.bcliving@gmail.com 208-703-7509 • Katy Nelson katy.bcliving@gmail.com 503-816-3042 • Scott McMurtrey scott.bcliving@gmail.com 208-841-4583 Cover Photo Courtesy photo Graphic Design Denice King www.greentreedkdesign.com Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Jim Day, Roxanne Drury, Joan Endicott, Terry Frisk, Leo Hellyer, Greg Laurie, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Gary Moore, Bethany Riehl and Dan Woodworth 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 2020 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 christianlivingmag@gmail.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.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 3


PUBLISHER’S Corner

Accountability — it’s a beautiful thing

tened, traveling through time to a place before most of the six of us (my siblings and me) were born, a time when indoor plumbing seemed a fairy tale, when families lived together out of necessity. Living history. Sometimes our best teacher in life is regret, and I regret that I wasn’t present in the right way at that moment. Funny thing about this story: Dad was often quiet, and when asked if everything was all right his This was the closing paragraph of my January / response was always the same “can’t learn nothin’ if February column; it has had the single most responsmy mouth is runnin’.” es personally for me in the history of this column. This same scenario has played out between our So much response that I’ve actually gone back and Heavenly Father and me too many times. I’m quite re-read the article twice. adept at telling Him what’s on my heart, while too Marla Tabaka wrote in an article on www.inc.com frequently forgetting to wait on Him, to listen for that 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail what it is He would say to me. by mid-February, which coincidentally is when I’m No, I do not hear a deep, booming, audible voice actually writing this. So I’m asking myself, is it an Sandy Jones like in the movie “The Ten Commandments”; accident that I’ve heard back from so many of you, regardless of His delivery method, though, it’s clear our readers, in the last week or so, or is this a “God-thing”? Perhaps when I’ve turned a listening ear to Him — as clear as if it had been He’s holding me accountable. Regardless, I feel this is a great time that voice. for transparency, to keep me moving forward toward my goal. I continue to be a work in progress, to slow down with the time I Admittedly, there have been times when I’ve wanted to check out. spend with God, just like time spent day to day with my family and To bury myself in my Facebook feed, or the next level of Wordfriends. Scapes. To get annoyed when that gets interrupted. Then I rememRecently, I met a lovely young lady who was struggling in several ber that will still be there when I check back into it; but this moment, this question, this opportunity to talk to my husband, catch up areas, and was clearly not a current reader of our publication. One thing she said was, “I love the phrase ‘let go and let God.’ It sounds with one of our kids, play with our grandchildren, or laugh with my so peaceful. But what does it mean?” sister — these moments won’t always be. I told of a canoe on the side of a calm lake with someone going I’ll never forget my last real conversation with my dad. He was on hospice and we knew he was failing fast. My husband and I had to go over, climbing in, pushing off, and letting it coast. I explained that while that all sounds great, that’s not really how it works. God gave buy a new washing machine. Arriving back home I popped in next door to visit with the folks, mentioning that the new washer would be each of us a brain, and calls us to do our part, while leaning on Him for understanding, strength and direction. She responded with somedelivered soon. thing to the effect of ‘we still have to row our canoe.’ Dad got that faraway look in his eye, and shared with me how he’d As I re-read my last column, I was surprised to see that I’d used the gone to town to buy his mom’s first washing machine. A wringerphrase “let go and let God.” Was this an answer to prayer? Was He washer. He just couldn’t see her doing laundry by hand any longer. “speaking” to me? Cheering me on perhaps? The beauty in the memory he shared was so heartwarming. Then I Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already ardid it. I interjected my own thought into the conversation, and the rived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which moment was lost. His train of thought was broken and he couldn’t Christ Jesus took hold of me. — Philippians 3:12 NIV recall what he was going to say next. Oh, how I wish I had just lisBy Sandy Jones “So that is my New Decade Resolution — to BE who I’m called to be; to work diligently to be fully present, not just with my family and friends, but fully present with God; and to do better to ‘let go, and let God’ do His part, while I focus on doing mine.”

4 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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Easter will soon be upon us, a time of reflection as to the depth of the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. As a believer this is my favorite time of year, as His story is recounted time and again, and I recall everything He went through. If you’re reading this and you’re unsure what this means, I encourage you to visit one of the many Bible believing / Bible teaching churches in your community, and then plan to join us at The Greg Laurie Boise Harvest Crusade May 1st, 2nd and 3rd at ExtraMile Arena in Boise. (Formerly Taco Bell Arena, ExtraMile Arena is located on the Boise State University campus.) And, as always, just a reminder to please frequent our advertisers and thank them for their support of Christian Living Magazine. We couldn’t do what we do without them! Until next time… God Bless! n

Ambrose School family story hour The Ambrose School, located at 6100 N. Locust Grove Rd. in Merdian, offers a fun story hour for families approximately twice a month. Storytime begins at 10 a.m. in the school library and is open to any family that loves a good tale. All are welcome, but children under 4 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. “We felt there was a need in our community for a storytime that is Christ-honoring, and we are having good turnout and would love to share it with even more families,” Molly Blakeman, communications manager at Ambrose, said. “There are so many interesting, exciting, and surprising things to explore through story. There are numbers, colors, mishaps, adventures, and beautiful God-given truths all found in stories. Along the way we will also have time to play games, be creative, and use our imaginations.” Storytimes will be held on the following upcoming days: March 5, March 19, April 2, April 16, April 30, and May 7. For more information, call Blakeman at 208-319-7926 or email her at mblakeman@theambroseschool.org. The Ambrose School is a K-12 private, classical Christian school.

Meridian Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Miss an issue?

The Meridian Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, presented by Treasure Meridian, is set for 7 a.m. Thursday, March 19, at Scentsy Commons, 2701 E. Pine Ave., Meridian. This year’s theme is “New Beginnings,” with the introduction of Meridian’s new mayor, Robert Simison. The featured speaker will be Doug Armstrong, retired KTVB president and general manager. Tickets are $17 and may be ordered on eventbrite.com. More briefs on page 15

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 5


CONSIDER This

A living example of shepherds’ care

The Woodworth family had the opportunity to visit a sheep ranch. The experience allowed Dan Woodworth to draw parallels between shepherds and sheep and how the Shepherd Jesus cares for his flock. Here, Irene Woodworth is feeding a lamb that was only a day old at the time. (Courtesy photo)

6 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

By Dan Woodworth Have you ever seen and heard of a real living experience that has given you an astonishing inspiring insight into a clearer revelation of the Living Word of God? I am excited to share a story with you about some sheep and some shepherds. On Saturday, January 26, My Most Beautiful Beloved Bride, Inspiring Irene, our Sensational Spectacular Son, Courageous Compassionate Chris, and I arrived just around noon on a sheep ranch about 60 miles from Boise. We were invited by a Faithful Friend to visit with her (she lives in a different state), her parents and some of their relatives to have lunch with them. We had no idea of the adventure that would unfold before our eyes! We had a delicious, home-cooked ranch-style lunch and then talked about every topic you can think of. Our time of sharing was rich and rewarding. They gave us a tour of their big, beautiful home and we kept telling stories to each other. Right before sunset we were invited to check out their sheep. We had never been that close to sheep on a ranch. We saw some rams in a pasture and then the main herd in an enclosed pen. Then the Magnificent Mother of our Faithful Friend, one of the Sacred Shepherds, showed us the mother sheep who were pregnant and those who had little lambs. We were able to pet them. What an Empowering, Encouraging Experience! My Sweetheart was asked if she wanted to feed a little lamb, who could walk on her own and was only 24 hours old. The little lamb was placed on my wife’s lap and she fed her with a bottle of specially formulated milk. That little, newborn lamb was hungry! We discovered that her mother had twins but only had one udder. She would only feed both at the same time if she had two udders. So this little lamb was rejected by her mother. The Sacred Shepherd saved that little lamb by providing food and shelter for her. I saw in real life how our Sacred Shepherd, Jesus, cares for us, His sheep. We were all astonished and amazed watching the role of the Sacred Shepherd with the sheep. I began to see the Word of God revealed in front of me! I have memorized and I have been meditating in Psalm 23 and 91 for several months. Listen to the Living Words of Life in Psalm 23:1: The Lord is my Shepherd. I have no lack. I don’t need a thing. I have everything I need. We did not grow up on sheep ranches like the children of Israel did. We observed the reflection of Jesus and His Sacred Sheep in this “living” inspiring illustration of real sheep with a real shepherd! He always Provides and Protects His Sheep! The sheep that we observed have enemies. Coyotes will attack these sheep if they are not protected. The Sacred Shepherds have “Guardian Dogs” who attack and kill coyotes who attempt to attack the sheep. Those dogs were very friendly to us. But they are relentless when it comes to predators attacking “their” sheep. Listen to the Living Words of Life in Psalm 91:1-6: You who sit down in your Daddy in Heaven’s presence, spend the night in His shadow, say this: “Daddy in Heaven, You are my Refuge! I trust in You and I am Safe!” That’s right — He rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge, outstretched arms protect you — under them you are perfectly safe; His arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing — not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Can you see Him as our Provision and Protection? Can you also see the Sacred Shepherds that we visited as Providers and Protectors of their sheep? I have been meditating about how our Sacred Shepherd, Jesus, protects us from our enemies just like those Guardian Dogs act as shepherds protecting their sheep from enemies such as coyotes, disease and disaster.

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I thought, “Lord, what are our enemies?” He reI keep saying those Resurrection Words, just like those Guardian Dogs destroying those coyotes, until vealed to me that they are doubt and fear. How does those spiritual enemies of doubt and fear are destroyed! He protect us from doubt and fear? He graciously We, as His Sheep, have allowed those “coyotes” of gives us Faith and Love! The spiritual “coyotes” of doubt and fear to eat us alive and destroy us! Those doubt and fear will eat us alive and destroy us if Guardian Dogs kill those coyotes because they know we do not have Faith in our Sacred Shepherd that that they are Shepherds over those sheep! They know works through His Living Love! that those coyotes will kill those helpless sheep unless Think about that! Galatians 5:6 reveals His Protecthey attack and destroy them! Likewise, those Sheption against doubt and fear: herds are our teachers! We were not created to shrink For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor in fear! We were created to Soar in Faith! Living Love uncircumcision counts for anything, but only Destroys Shrinking Fear! Faith that works through Love. We have allowed the culture of the world, the culture Our human effort is worthless! When we have of doubt and fear, to destroy the Church. We need to Dan Woodworth Faith that works through Love, we have His Perfect see those enemies like coyotes, who will destroy us, unProtection! Our spiritual enemies of doubt and fear less we attack and destroy them! are torn to pieces when we function like those Guardian Dogs that Listen to Our Overcoming Living Lord through the Apostle Paul, in tear to pieces any coyote trying to destroy their sheep! Those sheep Ephesians 1:23: And He placed all things under Christ’s feet and gave Him trust their shepherds. They know they are always safe. Why don’t we as Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the let those shepherds teach us as His Sheep how to trust Our Sacred Fullness of Him who fills All in All! Shepherd, Jesus! Our spiritual enemy, the defeated devil, only has Let us glorify Him as our Shepherd! We are His sheep and we will two spiritual weapons: doubt and fear. When doubt and fear try to defeat all doubt and fear with Faith in Him working through His Livattack me, like those coyotes trying to attack those sheep, I activate ing Love! n Faith that works through Love! I say, out loud, with the authority that Jesus has given me, Psalm Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the 23:1: King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and emLord, You are My Shepherd! I have no lack! I don’t need a power people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become all they thing! I have everything I need! are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three churches. I say, “you lying doubt, I cast you out with my Faith in Jesus!” They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing (Mark 11:22) “You lying fear, get out! Perfect Love casts out all community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be reached at fear!” (1 John 4:18) dan@danwoodworth.org, or visit his website at www.danwoodworth.org.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 7


THE GREATEST Command

A new focus on choosing to love

On the surface, a scriptural search leads to what By Daniel Bobinski looks like circular reasoning. When he asked about It’s time to talk about love. If Christians are going the greatest commandment, Jesus said it’s, “Love the to have any impact in the healing of a divided counLord your God … and love your neighbor as yourself.” Then, try and the salvation of our families’ and friends’ in John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep souls, we need to follow the biblical command to my commandments.” love one another. That includes loving our enemies, What? The greatest command is to love, but to love too. we need to keep his commands? This is true for Christians everywhere. It’s like looking up the word turnip in the dictionary Actually, it’s of the utmost importance. After all, and finding it says, “See rutabaga,” then looking up when an expert in Mosaic Law asked Jesus, “Which rutabaga, and finding it says, “See turnip.” is the greatest command?” Jesus replied, “‘Love There had to be an answer, so I dug deeper. I the Lord your God with all your heart and with pulled out my concordance and found that in the all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the Greek, Jesus was using the word agape in all these first and greatest commandment. And the second verses. (aa-GAA’-pey). And, I was grateful to learn is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the that the apostle Paul gives us a definition of agape Law and all the Prophets hang on these two comlove in 1 Corinthians 13. Daniel Bobinski mands.” (Matt. 22:37-40, NIV) These verses came into focus for me 30 years ago Love is patient, love is kind. after earnest prayer. I was just a few years into my Christian walk, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. and I was asking God, “I know there are 613 laws in Scripture — is It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. there a priority order? What goes at the top of the list?” Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Before long, the Lord led me to the above verses and as I read them It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, I became profoundly aware of two things. always perseveres. First, the question about the greatest command was posed by an Love never fails. (NIV) “expert in the law” (some versions say lawyer), and it was a “gotcha” question. Notice that everything about this definition involves verbs — things The way Jesus answered surprised me. Jesus was famous for anwe do, not things we feel. I don’t think there’s any place in Scripture swering “gotcha” questions either with questions of his own or with parables. That didn’t happen here. Not only did Jesus give a straight- where God commands us to feel. Agape love is a love of choosing. I continued to pray over this commandment to love, asking God to forward answer, he also provided a second answer. He called it the show me how I could live it out. After all, I could be impatient. I could second greatest commandment, and said it was like the first! become easily angered. On my own, following Christ’s command to Nobody asked Jesus about the second greatest commandment. He love the Lord and love my neighbor as myself was going to be tough. volunteered it! To me, that means it has great importance. Then I came across another verse: “Whoever does not love does not know The second profound awareness came from verse 40: “All the Law God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). And yes, the Greek word for love in and all the Prophets hang on these two commands.” that verse is also agape. It was like those words came off the page at me. It struck me that since God is love, and because I had already invited All the Law. All the Prophets. God to dwell within me, then the seeds of agape were already inside Also, the word “hang” grabbed my attention. All the Law and me. I simply needed to tend the soil of my heart to let God’s agape love all the Prophets hang on these two commands. The picture that manifest in my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. appeared in my head was like that of a mobile hanging above a I’ll tell you it’s a lifelong process, and each time I teach this material, child’s crib. One strand hangs down, and on that strand are attached I learn more. But as I said up front, it’s time to talk love. I firmly believe supports for other strands, and on those supports hang even more God has called me to do several things, and one of them is tell people strands. about His love. And so, as you read my column in future issues of this I pictured the two greatest commandments next to each other, fixed magazine, for as long as it takes, I’m going to take a “deep dive” and to the eternal covering that is our Lord, and all of the Law and all explore how we can all live God’s agape love better in our lives. It is, after all, the greatest and the second-greatest commandment. n of the Prophets were hanging from them. Everything depended on those two commands. Surely, this answered my question about the highest priorities in the Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is an award-winning and best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at daniel@eqfactor.net 613 commands! Still, questions remained. Love the Lord? Love our or (208) 375-7606. neighbors as ourselves? How does one do that?

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8 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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“I GET TO!”®

…Begin My Forgiveness Journey By Joan Endicott Why does forgiving seem so darned hard? Sometimes it can seem like it all depends on the degree of the offense. If someone owed you one hundred dollars and they didn’t repay it, it might not seem as hard to forgive as if they’d cost you a million-dollar deal, right? Maybe. One of the most profound examples of forgiveness I’ve ever heard was when I was in Junior High and was blessed to hear Corrie Ten Boom speak at the Easter Sunrise Service at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. This is Corrie’s story, from her book, The Hiding Place, where she shares her memory of being confronted, after the war, by one of the very cruel guards from the Nazi concentration camp where her sister Betsie had died. “It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. I spoke in a church in Munich, sharing the message, ‘When we confess our sins,’ I said, ‘God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.’ After the service was over is when I saw him, working his way toward me–a balding heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbrück concentration camp where we were sent. Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: ‘A fine message, fräulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’ And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course–how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women? But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. It was the first time since my release that I had been face to face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.

10 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

‘You mentioned Ravensbrück in your talk,’ he was saying. ‘I was a guard in there. But since that time, I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein’–again the hand came out–‘will you forgive me?’ And I stood there–I whose sins had every day to be forgiven–and could not. Betsie had died in that place–could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking? It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do. For I had to do it–I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that. Still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion–I knew that, too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘Jesus, help me!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’ Then woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’ For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.” It’s one thing to hear of someone’s incredible experience, and then quite another to actually implement it yourself. Like feeling 100 percent committed to starting your healthy eating plan right after you’ve

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just topped off your favorite delightfully delicious Then…when I was 30 years old and our oldest child, our sweet little Nathanael was 5 (the same age meal with a decadent dessert, have a full tummy as I was when I first experienced abuse), I began a and you’re ready for a nap. Forgiveness sounds like very personal journey–a painful internal wrestling a great principle until someone hurts you deeply, match of memories and emotions I’d thought were right? right where they belonged, in the past. As a mama After hearing Corrie share her story that early with two little boys, I realized that at certain ages Easter morning in Portland, I felt I did understand and stages in their lives, I was naturally going to forgiveness more. I was grateful, as I thought of think back on what life was like for me at that point. various people I’d been hurt by or was mad at, and God used that to let me know it was finally time happy that I felt ready and empowered to forgive to rip the bandage off that old wound and take an them. Then later…when I thought about the person honest look at it. Yes, it was quite painful to rip off who had violated me for years, I had that normal, the bandage that had been there long enough to beJoan Endicott very real physical reaction: nauseated, feeling like come part of my skin. Once I did, I saw a raw and my heart was pounding so hard it would leap right real gaping wound filled with pain, heartache, sorout of my chest, I felt claustrophobic in my own skin, fear gripped it’s row and rejection–an infection in my soul that could only be cleaned hands around my throat and unjust waves of shame washed over me. out by God’s holy, healing hand. As you’ll recall from my previous story about the shame-filled I was ready! The Lord wanted me to be willing, and like Corrie, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I began the journey of forgiveness. response I got when I did tell of being molested the first time at five years old…then, additionally, the subsequent abuser threatened me Next time I’ll share that journey, my myths and misunderstandand hurt me enough that I knew he meant it. (At one point, in an instant rage, he chased me, jumped on top of me and began choking ings–what forgiveness is and isn’t–and how I found freedom me with his bare hands. I was freed only because my sister heard and through forgiveness. n ran to my rescue, jumped on his back and began hitting him hard on Grab your FREE “I Get To!”® book at JoanEndicott.com and sign up for her the head.) I felt alone and like I needed to figure this out by myself. FREE blog videos on self-compassion. etc. Joan Endicott is an Award-Winning So, naturally, I chose to just not think about it. After all, when I did think about it, everything felt wrong, so not thinking about it must be Keynote Speaker, Author of “I Get To!”® founder of GIANT-Slayer Coaching and “WOW!” Women Owning Their Worth©. Her coaching reaches over 30 the solution, right? countries. Follow her on FB and IG–she posts encouraging words daily!

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 11


UNDERSTANDING Relationships

Provide your spouse with emotional security By Gary Moore Guys, let me ask you a question. What does security mean to your wife? How does she define it? Is it different from the way you define it? Let me assure you, your wife defines security differently from you. Generalizing, for men security is defined first as some type of financial security — enough income to pay the mortgage, go on vacation, save for college, etc. Generalizing again, women define security as emotional security. Now there’s two words that men wouldn’t ever put together. Emotional security. What is that? To a woman that means you’ll always be there for her and the two of you will always be close. The following question was asked of women participating in a national survey: “If you had to make a choice that you wouldn’t want to make, but you Gary had to, would you rather choose to endure financial insecurity and hardship or would you rather choose to endure an insecurity arising out of the lack of love or closeness in a relationship?” Seventy percent of the women surveyed chose financial hardship. Surprised researchers drilled down into the demographics of the survey participants. They found that the women who were at that time experiencing financial hardship were even more likely to choose financial hardship over relational insecurity. Really? If that is so, then how do we men provide the emotional security our wives desire? Almost every woman surveyed said one of the ways is “by being present, available to the family and actually happy in your job if at all possible.” Another popular response was “regularly providing the assurance of your love.” Doing the things that say, “I’d choose you all over again.” And also reassuring her once her insecurity is triggered. This is especially difficult during times of conflict. Because of the different ways men and women handle stress and conflict, our “normal” response is to “give her space.” After all, that’s the honorable thing to do. But most of the time when she’s upset, she doesn’t need space. She needs reassurance and a hug. You may think, “Hug a porcupine?” Yes. Usually, if you’ll move toward her without comment to give her a hug, the quills will lay down. Men, we need to build a sense of day-to-day closeness between ourselves and our wives. One of the simple (not necessarily easy) ways to do this is by just listening to her.

Moore

Listening is one of the most important ways to make her feel loved, secure and close to you. One of the reasons it’s not easy for men to listen is because we are such single taskers. When we’re doing something, we can’t hear anything. Thus, for us to listen, we have to stop what we’re doing, turn to our spouse and listen. But we’re fixers, not listeners. And if we haven’t intentionally learned how to make this work, we fall into a default mode that works something like this. ... Since we’re fixers, we’ve developed the ability to filter out all her feelings and emotions so we can focus on the problem. What we don’t realize is that the feelings and emotions are really what she wants us to listen to. So, for us to help our wives feel emotionally secure, we have to learn how to filter out the problem and focus in on her feelings and emotions. Sounds simple, but it isn’t easy. This isn’t our default mode. We have to literally ignore the problem and try to pull out all the feelings she’s experiencing. Remember, the way she handles stress is by talking about it. Talking about it is how she figures out how she feels about it. And once she knows how she feels about it, she can deal with it. That’s why her feelings and emotions are so important. Once you’ve helped her pull out all the feelings she’s experiencing, she’ll feel heard. Guys, she’ll probably figure out a solution on her own, but she can’t feel listened to on her own. The key is to listen to her feelings — her worries, her hurts, her excitement and her fears. Listening in this way truly does help solve the problem. So, how do we men provide our wives security? Primarily, it is for us to provide emotional security. Financial security is important too, but not the primary consideration for most women. For most women, the best thing you can provide is more closeness with you. Just remember, providing means a lot more than financial security to a woman .n

Gary Moore served as associate pastor at Cloverdale Church of God for the past 14 years. He does couples’ coaching and leads couples’ workshops and retreats called MUM’s the Word. He also does a weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 a.m. on Fridays. For information on his workshops and retreats, contact him at glmoore113@gmail.com.

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GOD Dots

Watch for God-ordained appointments By Jim Day Most of the time, God Dots are encounters with people. People that God places in your life at the right place and in the right time. Here are some examples: A man named Aaron was sitting alone in the park near the convention center in San Jose, Calif., just enjoying the day and reading. Another man, a complete stranger, walked up to Aaron and asked if he enjoyed reading and had he ever read the Bible? Aaron responded that although he enjoyed reading, he had never read the Bible. After thinking about it, he added, “I probably should.” To his surprise, the stranger gave him Jim Day a Bible, and after a wonderful, stimulating conversation, Aaron received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and his life was forever changed. The stranger was Victor Sanders from Blair, Pa., who said he was just walking through the park, enjoying the day, when the Holy Spirit urged him to stop and talk with Aaron.

Saved in the sky

Mathai Mathew from Albertson, New York was on a plane flying to Houston. The flight attendant was bubbly and energetic as she attended to the needs of the passengers. Being a Christian, Mathai asked her why she was so happy. He was expecting her to say that she had Jesus in her life, but to his surprise, she admitted it was all for show. Just part of the job. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Mathai told her about Jesus and real joy, how she could have that joy and be assured of her salvation. The flight attendant knelt down beside Mathai as he told her about who Jesus is and how much He loves us. She responded that she wanted Jesus in her life and she wanted that joy. Then, at 38,000 feet above the ground, she got on her knees in the narrow aisle, and while the other passengers watched, she confessed her sin and accepted Jesus as her personal Savior. Mathai and his wife held her hands and prayed for her as she experienced, for the first time in her life, the joy of the Lord.

A clean slate at last

Bobby Cockerell grew up in Jeffersonville, Ind., two houses away from the local liquor store. As a young man from a poor family, he would go out late at night and steal whatever he could and sell it to make money. Eventually he got caught and went to jail. Once in prison, he and a couple of friends broke out and stole a car. They’d hurt some of the prison workers in the process of escaping. When they crossed the stateline into Kentucky, the crime became a federal offense. Then they were caught. While Bobby was in the Fayette County Detention Center, he got to talking with a man who came to the center on his own time to minister to the inmates. The man’s name was Harry Taylor. Bobby just knew that he had to talk to Harry. Harry asked Bobby if he was saved. Bobby said no, and for the first time in his life, he felt ashamed. Harry led Bobby to salvation through Jesus Christ. In November 2011, Bobby was baptized in prison. He said that he felt like even though he still had 21 years to serve, he had been given a clean slate, and had never felt that way before.

G O D d o t s

God-ordained appointments

All of these people had a God-ordained appointment. Victor, Mathai, and Harry had something else in common. They were all members of an organization of Christians called the Gideons. Consider this: If you are a Christian and you have been looking for a place to serve, this is a great one. Gideons are non-denominational Christian lovers of God’s Word. There is room for everyone in the Gideons and they need Christian brothers and sisters to join them. Some of the work they do includes giving Bibles away to people all over the world and spreading the gospel message in almost 200 countries. “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” — Isaiah 55:11 And this leads me to ponder one of my favorite quotes: “The only thing that has to happen for evil to triumph, is for good people to stand by and do nothing.” We all have it in us to make a difference. I challenge you to go be someone’s God Dot. Tell me your God Dot story. Send it to jandcday87@gmail.com. n Jim Day is the pastor of Valley Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Hazelton, Idaho. (The stories shared in this column were taken from issues of The Gideon magazine.)

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 13


REAL Man’s Toolbox

Bring your best in an ‘age of outrage’ Stetzer takes us on a journey of discovery that By Leo Hellyer ends with a lifestyle we are called to live out in all Living life as a Christian man in 2020 is a very facets of our life, being Christ-like in all we do. Most complicated proposition. As men, many of us try to Christians know that we are to be Christ-like, but live life in our individual circle of family, co-workers, doing so, especially while facing emotions, pride, and friends, and as much as we can, block out the personal attacks, patriotism, etc., becomes very majority of the societal dysfunction that surrounds problematic. us. With us being in an election year, all of this Outrage has the tendency to breed more outrage. dysfunction is magnified exponentially. During an In his book, Stetzer presents us with alternatives to election year, it seems that a lot of the gray areas the outrage. If we will immerse ourselves with Scripthat blend society together disappear, and all we ture and Christ-like living, we will be able to weather hear are the extremes our polar opposite political the outrage around us and bring stability back from parties present. Regardless of how hard we try to instability. If we will get to the point in our Christian not get drawn into the fray, many times we are there walk where we live by the Holy Spirit within us, we before we know it. will be able to respond to the outrage around us in As Christian men we need to be a stabilizing influa manner that can extinguish the outrage and ignite ence in our society. We need to be a breath of fresh a firestorm of love, compassion, consideration, and Leo Hellyer air in the din that surrounds us. We need to bring cooperation. reason to the unreasonable conflict and discourse At the end of the book, Stetzer challenges all of those who read his that is present. As I examined for myself how I should proceed to book by saying, “Put down this book and go into the age of outrage. build up, instead of tear apart, this great nation and our governmenLeave behind angry nationalism. Leave behind political excuses. tal structure that was built upon Christian foundations, I found a Leave behind unloving tribalism. Leave behind prideful Facebook book that very eloquently speaks directly to this issue. posts and endless arguments... Embrace your responsibility as a misI believe that any Christian can benefit from reading this book. Ed sionary of grace to those around you, seeing your local community Stetzer is a distinguished Christian author who addresses how we are as a mission field to which God calls His church. You have the Holy to ‘bring our best’ as we live our lives. The book’s title is very descrip- Spirit inside you to live on mission. In a world at its worst, live out tive of its contents: “Christians in the Age of Outrage — How to your calling to be a Christian at your best in the age of outrage.” Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst.” Published in 2018, This ending is very profound. As Christians, many times we soak the book is a great resource for living as a Christian at this time in up the great teachings, readings, singing, and prayers that we hear, history. and rejoice within ourselves. However, to be the most effective in our Christian walk, we need to do as Stetzer says — we need to take all that God has given to us and boldly leave the four walls of our “As Christian men we need to be a churches and homes and enter the age of outrage with godly love. We have the answers to the shortcomings of the society we live in. stabilizing influence in our society. We have the power to overcome the divisiveness around us. Societies We need to be a breath of fresh air are not healed by politics and elections. Societies are healed when God-fearing believers get up, get out, and become soldiers of the in the din that surrounds us.” Lord in the battle for the souls of the people. As Christians, we are ineffective until we hit the streets and share the truth, power, and In the book’s introduction, we read, “This is a book about outrage. love of Christ. This is what it looks like to Bring Our Best When The It’s an acknowledgement that our world, or at least our part of it, World Is At Its Worst. God bless you as you put feet to your faith. n seems awash in anger, division, and hostility. Outrage is all around, so we have to decide how to walk through this. We are living in a day — Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise and this is indeed our moment — when we need to live like Christ, FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue as gospel Christians in the midst of shouting, anger, and hatred. And Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo it’s going to get worse... What do we do when the anger becomes too at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms much? How do we know when righteous anger has made the turn Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions into unbridled outrage? These questions do not have easy answers, about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at silverbut they deserve our consideration if we want to be faithful disciples plate426@msn.com or 208-340-5544. of Christ.”

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Continued from page 5

16th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk The 16th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk will take place on Saturday, April 18, beginning at 3 p.m. at Caldwell Memorial Park at Kimball and Grant streets. “We walk around downtown and pray at various places for the mayor, city council, police, firemen, paramedics, and all the people who live in Caldwell and surrounding communities as the Holy Spirit leads,” Arlene Robinett, walk organizer, said. “You may stay at the park and pray if you like.” After the walk there will be a potluck dinner at the park band shell. “We’ve seen prayers being answered for schools,” said Robinett. “Caldwell is having more businesses move in, and downtown looks great. A place where senior citizens and foster kids live side by side will be forthcoming in the community, too.” For more information about the Caldwell Prayer Walk, contact Robinett at 208-249-4635.

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Nampa Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast The Nampa Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Nampa, will be held at 7 a.m. Thursday, May 7, at the Nampa Civic Center. Doug Armstrong, retired KTVB president and general manager, will be the keynote speaker. A musical performance will be given by the Nampa Christian Middle School Choir. Tickets are $15 and may be ordered by calling the Nampa Civic Center at 208-468-5555.

Idaho National Day of Prayer Idaho National Day of Prayer is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7, on the front steps of the Idaho State Capitol Building, 700 W. Jefferson St. in Boise. The theme is, “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth,” based on Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Join organizers and fellow citizens in public prayer for the U.S. and the State of Idaho. This event is one of thousands that will be occurring nationwide on the same day. Representatives will lead and cover seven prayer points: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church, and Family. For more information, contact Deborah Crosby at ddcrosby@msn.com.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 15


Others need us

Why aren’t we sharing

the gospel?

COVER STORY Pastor, evangelist, author and radio show host, Greg Laurie, speaks to a crowd during one of his well-attended ‘crusades’. He is coming to Boise in early May for a Harvest Boise event. (Courtesy photo)

16 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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with the woman at the well in Samaria? He engaged her in converBy Greg Laurie sation. It was give-and-take. He spoke, and then He listened. She It’s funny how teenagers can be too busy to clean their rooms or shared her heart with Him, and He revealed truth to her. take out the trash, but if something comes along that they want to When we share the gospel with people, it is a dialogue — not a do, they suddenly and mysteriously have time in their schedules. monologue. It is not just talking; it is also listening. It is offering the It’s not about lack of time; it’s about a lack of will. They don’t clean their rooms because they don’t want to clean their rooms. They appropriate passages from Scripture and statements from a heart don’t take out the trash because they don’t want to take out the trash. filled with love so that a person can come to believe in Jesus Christ. No one ever will be argued into the kingdom of God. They are It’s all about motivation. If we don’t have the motivation to do going to believe because the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin. something, we aren’t going to do anything. Our job is to simply bring them the essential gospel message, with The same is true when it comes to reaching out to others with the gospel. We may know it’s what we should do (just like teenagers know discernment and tact. they should clean their rooms), but we offer up excuses as to why we can’t or don’t. Behind the excuses, there are some real issues to Simplifying Evangelism address. We overcomplicate this thing called evangelism. So, let’s bring it 1. We need compassion. Jesus told the story of 10 bridesmaids: down to the basics: who, where, why, and when. five wise and five foolish. The five who were wise had oil in their Who is called to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”? lamps, and the five who were foolish did not. When the cry went out Answer: We are. that the bridegroom was coming, those who didn’t have any oil said, Matthew 28:19–20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all “Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out” the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the (Matthew 25:8). Son and of the Holy Spirit.” These words are addressed to everyBut the other bridesmaids answered, “We don’t have enough. … one — not just pastors, evangelists, and missionaries, but everyone. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves” (verse 9). Essentially In the original language, they are a command. You are commanded they were saying, “That isn’t our concern. We’re set. We’re happy. by the Lord Himself to do this. No exceptions. Work out your own problems.” Where are we to preach the gospel? Answer: Everywhere! Quite honestly, that is the way many people in the church feel. Mark’s Gospel tells us to “go into all the world and preach the Talking about the need for evangelism is of no consequence if we gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). To personalize it, “Go into lack one simple thing: a compassionate heart for nonbelievers. all of your world and preach the gospel.” Go into your family, your 2. We need boldness. Most workplace, your campus, your Christians I know are nice, pleasant sphere of influence. “Later, the Christian thinks, ‘Boy, I really Jesus did not say, “Go and be a people. We want to get along with others. We don’t want to offend good example” but “Go and preach blew them out of the water when they anyone by saying that something is the gospel.” Some say, “I don’t want said this and that. Wasn’t that great?’ No, to push anything on people!” Would wrong, because it would be politically incorrect. A lot of times we are it be “pushing” something if you it wasn’t great. In reality, it was quite afraid to stand out. had a cure for cancer? We have the stupid, because our job is not to win the answer to life’s questions; we should That is not how Elijah was, however. When we are first introduced be proclaiming it everywhere! argument; it’s to win the soul.” to him in 1 Kings 17:1, he explodes Why are we to preach the gospel? onto the scene, telling King Ahab, Answer: Because God’s primary “As the Lord God of Israel lives, way of reaching people is through people! “For since, in the before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, except at my word.” it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to There was Elijah, storming boldly into the court of the notoriously save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). wicked Ahab and flinging down the gauntlet of his challenge like But there is another reason as well: Because we care. We don’t want he owned the place. They probably wondered how he got through to see people go to Hell! security. When are we to do it? Answer: All the time! Where did Elijah get such boldness? Notice his interesting expresWe must always be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. You sion: “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand...” never know when the door of opportunity will open. “Preach the Wherever Elijah went, he recognized that he was in the Lord’s presword of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or ence — that God was with him. Elijah served a living God — not a not” (2 Timothy 4:2). Another translation says, “Be on duty at all dead one like the god of King Ahab. times.” And 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Always be prepared to give an Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope 13:5). As believers, we are never alone. We automatically become a that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” majority of one because God is with us. This awareness of God’s presence gave Elijah the courage to do The Perfect Opportunity what God called him to do. And God is still looking for men and If you are one of those people who has been making excuses (like women today who will stand up for what is true and will carry His that teenager who doesn’t clean his room), I’ve got the perfect oppormessage. Are you willing? tunity for you to get your feet wet. Why not start by inviting someone 3. We need tact. When Philip shared the gospel with the Ethioto the Boise Harvest, happening May 1–3? It’s a fantastic opportupian dignitary, he demonstrated something that is often lacking in evangelism: tact. Many Christians just fire away with everything they nity to hear some great music and a message about the meaning of life in a positive, non-threatening environment. Who knows? They have. They don’t engage the people they speak with. They don’t may just say yes and have their lives changed forever. establish a dialogue. They don’t build a bridge. They just present all Details for the event may be found at boise.harvest.org. n their arguments and all of their statements, and they feel so impressed with themselves. Meanwhile, people are looking forward to Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with camtheir shutting up and going away. puses in California and Hawaii. In 1990, he began holding large-scale public Later, the Christian thinks, “Boy, I really blew them out of the evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades. Since that time, in-person attendance water when they said this and that. Wasn’t that great?” No, it wasn’t and live webcast views for these events have totaled more than 9.4 million, with great. In reality, it was quite stupid, because our job is not to win the argument; it’s to win the soul. 520,183 people deciding to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. He has If we want to effectively share the gospel with people, then we need a nationally syndicated radio program and has written more than 70 books. For to engage them. What did the master evangelist Jesus do as He talked more information, go to harvest.org.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 17


MERRIN Packer

A ‘guardian’ of children’s welfare By Gaye Bunderson Merrin Packer acquired firsthand knowledge of the influence a guardian ad litem can have on the well-being of children when her two adopted younger brothers came to her family out of the foster care system. “I was 16, and I heard of their experiences and saw their limited support,” Packer explained. “My mother thought the person who made the biggest difference on their behalf was the guardian ad litem.” A guardian ad litem (or G.A.L.) is a person a court appoints to investigate what solutions would be in the best interests of a child. This can be advocacy for a child in foster care in an abuse or neglect case, a divorce, or a parental rights and responsibilities case. A G.A.L. investigates the situation, talks to all the parties involved, writes a report, and then gives that report to the presiding judge. They talk to, among others, caseworkers, doctors, teachers, parents, and other relevant parties. Their work gives the judge a comprehensive view of the situation to help facilitate the best decision possible for the child or children involved. Packer is the Community Outreach Manager for the Third District Guardian Ad Litem Program, which includes Adams, Washington, Payette, Gem, Canyon and Owyhee counties. Because of her own family background, when she went to college she volunteered with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.) program, as well as volunteering as a guardian ad litem. “And then they hired me,” she said. She has been community outreach manager for five years. Her brothers were 6 and 4 when they were first fostered, following a difficult childhood. They are now 18 and 16 and have become wellgrounded young males. “They went through therapy and counseling. My family realized that what they needed most were positive adult relationships, and we surrounded them with that, including people in church, and family and friends.” Packer herself is now 27, and beyond her work with the G.A.L. program, she and her husband Jarom have a foster son: Brenton, age 14, who went through a painful childhood that included abuse. “He’s a good kid. He has amazing faith and wants to serve God,” Packer said. “We have the same joys and struggles as the average parent,” she continued. “They may be magnified as a foster parent; but even when we struggle, we know our biggest purpose is to give this kid a chance. Sometimes it is a sacrifice, but it’s teaching me to love as Christ loves.”

Jarom is only 10 years older than Brenton, and Packer admits she herself is a little taken aback when the 14-year-old calls her Mom. But the situation is nonetheless working. “I’ve wanted to do this forever; I had 3 miscarriages. We wanted to foster eventually but thought we’d have our own children first. But God said, ‘That’s not the way it’s going to happen’ — it was not subtle at all.” Their foster plans also didn’t initially entail a teenager. “We wanted a baby; we didn’t imagine a 14-year-old. We went through lots of training. Our intentions are pure, and God is definitely helping us,” said Packer. Just as she is stepping up in leadership of the Third District Guardian Ad Litem Program, she is stepping up to be the best foster mother she can be as well. “I came from a home where my mother was strong and I am a strong mother too,” she said. “It’s something my foster son needs.” Her own selflessness in fostering and working as a community outreach manager is frequently matched by the volunteer guardians ad litem she works with. “They are given tons of training. We’re always double-checking to make sure the judge has the whole story. The caseworkers and the G.A.L.s are often on the same page, and it helps the judge. Our mandate is ‘best interest,’ or what’s in the best interest of the child; the caseworker must pursue reunification of the child with a parent.” A guardian ad litem’s work generally requires about 5 to 8 hours a month. The Third District Guardian Ad Litem Program currently has 70 volunteers. “We need 150 to advocate for every child,” Packer said. The program has more women volunteers but also has “some pretty stellar guys,” according to Packer. “We have people in every stage of life and every category and every level of experience. This type of work appeals to anybody. Anybody who wants to help children. Whether the outcome of the case goes our way or not, the impact is significant. If a child has a guardian ad litem, they are 50 percent less likely to be re-abused and have to be declared again as wards of the state; 43 percent less likely to enter juvenile detention; and 8 times more likely to graduate from high school.” (Statistics are from the National C.A.S.A. Association.) “People should know it’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Every effort and everything you can do to help makes a difference.” Debi Duncan has been a guardian ad litem in the Third District Program for five years and said, “It’s very rewarding; each case is

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18 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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different. Each case is frustrating, but I’ve always been happy with the way it’s turned out.” Duncan originally wanted to be a foster parent herself, but said, “I could see the heartache in that attachment. Being a guardian ad litem was the next best thing. “It’s beneficial. It gives the judge a different perspective. I’m also making sure the biological parents are doing what they need, including going to counseling and getting drug-tested.” When she concludes her research with all parties and gives her written statement to the judge, she said it is based on fact, not opinion, and also stated, “We do get to make a recommendation.” The recommendation helps the judge determine whether the child should be returned to his or her biological family or be put up for adoption. In three of the cases she’s worked on, the children were returned to their biological parents — an outcome she was comfortable with. Asked if her recommendations are valued by the court, she answered, “Very much. We are respected, and the judge has more information available to make a decision.” She has a paying job and said she gives about 10 hours a month, roughly, to her work as a guardian ad litem (guardians ad litem are not paid). She is also the mother of two sons. “Some people ask me, ‘How can you do that, be a guardian ad litem?’ It’s hard. But it’s so rewarding and really needed. It’s valuable, and it does make a difference. I wish more people would do it.” Packer would love to enlist more people like Duncan into the program. She and others involved are doing what they do for all the right reasons. As Packer said of her guardians ad litem: “They do it out of the goodness of their hearts, and they really have an impact.” n Those interested in becoming a part of the guardian ad litem program may contact Merrin Packer at merrinp@thirddistrictguardian.org.

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Though only in their 20s, Jarom and Merrin Packer are foster parents to a teenage boy. Merrin Packer is also the Community Outreach Manager for the Third District Guardian Ad Litem Program. (Courtesy photo)

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MOM Keep Calm

The other powerful three-word phrase By Janet Lund

And God said…

God created us with a longing to be in relationship with others and to hear the words, “I love you.” To know that we are loved makes us feel seen, valued and cherished. Like no other phrase, it can create a bridge that connects people heart-to-heart, in a deep and meaningful way. It nurtures feelings of trust, acceptance and emotional safety.

Not in Heaven Yet

Unfortunately, no matter how much we love someone, we are also human. We make mistakes. We get frustrated with ourselves or our circumstances, and we lash out at those we love most. In doing so, we injure that person. If we don’t reach out to make amends with that person, it damages the relationship.

Emotional Superglue to the Rescue

However, there is another phrase that can touch the heart just as deeply and mend the connection between individuals. What could possibly be as powerful as “I love you”? This: “I am sorry.” When someone has been hurt, these words can make all the difference in the future of the relationship. They have the power to make things right again. In fact, they can not only repair the relationship but make it stronger. Ultimately, “emotional speedbumps” provide opportunities for us to learn, understand, and grow to love each other better.

20 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

In Public and Private Life

Unlike “I love you,” “I am sorry” is a phrase that we need to have at the ready in all our relationships. It is what mends misunderstandings with everyone we interact with. Saying “I am sorry” provides the possibility for a full recovery within the relationship, plus the potential for a stronger commitment to it. But when we don’t apologize, the injury creates an emotional chasm between people. With time it turns into mistrust. The hurt individual pulls away from the offender and, over time, interactions become a hollow shell of what they used to be — if there is any interaction, at all. In a work setting, it can sometimes mean the difference between keeping a job or being let go. With acquaintances, it may make the difference between having it grow into a friendship or having it come to an end. With friendships, it can make the difference between growing closer or becoming enemies. On a more personal note, “I am sorry” impacts everyday life within our homes in a special way. It not only impacts our relationships today but the future strength and depth of them. When “I am sorry” is not part of our vocabulary, it snuffs out the chance of growing deeper in our trust in another person. Instead, the relationship plateaus and erodes as time goes by. The potential for openness and honesty between you and those you care about is nurtured when “I am sorry” is a valued part of your communication.

Owning Our Stuff

When we apologize, we “own our stuff.” It’s a process of taking responsibility for what we have done.

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6 Steps to Owning Your Stuff:

1. Take time to stop, reflect, and process what you have done. 2. Consider how the recipient of your behavior may feel by putting yourself in his or her shoes. 3. Put thought into finding the words to repair your relationships. 4. Swallow your pride by forgiving yourself. 5. Go to God in prayer. 6. Apologize and ask for forgiveness. Ultimately, it is important to remember that the sooner you apologize the sooner the person who is hurt starts to experience relief from emotional pain. This is a great motivator for us to circle back swiftly.

For the Children

Janet Lund

Apologizing is very important to teach your kids! Teaching your kids to “own their stuff ” will make their journey through life a much smoother ride — for them and everyone they interact with. Your children will not only be able to develop strong friendships, but they will learn to be reflective, humble, and compassionate people. Thinking beyond themselves, their needs, and their wants is not only important for building relationships and becoming a thoughtful person, but it is what Jesus called us to do. The only way your kids will learn how to do this and embrace its importance is by watching you do it. Apologizing to your spouse, parents, siblings, and especially your kids, will teach them that everyone makes mistakes. All we need to do is recognize them, make amends, and move forward together.

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Now, you may not have grown up in a family where everyone — or even anyone — apologized for their bad behavior. If you didn’t have a role model, it may take more effort for you to do this. But it is still an important habit for you to develop for your sake and your child’s. Help your children understand that “I am sorry” is necessary to mend their relationships with friends, acquaintances, teachers, coaches, and family members. Yes, even their siblings. In fact, learning to mend relationships with siblings will build a strong foundation for their future relationships with each other as adults. “I am sorry” can make all the difference in your family’s life journey through today and beyond. Apologize. Mend. Grow. 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 | March / April 2020 21


WALKING with Women

Friendships highlight gals’ group By Gaye Bunderson After moving to Boise from Oregon in 2016, Katy Nelson decided to start her own coffee group where she could meet other women. She put an announcement in her church’s bulletin, calling the get-together Coffee with Katy. The women started coming, and the coffee group kept growing. So in 2018, Nelson launched Walking with Women, an outgrowth of that original coffee klatch. “It went from coffee to lunch and dinners and then to activities, like going to the movies or to plays,” Nelson said. Then the women started walking together, and Nelson prayed, “God, what is it You want from this?” What evolved was relational discipleship; and though there is a Bible study component to Walking with Women, Nelson emphasized, “It’s not a lot of preaching.” Women of all denominations are welcome, as well as women who are not Christians at all. Nelson seeks to show who Christ is by example and by how she lives and treats people. Women may come to any Walking with Women event without any sense of being evangelized. Come and enjoy, is the message. “It’s just being a friend to women and them talking and making friends,” Nelson said. The name for the group came through the idea of women being on a journey through life together. “We are walking together, encouraging, laughing and crying with each other. It’s not about having it all together; it’s about keeping on, living forward in the midst of the ups and downs, celebrating the joys and successes of life together. It’s about doing life together — that’s kind of the ‘saying’ of the group,” Nelson said. And when the women gather, no topic of conversation is off limits. “I’m very transparent,” Nelson said, explaining she has an LGBT child. She talks openly about it and invites others to talk about such topics, too. “With any group, there’s always an elephant in the room, whether it’s someone’s past or their family. … Women are welcome to be open during our times together.”

She also stressed, “There’s no clique. Women meet and build friendships, and some go off and be friends but come back for larger activities.” Activities include restaurant Dine Outs on the third Monday of the month. These are lunches and dinners in Nampa and Boise, holding lunch in one community and dinner in the other and then switching the next month. (Participants may attend either Dine Out.) There are Bible studies on Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings in private residences. Other events take place at various times, and there is frequently a serving component to some of the programs. All programs may be attended on an optional basis. Walking with Women is the ministry arm of Nelson’s business, Katy Nelson Coaching. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in religion and Christian ministries from Warner Pacific College in Portland and became an ordained minister in 2006. She then earned a professional life coach certification from the Christian Coach Institute in 2016. In 2018, she became an associate certified coach through the International Coaching Federation. On Nelson’s website at katynelsoncoaching.net, a segment of the Walking with Women vision statement reads, “Women are often alone and lonely.” That may include the single mom; the stay-at-home mom looking for adult interaction; the empty nester; the retired woman looking for what’s next in life; the special needs parent; the widow — any woman looking for common ground, to be able to say, “I’m not alone in this struggle.” They’re all welcome at Walking with Women. A former children’s ministry director, Nelson now hopes to start women’s ministries in churches. Contact her through her email address at katynelsoncoaching.net if you are interested in helping launch a women’s ministry at your church. Also, go to katynelsoncoaching.net/walking-with-women and sign up for the monthly newsletter. Don’t go it alone. “We’re bringing together all women looking for friends,” Nelson said.

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SWEET friendship

Companions: one of God’s ‘good gifts’ “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” — Proverbs 27:9 “By this all men will know that you are my Much like Jonathan and David, hearts can be knit disciples if you love one another.” — John 13:35 together in friendship (1 Samuel 18:1). Jonathan was a gift to David. He supported him, encouraged him, Billy Graham said, “The human soul is a lonely and helped him become the leader and king that he thing. It must have the assurance of companionship. was. True friends can do that for each other. In the Left entirely to itself, it cannot enjoy anything.” words of blogger and writer Melanie Shankle, “The As God was creating all things, He said, “It is not aim of friendship is to sow into each other words of good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). eternal life and blessing. We remind each other of God did something about this with the creation God’s wisdom and provision, refresh each other’s of Eve. This was the very beginning of human spirit, and strengthen each other’s faith.” companionship. Ephesians 4:25 reminds us that, Just like Jonathan was to David, God has given you “We are all members of one body.” God’s people people around you that are a gift. People have been are one body. We are not intended to function alone, placed in your life by Him at this particular time for not intended to be unconcerned for one another. We a reason. I love this quote from Corrie ten Boom: Roxanne Drury were made for community. This is where friendship “Every experience God gives us, every person He comes in, the camaraderie that lightens the heart puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can and lightens burdens because they are shared. see.” As God’s children, God promises us “good gifts” (James 1:17). Your future is in His hands. He is faithful and can be trusted to give One of those gifts is friendship. While we are here on Earth, we are you exactly what you need when you need it. He is faithful and can guaranteed the richest and truest friendships. Only in true Christbe trusted to give you exactly WHO you need when you need them. centered friendship does genuine trust exist. Only in true Christcentered friendship do we feel genuinely safe. Only in true ChristGod has given you a “good gift” in the people around you. Lean in centered friendship do we find genuine peace. The only true cohesive to Him and to each other and sow blessing into each other’s lives power in the world is Christ. He alone can bind our human hearts through your sweet friendship. together in genuine love and trust. Continued on page 31 By Roxanne Drury

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 23


CHALLENGING Faith

Transform your thoughts for a better life By Joel Lund

Being Priceless

How do you measure your worth? The chances are, you don’t value yourself all that highly. How could I say that? Evidence. Lots and lots of evidence. No, no, I am not stalking you. Nothing like that. The evidence isn’t specifically about you. But there’s still loads of evidence that you don’t value yourself highly. And, no, I’m not referring to your self-esteem, although that is part of where this is going.

Let’s Start at the Start

Here’s one definition of “self-concept”: “A self-concept is a collection of beliefs about one’s own nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior. Your self-concept is your mental picture of yourself. It is a collection of self-perceptions. For example, a self-concept might include such beliefs as ‘I am easygoing’ or ‘I am pretty’ or ‘I am hardworking.’” (Weiten, Dunn, & Hammer, 2012) Most of us would probably use terms like those above when we describe ourselves to others. In my case, I lean slightly to “introverted.” I am a bit too “hardworking.” And I am “relentlessly creative.” However, I, like you, also do just what you do. And you, like me, do it way more than you would believe: You think negatively. Almost all the time, in fact. I wish I was kidding. Truly. Here’s some evidence for you: • Your prefrontal cortex (also known as your thinking brain) doesn’t mature until you are around 25 years old. Until then, fears, negative beliefs and self-imposed limitations are pretty much programmed into you without your involvement. • So, many of your behaviors were learned by the time you were 12. Think about that for a moment. Did you have mostly positive inputs in your childhood? • Your mind processes, on average, between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Yep, that means you churn through 35-48 thoughts per minute. • Research shows that roughly 95 percent of your thoughts are just like the ones you had the day before and the day before that. They are habitual thoughts.

• For most people, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. So, if we assume that your normal thought flow is, say, 60,000 per day, then 48,000 of them are negative. Per day. Per. Day. • Um, yeah. This is sobering stuff. • But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Creating a New Start

At the time of this writing, we just celebrated Easter. It is the most important day in the church year for good reason. It has everything to do with newness. With becoming alive. Easter is about transformation, from death to life. On Easter, believers all over the world declare that we are made new through the resurrection of Jesus. Paul encourages us to “put off your old self ” and “be made new in the attitude of your minds” as a response to this Good News (Eph. 4:22-23). Well, what does this include? It means that we can experience transformation — real change— in our lives, starting right now. We can crimp those negative spin-cycles we put ourselves through. And, as believers, we really need to actively, gleefully and passionately take charge of what our minds are marinating in.

Four Steps to a Better Outlook

There are four simple things you can start doing today to assist the Spirit in redeeming your mind: 1. Recognize that much of your view of the world is framed in stories. And most of those are negative because you were unable to filter them because you were young. Your thinking brain hadn’t come online yet. If someone said something critical of you, like, “You’re stupid!” or similarly hurtful comments, you simply accepted them as true. So, many of your stories about yourself are flat wrong. 2. Choose to activate your brain to your advantage. You can! Nothing is locked down. It is possible to create new, positive pathways. 3. Lean in to positive thoughts, ideas and images. There is no better place to go than Scripture and great devotionals, first thing in the morning. 4. Do things that promote happiness in you and those around you. Action is tremendously important for changing your behavior patterns and habits.

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Once Upon a Time

Let’s apply what we have learned so far from a real life event: The Great Recession. The Great Recession brought new careers to millions of people. Some were able to choose their new career. Others had no choice. Many circled back to a dream they held when they were younger. Often, they engaged in a deliberate transition from their old “world” to their new one. For others, the transition was all at once. In all cases, how they valued themselves was challenged. Does my paycheck determine my value? Am Joel Lund I worthless because I was fired? What else can I do? Am I too old to start something new? You can see how unchecked negative thinking would make everything harder. When life throws disruption at us, we have three options: move away from it, move towards something else, or don’t move. It is better, whenever possible, to move towards your dream. This is a much better way to initiate change in your life, especially when it results in major change. Moving towards is positive, full of hope and powered by vision. Another option is operating from a move away from motivation. Moving away from is negative, fueled by regret and powered by frustration. Both work. But one works better, faster, and has much better staying-power, because it is built on hope and belief in a better you. Your last option is to do nothing. And it is a tempting option.

Because when push comes to shove, moving towards something unknown is harder than not moving and just accepting things as they are (even when you are terribly frustrated about how things are). Moving towards something new — something better — takes faith, guts and grit. It requires stepping into a dimly lit future. It means you set sail into uncharted waters. And to do that, you have to leave the safety of your harbor. But it’s worth it. Because, really, what’s your alternative? Well, the alternative is 48,000 negative thoughts every day and things staying the same.

Get To Or Got To

So which one will you be? Intrepid adventurer, setting sail for a better future? Or are you going to remain a tepid, armchair complainer? Sometimes, when you’re in a negative spin-cycle, you feel like you have got to do things the way you always have. Not true. You get to choose. “I’ve got to” thinking means staying stuck. “I get to” thinking allows abundance, freedom and opportunity. And you get to choose your path. Choose boldly. Think positively. Move towards. 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.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 25


FIVE Key Tips

How to fight and beat bitterness

you to pay attention), and it was clear to me that it was time to stop pouting and to cling tightly to Him. It did not mean that the pain “See to it that no one comes short of the was over, but my giving into it needed to be. grace of God; that no root of bitterness 4. Keep your hurt private, but not comspringing up causes trouble, and by it many pletely to yourself. There is equal danger in be defiled...” — Hebrews 12:15 keeping your hurt to yourself and in oversharing. A few trusted friends can go a long way in Bitterness. It is such a sneaky little weed. It healing. Dealing with hurt alone can lead to curls upward and outward. When given light bitterness because there is no one outside of and nourishment, it spreads its roots like clover, interweaving across our lives and imbedding in your own shattered thoughts to speak wisdom our hearts. Bitterness can cause so much pain. to you. But, in the same way, talking to the All of us have been wronged at some point wrong person can be detrimental to whatever in our lives, some of us by those we love most, relationship you’re working on. There is a sick whether they be our spouse, our parents, side of humanity that likes things to be broken, friends, or even children. In this fallen world Bethany Riehl that finds sport in others’ misery. It makes us there is no shortage of pain and hurt. I’ve been feel better about our own problems. Family will thinking of things that I’m trying to do (and things I’ve failed naturally want to side with the one they love and in general be to do) to keep bitterness from taking root and wreaking havoc offended for you. Nothing but nothing helps bitterness grow on my life and the lives of those around me. I’ve narrowed my like one of your own agreeing with you in your anger. scattered thoughts into five key ways to combat bitterness. I The best kind of friend or loved one is one that will listen hope this can help you today, my friend. and hurt with you without nourishing your resentment. They 1. Pray. Pray for those who have hurt you. Even if it starts will pray with you, speak Scripture to you, hug you, and enas, “Lord, this person is awful. I can’t find love for them in my courage the healing of your relationship. They will not bash heart...” Allow God to take your prayer and turn it into caring the one that hurt you. for the person you are angry with. Repeat daily — hourly if I think in this same category I can touch on guarding your necessary — until it doesn’t hurt to pray for this person any relationship. This might involve skipping out on certain outings longer. because faking happiness isn’t going to be a good call. I will 2. In your anger do not sin. It is so easy when someone warn you now that friends and family won’t always understand has wronged us to justify hurting them back. Being mistreated this, but it is just a season and they will survive. Sometimes is not an open invitation to misbehave in any capacity. Angry healing a relationship, especially a marriage, is more important words heaved at someone without regard for how they will jab than making those outside of it happy. and damage, retaliation for the hurt, spreading lies or gos5. Examine yourself and repent. A friend of mine once sip about the one we’re angry with — all are without excuse. said something incredibly profound that greatly resonated with Nothing that is done to you justifies sinning yourself. You and me. She shared with me the impact pornography has had on you alone are responsible for your actions. her marriage and with great grace she said, “I have done more 3. Grieve. Mourn. Pout. And be ready to stop when it’s time. I once experienced a season of pouting after a seri- damage to my marriage with the seemingly small daily slights than my husband has done in one big blow.” Ouch. I had to ous hurt in my life. My particular expression of pouting was really take that in and think on it. Even if we are hurting from eating ice cream and watching TV during naptime instead something big, the offender is almost never alone in his or of getting anything done. I cried, oh how I cried. I avoided her sin. My favorite marriage quote that I think can extend to my Bible (red flag, friends!). I kept things picked up, but failed friends and family and anyone that you might be tempted to to be on top of real housework; our laundry pile was simply be bitter against is this: “A happy marriage is the union of two appalling. And our gracious Lord let me pout for a good, long good forgivers.” — Ruth Bell Graham time. Until one evening while my husband was at work, God Bitterness is something we rarely think about these days made it very clear to me that enough was enough. except in the context of the right balance of flavors in a meal. After I put my kids to bed, I was once again headed for the And therein lies a danger. It is a silent cancer that eats away at ice cream when bits of a passage from Deuteronomy 30 hit me like lightning: “Moreover, the LORD your God will circumcise your the most wonderful relationships, weakening love and forgiveness and grace before you even realize it’s there. If we can but heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with stop it before it spreads, we can conquer so much. all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live...For this com“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” mandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach...See I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death — Psalm 34:14 n and adversity...I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I Bethany Riehl loves to write stories and articles that explore the complexihave set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD ties of relationships and encourage readers in their relationship with Jesus. She joyfully serves in the children’s ministry at her church, teaches at a your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him...” homeschool co-op, and drinks more coffee than necessary to keep up with her This was my moment with the Lord. He might do it differonly-slightly-crazy life. She is the author of four Christian fiction novels ently for you. But this passage kept coming back to me over and now lives in Meridian with her spunky kids and very handsome hubby. and over for the next week (God is repetitive when He wants By Bethany Riehl

26 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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FIREFIGHTERS fellowship

FCFI serves firefighters across the globe

Firefighters around the world work to keep others safe. The Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International helps them stay grounded in the faith. (Courtesy photo)

By Gaye Bunderson Where would countries and communities be without their firefighters? It’s no joke to say they’d literally be up in smoke. Firefighters exist all over the world. To help meet the spiritual needs of these brave men and women, a group of firefighters in Denver started a faithbased organization in 1977 they called the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International. Its current president / missionary is Craig Duck. A resident of Virginia, he travels the globe launching fellowships for firefighters wherever there is interest. Why would anyone want to be a firefighter, with all the heat, the smoke, the damage and the danger? “To be honest, it starts when you’re a child and you see the firetrucks going by with their sirens blaring, lights flashing, and going through red lights,” Duck said. Duck started out as a volunteer firefighter in 1981 in a small community in Upstate New York, where his dad was a volunteer. In 1986, he was hired as a Washington, D.C. fireman and detailed to a firehouse. It was there he met FCFI member Don Biggs and got involved in the fellowship. He worked as a firefighter for 28 years and rose to the rank of lieutenant. Now retired, he was named president of FCFI in 2012. The organization would like to have a fellowship in every state in the U.S. and currently has 33 local fellowships across the country. Being a firefighter is a time-honored tradition in America. “George Washington was a volunteer firefighter, as were 5 founding fathers,” Duck said. There are also FCIF chapters in countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Ukraine, and Canada. “People say, ‘Faith in the fire service — what’s the big deal?’ Having a group like ours provides hope, the opportunity to talk things through. There are increasing rates of divorce and suicide among firefighters. Having a faith-based group helps people cope with things like that and helps communities to keep good firefighters,” Duck said. He explained that fighting fires and being a fireman are not like a television show, with all the storylines of success and saving people and being heroes all the time. In actual firefighting scenarios, not everything turns out well. “It’s worse now than in the past; you have school shootings, fire fatalities, auto accidents that involve fire and fatalities, medical-related

28 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

calls. ... Firefighters are called out to all of these; less than 20 percent of what we do involves just fires,” said Duck. “You’re going to be nervous, mostly after the fact — when you’re fighting a fire, you’re focused on that mission.” But firefighters may experience PTSD following some of the more harrowing things they witness, according to Duck. Faith and fellowship can be helpful and healing. Local fellowships can be run in a way that suits that fire department. Some may meet once a month, some more often. “We encourage Bible study for group members,” Duck said. And many local members get together for breakfast once a week. There are also big events, such as a married couples conference, family programs, and a line-of-duty memorial for fallen firefighters. FCFI maintains a website at fellowshipofchristianfirefighters.org, where they offer daily devotionals and a firefighter-specific Bible titled, “Rescued: The Holy Bible — A Bible for First Responders”, and sponsor a Bible ministry, giving free Bibles to fire stations. The website reads: “Currently in the United States there are 1.4 million firefighters who serve in over 50,000 stations. Pray with us as we would like to be able to get a copy of the Bible in every one of those stations.” FCFI members are available to speak at churches, and that may be set up through the website; there is also information about starting a local fellowship. A guiding Scripture of FCFI is Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” FCFI has a very active Facebook page, with 6,000 members, and an app called Christian Firefighter Hub that has been downloaded 1,300 times. The “hub” brings together other fellowships, such as Firefighters for Christ, into a single app to facilitate shared faith, according to Duck. Duck is a big proponent of praying for first responders, so the next time you hear or see a firetruck, don’t forget to hold those firefighters up in prayer, whether or not they are believers. And don’t forget: Our communities need them and they need the support of their communities. n Craig Duck may be reached at FCFImissionary@gmail.com.

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MAXIMUM Health

Seven ways to support thyroid health

3. Manage stress levels. Among its damBy Rosie Main age, chronic stress can suppress pituitary function, The thryoid... Such a tiny gland, yet what a dramatic impact it has on nearly every function inhibiting the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) within your body. Your thyroid regulates your and contributing to thyroid imbalances. Find ways metabolism, but it also impacts how fast your to de-stress and do them regularly. heart beats, your breathing, body temperature, 4. Get great sleep. Thyroid imbalances can menstrual cycles, and whether you lose or gain make you feel tired during the day and wired at weight. Simply put, your thyroid controls almost night, contributing to sleep disorders. Good sleep everything your body does. Which goes to say, when your thyroid malfunctions, other organs like hygiene (including keeping the room dark and your adrenals and gut oftentimes follow. turning off electronics a few hours before bed) Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid can help. If getting good sleep still feels like a gland becomes overactive and makes too many struggle, work with a health care professional for hormones. Hypothyroidism occurs when your additional support. thyroid becomes underactive and doesn’t produce 5. Exercise consistently. Consistent exercise enough hormones. Both imbalances can create Rosie Main numerous symptoms. can benefit thyroid imbalances in many ways. About 90 percent of adult hypothyroidism stems Even a brisk walk can benefit thyroid and overall from an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s, where your health. body mistakenly considers the thyroid gland a foreign invader 6. Minimize toxicity. Environmental toxins can reduce thyand wages an immune attack with two antibodies that attack your roid hormone levels, impair thyroid hormone action, and increase thyroid. your risk for Hashimoto’s. The Environmental Working Group Thyroid imbalances can be complex. Managing Hashimoto’s and other thyroid problems oftentimes requires working with a (EWG) provides excellent guides for: health care professional. At the same time, the seven strategies • The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce offered in this column create a foundation for optimal thyroid • Safety ratings for over 2,500 cleaning products health, as follows: • A Skin Deep Cosmetic Database that lets you search almost 1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet. Making thyroid-supporting 70,000 beauty products foods the foundation of your diet can help optimize thyroid funcAnother important tip: Never modify your medications or any tion and minimize symptoms associated with thyroid imbalances. A proper diet eliminates many thyroid-damaging foods while specific medical instructions without your health care profesincorporating plenty of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. sional’s consent. n 2. Get the right nutrients. Even with the healthiest thyroidsupporting foods, you might not be getting optimal amounts of Rosie Main, DC, owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, specific nutrients. That’s why a multivitamin can fill the nutrient Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on gaps you might be missing from food. Talk with your health care 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. For more information, visit Maxiprovider about additional thyroid-supporting nutrients based on mizedLivingDrMain.com. your specific condition.

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 29


YOUR Daily Bread

Make your tax refund count

was needed. When the bridegroom arrived late, By Terry Frisk only the wise bridesmaids who were prepared atOnce again, it’s tax time! That dreaded time tended the wedding banquet. Using your refund of the year when you must gather all the relto build an emergency fund will give you peace evant information to prepare your tax return. of mind knowing that you will be prepared But wait; it may result in receiving a refund! when an unexpected expense arises. In a recent article posted on Bankrate.com, 72 4. Add to your retirement account. In percent of the tax returns filed in 2019 resulted Proverbs 6, we learn about the wisdom of the in a refund. The average refund for the year was ant who prepares and stores food in the summer $2,869. Odds are, most of you will receive a tax for sustenance in the winter. Putting money in refund this year, as well. HOORAY! Now, the a retirement account now will provide for the question is what to do with that refund. Before winter of your life. If you put your refund in an going on a spending spree, you should consider IRA, it will reduce your tax bill next year. Winhow to best utilize the windfall you received. win! Here are some recommendations in order of 5. Reward yourself. You have worked hard importance. and deserve a reward. Ecclesiastes 9:13 states, 1. Give back to the Lord. Giving is an act Terry Frisk “And people should eat and drink and enjoy of faith that helps us keep our priorities straight. the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from Everything we have is a gift from God and we are stewards of what He has given us. Honoring God with some God.” Allocate a modest portion of your refund to reward yourself. Better yet, take the opportunity to recognize those or all of your refund recognizes that God is our provider and around you who have been a part of your journey over the past that we will prosper with more than just money if we trust in year. Take your family to dinner, treat friends to a movie, or Him. 2. Reduce or pay off debts. We know from Proverbs 22:7, purchase something you can enjoy with others. Sharing the fellowship will bring more satisfaction than spending on something “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” While we are not literally a slave to the financial that loses its luster once the new wears off. If you are receiving a refund this year, use it as an opporinstitution that we owe money to, it can sure feel that way when tunity to accomplish some important financial goals and to we make the periodic payments. Use the “snowball method” also reward yourself for your toil. Keep in mind, a tax refund debt reduction plan advocated by financial advisor Dave shouldn’t be a free pass to go do whatever you want with the Ramsey to pay off your smallest debts and take the payments you would have made on those to apply toward your larger bal- money. Prayerfully consider how to put it to best use to serve God. Remember, it’s still our responsibility to be good stewards ances until they are paid off. with the abundance God has provided. n 3. Create or add to your emergency fund. While God provides for our needs, we should still be prepared for unexpectTerry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory ed financial emergencies. I am reminded of the parable of the services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13. The foolish bridesmaids financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling brought only enough oil for their lamps to last until the groom ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at terry_frisk@msn.com. arrived, while the wise bridesmaids brought extra oil in case it

30 March / April 2020 | Christian Living

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EASTER SERVICES HE IS RISEN!

Easter Sunrise Service On Lizard Butte Sunday, April 12th, 2020, 7:00 a.m. Plan to get there early and be parked around 6:30am giving yourself plenty of time to hike up the butte. You won’t want to miss the beautiful sunrise! Dress warmly, wear appropriate shoes and bring blankets. For more information or to make a donation, email LizardButteSunrise@yahoo.com

CHURCH DIRECTORY “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” — Thessalonians 5:11NIV

BOISE

MERIDIAN

600 N. Ten Mile Rd. Meridian, ID

You are invited Sundays...

Worship Service 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am Bible Study 9:30 & 11 am Children’s Church 11 am Join us Wednesday Nights at 6:45 pm for: • AWANA - Pre-K - to 6 grade • Youth Group • Adult Bible Studies Pastor Clint Henry: clint@centralvalleybaptist.com

centralvalleybaptist.com

Sunday Morning

Adult Only Service 9:30 AM Tuesday Bible Study 7PM All Bikes & Hot Rods Welcome

62 E Fairview Ave. Ste 62, Meridian

208-286-9438

MIDDLETON

Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandThe Sanctuary mother, and retired Christian preschool Cowboy Church 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. Her heart is sharing the life application found in God’s Word. Roxanne has recently published her first children’s book titled, “Beyond the Blue.” The book is a deSunday Service 10 AM scriptive biblical look at heaven that answers Wednesday Service 7 PM questions kids have and offers parents a tool to talk to their kids about Jesus. She also 212 E. Main Street writes a Christian blog. For more informaMiddleton • 546-9845 tion, visit thatslifemissroxanne.blogspot.com Scowboychurch.com and www.roxannedrury.com.

A Women’s Ministry Open to All Churches to Connect Women to One Another

Say YES to Adventures! For more info call: Katy Nelson 503-816-3042

Worship at 10:00 AM Fellowship 11:15 AM Sunday School 11:30 AM • Call to enquire about our Youth Group Activities • Check out our website for Preschool Open enrollment info

1406 W Cherry Ln, Meridian, ID 83642 208-888-1622

www.clcmeridian.org

Loyal To One Ministry

Sweet friendship

Continued from page 23 Be sure to thank God for your friends, the people He has given you to walk through life with. The people who will tell you the truth, even if it hurts. The people who will listen and not judge. The people who you love and who will love you back no matter what. The people who time and distance have no hold on. The people who will make you stronger and a better person. They are a good gift! n

CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH & PRESCHOOL

Commongroundbikerchurch.com

Serving the least, the lost & the forgotten.

Come Join Us for Sunday Services at 10:30 AM 232 N Main St, Meridian (208)884-8599 www.loyalto1.org

Passion for God… Compassion for People 150 W Maestra Street

(off Meridian between Overland & Victory) 208-888-2141 www.valleyshepherd.org

Sunday School 9:30 am Worship 10:45 am

For information on adding your church to this directory, please call 208-703-7509 or email: boisechristianliving@gmail.com

www.katynelsoncoaching.net/walkingwithwomen

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Christian Living | March / April 2020 31


Profile for Christian Living Ministries Inc

Christian Living Magazine March April 2020