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September / October 2020

COUPLE’S MINISTRIES

Intertwine Ashley & Asher Sears

‘The Sunny Side’ A still-relevant song

MAUREEN

Cottrill Surviving the Blitz

Ashley and Asher Sears


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Contents September / October 2020 “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor his ear too deaf to hear you call.” — Isaiah 59:1 NLT

FEATURES

8

Child Evangelism Fellowship:

Teaching kids the gospel

Kim Deugan:

Domestic violence warrior

12

Cover Story — Couple’s Ministries Intertwine

Time stood still: Or did it?

Fall festivals:

Caught napping PrayNorthState plans prayer event 27 Caldwell Prayer Walk rescheduled 27

28

The Hero: It’s not us

Ashley Sears:

Her story ‘unveiled’

Asher Sears:

His personal struggles

COLUMNS 6

16 17

Maureen Cottrill:

British war bride’s faith

Dots: 24 God A testimony shared

Man’s Toolbox: 10 Real So many changes

Keep Calm: 14 Mom Talking to a wall?

DEPARTMENTS 5

Understanding Relationships: Four marriages Health: 22 Maximum Immune system defenses

IN EACH EDITION

Publisher’s Corner: My so-called party

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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 Steve Jones

Choosing to Love: Love is kind...and more

4

19 26

Volume 9, Number 5 Publisher Sandy Jones christianlivingmag@gmail.com 208-703-7860

30

Daily Bread: 31 Your ‘The Sunny Side’

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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 | September / October 2020 3


PUBLISHER’S Corner

You’re not invited to my so-called party

I mean it’s one thing to be on Team Jesus when By Sandy Jones you spend every day hanging with Him. Or even Remember the old children’s song, ‘nobody likes if you get to see Him and have dinner occasionally. me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms?’ But some of the disciples lived as many as 33 years Why is it so easy to have a big ol’ pity party when longer than Jesus Himself, and their stories, their things aren’t going the way we’d like? recollections, their passion for His ministry never The months of March through August have been changed! The Apostle Paul didn’t even convert until entertaining to say the least. While I already work 1 to 2 years after Christ’s ascension to Heaven. from home, I assumed I wouldn’t be emotionally These faithful men were shunned, beaten, imprisimpacted by all the joys COVID-19 brought with it. oned, and martyred, with at least 2 of them cruciWhat I hadn’t considered was that I’m accustomed fied for their beliefs. One has to ask themselves, ‘who to my husband traveling extensively for work, leavwould do that, if it was all fake?’ Not to mention the ing me with lots of privacy, and quiet time to focus ‘non-Christian’ historical documents and artifacts on life and this ministry. that have been found to substantiate so much of For instance, when he’s on the road, it’s okay to what we learn in the Bible. have popcorn for dinner occasionally. I have discovered as the days have become weeks, Let’s just say, I haven’t had popcorn for dinner and now the weeks have become months, that if I Sandy Jones since sometime in February. consciously choose to focus on Who I serve, that I We share an office, which means we can’t both be am able to maintain a healthier perspective on the on the phone at the same time, and I’ve discovered that we both talk troubles of this world. Stories like Paul’s help me to remain focused to ourselves A LOT! and steadfast, knowing full well that God’s got this, and me with it, There haven’t been many face-to-face meetings, and I might be whatever “this” I may be facing today. getting a bit stir-crazy. When added to other things, it all combines to As long as God’s got “this,” then I can continue to live as commake for a good old-fashioned pity party. manded, “He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your Yep! Even I have been known to hold a pity party. heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with It was on what I thought was a particularly rough day that I all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Luke opened my devotional to 2 Corinthians, chapter 11. 10:27 NIV Please don’t think me naïve, or Pollyanna. One thing I’ve struggled I have to interject here – who doesn’t love the Apostle Paul? First with these past months is where Scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles he hated Christians. Thoroughly enjoyed his job making them fear for their lives, and making them miserable. Then he has this encoun- 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their ter on the road to Damascus; followed by 3 days of blindness and, wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their some believe, alone with Jesus; he comes out of it a whole new man, sin, and will heal their land.” with a whole new passion in life! I’ve seen and heard this verse quoted time and again, even doing so In this reading Paul is brutally honest, saying, 23b I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more se- myself. One of the things that burdens my heart is that I see, hear and verely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times read of so much hate and discontent, anger and resentment in this I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three world today, the same world, the same universe that our God created. times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three While I see all of these other emotions, I simply must confess that I times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger don’t see a lot of humbling going on. In our last issue, I invited you to join me in being the Hands and from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Feet of Christ. I extend this invitation once again, and the next time Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the trials of this life get to you, I encourage you to stop, and think, the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. then choose, as Paul did, to take it in stride and stay focused on God 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit Who resides in you. have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I God’s got this! have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily Until next time…. the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Sandy Ummm, what was I whining about again? Please remember to frequent our advertisers. Without them, there The more I read, study and learn about the lives of the disciples would be no Christian Living Magazine. Please visit them, and thank the more I realize that even on my bad days I have it so good! them for their loving support. n

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4 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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UNDERSTANDING Relationships

The four marriages within a marriage their sight. In marriage number four they are riding By Gary Moore a bicycle built for two. There is a natural tension in healthy marriages: we This joint journey requires a lot of personal as well continue to grow as individuals, and the marriage as marital growth. Such growth entails four revisions relationship also grows. This natural tension, which of self-understanding; four kinds of self-esteem; four if recognized and dealt with, is healthy. However, stages of handling differences and difficulties. a long view of marriage is necessary to be able to Included is a lot of letting go of old habits that understand and deal with this reality. don’t work any longer. There is also a good deal of In 1988, Dr. David Augsburger published a book letting be on issues that one comes to realize are not titled, Sustaining Love – Healing & Growth in the all that important, and a surprising amount of letPassages of Marriage. The thesis of the book is that ting come what will as the new relationship unfolds. there are four marriages within a marriage. I teach a The experience of oneself, of one’s partner and of class titled Sustaining Love Through the Passages the relationship that connects us is so different that of Marriage that is based, in part, on this book. I’m one looks back with surprise that we stayed so long currently hoping to release an online version of this in that old way of being. One looks at the other with course sometime this fall. wider eyes, seeing new sides, feeling new feelings, We all change over time. And, as persons change, understanding new insights about this well-accusthe marriage changes. It has to. So be aware, be preGary Moore tomed yet provocatively unfamiliar person. pared and embrace it. As the marriage is renegotiLife and growth should be redundant words, but ated, the persons grow. Each becomes more of what observation of others and reflection on oneself reveals embarrassshe always was, yet never has been; more of what he wanted to be, ing periods of being stuck in routine. Growth and marriage should yet never could be. also be repetitive, but most marriages alternate quiet periods of I use a bicycle metaphor to explain the four marriages within a stability with brief passages of change and maturation. Growth and marriage. In marriage number one, the strongest personality of the change are not ends in themselves. In fact, growth for growth’s sake two is pedaling and steering the bike and the other person is sitting is the philosophy of a cancer cell. The goal of growth is wholeness, on the handlebars. In marriage number two, they are “fighting” to completeness and maturity. The real failure in life is to fail to grow see who is going to pedal and steer and who is going to sit on the handlebars. In marriage number three, they each have their own bike toward such goals. Continued on page 7 and ride at their own speed. But, they never let each other out of

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 5


CHOOSING to Love

1 Corinthians 13 love goes beyond kind With that in mind, instead of saying loving others means being friendly, warm, and affectionate, we should interpret the command to have more of the Note: At the beginning of the year I decided to verb (action) implication. This doesn’t mean we use this space to focus on God’s greatest comshouldn’t be warm and affectionate, but we’re not mand. If you’re connecting with this series commanded to be that way. To be loving according for the first time and would like to read the to 1 Corinthians 13 means to be fit for use, useful, foundational material of this discussion, I envirtuous, and good. courage you to visit Christian Living’s website What does that look like? to read the whole series. Visit https://www. Readers from previous articles in this series already christianlivingmag.com/columns/ know that God is our model when it comes to love. Accordingly, whenever I’m teaching this, I always ask “What is the greatest commandment?” It was people to identify when God has been useful to us. In likely a gotcha question from the scribes and teachevery day and in every way we should be able to talk ers of the law, but Jesus gave a straightforward anof situations in which God has been useful to us. At swer: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart the most fundamental level, the fact that He provides and with all your soul and with all your strength.” us food and clothing shows He loves us. And although he wasn’t asked, Jesus also told them But how do we show love back in terms of something else. “And the second is like it: ‘Love your Daniel Bobinski chrẽsteuomai? How can we be useful to God? neighbor as yourself.’” Have you stored up God’s Word in your heart? That’s useful to And then Jesus said something astounding. “All the Law and the God, because when we do that, it’s easier for the Holy Spirit to Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Think about that. All the law. All the prophets. It’s an amazing con- remind us of God’s principles. Have we rested in Him? Quieted our minds and spirits and sought His presence? That makes it easier for cept. Thankfully, the Apostle Paul gave us an itemized definition of Him to speak to us – for us to hear what He’s trying to get across. the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 13, and interestingly, the words are These are just two of many ways we can be useful to God, and if all verbs – things we are to DO. we do these things, we are fulfilling the greatest commandment – lovIn the last issue of Christian Living Magazine, this space examined ing the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul. what it means to be patient. In this issue we’ll be examining what it But what about the second-greatest commandment – love our means to be “kind.” neighbors as ourselves? How can we be useful to them? Modern psychology tells us that to be kind means to be friendly, If you think about it, kindness and usefulness go hand-in-hand in so considerate, gentle, warm, affectionate, and concerned. If you think many ways. If you hold the door for someone, the person might say, about it, these words generally relate to feeling. And, as you might “That was kind of you.” Yes, it was: You were being useful. expect, that’s how many people today define the word “kind.” When there’s a snowstorm and you shovel your neighbor’s walkway, But from a scriptural perspective, the words in 1 Corinthians 13 someone might say, “That was kind of you.” Again, you were being are verbs – action words. Therefore, being kind when living out the useful. greatest commandment isn’t about feelings. By the way, this way of looking at things helps us understand the The Greek word for “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4 is the verb mandate to love our enemies. For example, you might have a neighchrẽsteuomai (pronounced khra-styü'-o-mi), and it’s the only place bor who’s rather venomous toward you. As such, it’s nearly impossible in all of Scripture that this word appears. With a little digging into for you to have warm fuzzies for the man, but you can shovel his sidea concordance, we learn that chrẽsteuomai is the middle voice for walk, pick up trash that’s blown into his yard, or rake his leaves in the chrẽstos, which means, “fit for use, useful; virtuous, good.” fall without him knowing. In so doing, you are “loving your enemy.” By Daniel Bobinski

6 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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The four marriages Continued from page 5 Thankfully, Scripture never commands us to have warm fuzzies for everyone. We would fail miserably. Lastly, let's talk about loving ourselves, because we’re supposed to love our neighbors AS ourselves. The question here is, “How can you be useful to yourself ?” The answers are easier than you might think. If you eat healthy and take care of your body, you’re being useful to yourself. If you let go of resentment, you’re being useful to yourself because you’re not letting yourself get infected by the poison that accompanies resentment. Allow me to leave you with an assignment. Make yourself a list of how God is useful to you. The more details you can write, the better. Do it daily for a week or two and you’ll more easily see how God loves you. Then identify ways you’re being useful to God. This can seem awkward because God doesn’t really need anything from us – but He wants you to love Him, so strive to identify how you’re being useful to Him. Lastly, identify ways you’re being useful to others and also to yourself. The clearer you can articulate these things, the easier it will get, and the deeper your relationship with God and others will be. n 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 or (208) 375-7606.

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Your present marriage is only one of many you will experience if you continue life together. Marriage is not a single style of relating, committing, trusting, negotiating, conflicting and growing. When there is growth, then there will be multiple marriages within the marriage – a series of marriages that unfold as the persons grow. Marriage offers one of the few safe arenas in which a person can discard the illusions, fantasies and false hopes of childhood and grow toward authentic adulthood. In the permanence of a marriage relationship, one can develop the qualities of adulthood that can be simulated or bypassed in other relationships – qualities such as honesty, self-disclosing, humility, tolerance for and love of differences. D.H. Lawrence wrote, “I should say the relation between any two decently married people changes profoundly every few years, often without their knowing it; though every change causes pain, even if it brings a certain joy. The long course of marriage is a long event of perpetual change, in which a man and woman mutually build up their souls and make themselves whole. It is like rivers flowing on, through new country, always unknown.” Creative change in marriage is facilitated by an understanding – a long view – of the four basic “marriages within a marriage.” n Gary Moore served as associate pastor at Cloverdale Church of God for 15 years. He does couples’ coaching and leads couples’ workshops and retreats called MUM’s the Word. He does a weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 a.m. on Fridays. Monday mornings at 10 a.m. he does live relationship teaching called MUM Live on his Facebook page Mutual Understanding Method. He may be contacted at glmoore113@gmail.com.

Christian Living | September / October 2020 7


CHILD Evangelism Fellowship

Ministry imparts gospel message to youth By Gaye Bunderson Robert “Bob” Smith of Nampa committed himself to the cause of childhood evangelism 41 years ago, a decision he made while mowing lawns for pay as a young man. “I realized I wanted to do work that amounted to something and that had value,” he said. He made an easy connection to an international organization called the Child Evangelism Fellowship, and the connection came through his wife. “I met my wife at Bible college and she was involved in CEF – in fact, she was involved before she was born because her mom was a Good News Club teacher and taught the Good News Club in her home.” (Good News Club is one of CEF’s primary ministries, but more on that later.) Smith serves as state director of the Idaho chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Asked how CEF has changed over four decades, Smith answered: “The kids have changed; the message hasn’t. It used to be that kids had some biblical concept of who God is. Today, there is very little of that. We have to go back to the basics of the Bible. Surveys show that 80 percent of kids today do not attend church in America. When I first started, even kids who didn’t go to church had a biblical foundation, and that isn’t there today.” CEF was founded in 1937 by Rev. J. Irvin Overholtzer, a man with a vision to reach boys and girls in need of the Savior. “He was in his 60s at the time,” Smith said. Though he has passed away, his God-ordained global ministry is still vital. According to Smith, and citing information at www.cefonline. com and www.cefofidaho.com, last year 25 million children around the world heard the gospel message. There is universality in it, and in the way CEF teaches it as well. “From Oregon to Kenya, bibically it is the same,” Smith said. “They even sing the same songs in a different language.” Some of the ministries featured in CEF include a summertime 5-Day Club, an opportunity for children to interact with teenagers who receive training in CEF’s Christian Youth in Action program; and the aforementioned Good News Club, a club for grade schoolage children that meets for 90 minutes a week during the school year. CEF-Idaho has 3 divisions: the Treasure Valley division, which currently has 9 clubs; Eastern Idaho division, with 12 clubs; and the Top Ten County Chapter, which has 4 clubs. The Treasure Valley clubs are spread out across the local area in different communities.

When the clubs meet, the first 15 minutes is non-structured. The kids gather in small groups and have a snack. “They’re always hungry,” Smith said. The rest of the meeting is structured, but in a way that appeals to youngsters. “Children have short attention spans, things are changing and moving; we have them sit and focus on an activity – they’re involved in the learning,” Smith said. He explained there is something labeled a God Can on a table when the kids gather. “We have a can that says ‘God Can’ on it. It’s not about trying to put God in a box {or a can}. It stands for ‘God can answer prayers.’” The young club members are invited to insert prayer requests in the can. All kinds of requests make their way into the container, all written in childhood scrawl. They range from “I need help with homework” to “I stubbed my toe.” One serious request from a first grader threw Smith for a loop one time. It read: “Please pray that my dad will stop dating other women not my mom.” Smith stressed that the Good News Club is not a social club. “Our ministry is to take the message of the gospel to the children,” he said. That’s not to say that club meetings aren’t fun. “A typical Good News Club meeting will have songs throughout it – high-energy songs – and a Bible study, learning of a memory verse, and a review game at the end.” CEF and the Good News Club generally partner with churches and frequently hold the weekly meetings at the church, with parental permission. “When we partner with a local church, it’s strengthened that way,” said Smith. The adults who lead the GNC meetings are church-involved and are in agreement with the CEF-GNC Statement of Faith. Said the state director, “We stay out of church doctrine, but the Statement of Faith is in line with what the Bible teaches.” The Statement of Faith is the same in every country that CEF is involved in. Some churches have “adopted” schools here in the valley. One such faith institution is Good News Community Church in Nampa. Pastor Dan Mangeac said his church adopted Snake River Elementary as a way to “bless the neighborhood” that surrounds the church’s location. “The Nampa School District has identified Snake River Elementary as a Family Community Resource Center, which means they (the children and their families) are in need of clothing, food, and special services. We’ve adopted them as a school to help out.”

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Mangeac said that three years ago, the church started a Good News Club there. “It sounds like we’re co-branding.” But, he acknowledged, the Good News Club has been around a lot longer than the Good News Church. “Every year, our Good News Club reaches more than 100 kids with the gospel message,” Mangeac said, explaining his church’s efforts with the students of Snake River Elementary have all been undertaken with the overwhelming support of teachers and administrators. “They tell us it changes the culture of the school, and they tell us how much of a blessing we are.” Smith said some of the good things that have happened in other schools adopted by churches include: • A pastor would go into his church’s adopted school and pray with the schoolteachers first thing in the morning. • A church helped with the purchase of playground equipment for its adopted school. • A church helped with tutoring the kids, as well as pitching in in the classroom. “They did anything they could do to help,” said Smith. • When COVID-19 hit, a church in Meridian asked a school if there were any families that needed help, and the school provided them with a list of about 10 families. Regarding the pandemic, Smith said during an interview this past summer that he was uncertain how the new school year would look. “Only God knows. If the schools are open, are the districts going to let us go into schools? It all depends on what things look like in September, but we’re making plans to keep having Good News Clubs.” Technology has played its part. “In April, when the COVID started up, Good News Clubs went to Zoom clubs,” Smith said, admitting it wasn’t quite as good as being together in a space, but it was still faceto-face, in a high-tech sort of way.

Bob and Susette Smith attended a Child Evangelism Fellowship conference a few years ago to mark the 80th anniversary of CEF, as well as Susette’s 40-year involvement in the ministry. (Courtesy photo)

Child Evangelism Fellowship is guided by the words of Matthew 18:14, ESV: “So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Its motto is, “Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day.” It’s a big challenge but one the ministry has taken on for more than 80 years, with no plans to stop. n For more information, contact CEF Idaho State Director Bob Smith at (208) 465-9842 or email him at bob@cefofidaho.com.

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 9


REAL Man’s Toolbox

Changing seasons in life and society… Let’s not squander these great tools. Let’s soak By Leo Hellyer them into ourselves and then share them with othI am pretty confident that the vast majority of us ers. God doesn’t speak to us and expect us to keep would have never imagined the twists and turns that his guidance to ourselves. We are to go out and American society has taken since January. Busishare our knowledge, our love, and our faith with nesses, schools, sports, churches, law enforcement, the people God brings across our path. demonstrations, historical monuments, politics, If we do not like what we see going on around us, families, healthcare workers, military personthen we need to do something about it while follownel, pastors, retail workers, restaurants, the stock ing the words of Philippians 4:8. We need to dwell market, etc. have all gone through unprecedented on the things of God, not on the things of man. and unimaginable changes. What we are seeing and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of God. experiencing is a world that is lost in so many ways; He was a man who dramatically changed this nation we are living in a world that is looking for a sense of direction. The primary problem is that a good porfor the better. He was a man who sought God’s guidtion of those involved are looking for answers in the ance. He knew that he had a God-given responsibilwrong places. ity to be heard and to speak to things that God was In Philippians 4:8 we read the following words, putting on his heart. Dr. King changed our nation. which tell us exactly what we should be dwelling He believed in demonstrating against injustice, but Leo Hellyer on: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever doing so in a non-violent manner. He had a number is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, of famous quotes, a few of which are: whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any ex“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Unfortunately, much of society is not dwelling on these things at this “The time is always right to do what is right.” time in our nation’s history. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to It is time for Christian men to step up to the plate, get in the game, bear.” and be seen and heard. In other words, be Christian soldiers. We are “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moin a battle. This battle has changed from being spiritual warfare to ments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of being actual person to person, hand to hand combat in some areas. challenge and controversy.” This nation was founded on Christian principles and has lasted as We are the human race. We have different nationalities, colors of long as it has because of those principles. Many of the heroes of this skin, and body types, but we are all a part of the human race. We great nation have been Christian men, or men who followed foundaare all brothers and sisters. We are all descendents of Adam and Eve. tional Christian beliefs. Yes, we are all blood relatives, regardless of the color of our skin or This column has always been about giving men tools to put into other factors. We are all fashioned in the image of God. their toolbox, to become the best possible men that they can be. God loves each one of us. We are all children of God. With God’s There are many resources that are available, written by a large guidance, wisdom, and compassion, maybe we can all get to the number of patriarchs of the faith. As men, we need to seek out these point where we can concentrate on our commonalities and not our patriarchs, seek their counsel, and apply what they share with us in differences. God is the answer to everything that is wrong in our lives. our own lives. Following is a list of just a few godly me who speak the All of us have prejudices of one kind or another. It may just be that truth as they have received it from God. I have also listed a few of we like Dodges more than Fords. That is not something to be wortheir written works that can help us build a foundation in our lives ried about. But, when we have prejudices involving other humans, and that can change us and those near to us, possibly changing the regardless of what group of humans we are a part of and they are future of our nation. part of, that is a problem. We need to come before God Almighty James MacDonald – Act Like Men and humbly seek his forgiveness. n Patrick Morley – How God Makes Men – Man in the Mirror Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to Charles Stanley – Man of God his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise Tony Evans – Kingdom Man FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Gene Getz – The Measure of a Man Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms John MacArthur – Twelve Ordinary Men Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions Dennis Rainey – Stepping Up about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at silverJohn Eldredge – Wild at Heart plate426@msn.com or 208-340-5544.

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KIM Deugan

Helping one person – and then many more By Gaye Bunderson Editor’s note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we thought a brief interview with Kim Deugan, executive director of Advocates Against Family Violence, would be in order – to honor the victims of domestic abuse in Idaho and elsewhere and to let those currently experiencing abuse know there is hope and help. Q. How long have you been with Advocates Against Family Violence? A. I have had the honor of serving with AAFV for 11 years now. Q. Can you briefly explain what AAFV does? A. AAFV works to provide hope, healing, and strength to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Our mission is to eliminate violence and abuse from the lives of all individuals. We provide advocacy, support, emergency shelter, housing, education, and awareness through our 14 programs and classes. Q. What made you want to get involved? A. I’m a survivor (of abuse). I thought if I could help just one other person then my journey would have been worth it. I remember my first year working here we reported providing 1,700 services. This past year, 2019, through all of our programs and classes we provided over 60,000 victim services. We are truly reaching those victimized by domestic abuse and sexual assault. Q. Do you feel the Lord led you to this job, and why? A. Absolutely! I know I would not have pursued a position like this on my own. I’m a firm believer in Him calling us to our positions in life. We just have to be obedient and really listen to Him. I know that God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called, and He has certainly had to qualify me throughout the last 11 years. Q. Could you share your testimony with our readers? A. When I said “I do,” I thought I was going to be living the life I had always dreamed of. I would have my fairytale, the one that all little girls dream of having one day. But, much to my surprise, that is not how it turned out. Shortly after the “I do’s,” it became apparent to me that this was not going to be the case.

Kim Deugan

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We were married for 15 years, living through one lawsuit, one eviction, and one repossession to the next, not to mention the countless extramarital affairs (his). I stayed, believing that all “good Christian wives” continue to pray and believe God for the miracle. I didn’t want our children coming from a broken home, not realizing it already was broken. I prayed every day for safety for me and my children. Our last time in court was the final reckoning. My husband was sentenced to 15 years in prison. That began my journey as a true survivor. I didn’t understand victimization. Not until I attended a presentation at Harvest Life Church did I realize me and my children were victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse isn’t just physical, it’s mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual. After my awakening to this, I vowed to make a difference: if I could help just one person, that would make a difference. And that’s exactly what I did. Now, 11 years later, I have had the honor of assisting those in the Treasure Valley impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. We are making a difference. We are empowering, providing hope, healing and strength to individuals on the journey to freedom.

Q. Are you sometimes able to tell some of the people you deal with – both male and female – about the Lord, as a kind of witness? A. Absolutely! When they specifically ask me how I made it through, I’m able to share my testimony.

Q. You must see some difficult things. Does your faith help you cope? A. Yes, every day is a new journey. We are witness to severe tragedies and sadness on a daily basis. However, we are also witness to amazing strength and dignity being restored to those we serve. Therein is the silver lining. Without my faith I know it would be a much harder calling. Every morning, me and Jesus have a chat on my way to work and I give the day and our campus to Him.

Q. Do you intend to keep doing this work indefinitely, and why? A. I keep telling the staff and our board of directors that I will probably die in my chair at work (laughing). I know that one day I will retire, but I will probably continue to volunteer and offer my love and support. n For more information, contact Advocates Against Family Violence at (208) 459-6330 or visit aafvhope.org.

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 13

Q. Do you have a particular story about that? A. When I first began I was hired here as the housing coordinator and I was also teaching a Life Skills class. In that class I was able to share my testimony, my journey, and the new life I had because of Christ. Q. Has the pandemic made abuse situations worse, or are there more of them? A. The pandemic has certainly not helped. We were concerned, especially through the stay-at-home order, that there would be no way for those being abused to reach out for services. We are seeing an up-tick in calls for services. Through our court program, we average 219 civil protection order hearings per month. Our counseling program has seen an up-tick in those reaching out as well because we are able to offer telehealth meetings.


MOM Keep Calm

Talking to my daughter, talking to a wall Ouch!

It hurts. It’s deflating. It leaves you feeling blue and hopeless. As moms of teens, we start to feel desperate. We fear our relationship with our daughter will vanish like fog when the sun comes up in the morning. We are anxious our sweet moments will wisp away to nothing but memory. You know she would have loved the idea just a few years ago. You long for the days when you laughed and played together. You wonder if you will experience that special connection with your daughter ever again. Hang in there, mom! A body snatcher has not stollen your sweet girl. But her body, inside and out, is under major reconstruction right now. She is distracted and overwhelmed. Her feelings swing from one extreme to the other. Unbridled emotion to total apathy. This is hard for a mama bear’s heart to take day after day. It won’t stay like this forever, but it will stick around awhile.

How do you break through the brick wall?

By Janet Lund

You know that feeling…

You’ve been trying to figure out something you and your daughter can do together like when she was little. Finally, you come up with a great idea! You are sure she is going to like this, or at least you really hope she does. The big moment comes. You share the exciting news and…the message falls flat. “Not interested!” Whether it was a mother-daughter date, a new activity you had hoped to try together, or suggesting she join you in chasing a goal, it felt like you were talking to a brick wall. Now your heart feels like it’s been body slammed.

In the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Hagrid the giant, Harry’s newfound friend, knows how to get through a brick wall – not by breaking it down, but with a magical combination he taps out on the bricks with the tip of his umbrella. Mom, there is no magic spell to give you instant passage into your daughter’s heart. However, with a few tools and a little patience, you will get through to your sweet girl. You can help her find calm, let down her guard, and open up to you again. In order for you to do that, you need to prepare yourself. Here is how:

3 ways to get through the brick wall days

1. Take care of you. Make sleep a priority, and water intake too. Take time to quiet down, gather your thoughts, journal, read, pray, whatever helps you feel centered and calm. Parenting out of a state of calm will have a powerful impact on your interactions with your daughter and the rest of your family. 2. Make your own fun. If what you dreamed up for you and your daughter to do is something you really want to do, go for it!

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Go ahead and do it on your own. Sometimes doing things alone reminds us that we can be our own best friend. It also leaves an opening for your daughter to possibly change her mind and join you later on. 3. Celebrate. Don’t keep your fun to yourself. Share your experience. Don’t hold back how much fun you had. Let your enthusiasm weave itself into your day, your week, your life. Be proud of yourself for going for it. Your enthusiasm will impact your daughter. Believe it or not, your young lady is watching you even when she doesn’t act like it. With time, she just may grow curious – and her curiosity may just soften her brick wall.

Circle back

Finally, remember these two things: 1) Take care of yourself and 2) No conversation is over. You can always circle back. Learn. Love. Laugh.

Janet Lund

When your daughter is in a calmer state of mind, be curious. Inquire about why she didn’t want to do what you had suggested. Ask, “Was there something about doing it that made you uncomfortable?” Say, “I’m curious because I care about you and your feelings.” If she starts to open up to you, say, “Tell me more about that.” This will coax her to open up. Ask her, “What would make you more comfortable?” “How would you feel about trying it now?” This will open the door to the possibility of having her change her mind. You can also tell her, “If you ever want to give it a try, just let me know.” Each day is its own adventure. Your daughter will be more receptive and open to you some days than others. Just take them one at a time.

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How else can I get through?

Order my book, “L.O.V.E.D. – 5 Simple Steps to Connect with Your Teen Daughter.” It will empower you. Build a heart-to-heart connection. Nurture your love into something beautiful. Take the following link for your paperback or Kindle version on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/L-V-D-ConnectDaughter-ebook/dp/B08DL9Y913 Take this link to find your favorite eBook store: https://books2read.com/u/bzjq7L 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.

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 15


Ashley Sears

Her own personal story ‘unveiled’ By Sandy Jones Publisher’s note: When Mark Arenas from the Boise Harvest Team introduced me to Ashley Sears, I knew her story had to be remarkable – I had no clue just how much so. Ashley’s story is one of two. In this issue, both Ashley and her husband Asher share their own stories about how the hopelessness of pornography addiction nearly ruined their marriage...until they found hope and help. “I was reading something several years ago by @ jenniesallen. She says, “What if the very darkest moments of your life, God intended for good... for saving lives?!” Think about that. What if the hardest seasons, the lowest times in your life, God wants to use to bring light and healing to someone else? Would it be worth it?” – Ashley Sears’ post on the Stories:Unveiled Facebook page Ashley Sears doesn’t look like anybody’s victim. Smart, strong, courageous – a true leader – that’s what people see when they meet her. Growing up in an active church family, Ashley’s parents divorced when she was 14. Ashley asked if she could live full time with her mom; the courts in Southern California consented. Two years later, before there was online dating, her mom met a Christian gentleman in an AOL chatroom; they married months later. The family moved to Northern California. Ashley, now 17, learned that she had been conceived through artificial insemination, and her “dad” was not her biological father. Although relieved from the guilt of not having connected to him, she was left feeling a little betrayed. Ashley: “It was a good thing and actually propelled me into a deeper relationship with Mom’s new husband,” who adopted her at 21. Ashley’s family moved to a small town south of Reno, Nevada. Her parents found a wonderful church; sadly, Ashley never felt like she fit in with the high school group at the church. Never angry at God, and not intentionally leaving ‘the church,’ once Ashley was off to college and dorm living, she started working weekends, “partying and making new friends.” Eventually, Ashley and her best friend moved into a house, where she was raped by a “good friend,” and soon found herself the target of a serial stalker, who ultimately went to prison for two counts of stalking. “I had just come off of being assaulted by a friend and was literally in the middle of the trial with the stalker when I met Asher (her husband). I’m not sure why he didn’t turn and walk away. But he came with me to the Victim Impact Statement and walked through all of that with me.” Asher Sears was divorced with a 5-year-old son. Ashley knew from the beginning that Asher was not a Christian. He was good with the fact that her family was, telling her, “As long as they don’t try and convert me, or Bible thump me...”

“We fell hard, and we fell fast,” Ashley said. “After two months of dating I moved in, and 8 months later I got pregnant. We found out on a Friday, told my parents on Monday, and the following Friday we were married in a Reno chapel with our families present.” Soon they fell into a Sunday routine. They would meet Ashley’s parents at their home after her parents got out of church – the ladies in the kitchen catching up and making lunch, while the guys went out to the hot tub. Both a recovering addict and alcoholic, Ashley’s dad has “a lot of real fun stories.” He was able to keep his stories genuine, while sharing how God had brought him through those times. He’s nonjudgmental and easy for Asher to talk to about his own past and struggles. It was after one of these Sunday dinners that Asher asked Ashley what she thought about checking out her parents’ church. He’d been told they had great music there. As a music major, this was probably the best way to get Asher’s attention. The three Sears visited the following Sunday and the next, and on the third Sunday Asher accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized. The couple decided then they would raise their family in ‘the church.’ When their daughter was 2, a fashion show of sorts came on TV. Ashley, self-conscious of her post-baby body and not wanting their daughter to watch it, asked if they could change the channel. She was surprised when Asher said, “No.” This lead to an argument, which lead to an even bigger discussion. It was then that Ashley learned Asher had a pornography addiction. This was the beginning of what would be a 10-year struggle. Ashley explains, “I don’t care what your faith is, that’s not ever anything you want to deal with in your marriage. We were very up and down. I would find out; I would get mad; he would say he would do better, and he would or wouldn’t for a certain amount of time, and then it would just be back. “To say that I didn’t want to stay a lot of the time would be pretty honest. I didn’t know if I could do this. I didn’t want to raise our children this way, and at this point, we had two more children, both boys.” Several years into their marriage the Sears moved to Idaho, something they both agree was a real blessing. However, their marriage was still on the rocks. They’d been to counseling. Asher had been to recovery groups. Nothing seemed to work for long. They were “white knuckling it” until they found a “phenomenal” counselor, and Ashley learned things about Asher’s addiction, making it possible to move forward. She thought they were in a really good place. Continued on page 18

16 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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Asher Sears

His real life struggles with desire By Sandy Jones

ple’s stries twine

STORY

Asher Sears grew up in a non-Christian home where both parents worked in the gaming industry in Reno, Nevada. His mom would make dinner before leaving for her graveyard shift, leaving Asher and his sister to have dinner alone, then fend for themselves until their dad got home. Most evenings their dad ate his dinner alone while watching TV in his bedroom. Working in casino marketing, Asher’s dad always had posters and calendars from various cheerleader and other similar groups that he would have autographed for Asher. Asher says of his father, “He would be inappropriate with my mother in front of us… I’m sure that’s what he learned from his father.” In public, Asher’s father was quick to point out beautiful or scantily-clad women. As Asher reflects back on these times he feels he was being trained. When he was 14, Asher found his dad’s pornography videotape collection. Asher remembers his raging teenage hormones, and resolutely shares, “I can still remember those images from almost 30 years ago; that really solidified the path I was on.” Left alone so much, and with cable movie channels at his disposal, Asher looks back on the softcore pornography as something that only added fuel to the fire. Asher spent his high school years “chasing girls.” Graduating with a 2.5 GPA he says he always claimed, “I was bored. I never really wanted to put in the effort, but now that I think about it, it was mostly because I was never focused on school. I was always focused on girls.” During these early years Asher and his buddies weren’t old enough to buy pornography, but they sought it out, even picking up stuff they had found on the side of the road. He’s quick to add that the girls who’d known him through school could never get past the “brace-faced, glasses-wearing, chubby little kid” he’d been, and that even when thinned out and playing football in high school, things didn’t bode well for him, until he went to college. He met his first college girlfriend in marching band. He played trumpet. She played saxophone. He admits that she was a “good country girl” who kept things proper. During this time he met a girl who was dating one of his friends and who made it clear she wanted a physical relationship from him, and nothing more. He thought he’d hit the jackpot! The two eventually started dating, and he broke up with the saxophone player. Looking back he confesses, “I’ve regretted the way I

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handled that; she didn’t deserve that. That’s a part of my recovery.” Asher dated the new girlfriend off and on for about two years. During one of their break-ups she informed him she was pregnant. As a non-believer he encouraged her to have an abortion, and when she refused, Asher dropped out of college at 19 and married her. Asher attempted to join the military to support his new family but couldn’t pass the eye exam, so he started a new job. He remembers those early days: “I would get a job, end up getting fired, and move on to another job.” Eventually Asher turned to car sales. After work, a bunch of the guys would go to the strip clubs. One evening Asher returned home from one of these trips and his wife could “smell it” on him. Thinking it would fix the problem, she bought him a pornographic magazine subscription. It was about this time that internet pornography started to spread. This deepened Asher’s growing addiction. When their son was 4½, the couple divorced. Asher was now a single guy. Due to his work schedule, he didn’t have his son often, so he was “on the prowl.” Asher eventually realized, “This is not who I am. I’m not a player. I took a step back and realized that I wanted something different.” Asher’s sister was working at a restaurant with another employee named Ashley. She thought it would be great if Ashley and Asher met, and she introduced the two of them. He and Ashley started to talk, and they both agree, they fell hard for each other. When she became pregnant, he was calmly adamant about getting married, saying, “We knew we were going to get married at some point in time, just maybe not quite that quick.” Asher fast-forwards to life as a baby Christian and recalls the night of the “fashion show.” He admits, “I’d just given my life to the Lord essentially and didn’t know what I was doing was wrong. It’s what I’d been doing my whole life. I had grown up in it.” Asher and Ashley remember the next few years differently. Asher continues, “What I do recall is that in my own struggle, as I grew and matured in my faith, coming to know that it was wrong and was not what God wanted for my life. So I struggled with it. Greatly. I lived under a shroud of shame.” He added, “I was serving in children’s ministry. I was serving in men’s ministry. I was doing all these things and I thought to myself, there’s no way I could ever come clean about this. What will they think? What will they say? So I lived in silence. I would cry out to God to take this from me.” Ashley continued to tell him he needed to get some help. Asher found a faith-based, 12-step program at a local church that offered a pornography addiction module. He thought it was perfect. It wasn’t at their church, so he was able to attend these meetings with anonymity. No one there knew him, and he didn’t have to fear what they might think of him. Continued on page 20

Christian Living | September / October 2020 17


Ashley Sears

Continued from page 16 Two years passed; Ashley was now the women’s director at Bridgepoint Church when the staff was asked to preview some videos and curriculum brought by a newer parishioner. Ashley took some home and was greatly impressed with the quality of both. The program? Pure Desire, specifically for men who struggle with porn and sex addiction. Ashley thought, “Not very many people know the struggle of our marriage, but I know, and I thought this has to be in the church. Absolutely I voted yes!” Excited, Ashley wondered where a program like that had been when they needed it; she told Asher about it. He was now serving in the church, and with Ashley’s encouragement went to show his support. Ashley shares, “Very early on I think he saw a shift in what Pure Desire could offer, better than anything else, and he felt like I needed to know about things that he had been keeping from me. One night he proceeded to disclose other things that I didn’t know from over the last couple of years. I felt like the other shoe had dropped. I thought we were in a good place! He had really continued to struggle with the things I thought we were past. I was mad and didn’t really know what to do. “But through this whole thing I never felt released from my marriage, but I knew that I didn’t want it to be like this forever. “Asher continued going to the group and to plug along. I started to see change. I think every other time he did anything was because it was a threat that I was done, and this is the first time he ever did something because he just wanted to be better. I started seeing behavior change; I started seeing real-life tangible action and things different. It was great, except for I was still real mad.” Ashley made a new friend who was going through similar issues. She shared with Ashley some material she’d found for wives. Ashley learned there was freedom in trusting God and letting God deal with her husband. She explains, “Basically, I can’t hold these things over my husband’s head if I’m really going to choose to forgive. I can’t continue to bring them up and hurt him with his own mistakes. Through this I was able to find healing and forgiveness.” After completing the program, Asher started leading Pure Desire classes at Bridgepoint Church, one of several churches in the Treasure Valley to host the program. Over time, Ashley visited with more ladies she “knew,” only to discover that this addiction was not as unique as she thought. She ap-

proached Asher and suggested that perhaps they should step out and share their story. “It’s a really lonely, shameful, guilty, isolating issue, especially in the church,” she said. Not knowing what kind of fall-out there might be, Asher agreed. Ashley shared little by little, using her platform as the women’s director, eventually feeling strong enough to give an invitation for any woman in the same situation to speak with her privately. Eventually she started leading her own groups. “… it just really magnified the fact that we, as Christians, can wear masks super well and we can show up to church on Sunday and look great…” Ashley learned “we’ve all got stuff ” we’re dealing with; as she prayed over what God would have her do with this newfound knowledge, she came up with the platform for The Stories Unveiled Conference, a one-day ladies conference with local speakers who step out in faith to share their own stories. StoriesUnveiledConference.com describes it best: Exploring our stories… through forgiveness, trust, healing, redemption and surrender. The Stories Unveiled Conference was designed to break down the walls around our stories and create a place for women to share their lives and how God has redeemed them. The first Stories Unveiled Conference was held in 2018 at Bridgepoint, where Ashley invited 5 of her friends to share their stories. It all but sold out. In 2019 the conference attendance doubled, and the event was moved to BSU. Now 2020 and COVID-19. Even in the face of this adversity Ashley remains steadfast in her calling to share hope and healing with ladies from all over, so The Stories Unveiled Conference will be a FREE live virtual event, available on YouTube and Facebook. Ladies are encouraged to register and host their own watch party in their home or church on September 19 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. for a special afternoon of live music, shared stories, hope and healing. This year’s panel discussion will be on overcoming grief. Stories Unveiled believes that you can find purpose in your story and freedom from your past. Go to StoriesUnveiledConference.com for more information, to register your watch party or contact Ashley Sears. n

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A CHURCH closes

The day time stood still… or did it? By Roxanne Drury I recently learned that a church I attended for about 15 years was closing its doors. The congregation had dwindled down to about 20 people, and the church was no longer able to support itself. This was a very sad situation much like many churches are going through now with the pandemic. I called the current pastor and inquired about all the “stuff ” that was in the children’s area of the church, some of which I had donated during my time there. Some of the items would be very useful for my latest adventure at the time which was opening a preschool. He encouraged me wholeheartedly to come take anything I had donated that I could use – for which I was very grateful. I had not attended the church for at least 13 years, maybe more. As I wandered through what used to be Roxanne the children’s area of the building, I was amazed to see that the bulletin boards I put up over 13 years ago were still gracing the walls. The signage I put on the doors well over 13 years ago was still there. The little dragonfly magnets I made with the kids at my last VBS with them were still gleefully poised on the side of the metal file cabinet. The desks and tables that once belonged to my own children were still there: the cabinets – still there; the 3-drawer plastic containers I put in each room for supplies – still there; the border around the windows and the clingy fish – still there. The twirly ceiling hangers and the 3D sun still swayed from the breeze as I opened the classroom door. The incomplete stencil I started in the preschool room – still incomplete. The banner I

made and hung in what was at the time the children’s church room was still hanging in the exact same spot. Everywhere, I saw things I had done to bring life to our children’s ministry – still there, but now, lifeless and looking as though they had been lifeless for a long, long time. I couldn’t help but wonder why it was all still there, just as I left it. It was almost like being in the Twilight Zone and I kept thinking Rod Sterling was going to announce that time had stood still in this old church building. Perhaps no one for all those years I’d been gone was willing or had the desire or inclination to change anything. I saw fading colors that were once bright and beautiful. Drawers in disarray that were once organized and functional. Cabinets that once housed craft items that encouraged creativity and taught kids through art Drury about God’s love, now empty but for a few broken crayons and strewn with torn paper and disheveled baskets. And I wept. I cried for all that building meant to me and so many people. I cried for the waste of it all. I cried for God’s house. I cried for the lovely memories I have from my years in that place, and I cried for what it was now. I couldn’t help but think, WHY? At one time, this was a thriving, loving, God-honoring church. Then it occurred to me. Perhaps this is exactly what the Preacher in Ecclesiastes was referring to when he wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1. Continued on page 29

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 19


Asher Sears

Continued from page 17 After a couple of months he was feeling much better and wanted to start having “Friday nights with my family so I decided to walk away from the group. Things at home were a lot better, because I realized I can’t be doing these behaviors.” Eventually Asher backslid, returning to his old habits, and remembers sitting in church service and in his heart and prayers “crying out to God to take this from me, because I knew it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t stop myself.” He continues, “But now I’m living in a cycle. I’m being good outwardly, but inwardly I’m misbehaving.” Time passed. Ashley is now the women’s director at Bridgepoint Church and had encouraged Asher to attend a new 5-week program, the Conquer Series by Pure Desire Ministries. He recalls the first night was a like a “breath of fresh air.” This group was led by another man who openly shared his own struggle, its impact on his marriage, and the freedom he’d found through the Pure Desire program. Ashley said, “The Pure Desire program is a Christian-based organization that marries and talks about the science behind how our brains are wired and biblical truth about how God created us and what His design is. The component that I think has been missing in some other things and other recovery in the past was the science aspect of wiring and the actual physiological effects that pornography has on your body.” Asher soon loved this program. He explains, “It was amazing because it helped me to understand I was living in this feeling of helplessness… But now I’m seeing through this program, there is hope. It’s not ‘pray harder, try harder, and it’ll get fixed.’ There is scientific evidence to back up how you can renew your mind and the process to go through. That was a beacon of hope that helped me to feel that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” After the third weekly meeting, Asher was telling Ashley how much he loved this program and she asked why. He came clean, confessing that while she’d believed they were in a “good place,” he was back to his old habits. He shares, “It broke her heart, and it broke my heart to break her heart, but I felt like it was time.” Although this wasn’t the first time Asher had made this confession, he was determined this was the last.

During week four of the Conquer Series, the leader shared that the next step in the Pure Desire program is the Seven Pillars series, a year-and-a-half program of in-depth work. This time Asher was ready to make the commitment. Many guys signed up; some dropped out, until there was a core group left working through the Pillars in-depth study, digging up their past, and finding healing through it all. Asher came to realize he was using his addiction to cope with past hurts and traumas. Although painful at times, Asher loved the process and knew he had to be a part of bringing the Pure Desire program to other men who felt just as helpless and hopeless as he had once felt. As sometimes happens, the gentleman leading the group ended up leaving Bridgepoint, and the Pure Desire program. Asher stepped up to lead the few remaining weeks. Later, as fall approached, their pastor asked Asher if he would be willing to start a new group. Asher shares, “ This (2020) will be my third group. Starting off with the 5-week Conquer Series. I’ve stood up in front of each of these groups and shared my story. Where I’ve come from, the struggles I’ve dealt with, and that I still deal with.” He goes on to explain, “Pastor Ted Roberts (founder of Pure Desire) says that it’s a two- to five-year process to find true freedom and complete disconnection from the depth of the addiction.” Asher continues, “Standing up in front of these guys, without that cloak of shame being held over me anymore, being able to talk with freedom about where I’ve been, what I’ve dealt with, and the freedom I’ve found...” Asher plans to continue to lead and share. His hope is to mentor other men to lead additional groups as well. Asher starts a new Conquer Series each September and is quick to point out that there are several other churches in the Treasure Valley who offer the Pure Desire programs for men struggling with pornography addiction, as well as programs for their wives who struggle beside them, helping each couple to find hope and healing together. n

“Your safe place to find hope and healing” 33% of all Americans seek out porn at least once a month.* 68% of Christian men struggle with unwanted sexual behavior.* 25% of Christian women struggle with sexual dependency issues.* *Stats taken from puredesire.org. See website for sources

Below is a list of the churches in the Treasure Valley who shared with us that they offer Pure Desire Ministries’ Seven Pillars Program. Please contact each church for their individual schedule for upcoming new groups. This information and info about other Pure Desire programs available can be found at www.puredesire.org Deer Flat Free Methodist 17703 Beet Rd. Caldwell, ID 83607 208-459-3845 • deerflat.org Grace Bible Church Group Contact: Jon Carlisle 1415 W. Lone Star Rd. Nampa, ID 83651 208-724-0543 • Idahograce.com

Rock Harbor Group Contact: Kelly Vincent 1608 N. Meridian Rd. Meridian, ID 83642 208-991-8843

Bridgepoint Group Contact: Asher Sears 2530 S. Broadway Boise, ID 83706 208-801-3000 • bridgepointchurch.com

Ten Mile Community Church Group Contact: John Greenfield 4440 E. Columbia Rd. Meridian, ID 83642 208-870-0261 • tenmilechurch.org

Discovery Church Boise Group Contact: Rockford Ruddy 1177 N. Roosevelt St. Boise, ID 83706 208-602-7828 • dcboise.org

20 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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rial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is used on the skin for wound care. It’s also one of the adaptogen herbs to lower cortisol. 6. Cat’s Claw – The bark and root of cat’s claw have been used by South Americans for centuries to treat health problems, including fevers, stomach ulcers, digestive conditions and dysentery. Cat’s claw works as a natural arthritis remedy and treats ulcer symptoms as well. Cat’s claw has antiviral properties, and it can help get rid of herpes. Early studies are researching its effects on HIV as well. This powerful herb is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. It’s used to treat digestive problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and leaky gut syndrome. The best way to consume cat’s claw regularly is by making an herbal tea with a tablespoon of the herb in eight ounces of water. 7. Licorice Root – Licorice is emerging as a prominent player in the search for treatment and prevention for diseases like hepatitis C, HIV and influenza. The Chinese Journal of Virology published a review that confirms the antiviral activity of licorice root due to its triterpenoid content. Another 2010 publication notes licorice’s antioxidant, free radical-scavenging and immunostimulating effects. More licorice root benefits include: • Sore throat remedy for fast relief • Cough natural remedy • Protection against leaky gut signs and symptoms • Heals adrenal fatigue • Pain relief 8. Olive Leaf – The olive leaf has antiviral properties, giving it the ability to treat the common cold and dangerous viruses, including candida symptoms, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syn-

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 23


GOD Dots

A valuable ‘dot’ comes via prayer

By Jim Day Blessings to all! I am so excited to share a new God Dot in my life. Not that it is about me, but rather, it is all about our wonderful God. First, a little update. We love it here in Hazelton. But, the manse (or parsonage) needed a lot of work. To save the church as much money as we could, we have done most of the work ourselves with the help of some new friends. That has included new electrical wiring, new plumbing, new heat pump and furnace, fresh paint, new bathrooms, etc. The church needed some love as well. A new roof was installed just before we got here and now we have new siding also. COVID-19 has put a serious damper on everything and everyone and has made daily tasks a little more difficult. But through it all, God is good! Time can slip away in our busyness – and we have been busy. To the point that we weren’t sure if I should continue writing this column. So, we prayed and asked the Lord for encouragement and for more stories of His wonderful grace to share with you. I have hundreds of God Dots in my life, but never wanted this column to be about me. In the two years I’ve been writing this, there have been only two people who have contacted me to share their stories. One of them never got finished because we were all busy with other things, and then we moved. That caused more than a little discouragement and the enemy seemed to be shouting at me. Things like, “You are not a professional writer. Nobody wants to read this. Nobody wants to share. It’s not doing any good for anybody. You don’t have time for this. Just quit, already!” It gets to me. I wish I could say that it doesn’t, but it really does. I wish he would just shut up and leave me alone. So, we pray! Just the other day, I got an email from a fellow named Rick Deighton. He simply said, “I enjoy reading your God Dots column.” And he asked where Hazelton was. It was like a drink of cool water after a day of labor in the sun. I was overjoyed that somebody was actually reading my little part in this wonderful publication. I started to reply to his email with everything that I just told you and to tell him that his email was an answer to prayer, but when I read the things that I had written, it felt like I was whining and sniveling. So I held the backspace button on the keyboard to delete what I had written. But, somehow, the email got sent. What followed was a few more emails and loads of encouragement and a phone conversation that felt like a blessing from heaven. Rick sent me his testimony and it is filled with God Dots. This column is just the highlights, but the really exciting part is that Rick Deighton is my most recent God Dot. God loves us. Period. And He longs for us to reach out to Him. He answers prayer and guides us and delivers us. He will use people to answer prayer at times, and those people should be recognized as God Dots, because that is exactly what they are. My thanks goes out to Rick, but my praise goes out to God, who made the connection.

In retrospect, I realize that my motives for declaring my unbelief were really emotional, not intellectual. The problem wasn’t and isn’t that God has not left clear evidence of Himself and His Word. The major problem was that I knew I was a sinner, and I didn’t want to repent. If I admitted the reality of God and the truth of His Word, then I would need to face my sin problem and change. Instead, I denied His existence. Jesus had already accurately described the situation when He said, “… men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” – John 3:19 (NKJV). In January of 1956, my dad’s left arm was ripped completely out of the socket in a horrible tractor accident. He was working far from town and lost so much blood before arriving at the hospital that the doctors thought they were working on a corpse! Even though I had denied God’s existence, down inside my heart I knew He was there, so I prayed earnestly that God would save Dad’s life and felt a deep confidence that He was there and had heard me. Dad’s recovery amazed the medical staff. When he released Dad from the hospital, Dad’s doctor told Mom: “Mrs. Deighton, I have no explanation for your husband’s recovery!” How could he? There is no medical explanation. The main artery from his heart to his left arm was ripped open – totally open. Scientifically, that would mean death in a few minutes. So what explanation is there? God did it! God chose to spare his life even before I prayed. God answers prayer. He demonstrated Himself to me and drew me to Himself. On April 22, 1956, I came forward at church and committed my life to Jesus. Although my conversion was dramatic and genuine, Satan tricked me into gradually slipping into compromises during my high school years through peer pressure. I was still faithfully attending church services and youth meetings but running with the wrong crowd on Friday and Saturday evenings. However, in the midst of the temptations and the compromises with the worldly crowd, the Holy Spirit was convicting me and calling me into His service. I learned the hard way that trying to live on the fence is not a comfortable place to be because I did not fit in with either group. I wasn’t bad enough to be a star with the worldly crowd, and I wasn’t committed enough to our Lord Jesus to fit in with those sold out to following Jesus in their lifestyles. On one occasion, our pastor, Talmage Pace, responded, “Don’t ever put yourselves in a place where you would be ashamed to be found when Jesus returns!” I could not shake that thought from my mind. Also, he preached Jesus’ message to the back-slidden, lukewarm church in Laodicea: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” – Revelation 3:14-16 (NLT) I could not shake that thought either because the Holy Spirit burned it into my conscience. I knew I did not want Him to spit me out! On a crisp, clear, winter evening in the middle of my senior year, the Holy Spirit drove home the conviction in my heart. It was a Friday evening after a ball game, and I was at the TAC club (Teenage Canteen). The rock music was blaring and as I looked around me, I asked myself, “Is this where I want to be when Jesus comes back? Are these the thoughts I want to be thinking?” I walked out in the cold night air, went to the street, and stood quietly contemplating my life and my Creator in full view of the star-studded majesty of His creation above me and around me. One half block behind me was the TAC club, and not one of my so-called “friends” even noticed that I left. A block to my right was our church building. These two buildings symbolized to me the choice that I needed to make. I knew I could no longer keep running with the crowd and still keep calling myself a Christian. I did not tell the filthy stories, but I kept laughing at theirs. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I wanted to see God at work in my life.

G O D d o t s

Here is the edited version of Rick’s testimony... I was born in Longmont, Colorado, on November 8, 1943, and lived there with my parents through my young, formative years – until after graduation from Longmont High in the spring of 1961. My dad, Herbert, was a hard-working carpenter/contractor, and my mom, Mildred, was a hard-working stay-at-home mom. They, along with my three older siblings, Elinor, Don, and Mary Alice, had weathered the rough, lean Depression years, so they formed a coalition to train me in the meaning of hard work and frugality. By the time I was 10 or 11 years old, I declared myself to be an atheist by saying, “I don’t believe in God – I’ve never seen Him!” It would have been so easy for me to remain and become hardened in this rejection of God and the Bible because I wanted to be “a real man.” My distorted view of masculinity probably stemmed from the fact that many of the men in my family were unbelievers and skeptical about the Bible.

24 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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That night I re-committed my life to our Lord Jesus Christ. I decided that He meant more to me than all my so-called “friends” and “fun,” along with the folly that went with them. I thought, “I’ve been ashamed of Jesus, and for no reason. But He has plenty of reason to be ashamed of me.” I decided to start sharing Jesus with my “friends.” A few responded – most rejected and avoided me. The guy I had thought was my best friend wanted nothing more to do with me. A friend who listened was Ron Smith. One day when we were duck hunting, I had haltingly shared what I could about my trust in Jesus. Ron listened and contemplated. During the spring evangelistic Jim Day meeting at our church, during the invitation song, Ron stepped out in the aisle to go commit his life to Jesus – and his little wife, Judy, came running down that aisle after him. Wow! I thought my heart was going to leap out of my body. That was the greatest experience in my young life. Emotionally, it was greater than coming to Christ myself. I was hooked on witnessing for Jesus and that is an addiction I have no inclination to break. The evangelist for that 1961 spring revival was Kenneth Beckman, president of Boise Bible College. His messages were heart-stirring and greatly impressed me with both fervency and scholarship. What was God calling me to do with my life? I was scheduled to graduate from high school in a few weeks and had not made plans for the direction of my life. One evening as I was leaving the meeting, Talmage Pace asked me where I was going to go to Bible college. I replied, “I don’t know!” But the idea stuck. I enrolled for the fall semester at Boise Bible College. I was one of those kids who came to Boise Bible College for a year to get a better biblical

foundation for my life, but within two months I knew that growing in the knowledge of God and sharing Jesus is my life. And, the church which sponsored BBC was the place where God had Della Lu Qualey waiting for me. He arranged for me to meet her the first Sunday evening of the semester, and that same church was the location for our wedding less than 1½ years later, with Kenneth Beckman officiating. June 14, 2020 was our 57½-year anniversary – and we keep on keeping on growing in love with each other. (God has used Rick and Della to spread the good news of Jesus Christ all over the world, but especially in Switzerland, Germany, through Alpine Christian Mission in the early years, and in Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Russia through Overseas Outreach. There is so much more to share, but not enough space, so I will let Rick close.) At the date of this writing, July 2, 2020, I am now 76 years old – and as far as I know, still in good health. However, Della Lu, the love of my life, has multiple health issues. She is my first ministry and I may need to curb my international travels to be nearby when she needs me. This is my responsibility, yes definitely – but it is also my privilege! She has faithfully stood by me and with me all of these years, and without her I would be “up a creek without a paddle” (as my friend, Dave Tinney, told me years ago). My joy for our Overseas Outreach mission is that we see our awesome God assembling an amazing team of co-workers to carry on the mission of Overseas Outreach. I look forward to continue being powered by prayer, propelled by passion, and protected by providence! Thanks for reading and may the Lord richly bless you! n If you would like to share your testimony, contact Jim Day at jandcday87@gmail.com.

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 25


FALL festivals

Are God’s people asleep today?

God’s people in Jesus’ time did not have their eyes By Dale Erickson open to the redemptive acts of God taking place Most of us enjoy a good nap from time to time. before their very eyes. Yes, they were asleep. For most of my life that just wasn’t possible. Some • The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) is of that involved time pressures, caffeine and chilknown as the Day of the Awakening Blast. It is also dren, but the truth is my body just isn’t wired for known as Rosh Hoshana (Tishrei 1-2 – September taking naps. When I was able to nap, I would wake 18-20). This is the festival which the Jewish people up groggy for an hour and then be unable to sleep will be celebrating when the gates of heaven are that night. My father on the other hand, could take opened to the “righteous” at the trumpet blast. See a 20-minute nap, wake up without an alarm and be 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. totally revived. • The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, Tishrei How many people could say that 2020 has been a 10 – September 27). This is the festival which the year for rest? For those whose eyes are focused on a Jewish people will be celebrating when the books pandemic, protests, riots and unrelenting bad news, allowing access to God’s Kingdom are closed. See 2020 could be viewed as a “fearful time in our hisMark 1:15. tory.” For those with eyes to see that God is on the • The Feast of Tabernacles (Hag HaSuccoth, move, 2020 could be the alarm clock that wakes us Tishrei 15-22 – October 2-9). This will be the festival up. Dale Erickson which the Jewish people are observing when God’s What does that have to do with the title of this people begin to tabernacle (dwell with) their Messiah. article, “Fall festivals”? See Revelation 21:3; Zechariah 14:16-17; Isaiah 11:1-12. Well, let me ask that in a different way. What do you know about The redemptive fulfillment of the first of the fall festivals may or the Jewish fall feasts of Rosh Hoshana, Yom Kippur and the Feast may not happen in 2020, but it is critical that God’s people be aware of Tabernacles and why should you care? If “I don’t have a clue” is that the redemptive clock is moving towards completion. One thing is your response, then read on. certain. God’s people in Jesus’ day were caught napping with disastrous There were seven festivals that God required His people to results. Time to look up (wake up), for our redemption is drawing nigh. celebrate. Leviticus 23:2 calls them the “appointed times.” You’ve “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this probably heard a little about the spring festivals, such as Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost. I would guess day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to that you don’t know very much about the fall festivals, such as Rosh the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but Hoshana (Yom Teruah), Yom Kippur, and the Feast of Tabernacles. let us be awake and sober.” – I Thessalonians 5:4-6 NIV For the sake of brevity, I will cut to the chase. The redemptive work Let’s hear the call to prayer for repentance and revival being called for by pictured by the first four Jewish festivals were all fulfilled by Jesus on our contemporary leaders. Check into the details at www.TheReturn.org. the very day that the Jewish people celebrated them. *Explanation of terms (taken from Wikipedia.org): • Passover (Pesach* – Nisan 14). Jesus is literally called our Pass• Pesach is another name for Passover, a major Jewish holiday that over lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7. occurs in the spring during the Hebrew month of Nisan. • Jesus cleansed us from our sin during the Feast of Unleavened • Tishrei is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year in the HeBread (begins Nisan 15 and runs for 7 days). See 1 Corinthians 5:6brew calendar. It is an autumn month of 30 days and usually occurs 8 and 1 John 1:9. in September-October on the Gregorian calendar. n • Jesus arose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits (Nisan 16). See 1 Corinthians 15:20. Pastor Dale Roy Erickson understands and lives out the importance of prayer • The disciples were instructed to wait for the Holy Spirit’s arrival, in his individual life and in the corporate life of the church. He is established which according to Acts 2:1-4 happened on the day of Pentecost as a gifted and creative teacher who carefully studies and presents the truth of (Hag Shavout). God’s Word. He is the president of Prayerful Publishing, Inc., publishers of the Why do Christians overlook the festivals of the Lord? They are the Teach Us To Pray curriculum, Heaven Help Us books, and the Prayer Prompts shadow. We have the substance (Gal. 4:10-11; Col. 2:16,17; Rom. Calendar, which has been downloaded for free in over 80 countries. He may be 14:6-7,10). Does that imply that we should ignore the redemptive pictures that the fall festivals reveal? No, and I will tell you why. Their reached at dale@prayerfulpublishing.com, or visit www.prayerfulpublishing.com for more information. fulfillment is truly at hand.

Jerry’s Life By Jerry McMurray

26 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

www.christianlivingmag.com


PrayNorthState plans prayer event Information submitted by PrayNorthState PrayNorthState is a ministry that has been about ‘Repentance, Reconciliation, and Gathering (in the Body of Christ)’ since its founding in 2001. Idaho and the nation are in need of prayer at this time; God calls His people to repentance in times of stress – whatever the circumstances. If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV President Lincoln called for national repentance in 1863 and God turned the tide of war. Idahoans are invited to come together from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, September 28, at the Jefferson Street steps at the State Capitol in Boise for a time of refocusing their attention on God. The day also marks the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and the event is being held in cooperation with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, who will lead the gathering in prayer and repentance for the state and nation. For more information, call 530-941-3470. n

Caldwell Prayer Walk rescheduled The 16th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18, was cancelled because of the stay-at-home orders put in place out of concern over the novel coronavirus. It has been rescheduled and will now take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, September 26, beginning in Caldwell Memorial Park at Kimball and Grant streets. There will be a walk through downtown Caldwell, with stops included and prayers given for the mayor, city council, police, firemen, paramedics, and all the people who live in Caldwell and surrounding communities. After the walk there will be a potluck dinner at the park band shell. For more information about the Caldwell Prayer Walk, contact organizer Arlene Robinett at 208-391-8516. n

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Christian Living | September / October 2020 27


OUR Great Hero

None of us is the hero of this story

I’m not saying we should lick door handles or By Bethany Riehl turn over our freedom in the name of “faith.” Warning, I’m about to state the obvious: we are I’m not saying we should go to church if we’re living in some crazy times, no? Truly, the global sick or not be present in political conversations pandemic isn’t even the craziest of all. It’s difor not stand firm in the Truth of His Word, even ficult to know what to think about anything these days with the influx of differing opinions posted if that offends a misguided brother or sister. I am all over the place. Just when I make my mind up saying, “Church, where is our faith? Where is our about something, a new idea is presented to chalbrotherly love?” lenge my previous conclusion. I find myself feelPaul had just the right words for us in these ing like a wave tossed about in troubled waters. times. “Have the attitude in yourselves which Which is no place for a believer. (See James was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He 1) existed in the form of God, did not consider Recently, after a discouraging day, my heart equality with God something to be grasped, but lamented, “God, if only I could memorize the enemptied Himself, taking the form of a bondtirety of Scripture to have it forefront in my mind servant, and being made in the likeness of at all times! That in each and every circumstance, men. Being found in appearance as a man, He I could pluck out which Scripture fits the situation Bethany Riehl humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the and use it accordingly!” point of death, even death on a cross.” (PhilippiI was struck with truth so strongly in that moment, I went still ans 2:5-8) A few verses down he also exhorts us to, “Do all things at the sheer magnitude of it: Jesus accomplished this thing I so without grumbling or complaining.” (vs. 14) desperately wanted. He was the Word made flesh, and He did I have found in my Bible reading this year the most uncomfortknow all of Scripture perfectly – even the New Testament that able, and yet liberating, realization. For many years (especially in was yet to be written – and lived His life in perfect submission youth group as a young woman), I was told to put myself into the to God, walking in the truth of His Word perfectly. Not only did Bible as the hero. I was David, and my problems were Goliath He accomplish this on my behalf, He promised me a Helper, the (God would help me slay that hard test!), I was Esther (born for Holy Spirit, to guide me in the same way. such a time as this, I was made to do great things!), I was Joshua “And the Word of God became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the (God has good plans for me and I am a warrior!). At the beginFather, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 ning of this year, I asked the Lord to transform my Bible reading, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you so that I would understand who He is. into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, He is faithful and I have seen who He is, and who I am not. I but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to am not the hero; I’m the fool in the Proverbs, I’m the Pharisee, you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of I’m the rebellious Israelite. The great heroes of the Bible aren’t Mine and will disclose it to You.” – John 16:13,14 us; they are pictures of Jesus. He is David, slaying our sin. He is We’re living in turbulent times, my friends. No doubt. We are Joshua, leading His people to the promised land, He is wisdom, not, however, here by mistake. You, me, your neighbor, your chilHe is love, He is perfect. He is the hero of the Bible and He came dren, your pastor – all – were designed to live in this place and in to save us. We have nothing to offer, but still He died for us. While this time. Not necessarily to be the heroes; rather, we the Church, we were His enemies, He died. For us. We have everything to gain the Bride of Christ have the profound privilege to walk His truth by following Him. And everything to lose if we don’t. out for all the world to see. We are not of this world; our kingLet us not be afraid, dear friends, of whatever may come. We dom is in heaven. While here, we are Christ’s ambassadors, His can rest knowing that the all-powerful God has tucked us under workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works He His wing. We need not fear a virus, famine, economic collapse, has prepared beforehand for us to do. We are to be salt and light loss of freedom, earthquakes or anything else 2020 (or even bein this depraved and dark world. What’s more, we’ve been given yond) might throw our way. Even death. Even persecution. the gift of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this. We aren’t called to be the heroes in this time. We are to be the In these days of chaos and confusion, we need to stand firm in ones that bring glory to the Greatest Hero of all time. We need the Truth. To do that, we must know it. I’ll be the first to confess only to obey. Lean into Him, point to Him, think of Him, sing to that I have spent more time scrolling news articles and Instagram Him, praise Him! Love His people. Rest in His sovereignty. And stories than I should. What a waste of time that is! I haven’t drunk deeply of the Living Water as often as I should. Instead, I when we fail at these things, we can confess it and find forgiveneed to immerse myself in the Word of God. ness and start over again. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our Now is our time, Christian, to live out the Word of God with sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to Christ Jesus as our example and the Holy Spirit as our guide. It’s cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” difficult to reign in the flesh, but we must. The world is watching Walk by faith. Be encouraged. He does all things well! (Mark 7:37) n and they desperately need the hope that is found in Jesus alone. Will we show them people who are afraid of a virus? Will we Bethany Riehl loves to write stories and articles that explore the complexities show them people who are afraid of losing our freedom? Will we of relationships and encourage readers in their relationship with Jesus. She show them people who don’t trust in the Lord in the face of these joyfully serves in the children’s ministry at her church, teaches at a homeschool very real concerns? Will we show them a family that bickers and co-op, and drinks more coffee than necessary to keep up with her only-slightlyfights with one another? Or will we show them people of faith crazy life. She is the author of four Christian fiction novels and now lives in that love one another? Faith in a wonderful God that is sovereign Meridian with her spunky kids and very handsome hubby. over all things, and love for the Bride that He calls His own.

28 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

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A church closes Continued from page 19 This church building’s time was up. Its season had passed. But the people – the people who made up that church are still thriving. They are still serving. They are still believing and honoring the living God. They are still faithful. The people were the church, not the building. Over the years, I had seen many of the people who attended the church. They were serving in other churches. I saw kids who I taught Sunday School to with their own children, attending other churches. Some are in high places of leadership at other churches. I realized, while the building had seen better days and now stood empty of a congregation, it served its purpose – the purpose God had for it. It was not a waste. Time did stand still for the building. But for the people – both kids and adults who met in that building for years and years every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night and sometimes other nights – time did not stand still. They moved on, taking with them all that they learned, all that they experienced, all of which shaped them into lovers of God and His church. God’s house continues in the lives of the people who met in the building for which time stood still. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55: 9-11 n

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MAUREEN Cottrill

The deep faith of a British war bride By Donna Gindle There were many times in Maureen Cottrill’s* life when she found herself alone, pleading with God to protect her, to keep her safe. Safe from bombs being dropped while she hunkered down in air-raid shelters. Safe as she’s left mostly all alone in a foreign land where people don’t want her. Safe as she wonders how her finances will allow her to support two young boys while surviving a tumultuous marriage. And through it all, God loved her. God protected her. God kept her on the path He had planned. Maureen’s story began in Northenden, a small village in England. She was the youngest of 10. At five-foot-one inch and less than 100 pounds, this still spry and feisty woman said “shy” has never been in her vocabulary. When she was 5, her mom enrolled her in ballroom dancing. “Mom put me in dance school so that she could do all her shopping while I danced. She said it was a good way to get rid of me because I knew everyone and I had to talk to everyone at every store, slowing her down.” Maureen was raised a Catholic, going to mass every Wednesday and Sunday and attending Saint Adans Catholic School. Then came World War II. And life changed. Most notably air raids and air-raid shelters became the norm for every family. As German aircraft invaded British skies, sirens sounded and people rushed to their shelters. Maureen explained that once sheltered, fear crept in. “We would say ‘Please, Lord, don’t let it be us. Don’t let it be us.’ We knew they were going to drop those bombs and we didn’t know if they would land on us or in a field.” Maureen said that, at first it was terrifying, but then became a normal way of life. “Once they bombed our church and cemetery. Going to school we walked right past the site. We saw body parts scattered around. I was just a kid and the first few times it really scared me. After awhile, though, we were still upset but it wasn’t such a shock. “One time as I was coming home from school, the air raid siren started going off. I started running like crazy because I didn’t want to be in somebody else’s shelter or in the field on my own. I thought my mom or somebody would be there. But no one was. So I put my gas mask on. I couldn’t do anything but sit and wait. Every time the Nazi’s would fly over I would just say, ‘Please Jesus, don’t let it land on me.’ One bomb finally did land in a big field close to me.” The aftershock knocked down part of Maureen’s house, causing bricks to fall on top of the shelter which, in turn, caused dirt to pour in. Maureen was sitting on the bottom bunk when the top bunk fell and pinned her hands onto her legs. “Finally, I can hear people outside and I hear the all-clear siren. I’m thinking I’m going to be buried and no one knows that I am here. And there’s a lot of dirt coming in. Finally I heard my mom yelling and asking if I’m okay. I yelled, ‘Yeah, but there’s dirt coming in and there’s spiders.’ Daddy longlegs were crawling all over me and I couldn’t brush them off because my arms were stuck,” Maureen said, shuddering at the memories. Schools also had fallout shelters. “When we heard the sirens, we would grab a pencil, paper and gas mask. The teachers had three or four candles. They would light one and try to teach, or we could draw, anything to keep our mind off what was happening. But after so long, we had to extinguish the candle because we didn’t know how long the bombing would last.” One favorite memory from being in the shelter was the can filled with candy that village folks donated. “When it got really bad outside they would start passing around the can of candy. Of course, it was to distract us from what was happening.” Because of all the war rations, though, the candy was a real treat. Her dance training led Maureen to become a formal dance instructor after the war. It also lead her to being crowned the “M/CR RAFA Branch Battle of Britain Queen 1950.” As part of her queen duties, she attended functions for Royal Air Force recruitment and other community events. While an instructor, Maureen met and became competition dance partners with a young American airman. They later married and her husband received military orders to return stateside. Maureen was one of a half-dozen or so “war brides” to be transported via ship to the USA. When they boarded, all the men were led one way. The women and children went another way, down to the bottom deck of the ship. That was the beginning of a nine-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean that landed Maureen at Ellis Island. At the end of that long journey, the women were allowed on the top deck to see the Statue of Liberty. Sadly, Maureen only recalls feeling alone. And afraid. The beginning of Maureen’s life in the United States of America was anything but a dream. The English ladies were met with sneers of “Go home. Why don’t you go back?” “I just remember thinking, ‘What have we done?’” After the marriage ended in divorce, Maureen found herself alone with two sons, Chip and Mark. Those years when they were on their own, Maureen said

30 September / October 2020 | Christian Living

Maureen Cottrill meets a Manchester City football player at a Royal Air Force Association recruitment dance in 1950. (Courtesy photo)

she “Called on the Lord so much. At night I would pray, ‘I don’t want riches, Lord. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to stay healthy so I can take care of my boys because there’s no one else that wants them. Please take care of us.’” Maureen’s life finally settled into a routine. Going to work at the Post Exchange (Barksdale AFB, Louisiana) and going to church on Sundays. “I went to a Presbyterian church because there was no Catholic church nearby.” The first Sunday the young family was unsure of how to act in this different church environment. Maureen went with the boys when the children were invited to go to the nursery. The ladies in the classroom invited her to stay until she felt comfortable. “They made me feel at home. It was like they had put their arms around me and said, ‘You belong to us.’” Finally, she said, she felt liked she belonged. Right where she was. In the USA. In the Presbyterian church. “I knew it was God saying, ‘Welcome Home.’” Around this time, Maureen met a young airman, Darryl McCrory. They discovered a love of reading and they enjoyed talking about books. One Sunday, Darryl spotted Maureen walking to church across from the Baptist church he attended. “I went to that church because it was within walking distance for me and the boys because I didn’t have a car. Darryl would see me and wave. One Sunday morning after church he was waiting for me.” That began a weekly pattern of Darryl taking the trio to and from church. A romance was blooming for Darryl. “He was such a sweet guy. A Christian. I trusted him, and my boys liked him. But...” There was one problem. Because Darryl was younger, Maureen put all prospect of a relationship with him out of mind. “I couldn’t saddle this young man with two boys. It wasn’t fair to him.” Darryl was undaunted by the age factor. Finally, Maureen told him, “If I’m going to even consider marrying you I have to let your family meet me and my boys. I don’t want them thinking that I’m taking advantage of you or that I must marry you. So we went to see his family in Mobile, Alabama.” Maureen’s concerns were put to rest when his family enthusiastically welcomed her with open arms. “His grandmother (Darryl was raised by her after his mother died when he was young) was so sweet. She hugged Darryl’s neck and gave him a kiss, then she told Darryl to get out of the way. ‘I want to see my new daughter-in-law and my new grand-babies,’ she said. Then she gave me the biggest kiss and hug. I was introduced to the rest of family and they made me feel so good. They were a big Christian family.” The McCrory’s have been married 53 years. They moved west to Nampa, Idaho in 1971. Together they had two daughters, Michelle and Toni, and 12 grandchildren. Their faith was tested when grandson Ethan was born with only half a heart and autism. A doctor had told the family he didn’t think Ethan would ever walk. Then one Sunday at church Ethan became fussy so Michelle and Darryl took him out to the foyer. “That little guy stood up with no help and walked from one end of the foyer to the other,” Maureen said. “It was a miracle.” Tragically, Ethan died in 2016. As she reflected on the eight decades of her life, tears filled Maureen’s eyes. “The Lord has been so good to me. He brought me through so much.” n *Cottrill is Maureen’s maiden name.

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YOUR Daily Bread

‘Sunny Side’ song has relevance today By Terry Frisk

The old Christian hymn “Keep on the Sunny Side” was first recorded by the Carter Family in 1928 and became the anthem of the Great Depression. Nearly one hundred years later, the lyrics still resonate during tough times. Consider the words of the second verse:

Secluded. Sophisticated. Stunning.

SOLD!

I know which word means the most.

Buying or Selling

“Though the storm in its fury break today, Crushing hopes that we cherished so dear, Storm and cloud will in time pass away, The sun again will shine bright and clear.” These lyrics bring to mind the story of Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilea: “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so Terry Frisk that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” – Matthew 8:24-26 With faith, God brings great calm to the turbulence in our lives. Lately, this has been challenging with many churches closed to public worship. We still receive the message through online worship services, but we miss gathering at church in Christian fellowship. It is easy to become anxious about staying at home and limiting contact to a small circle of people. But as the song chorus states: “Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, Keep on the sunny side of life; It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way, If we keep on the sunny side of life.” Life has changed, with many of the activities we participate in cancelled. Families with children are scrambling to figure out how to manage their jobs and care for their children. Others are out of work due to reduced demand for their services. It is difficult to stay positive when virtually everyone is impacted by the current situation. But spreading a little sunshine to everyone you encounter can be even more contagious than the coronavirus. You can brighten others’ days by lending a hand, offering kind words or even just a smile (even though it is under a mask, they can still see the smile in your eyes). The simple act of reaching out to others is therapeutic to both you and them. Some action steps you can take include: 1. Pray – When storm clouds accumulate in your mind, stop and pray. Turn your burdens over to the Lord, and He will take care of you (Psalms 55:22). 2. Serve – Look for ways to serve others. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a large impact on someone dealing with difficulties. 3. Give – If you are able, give to your church or other organizations that are supporting those in need. Because there have been fewer activities to spend money on this summer, I have been able to increase my giving, which is spiritually rewarding. 4. Appreciate – Show appreciation to those who have served you. Showing your gratitude will raise their spirits and encourage them to pass it on. The song’s final verse sums it up well:

I can take the guess work out of the process!

I CAN HELP! Crissie Kay

Linhart ★ Realtor ®

Mountain Realty 208-809-7142 cristina.kay@gmail.com

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“Let us greet with a song of hope each day, Though the moments be cloudy or fair; Let us trust in our Savior always, Who keepeth everyone in His care.”

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