May / June 2019
OH FUDGE SUITCASE
Chocolate and prayer
‘Hiding Place’ lessons
DAVID Adam and Courtney Shumate at their Oh Fudge kiosk in Boise Towne Square Mall
Ferdinand Making his mark
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Equipping you to impact the world for Jesus Christ
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Contents May / June 2019 Features Suitcase moments: ‘Hiding Place’ lessons
Pennies from Heaven:
Helping the Rescue Mission
David Ferdinand: Making his mark
Cover Story —
“In the day I am afraid, I will have confidence in thee.” — Psalm 56:3
Volume 7, Number 3 Publisher Sandy Jones email@example.com
Real Man’s Toolbox: A Word to live by
“I Get To!”®: Choose my perspective
Lessons: 18 Garden Co-creating with God Dots: 20 God Effective people Are 22 Where They Now?:
Editor Gaye Bunderson Submit story ideas, article submissions & press releases firstname.lastname@example.org Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen email@example.com 208-703-7509 • Scott McMurtrey firstname.lastname@example.org 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones email@example.com 208-703-7860 Cover Photo Steve Jones
Cowboys for Christ
Graphic Design Denice King www.greentreedkdesign.com
Oh Fudge Bakery: Cupfuls of faith
with 28 Outdoors Dougherty:
Daily Bread: 30 Your Financial fitness
Walking & praying
Website Design SEO Idaho
A trip to Australia
Homeschooling: It’s worth it
Contributors Pete Blockhan, Daniel Bobinski, Jim Day, Dan Dougherty, Joan Endicott, Terry Frisk, Leo Hellyer, Warren Koch, Gary Moore and Bethany Riehl
Distribution D&S Distribution
Understanding Relationships: Change yourself
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 2019 by Christian Living Ministries Inc.
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Publisher’s Corner: Spring’s wonder
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 3
Spring symbolizes so many things “I come that they might have life, and that By Sandy Jones they might have it more abundantly.” — I love spring. I’ve always loved spring! No James 10:10b KJV wait, it’s summer I love, or is it fall? I know it’s As I read back over this, I realize it sounds not winter for sure! One thing’s for sure living like a creative writing assignment in college here in Idaho — we get to enjoy the fullness of English. Oh how surprised Mrs. Debbie Kiser each and every season. would be if she could read my writing today, “To everything there is a season, and a much of which is owed to her and her dedicatime to every purpose under the heaven.” tion and diligence during my freshman year at —Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV Boise State University. When I was growing up, our mother always When in reality, and all puns aside, this is forbade us to use the word “hate.” To “hate,” sincerely how I see spring: its new life, the baby she would explain, was to wish something or animals, the fresh new beginnings — all full of someone the very worst, even worse than death. hope and promise! She was passionate about it! I believe our God, through His Son, Jesus Keeping that in mind, I will say that I strongly Christ, gives us this same promise of new life, Sandy Jones dislike winter. I can’t stand being cold. I’ve been new beginnings; and knowing that we are often in too many car accidents to have many nice visual beings, I believe that He planned winter to be followed things to say about slick roads. And shoveling snow should be by something as wonderful and promise-filled as spring. an Olympic sport. All that said, I do recognize that without Yes, life happens. A late frost, with a diminished fruit harvest. winter here in Idaho, the bugs would take over. I realize that The newborn calf suddenly falls ill, or becomes lame. Conflict our vegetation needs the respite they get during those dormant among co-workers or loved ones. Suddenly we find ourselves months; and if I were completely honest, I would have to adstruggling, and the visions of hope and promise fade. mit that my dear, sweet hubby and I do enjoy the break from We pray harder and harder. More fervently. More frequently. yardwork. Finding ourselves consumed by the struggles we’re facing. AND the end of winter brings the promise of spring. “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which Early in March I received a text from our youngest son. It is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will simply said, “It’s coming. I heard a Meadowlark today.” I knew he not much more clothe you — you of little faith?” what he meant. Spring. Memories came rushing back to those — Matthew 6:30 NIV years out south of town, living in the quiet country; somehow, In these times I find that I have to make the extra effort in my youth, I thought the Meadowlarks brought spring with to not listen to the enemy as he shouts his distractions, and them. remember that God has a great plan for me, if only I will look First you would hear a Meadowlark down by the creek; then and listen. He is gently drawing me back to Him. It is then that suddenly the forsythia was in full bloom, its golden yellow col- I find myself once again astounded that God, the Creator of or teasing us just a bit earlier than any other trees or shrubs. the Universe, the Beginning and End, The Great I Am, My Oh, I could hardly wait for the lilacs and snowball bushes to Author, My Savior wants to hear from me, wants to spend bloom, filling the air with their heavenly sweetness! time with me, and wants to carry me through. He IS my hope and promise! As a young woman I learned to plant snow crocus, tulips “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, and daffodils for an added bit of early color. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give Surely I’m not the only one who sees spring as God’s way you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11 NIV of reminding us of His promises through Jesus’ resurrection. Until next time New greenery peaking up through the bland brown soil, then God Bless! n bursting forth in vivid pinks and purples. Yellows that even Crayola must envy! Suddenly trees that previously looked P.S. I can never say it enough — please frequent our advertisdead explode in colorful blossoms, then adorn themselves in ers and thank them for supporting Christian Living Magazine; various shades of greens and red, with ripening fruit tempting without them we simply couldn’t do what we do. both man and foul!
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4 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
REAL Man’s Toolbox
God’s Word: sacred words to live by
add two books by Max Lucado to their go-to By Leo Hellyer library and to their Real Man’s Toolbox. These God Almighty communicates with us in many books are “John 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope” ways. One way is through His Word that has and “Traveling Light – Releasing the Burdens been preserved for us in the Bible. This one You Were Never Intended to Bear – The Promcollection of words, words from our Creator, ise of Psalm 23.” has the answers to life. The Bible is a love story Both of these books, and the verses that they from God to us, his children. The Bible is on expound on, bring out the core of Scripture, one level an owner’s manual on how we are and that is God’s Love for us. In the John 3:16 to live life here on Earth. Many have read the study, one of the key elements that Max brings Bible, cover to cover, multiple times. out is that, “There is nothing that we can do to The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Am make God love us any more, and there is nothI just reading words on a sheet of paper, or am ing that we can do to make God love us any I trying to drink in everything that God has in less.” God loves us unconditionally, 100 perstore for me with His Word?” Many times we cent, regardless of our performance. He loves have read a portion of Scripture over and over us because we are His creation. Many times He and it was like it was just a part of a great story Leo Hellyer loves us despite what we do or say. but nothing really stood out. Another time we In Max’s study on the 23rd Psalm, he develops thoughts on may read the same portion of Scripture and it really speaks to us; it’s like the light comes on. We wonder, “Why haven’t I seen The Luggage of Life, and the Burdens of a Lesser God, SelfReliance, Discontent, Weariness, Worry, Hopelessness, Guilt, this before?” Arrogance, the Grave, Grief, Fear, Loneliness, Shame, DisapIn my work with men and women who were working on recovering from different addictions and mental health issues, I pointment, Envy, Doubt, and Homesickness. All of this from have continually been drawn back to two core Scriptures. The one Psalm. There is so much that we can extract from very short pordepth of both of these Scriptures is presented in a clear and tions of Scripture, if we will take the time to do so. easily understandable fashion by one author, Max Lucado. I Continued on page 7 highly recommend that every man reading this column try to
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 5
Change yourself, change your marriage hearts. We are to tell ourselves the truth. By Gary Moore Jesus said the truth liberates us (John 8:31Most of us would agree that unhappy 32). marriages consist of unhappy people. We Here are several truths about you. You know that we may not be able to change are made in the image of God. You have our spouse, but we can change ourselves. tremendous value. Your abilities are many. According to author Dr. Gary ChapYou have scores of characteristics that man (“The 5 Love Languages”), marriages others admire. Certainly you have experifail for three primary reasons: lack of an enced failure. Who hasn’t? But that does intimate relationship with God, lack of an not mean that you are a failure. You will be intimate relationship with your mate, or a failure only if you choose to fail. On the lack of an intimate understanding and acother hand, if you choose to succeed, nothceptance of yourself. ing, including your feeling of inferiority, can Let’s take a brief look at the last of these. keep you from your goal. You might think we should begin with our Gary Moore One of the first steps in turning your relationship to God, but the fact is, one’s thinking around is to realize that God has relationship with God is greatly affected not given up on you. The apostle Paul wrote, “For I am by one’s self-understanding. If you are struggling with a confident of this very thing, that He who began a good marriage in crisis, it is possible — indeed, necessary — to work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jelook deeply at yourself and begin to make some changes. sus” (Philippians 1:6). In spite of all that has happened, Most of us are poor evaluators of ourselves. We tend in spite of all your failures, God still intends to bring you to underestimate or overestimate our value. We perto wholeness. He has some strong and positive purposes ceive ourselves as either useless failures or as God’s gift for your life. You must tell yourself the truth and behave to the world. Both of these extremes are wrong. The accordingly. truth is that your pattern of feeling, thinking, and behavThe opposite personality type is the individual who feels ing, which is your personality, has both strong and weak that he or she is the “greatest.” He can do no wrong. “If points. there’s a problem in our marriage, it is obviously on the According to Dr. Chapman, three perspectives go into part of my mate.” When confronted with his own failure, any self-concept: (1) the way I see myself, (2) the way this narcissistic personality will admit in a philosophical that others see me, (3) the way that I think others see me. way that he is not perfect, but insists that the real problem Numbers 1 and 3 are often identical, but number 2 is lies with his spouse. almost always different. People simply do not see us as we What truth will liberate the person with superiority feelsee ourselves. ings? It is awareness that the ground is level at the foot of The person with inferiority feelings can be assured that the cross. We all stand in need of forgiveness. When we 99 percent of the people who know him perceive him to feel superior at times, we need to recognize that we have be smarter, more attractive, and of greater value than he failed as much as others have. sees himself. Why live under the illusion that people think If you are an “I am superior” personality, realize that you are dumb, ugly, and useless when in fact that is not you are human. No one is perfect. Admit your failures to the way people perceive you? God and your spouse. Be as specific as you can. On the No two people are alike. There are scores of people road to confession you will find many friends. The road who have greater abilities than you in particular areas. In to self-righteousness gets lonelier each day. some tasks you excel. In others you have very little, if any, The message of the Bible is that we are responsible ability. That is true for all of us. Why should you exalt for the quality of the life we live. Want to change your your weaknesses? marriage and the quality of life you live? Start with Someone who struggles with low self-esteem may well changing yourself. n blame himself or herself for the failure of the marriage. Then he or she will plead with the spouse for a chance Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale to start over. When that is spurned, he or she may sink Church of God in charge of Adult Education. He’s served as asinto deep depression and may even entertain thoughts sociate pastor there for the past 14 years. He does couples’ coaching of suicide. Those people allow the weakest part of their and leads couples’ workshops and retreats called MUM’s the Word. personalities (their feelings of inferiority) to control their He also does a weekly radio program called Life Point Plus on behavior. KBXL 94.1FM at 8:45 a.m. on Fridays. For information What is the answer to that downward spiral? One of the most powerful words in the Bible is the admonition of on his workshops and retreats, contact him at Psalm 15:2, which challenges us to speak the truth in our email@example.com. 6 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
Sacred words to live by Continued from page 5
A couple of the burdens that Max writes about are burdens that almost all men face at one time to another. One of those is the Burden of Weariness. Max brings out that for us to be healthy, we must rest. He says, “Slow down, and God will heal you. He will bring rest to your mind, to your body, and most of all to your soul.” Along with Weariness, many men face a level of Hopelessness on the journey of life that we are on. Max points to the fact that, “Jesus doesn’t give hope by changing the jungle; He restores our hope by giving us Himself. And He has promised to stay until the very end. ‘I am with you always, until the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20)” Many of us men find it difficult to take the time to really examine God’s Word, or to read books from individuals who have done so. We come up with all kinds of excuses for why we can’t accomplish this task. Here is another way to look at this; God created us for one purpose, and that was to have a relationship with Him. When you are in a relationship with someone, communication usually takes place. There are many ways for communication to take place between us and God. We usually do a very good job of letting God know about our needs, wants, and desires. However, a good relationship, an intimate relationship, is the result of two-way communication. Many times we do not take the time, effort, and energy that we should on being still and seeking what God would like us to hear
and experience from Him. God doesn’t force Himself upon us. He is eagerly waiting for us to come to Him. We have to choose to have a relationship with Him, and choose how close that relationship will be. God loves us so much that even though He knows the truth, and knows what is best for us, He doesn’t force that upon us. The Bible is a Love Letter to His creation, His children, those who were made in His image. This collection of words on paper is definitely worth our time and energy to discover the complete message that our loving Heavenly Father has for us. Men, I don’t want to sound trite, but we need to hunger after God’s Word more than we hunger after a good apple fritter, steak, milkshake, muscle car, or firearm. God loves us and wants us to love Him. He is waiting for us to open his Book that He has written to us and for us. Throughout the Bible, God is communicating one simple, but at the same time, complex message to us: I LOVE YOU! n Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue 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 Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-340-5544.
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 7
“I GET TO®”
Choose My Perspective Each and Every Day
after the September 11 attack. As the sound of the chopper got louder, I went out on my deck and watched, as they were just shutting the Perspective: A particular evaluation of a doors on a Life Flight helicopter. situation or facts, especially from one person’s I decided to walk down to the corner where point of view. the accident occurred. As I got closer, I saw a loaded garbage truck, which had skidded Certainly each American remembers exactly for several yards and hit something. Walking where they were and what they were doing further, I saw that it was Laurie’s van — it had on September 11, 2001 when they heard and been T-boned. (No fault of the truck driver.) witnessed our country being brutally attacked Shock waves hit instantly; I couldn’t breathe, by terrorists. Perspectives instantly shifted — tears automatically flowed, my body shook and the most important automatically came to the my throat tightened. Through my groaning, I forefront of our thinking. While earlier that attempted to ask the police officer, “Where is day, our thoughts may have been consumed she? Where’s the lady who was in the van?” with trivial things such as: running late, spilled He indicated that she was in the helicopter, coffee, forgotten lunches, traffic jams, making Joan Endicott which was almost out of sight. I asked, “Is she a connecting flight, piles of paperwork, final going to be all right?” He shook his head and preparations for that all-important meeting…that which previsaid, “I’m sorry, I don’t know.” ously seemed urgent, became insignificant. The rest of the story is that she wasn’t okay. The brain damWe ached, cried and agonized with and for our fellow Ameriage she suffered was very severe. Laurie would never be the cans who were innocent victims that fateful day. Some who lived the nightmare firsthand shared, “I felt like I was standing same again. For weeks after the accident, I spent much of my time at at the very gates of hell,” while so many others were speechless. For those who had the opportunity, they called their loved the hospital trying to help Laurie wake up, and praying for a miracle. One morning when my alarm went off, I felt like ones — possibly connecting one last time…because for them, every fiber of my being was exhausted—physically, mentally, at that moment in their life, that was all that mattered. and emotionally. I just lay there thinking about all the things Crisis creates clarity! In crisis, what matters most becomes ‘I have’ to do…have to get up, get my kids up, make breakfast, crystal clear. pack lunches, drive them to school, exercise, shower, get ready, Weeks later, I experienced another tragedy, which affected then begin all my ‘have to’s’ for work. Then after work…I have my life even further. My friend Laurie had been like an adopted little sister to me. There was something about the combina- to pick up kids, go to the store, make dinner, and on and on. I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and not have to do tion of her broken and painful past along with her unrefined anything. ways that drew me to her like a lost puppy that needed to be Then something simple yet life-changing happened: I picrescued. She was transparently grateful for the love and attured Laurie lying in her hospital bed — unable to do one tention she received. In return, she loved without reservation, thing for herself or those she loved. If she could get up and purely and unconditionally. Laurie had more than her share do everything on my list (your list — any list), she would have of heartaches in life, yet through it all, she had a strong love and devotion to her Lord Jesus and her family, particularly her done it with sheer joy and gratitude…just to hug her children and tell them one more time how much she adored them. husband and four children. My perspective transformed! I began thanking God for the October 26, 2001, was a sunny, crisp fall morning and as I walked Laurie out to her van, we talked about the difficult year abilities to perform the simple everyday miracles that I’d just been complaining about. I purposed to never say, “I have to” she’d been through. I hugged her and told her again, “I love or “I’ve got to” again, instead, “I Get To!” you and am so proud of you!” The reality is, even on the most challenging of days, there is “I love you back!” she said as she drove off. always something to be thankful for and someone who would About twenty minutes later, I heard the loud, continuous trade places with any one of us. Every crisis, whether global whirring of a helicopter. My first thought was that it must be (Sept. 11th) or personal (Laurie), creates instant clarity on connected with the military base nearby, probably doing drills what matters. By Joan Endicott
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8 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
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As the years go by, may we continue to honor these dear ones’ memories by choosing to embrace a humble and grateful “I Get To!” perspective. “The greatest power you have is the power to choose.” — Coach Lou Holtz “Every moment of every day ‘I Get To!’ choose my attitude and perspective.” The rest of the story… For a long time after Laurie’s accident, I had a renewed perspective and more fully appreciated the many get to’s in my life. I would love to report that I have kept that perspective in mind every moment since then; however — along with everyone else — I also require ongoing reminders in order to continue appreciating the everyday miracles this life has to offer. One of the most powerful reminders for me is through the example of Laurie’s younger sister, Cindie. After Laurie had spent two years going back and forth from hospitals to care facilities, Cindie wanted to ensure that Laurie received the best possible care. So in addition to caring for her own family, Cindie gave up any part of a normal life in 2003 to be the full-time caretaker for her brain-damaged sister and has cared for Laurie in her home ever since. Cindie’s normal day of caring for Laurie and the rest of her family would feel like an overwhelming ordeal for me, as I’d be a mess by 8:00 AM — if I lasted that long. Most days, her routine starts at 4:00 AM with changing bedding, diapers and beginning the medications and feeding tubes.
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Cindie has sacrificed her own health and well-being, though she won’t admit it, to ensure Laurie gets the best care possible. Yet through it all, Cindie has never once complained about caring for her sister. In fact, her servant heart has embraced this as a privilege, telling me, “I’m so glad I get to be the one to take care of Laurie — I love my sister…I wouldn’t have it any other way.” “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” — John 15:13 n (This is an excerpt from Joan Endicott’s “I Get To!”® book.)
If she could, Laurie would plead with you:
Stop All Distracted Driving!
FASTEN SEAT BELTS
U R IRREPLACEABLE (Just like everyone else on the road)
Someone Needs You!
Joan Endicott is an Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, Author of “I Get To!”®, founder of GIANT-Slayer Coaching and “WOW!” Women Owning Their Worth©. Her coaching reaches over 25 countries — across 6 continents. Meet her and get FREE videos, book excerpts and content at www.JoanEndicott.com.
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 9
Valuable lessons from ‘The Hiding Place’
The things that she dealt with in that seaBy Bethany Riehl son of her life are unimaginable. As I prayed Recently, I was messing around on the comthrough each chapter, asking God to help me puter and decided to take a free career aptitude show my students the amazing ways that He test. The results inspired this post on my Faceis faithful —even when all seems lost — He in book page: “Just took a career aptitude test His everlasting goodness showed me the many and it said I should be a telemarketer. I don’t ways that He was faithful with Corrie. That His know how to process that.” gifts to her were better than anything she could Twenty plus years ago, a similar (but most have packed in that suitcase. likely more scientific) test told me I should be I instructed my students to keep an eye out an airplane attendant or waitress. I don’t think for what we called “suitcase moments” where there is anything wrong with either of those God showed up. A Bible smuggled into her career choices, but what made me laugh was pocket by a kind nurse. A visit with her family. how low I scored in the teaching and leaderA goodbye blessing from her father. Fleas that ship portions of the test. In later years I took a kept officers away from their barracks. Women spiritual gifts test at a church and was basically being saved daily — dying, yes, but with the begged to never step into leadership. Stick to Bethany Riehl name of Jesus on their lips. We kept a running the nursery, it said. list and it was long. Although I don’t believe that a test can tell someone what In my own life, I started to pay better attention to suitcase their spiritual gifts are (this is something the Lord reveals to moments and have made a point to show them to our chilus when it’s time), I stuck to that line of thinking and avoided dren. A few years ago, my husband began to suffer from sympboth leadership and teaching for a good many years. I homeschool my children, but that’s not truly the same in my mind as toms that would later be diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. He was a local police officer, and due to bad double vision, he was being a teacher. no longer able to perform his duties at work. While trying to A few years ago we joined a homeschool co-op and one semester in, my people-pleaser-self signed up to teach P.E. It was figure out our next steps, he was released from light duty and let go from the department. We didn’t know how to support not a good move. We didn’t have equipment and spent most our three children, who were 4, 6, and 8 at the time. The day days playing with balloons. Poor kids. But I caught the teachhe was let go, I went into each of them to say goodnight and ing bug and tried creative writing the following semester. That was much better. After that, I had kind of a crazy idea. I ran it documented that conversation on social media so that I would never forget it. by the leadership team and they encouraged me to go for it. I “I can’t wait until you’re old enough to fully understand what decided to teach a class based on my favorite book, The HidGod is doing in our lives. Because the story He is writing is ing Place by Corrie ten Boom. It was risky. The class was for beautiful and wondrous. He is taking care of us, holding us, fifth through eighth grades and while I warned parents about loving us. I want you to remember in hard days ahead, this the topic, I was concerned that I would have some grumpy parents on my hands if I traumatized their kids with too much night that your Mama whispered to you of God’s love. He.Is. Good.” information about such a horrific time in history. Amazingly, My oldest smiled and started to sing, “My God is so big and nine incredible kids signed up. so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.” For 12 weeks we read the book, one to two chapters at a I hope I never forget that particular suitcase moment. n time. I was shocked at how easy it was to have good discussions with these kids and even found crafts that would fit in with our Bethany Riehl loves to write subject. Thank you, Madam Pinterest. We made false identity stories and articles that explore cards, modge podged meaningful quotes onto tiles, and practhe complexities of relationticed going through a series of actions in under a minute to mimic the urgency of the guests of the ten Boom home to hide ships and encourage readers in their relationship with when necessary. Jesus. She joyfully As I knew would happen, we did get to the hard stuff. Beserves in the children’s cause of the incredible faith of the ten Boom family, we as a ministry at her class were able to see everything through their eyes of faith. church, teaches at a Corrie relied heavily on her trust in the Lord and it was a homeschool co-op, and beautiful thing to show these dear children. Knowing there drinks more coffee than would most likely come a day that she was arrested, Corrie necessary to keep had packed a suitcase of items she knew would help her in up with her onlyprison — needle and thread, aspirin, vitamins, a Bible, etc. slightly-crazy life. When the raid finally came, she helped her friends into their She is the author of hiding place and in her panic she threw that suitcase against four Christian ficthe door just before an officer broke into her room. When it tion novels and lives was time to go, she made the agonizing choice to leave the in Kuna with her spunky suitcase behind rather than risk drawing the officer’s attention kids and very handsome hubby. to that door.
10 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
PENNIES from Heaven
Boise Rescue Mission needs our help
Rev. Bill Roscoe of the Boise Rescue Mission and Kevin Miller of Miller’s Mission and KIDO Radio each hold a copper penny. Miller’s Mission, set for May 20-25 at the Nampa Garrity Walmart, has chosen the theme “Pennies from Heaven” and hopes to raise money for the work of the Mission from people in the community. The Mission is currently experiencing a deficit over previous years. (Photo courtesy of Michael Carbone of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries)
12 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
By Sandy Jones As a number cruncher, stats always interest me, and when I sat down with Rev. Bill, of the Boise Rescue Mission, and Kevin Miller, of KIDO Radio, earlier this year I was surprised to learn how many people are affected by homelessness in Ada and Canyon counties alone. Surprised to hear how the shelters in Boise and Nampa are serving an average of 1,000 meals a day, while supplying a warm, safe bed for 500 men, women and children every single night. A few years ago, I was at a supporter lunch for the Rescue Mission and met Kevin Miller who, to my surprise, invited me to lunch, saying what we do here at CLM intrigued him. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Of course I agreed to the lunch, and that was the beginning of a great friendship. I was also intrigued by this man who hosts a rather polarizing political talk show on a secular radio station, not so much by his show but rather the work I’d watched him do for the Boise Rescue Mission. Kevin’s project, Miller’s Mission, is where Kevin literally camps 24 hours a day for a full week at the Nampa Garrity Walmart to raise awareness and help fulfill the physical and financial needs of the Boise Rescue Mission, a Christian-based group that takes no government funding, none at all, thereby relying on our community to help meet 100 percent of its needs. Why, many people ask, not accept government funding? Wouldn’t that make funding much easier? It would, but then they couldn’t preach the Gospel; they couldn’t tell people about Jesus and how much He loves them. That morning while we sat with the two of them reminiscing about past Miller’s Mission projects, I got a front row seat to the special bond these two men share. That all started one Saturday morning when Kevin caught KTVB’s 7 Cares live on air. He shared how he saw the passion Rev. Bill has for the Mission and the people it serves, as Bill was literally “hauling chickens.” Kevin chided that, “Rev. Bill’s in good shape, but he’s no spring chicken, and anyone who does that deserves the support that we can give him and I asked to stay at the mission.” And so it began.
The first Miller’s Mission started with 20 turkeys and has grown to over 11,000 donated turkeys, along with gifts of clothing, necessities and cash during this past November’s event. Over the years they’ve added side-drives to fulfill needed items, with days like Undie Undie Sunday, and have seen terrific community support. From private individuals to businesses of ALL sizes stepping up to help out in whatever ways possible — sometimes it’s a few pair of socks to shopping carts full of them! One of Bill and Kevin’s favorite stories is about a lady who was homeless five years ago, who now owns her own business and was delighted to donate a check to help people that are at the Mission now. Folks who can give, do give — too many stories to share them all. And yet, stories similar to the Bible’s tale of the Widow’s Mite always linger with these two big-hearted men — like the nearly blind man, who had no money, so he sold “stuff ” on eBay to raise money to donate. Looking back, Kevin shared that when he presented the idea of Miller’s Mission to Rev. Bill, he emphasized that it’s “awareness, awareness, awareness and the people will come,” and he was right. Rev. Bill often speaks throughout the state and is frequently asked about Kevin’s beliefs, as secular talk show hosts aren’t often known for their faith. Rev. Bill is quick to assure them that Kevin is a fellow Christian and how anytime he’s on the air with Kevin, they always talk about the Lord. Rev. Bill grins as he adds, “The fact that I used to be a hopeless dope addict
and now I’m a dopeless hope addict is because Christ changed my life.” For the first time in Rev. Bill’s 22 total years (17 years at the Boise Rescue Mission and 5 years at the Mission in Redding, Calif.) as the Executive Director/CEO, holiday season/yearend giving was down. Down a full 10 percent, while the influx in population and rise in cost of living has caused more people to need Mission services. Feeding 1,000 meals every day, and with 500 men, women and children in beds every night, is a huge undertaking, but that’s not all the Rescue Mission does. It offers programs for in-house mental health care, programs to help men and women become gainfully employed, and year over year for the last several years has helped between 500 and 600 people each year graduate from these programs and leave homelessness behind. Miller’s Mission happens twice a year: in May and in November. This year’s spring event is slated to run May 20-25 at the Nampa Garrity Walmart, with this year’s theme “Pennies from Heaven.” Pennies from Heaven because the Rescue Mission needs the help our community can give and never losing sight that every penny given is truly a Penny from Heaven. Would you please pray about joining us in supporting the Boise Rescue Mission? I can tell you from personal experience that every bit helps! Kevin shared his own story about why he’s so passionate about the Boise Rescue Mission in our July/August 2016 issue. Go to https://issuu.com/christian-living-magazine/ docs/christian_living_july_august.n
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 13
FROM radio to festivals
David Ferdinand makes his mark
ment Center in Nampa, an assisted living facilBy Gaye Bunderson ity. He talked about how some of the residents David Ferdinand speaks fondly of the Nampa suffer from Alzheimer’s but music stirs a warm community where he’s spent so much of his life; memory in them. and for all it’s given him, he’s given back to it. “When you sing an old gospel song, it really He’s been a county commissioner, president of gets to them. It takes them back,” he said. the God & Country Festival, and a well-known His broadcasting career branched out to adradio personality. vertising and marketing, consulting, and politics. “I was born and raised here; I was born at He was a political consultant to Helen CheMercy when it was on 6th Street,” said David, noweth, who was elected to Congress representnow age 70. He grew up and attended Nampa ing Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, in 1994. High School, where he met his wife Peggy when Later, David got into politics himself, serving they took a drama class and performed together. as Canyon County Commissioner from 2004His roots are deep here and his family history 2013. He said his priorities were: long. • Listening to the constituents “My grandma, Berta, was a pastor’s wife; • Lowering government intrusion and in 1946, at age 59, she wanted to become David Ferdinand • Pursuing economic development a nurse. She became an OB nurse,” he said. During his time as commissioner, he served on His grandmother carried him in her arms as a newborn and the Telecommunication and Technology Steering Committee placed him with his mother. His grandmother was also a music minister in church, and his grandfather, M.E. Ferdinand, served of the National Association of Counties. He’s worked as a sales manager and owned his own firm, as the first pastor at Nampa’s First Church of the Nazarene. Century Companies. But other notable things David has ac“What an incredible time to grow up,” David said. “In 1950, complished include his volunteerism, including: we moved to a farm on Scism Road.” David has been a longtime broadcaster in this area and began a radio career at age 19 at KFXD in Nampa as news director. God & Country One of the first things he did was publicize information over He currently serves as president of the God & Country the air about upcoming performances of Nampa High School Festival. He was first elected president of the God and Country students’ plays. After graduating high school, he attended Association Board in 1999. He was vice president and board then-Boise Junior College, later to become Boise State College member until 2017 and was then elected — and later re-elected in 1969. He worked at KBSC Radio when it was located in the — president for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Student Union Building ballroom. (It is now KBSU.) The event formerly known as the God & Country Rally goes Blessed with his grandmother’s love of music, he played, sang back to 1966 and is currently in its 53rd year. The program and wrote songs as a youth, performing with The Brew Masters features Christian musical acts, speakers, civic awards, military Band in 1965 at age 15; later, he moved into country gospel tributes, food, fun, and a huge fireworks display to close out the and performed with The King’s Witnesses starting in 1976. day. The program annually precedes the Fourth of July and is a “We were traveling all over,” he said. non-denominational, free celebration of the nation. According Traveling all over was also part of his life as a young married to David, the new vision statement of the festival is “Sharing man. David and Peggy moved around the country considerably the Good News of Jesus Christ and Honoring the Godly Founin pursuit of career opportunities, including a time in Spokane, dation of America.” where David worked in radio and TV. When he talks about his “America’s founding principal is that God honored us because faith, there are mentions of other cities in other places. we honored Him,” he said. “When I was working in New Jersey, the Lord pointed out to This year’s event will take place from 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, me that I didn’t even have a Bible. Soon after that, my mother- June 26, at the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater, its new home in-law sent me a package, and right at the very top of it was since 2000. a Bible,” said David. “Then, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, God really started to get hold of me.” Radio Museum & Education Center Career and faith came together in Boise, among other places, David is a member of the History of Idaho Broadcasting when he hosted the Sunday Morning Coming Down Gospel Foundation, the driving force behind an Idaho Broadcasting Show — featuring country gospel — at KIDO. In the early History and Education Center that will open in the former 1980s, with his traveling musical group, he’d go into nursing KFXD studio, where David worked as a young man, at 12th homes and assisted living facilities and sing to the people. Avenue and 11th Street in Nampa. “We hope to be open in “I love my older generation,” he said, a sentiment that likely about a year,” David said during an interview in late February. stems from his affinity for his grandmother, whom he calls a Foundation members are a “who’s who” of Treasure Valley saint. “There was holiness in Grandma’s songs.” radio personalities dating back to the ‘60s. Highlights of the He picked up that same sense of holiness in music. “When I museum will be broadcasting memorabilia from the station’s was ministering in the gospel group, I was given the opportunity to share my love of Christ with others and of living out my history, which stretches back to the 1930s. The center will help people learn the process of communication. “There will be stulife as a believer,” he said. dios where schoolkids and college kids can come in and learn David’s been preaching a Sunday sermon and singing for and get experience,” David said. about 4 years at Sunny Ridge Care Rehabilitation and Retire-
14 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
CHURCH DIRECTORY MIDDLETON
The Saint Alphonsus Foundation Board
David serves on the Saint Alphonsus Foundation Board that meets at the Saint Alphonsus Medical Center on East Flamingo Avenue off Garrity Boulevard in Nampa. “They sought me to be on the board because I was born and raised here,” he said. It turns out “location, location, location” worked in David’s favor in 2018 when he suffered a heart attack. He was at the hospital at the exact time his heart faltered and he went down. He doesn’t view it as mere coincidence. “God had me right there at the hospital at the right time,” he said. At 70, he now wears a pacemaker, but meeting him at the hospital’s cafeteria and watching him meet and greet so many there is proof the pacemaker may have shifted his priorities but not his relationship to the community and the people in it. His grandmother wasn’t the only family member who influenced David. He said his mother taught him to live by the philosophy, “I’m no better than you, and you’re no better than me.” It is a philosophy he’s practiced over the decades. “I’ve helped people all my life,” he said. n For more information, go to www.historyofidahobroadcasting.org and www.facebook.com/ godandcountryfestival/.
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 15
Cups of e g d u F h O
Courtney Shumate creates her own fudge in a garage converted into a commercial kitchen. (Courtesy photo)
By Gaye Bunderson Many Americans possess a notorious love of shopping. As eager members of a consumer society, they shop for all kinds of things — shoes, books, appliances, and more. Now, there’s a place where they might stop to shop for a little dose of faith and a moment of prayer. Surprisingly, that place is right in the center of the valley’s busiest shopping hub. Adam and Courtney Shumate opened Oh Fudge Bakery in the Boise Towne Square Mall on August 18, 2018. Courtney brings baking skills to the enterprise, while Adam contributes a knack for business and marketing. They both bring a commitment to spreading the Gospel message, even it it’s right in the middle of a bustling mall. Adam, 31, met and married Courtney, 23, three years ago in Kerrville, Texas. Adam worked at Schreiner University in Kerrville and Courtney was a student there, majoring in physical therapy. Courtney was born and raised in San Antonio; Adam grew up in Boise. When she was just 10, Courtney’s grandmother Helene taught her how to whip up peanut butter and chocolate. Ten years later at age 20, Courtney revisited the recipes without Helene’s supervision. “It was the first time I’d made peanut butter and chocolate without Grandma,” she said. Adam encouraged her to display her creation on Facebook, and it was a hit. “A lot of people in Kerrville were interested,” he said. Courtney’s Facebook page lit up with requests from people who wanted all kinds of specialty fudges to give as gifts for Valentine’s Day. They wanted a kind of personal fudge with a twist that made the confection unique for the gift giver, as well as for the gift getter. Courtney was open to making any kind of fudge the buyers wanted, responding to requests by saying, “If you’re willing to taste it, I’m willing to make it.”
16 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
And make it she did. Her sweet treats were cooked up in the confines of the couple’s 700-square-foot, 1-bedroom Kerrville apartment. At the end of a day of fudge-making, Courtney said she and Adam sat down on the couch and discussed the possibility of starting a business around her fudge treats. They even came up with the name: Oh Fudge Bakery. In 2016, Courtney got a food handler’s license in accordance with a Texas “cottage law” for businesses that are operated out of a residence; she worked with the health deparment there and created a label for her Oh Fudge products. The couple was making money and giving back at the same time, even starting a Caring for Kerrville auction for three people in need that Courtney met while selling her goods at a farmers market. Courtney went from business to business in Kerrville, seeking items to auction off. A live Facebook auction raised $1,300 dollars in three hours, she said. The money was split three ways for the three people who needed it. The couple eventually returned to Adam’s roots in the Treasure Valley, moving to Boise during Christmas of 2017. They thought they were leaving the fudge business behind. Both of them got other jobs, but they seemed to have a call on their lives for (of all things, perhaps) making and selling fudge. Adam launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a revived Oh Fudge Bakery. “There were goals and incentive-based options for funding,” he said. For instance, if a person donated $120 to help re-start Oh Fudge, Courtney would create and name a fudge just for that person. People seemed to love it, and the couple got responses from all over the world, from Portugal to South Korea, they said. They were careful to be upfront and open about everything they did; people could follow them on Facebook or Kickstarter and see the making of the fudge and monitor Adam and
cocoa, spoonfuls of faith Courtney’s progress toward re-opening the fudge company. The duo set a goal to raise $3,500 and ended up with $6,500. “I did it all on here,” Adam said, holding up his smartphone. It wasn’t long before they were opening up their Oh Fudge kiosk at Boise Towne Square Mall. Adam was very mindful of the kiosk’s location. It is near two famous, popular confection sellers. “It’s a spot for anyone who likes candy,” Adam said. Oh Fudge is an uncommon business for the mall. Boise-based in every way, the product isn’t shipped in from out of state. “I’m the only one who brings it from home,” Courtney said. She and Adam took a step up from their modest 1-bedroom apartment in Kerrville and now own a townhouse in Boise, where they’ve converted the garage into Courtney’s commercial kitchen. The couple works hard, putting in 12-hour days six days a week, with an 8-hour day on Sunday. Courtney has to bake the fudge when she’s not at the kiosk, so sometimes she bakes at night; at other times, she leaves Adam to watch the kiosk while she bakes during the day. But the kiosk is a source of fellowship and friendship for them. They enjoy their customers very much. “We try to tell them our story and connect with them,” Adam said. The fudge entrepreneurs hand out samples to passers-by at the kiosk. If people stop to try the fudge and are willing to listen for a minute, they’re given brief information about Oh Fudge’s offerings and are handed a business card and a slip of paper with a message that reads, in part: “Come join Oh Fudge Bakery in our walk with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We choose to use our business to the best of our abilities to share God’s message of peace. … If you’re in need of a friend, prayer, or simply someone to talk with, don’t hesitate to swing on by and see us.” Courtney said, “What really motivates us is we wanted to have a Christian business.” Adam said, “We felt this business was a vehicle to spread Christ’s message. We felt He’s on our side here.” They’re making connections. “We work every day. We don’t get out much,” Courtney said. The kiosk is not just business, it’s social. Their fudge is a hit, and they’ve sold lots of it. “We pay $1,700 a month for the space in the mall and $1,500 a month for our home, and we make it work selling $5 bags of fudge,” Adam said. The $5 bag is their minimum sale item, with prices reaching $40 for a larger amount of fudge that may be a special request from the purchaser (a watermelon fudge, for instance). Even though the business is working for them, they stress they’re not motivated by the possibility of making lots of money; and they’re very aware that what they do is the exception rather than the rule at the mall. Pointing to the kiosk, Adam said, “This is material, a conductor for us to reach out. The kiosk amplifies our work, but it’s just a shell. What matters is the people stopping here and walking past us — I always see the people.” “I’m no miracle worker,” Courtney said, “but I know what I can do.” For her, that’s caring about and praying for the people who visit the kiosk. “I may be shaking, but I’ll do it if they ask,” she said. “I’ve got to keep my confidence.” Adam said, “I’ve learned how to accept rejection.” He explained he stands at the kiosk and asks people if they want a fudge sample. Some will say no and some will just ignore him.
He’s undaunted, and he likes the kiosk just the way it is, where it is. He likes that it’s outside in the corridor where people pass by it, as opposed to a store that people walk into with a deliberate purpose to buy a specific thing. “There’s a uniqueness to the kiosk; it catches people off guard,” he said. When they pass by, they originally had no intention of tasting or purchasing fudge; they’re just passing by on their way to somewhere else. “This is an interaction outside of their normal plans,” he said. He also likes that he and Courtney are self-employed. “If we need a half hour with a customer, we take a half hour, and nobody micromanages what we talk about.” One of their most recent interactions was when a man with a health issue came up to the kiosk and was trembling. He needed something to drink, so Courtney got him a Mountain Dew and asked if she might pray for him. He was willing, so they prayed in the open at the kiosk and eventually the man stopped trembling and began to feel better. “I love helping people. It’s not just fudge,” Courtney said. The tables are sometimes turned when people come up to the kiosk and ask if they may pray for Adam and Courtney. The couple has made a number of significant contacts that way. It should be noted that no one is forced to participate in prayer at Oh Fudge. It’s optional, and no one is made to feel uncomfortable. Anyone may take a fudge sample, or make a fudge purchase, and be on their happy way. Adam and Courtney make everyone comfortable and are friendly with all. Still, they won’t compromise on the primary purpose for why they operate Oh Fudge and have such a visible spot in the mall. “If our message creates an issue, we’ll move the kiosk somewhere else,” Adam said. They won’t change the way they operate. “For us, it’s not just the fudge. This is something we feel compelled to do.” The fudge is fun and delicous, but it’s a conduit, a means to get a message out to anyone who might be interested in hearing it. For more information, go to Oh Fudge Bakery on Facebook. n
When Adam and Courtney Shumate lived in Kerrville, Texas and began selling fudge, they held a Caring for Kerrville fundraiser to help three people — two with cancer and a mother whose son had attempted suicide. (Courtesy photo)
Christian Living | May / June 2019 17
Gardening as co-creating with the Creator
This short account notes two significant things By Warren Koch about God’s intent for humans. First, we are The creation story, found in the first chapter made Imago Dei — in the likeness of the Triof Genesis, begins in a lifeless world of darkune God. Second, it notes that we were created ness and chaos. Then God acts. Initially, it is as rulers within this created realm. It may be His breath — a Hebrew word also translated as important to note that the “ruling” is bracketed spirit — that hovers or blows across the lifeby the mantra that we are made in God’s imless darkness and the formless deep. Shortly age. In other words, we are to rule in a manner thereafter in this mythic telling of creation that is similar to modes in which He rules. This — “mythic” meaning the story holds a liternotion may in some senses speak to the tension ary truth rather than being fictional fantasy between organic and chemically manipulated — Scripture records God’s spirit or breath gardeners (I’ll let you know as soon as that nobeing transformed into “words.” Rather than tion becomes clear to me). an inarticulate blowing of the spirit, we hear Few, if any, say that God is humanoid or that breath transformed into intentionality. God even looks human — Scripture notes that speaks, “Let there be . . .” even those who experience close encounters The late Eugene Peterson, author of many Warren Koch with the Almighty have only seen “the back of books including The Message, noted that God God” because to see God’s face and full glory creates with a word eight times in Genesis, and that, “The would mean instant death — but rather most agree that in eight sentences account for everything that is; the scope is comsome sense humans mirror godly attributes in the sense of our prehensive. ‘Create’ accounts for everything that is in heaven moral, spiritual and intellectual makeup. One significant part and earth.” While counting the number of “create” sentences of this bundle of attributes is that many humans are cognizant may be too “literalist” rather than “literary” for this author’s that we are the creatures through whom God’s plans and purtaste, nevertheless, the “ex nihilo” — out of nothing — point poses can not only be “made known” but actually be “brought echos other Scripture, such as Hebrews that notes, “what is into existence.” In this sense we are co-creators with God. seen is made out of what did not appear.” (Hebrews 11:3 This role of humankind as co-creators is brought out as part RSV) of the Garden of Eden story found in Genesis 2:19. In this amazing world where teeming life emerges out of “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all nothing, God on the final day of creation fashions humankind, the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought creatures who are in some senses “god-like.” “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.” over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ In this verse, the co-creative partnership illustrates that God “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image not only breathed life into His creation but then with the gift of God he created them; male and female he created them.” of language, invited humankind to participate in bringing that (Genesis 1:26-27)
18 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
creation to fullness with the naming process. I once heard a speculative lecture that interestingly argued that because God’s meaning was so rich and full in the pre-fall Garden of Eden, it would have been impossible for Adam to miss-name an animal. However, with humankind’s fall God’s meaning was dispersed or diluted. Adam and Eve’s primary sin was believing the lie that “You can be like God determining right and wrong.” In other words, “We can make up our own meanings and ignore God’s.” In spite of Monsanto and other genetic engineers playing god, gardening for the average person reminds us that God’s meaning is still very much in play. One of gardening’s ways of helping us understand God’s meaning is by showing us that God’s good meanings always lie in a web of “right relationships” (known by the Jewish word “shalom”). While it is not entirely a gardening illustration, let me use the following story to illustrate the kinds of right relationships that gardening might teach us. There are a number of people who have begun to follow in the footsteps of poet-farmer Wendell Berry, who rejects consumerism and encourages people to come into relationship with both land and food through raising their own food. I learned about multi-dimensional relationships involving food through a relationship with African farmers when I first began to travel abroad. I came to international travel mid-life after I was welltrained in a Western mindset of efficiency and bargain hunting, and thus being plunked into the middle of a developing world farmers market — as there were no supermarkets — seemed initially an opportunity to hone my bartering skills, as there were no “set prices.”
It seemed like a game of seeing who was the mentally toughest — would it be me getting the lowest price or would the winner be the mama, selling green beans and holding out for a higher price. Then the local missionary turned this “game” on its head by stating, “The goal of shopping should NOT be the lowest price, but rather a price that creates the best relationship.” He went on to explain that driving the price too low hurts the farmer and without profit she might not come to the market next week. Paying way too high of a price might make you appear to be a naïve tourist who doesn’t deserve respect. So somewhere in-between — but probably slightly on the higher side of average since you are in fact a “rich American” — is the price that should be negotiated so that a proper relationship between you and the farmer might develop. And if done right, that farmer will often hold back her best vegetables just for you. In future installments, gardening may teach us about right relationships, such as our relationships with time, difficulties and even celebrations. n Born and raised as a 4-H kid in the Treasure Valley, Warren Koch, Ph.D., wandered the U.S. coasts getting way over-educated. As a professor emeritus (fancy words for retired) from Azusa Pacific’s Cinema Department, he now teaches online for Liberty University from his second floor corner office in Middleton (the bedroom’s upstairs in his old farmhouse). In addition to making documentaries and fishing, Koch also attempts to garden (sometimes fruitfully and more often as an exercise in humility).
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 19
People: God’s most effective ‘dots’
By Jim Day I was hoping to be inundated by wonderful stories from readers from all over about their God Dots. This has not been the case. But God has blessed me personally with so many amazing God Dots that I could talk about them and Him endlessly. From different people that I have had the pleasure of knowing and/or working with to supernatural events that have taken place. So, for lack of another, I want to share one of my favorites from my own life. To tell this story, you need to know a little more of my backstory, or history. From my birth until age 11, my father was a state trooper. We moved several times during that period, and as there were no cell phones and long distance Jim Day calls were expensive, it was like all of my friends died every time we moved. I never heard from them or saw them again. As a little kid, I had no other option than to push their memory out of my brain. Out of sight, out of mind. It was my only form of self-preservation from losing people that I cared about. Add to that the fact that my father was, by today’s standards, abusive, and you could say that I had a rough childhood. I really don’t care to go into detail about the abuse, other than to say that for some unexplained reason, I seemed to be his favorite target (really his only target). Suffice to say that I ended up with some pretty serious anger issues and have been diagnosed with PTSD caused by the severity of the abuse. For years, I used alcohol and drugs to try to medicate the anger away. To no avail. It felt like trouble followed me, and I was in trouble a lot. It got so bad that I had to leave Idaho in 1983. I moved to Oregon for a fresh start. But, you know what they say — no matter where you go, there you are. You can’t run away from yourself and, almost always, your problems follow you wherever you go. It was in Portland that I met and married my wife, Cindy. But even her love wasn’t enough to get rid of that anger. Even after becoming a Christian, the rage was just under the surface. I wanted to serve the Lord with all my life, but this anger would show up and ruin everything. I would lose credibility as a Christian. It destroyed the testimony of what God had done in my life. I would erupt and say or do things that weren’t very Christian. It seemed like no amount of love or praying or professional counseling could help. Then, God called us back to Boise in 2003. I found work as a pipefitter at Micron. I really tried to show people my faith, and God blessed that time tremendously, but the rage was still there. It was just waiting for an opportunity to get loose. It had become a constant battle. It wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse. And fear was getting in on the action now, too. Fear of losing my wife. Fear of losing my job. Fear that everyone would see who and what I really was. Fear of the depression that was creeping into my life. Fear that God couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to use me. I was allowing this thing to define me, and control me. Then there was a little “shake-up” at Micron. There was a slowdown, and they laid off every contractor and several key maintenance personnel. There was a lot of work throughout
20 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
the valley, so most everyone who wanted to work found jobs. After a few months, Micron decided to hire people back. When I went back, things were different. I got partnered up with a guy named Don who used to be a Micron employee, but now he was a contractor like me. He loved the Lord. It was all we talked about all day long. I confessed my “situation” to Don, and he started working with me to “let go” of things in my past and to truly forgive people and to forgive myself. It was nothing short of a miracle. It didn’t happen overnight. It was what I call a “slow miracle.” But Don was patient and loving. He lived his faith and encouraged me to live mine. Don taught me how to love myself. Not in a selfish or egotistical way, but to realize that “God doesn’t make junk.” He used to say that
a lot. Because of the actions of my biological father, I always had a hard time envisioning a loving heavenly Father. A Father that was patient and kind and loved me no matter what. I grew to love Don. Not only as a brother and friend, but as the loving father that I never had. Things would start to go wrong at work and I would start to get angry and frazzled. Don would pause and put his arm around my shoulder and say, “Isn’t our God good? He gave us this problem, just so that we could overcome it. And we will overcome it. We just have to trust Him.” And, you know what? We did overcome. Time after time. You might have been through some terrible things in your life, but you know what? You have a wonderful track record for getting through those things. With God’s help, you have overcome 100 percent of the time. Think about it. You’re still here. You’re still trying. He was helping even when you didn’t ask Him to. That’s not to say that we don’t have scars from the hurts but that every time we get knocked down, we get back up (with God’s help). The scars of my youth have taken their toll, and I’m not what I would call “good friend” material. Because of my youth, my brain doesn’t work the way a “friend” brain should. I don’t think about calling people or keeping in touch. Out of sight, out of mind. So the people who know me also know that I am almost never going to call them just to catch up or chat. I’m just not wired that way. But there are many people in my life who mean the world to me. It’s sad that some of them don’t know it, because, like I said, my brain doesn’t work that way. But our God is so good! He gave me this problem just so that I could overcome it. And I will and am overcoming it. I just have to trust Him. Don passed away almost eight years ago. He is home with Jesus now. Man, sometimes I miss him so much. But I rejoice that I will see him again. I retired from being a pipefitter shortly after Don’s passing and dedicated my life, or what’s left of it, to serving Jesus in any way that He calls me to. He uses me, just as I am (even though I am far from perfect). And I trust that He is still working on me. God can use you, just the way you are. I realized that what Don said was true. “God loves us and has a purpose for each
of us, just as we are, warts and all.” Don’t let the enemy speak lies into your life and tell you that you’re not good enough. God made you. You are a work in progress. You are not perfect; but through Jesus, you are loved and forgiven. Don told me that this was one of his favorite verses in the Bible and it has become one of my favorites as well. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV) Knowing Don made me want to be a better man. God brought us together at just the right time. I was ready and willing to change but didn’t know how. Don showed me how. If he were here, he would argue that it wasn’t him at all. He would say that it was “all God.” There are so many more wonderful things that I could say about Don, but there wouldn’t be room in this whole magazine. Suffice to say that I would not be the man that I am today if God hadn’t brought us together. And that, my friends and beloved, makes Don a God Dot. Gone from here but not forgotten. RIP Don Barbee, 10-13-2011. Is there a “Don Barbee” in your life? If so, I would like to tell your God Dot story. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-409-0063. n
G O D d o t s
Jim Day is a commissioned pastor of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Cindy currently serve in ministry at Idaho State Juvenile Corrections in Nampa.
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 21
WHERE Are They Now?
Cowboys for Christ riding strong
Where Are They Now? Snake River Chapter of Cowboys for Christ chaplain, Pete Blockhan, kneeling at right, prays with young rodeo participants prior to the rodeo’s start. (Photo by Chance Cooney, Free Range Photos)
By Pete Blockhan Since the Cowboys for Christ article was published in Christian Living in August 2017, the Snake River Chapter of Cowboys for Christ has been represented at over 50 perfs (rodeos) from as far north as Grangeville and west to LaGrande, Ore. and lots of places in between. I have the privilege to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever I go. At most of these shows, I get to offer the opening prayer. If it happens to be a Sunday show, I hold “cowboy church” right in the arena. I also pray with the rough stock riders — bareback, saddle bronc, ranch bronc, and bull riders — before they are up (ride). Let me share how this came about, cuz it’s really neat how the Lord works things out for His glory. I was at a show last summer and the arena director asked me not to pray. Needless to say, I was a little sorrowful about that, but as I stepped down from the announcer’s booth, I saw two young cowboys struggling with their spur wires (most rough stock riders tie their spurs on pretty tight). So I told them that I had some tie wire and pliers, and I could show them how to tie spurs on right. So I tied those spur wires for them, and when I got done, they said, “Mr. Pete, would you pray for us?” Well, of course I did. We knelt right there in the dirt and prayed God’s protection, wisdom, and to accept what the judges’ ruled for their ride. When I lifted my head, I saw that there were several more riders kneeling behind me. So I have had the honor of doing that with these “rannies” (experienced cowhands) at every show since. Now, these young men have the bark on — they are some of the toughest men I know. They often cuss pretty good and most chew or dip snuff, but they show agape-type love to one another, helping each other out with their rigging, pulling bull ropes, spotting one another and giving advice on how a certain animal normally bucks, knowing full well that if their ‘pardner’ outrides them, it can cost them a bunch of prize money. I double guarantee you, you won’t see that in too many other sports.
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I have also become involved with Rodeo Bible Camp in Cambridge, Idaho. What a blessing that is. I get assigned about six young men whom I get to know over a week. I had a couple of men that were in their last couple of years of high school. All except one were rough stock riders, and all had a good relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Rodeo Bible Camp takes these young men and women and gives them training in their particular rodeo event. But we have chapel twice daily, plus some one-on-one time with their counselors. Let me tell you, you come out of there bone-tired, but the blessing is beyond belief. It is an absolute honor to work with these fine young folks. I also fly a flag for Cowboys for Christ at some of these shows, as the powers that be often put it in the grand entry for me. This is a very expensive proposition. I also set up two displays: one for the spectators and another I hang on the fence behind the chutes. These have free Bibles (I have given out over a hundred this year), The Christian Ranchman newspaper, which we publish six times a year, along with tracts that are designed with rodeo contestants in mind. I have also partnered with Yo Curtis and her husband Rich to “rep” at all the girls’ shows. The Curtises are a big help and super people. Plus, David Browning at Kuna Lumber takes The Christian Ranchman into the prison with his ministry there. Folks, the field is wide unto harvest. In these last days we need sowers, planters and reapers. “And Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20 I am in Christ’s grip. n Pete Blockhan is chaplain of the Snake River Chapter of Cowboys for Christ. He may be reached by text at 208-391-8984. He also holds a Bible study for beginning Christians at Sanctuary Cowboy Church, 212 E. Main St. in Middleton. Services there begin at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings.
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 23
Homeschooling: Why it’s worth it
Students from Treasure Valley Homeschooling were named champions in both the high school and middle school divisions during the Idaho 2018 Science Olympiad. (Photo by Carol Wells)
By Daniel Bobinski The school year is coming to a close and for many families it’s time to start thinking about summer vacation. School picks up again in the fall, so that’s the time to think about the next school year, right? Maybe. If homeschooling is a consideration for your family, and you’ve never done it before, then now is a great time to explore your plans for next year. Idaho’s annual homeschooling convention is June 7-8 at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, and it’s a perfect place to get oriented and set up for homeschooling your children. As a frequent attendee at this conference, I can tell you it’s not only a place to learn about homeschooling if you’ve never done it before, it’s also a place to get connected with hundreds of other homeschoolers, as well as all the teaching co-ops and phenomenal resources to help you in your endeavor. Info about the convention is available at homeschoolidaho.org/ convention, but for now I’d like to touch on a few facts about homeschooling. In so doing, I tip my hat to Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., director of the National Home Education Research Institute, for providing some of the facts I’ll be referencing. One comment I hear a lot from people who are hesitant to homeschool is they don’t feel qualified. Ready for this? Studies show that homeschool students score above average on standardized achievement tests more often than their public schooled peers, regardless of their parents’ level of formal education. Why? As Dr. Ray puts it, it’s not the ability or “smarts” of the homeschooling parents that matters, it’s their commitment to helping their children learn that makes the difference. You might be asking, “Just how far above average do homeschooled kids score?” Try 15-to-30 percentile points higher. I’m going to guess this is one of the reasons that homeschool
24 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges. Okay, so let’s say you’re wanting to make a go of it, but a few obstacles seem insurmountable. For example, some parents feel okay teaching subjects like reading or history, but they don’t want to teach math or science. Again, this is not a problem, because teaching cooperatives are available that offer these classes. Homeschool co-ops can take on several forms, but usually they’re a group of parents pooling their teaching skills. With this type of arrangement, parents who don’t want to tackle a science curriculum can enroll their students in a co-op and let another parent teach the class. Idaho Code regarding education, section 33-202, is clear: … a parent or guardian shall either cause the child to be privately instructed by, or at the direction of, his parent or guardian…. This means you can direct another parent to instruct your child, so if science is not your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of homeschooling parents that teach science. As proof of how good some of these teachers can be, for the past two years, Idaho’s Science Olympiad has been won by homeschooling teams in both the Junior High and Senior High divisions. For reference, these homeschooled kids are competing against 50 junior high and senior high teams from private and public schools throughout the state. I’d say our homeschooling parents (and the homeschooling kids) are doing well in science. Nowadays, in addition to the typical academic classes you’d expect to find in a school, you can also find homeschool groups that do lots of niche things, too, such as gymnastics, robotics, and pottery, to name a few. Next you might be asking, “What about ‘socialization?’” This has become one of my favorite questions to answer. When families homeschool, they don’t just wrap up in a cocoon
and isolate themselves from the world. On the more about homeschooling, I highly encourcontrary, homeschooled kids interact with a age you to attend Idaho’s annual convention. wider range of people than those who are corThere’s even a bonus for parents who have ralled in a classroom of same-aged peers. As never been to the convention before and whose such, homeschooled kids are some of the most eldest child is not yet 5 years old: Your regissocially adept kids I know. They’re not afraid of tration is free! But even if you don’t meet that talking and interacting with people of all ages criteria, the conference offers free attendance and in all kinds of situations. In fact, one refor every registrant’s spouse. That means if you tired elementary principal I know who used to register for the conference, your spouse can atbe against homeschooling became a convert, in tend at no charge. part because he saw how confident and socially In closing, let me underscore my firm belief adept the kids were. that your children are uniquely gifted, and If you’re still skeptical about this, allow me to uniquely wired, to learn in ways that work best quote more from Dr. Ray. According to refor THEM. Nobody understands the uniquesearch, adults who have been homeschooled: ness of your children better than you. Before • participate in local community service more Daniel Bobinski long, in just a few blinks of an eye, they will be frequently than does the general population learning how to drive and soon after that they • vote and attend public meetings more frewill be living life under a different roof. The requently than the general population turn you get from the effort of homeschooling is far, far greater • go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than than what you put in. And for both you and your children, the the general population rewards will be eternal. n Why is this? According to Dr. Ray, “Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. teaches teams and individuals how to use Emotheir homes and with people other than their nuclear-family tional Intelligence (more info at MyWorkplaceExcellence.com). He’s also a members. They are commonly involved in activities such as homeschooling dad, a home fellowship leader, a best-selling author, and a field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at daniel@eqfactor. sports teams, and community volunteer work.” net or (208) 375-7606. If you have school-aged children and think it’s time to learn
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 25
She walks in prayer for her community
Arlene Robinett has been the coordinator of the Caldwell Prayer Walk since 2008. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
By Gaye Bunderson No town is too big or too small to be encircled in prayer, for its government, its citizens, its economy. Praying for your community is easy to do; in fact, it’s a walk in the park — or a walk TO the park, as the case may be. Arlene Robinett of Caldwell has been praying for her community for 15 years, and it all started with a house smeared in gang graffiti. Arlene had a good friend named Sylvia Pugsley, and near Sylvia’s residence was an abandoned house with the gang symbols WSL and ESL sprayed all over it. The acronyms stood for a west side gang and an east side gang. Sylvia wanted to get the graffiti off the house, so she did what any concerned citizen would do: she took her problem to city hall. She found out that the house belonged to a woman in Meridian. Sylvia was given her phone number, made a call, and discovered that the house’s owner was so eager to get the graffiti covered that she offered to buy paint and supplies if Sylvia would find a way to get it painted. Sylvia found a way all right. She took the problem to her church, Caldwell Free Methodist, and a number of congregants volunteered to pitch in with the painting project. Arlene was one of them. People from teens to retired folks picked up a brush one Saturday and rid the house near Sylvia’s of all its unsightly, spray-painted symbols. But that was just the beginning. “Sylvia held a Bible study in her house,” Arlene said, “and everyone was welcome.” A couple on drugs came to the Bible study at Sylvia’s a number of times and was not turned away. “Sylvia was very kind and wanted to help people,” said Arlene.
26 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
There was another house near Sylvia’s where meth was a problem (a situation unrelated to the couple who attended the Bible study). Then, a man moved into a house by Sylvia, and he had very little in the way of material things to furnish his home. Never a passive, apathetic neighbor, Sylvia took all these situations to the Lord in prayer, as well as to her church. She always invited others to church; and frequently, they would join her. At Free Methodist, there was an elderly woman named Helen Kesner, who Arlene describes as an amazing prayer warrior. “She’d pray for the town, the state, the country, and even for international things,” Arlene said. It was Helen who suggested to Sylvia that she start a prayer walk for Caldwell — an idea Sylvia had also been thinking about. So both Sylvia and Arlene got on board, and the wheels of an annual spring tradition started turning. Sylvia wrote up a letter to send to all the churches in the community, while Arlene got church addresses out of the Yellow Pages. The two women wanted a non-denominational prayer walk and sent letters to all churches, regardless of denomination. They also visited businesses in the community to inform them of the prayer walk. “We were two ladies with a heart for the city,” Arlene said. The Caldwell Prayer Walk was a success from its beginning in 2005. The women based the walk on Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Initially, a police escort accompanied the walk, which wends its way through the downtown core of Caldwell, with stops for prayer at the police station, city hall, and other sites. At one point in the walk’s history, an entire Hispanic church congregation participated and there were two groups of walkers, one with 50 people and another with 75. The Hispanic pastor prayed at the police station as they walked the route. Arlene was named walk coordinator in 2008 when, due to health issues, her friend Sylvia was not able to participate any longer. The walk is a little over one mile in length and takes about 1 hour, 10 minutes to complete. Its final stop now is the Indian Creek gazebo. The 15th Annual Caldwell Prayer Walk was held Saturday, April 13, commencing at the corner of Kimball and Grant streets. The prayer list this year was lengthy, as it always has been, and included the following (from one of Arlene’s flyers): “We pray for young people, the elderly, the poor, men, women, those who serve in the armed forces, prisoners and their families, single people, international visitors, marriages, sick people, educators, health care workers, Christian missionaries, refugees, pastors, laypeople, physically disabled people, homeless people, mothers, fathers, children, government leaders, news media, business people, students, native peoples, judges, the unemployed, substance abusers, depressed people, agricultural workers, arts and entertainment, broken families, laborers, the athletic industry, ethnic communities, and the unborn. We pray that God’s righteousness comes into Caldwell.” Arlene recommends that people in other communities take up the idea of a prayer walk — or something similar — and run with it. She believes that Caldwell has benefitted from the event. For instance, many new businesses have opened in the community, and its downtown is thriving with not just enterprises but an ice skating rink and places for people to come visit with one another.
Mind you, Arlene isn’t patting herself on the back for successes in Caldwell, and the community still needs prayer for plenty of things. But the prayer walk has been very meaningful for Arlene and is something she’s still enthusiastic about. “It’s been really exciting — I give the glory to God,” she said. She explained her prayer style is to “pray until it happens.” At age 75, Arlene’s commitment to Caldwell is stronger than ever, and she wasn’t even born in Idaho. In fact, she was born in North Manchester, Indiana, where she grew up and attended church. She moved to Idaho on October 1, 1972 at age 28 when a close friend of hers started studies at what was then Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa. (Arlene earned a master’s degree in education from Indiana University.) The move to Idaho was pivotal in many ways for Arlene. “God had to get me to Idaho to meet the Holy Spirit,” she said, admitting that despite growing up a Christian and going to church, she had never really learned about the Holy Spirit, that no one had talked about Him. The revelation of God’s indwelling spirit in believers was deeply profound for her, and she now understands the void she felt as a younger woman, going from church to church. “I knew I was looking for something,” she said. Her faith wasn’t complete because she’d never been taught about the Holy Spirit. When she finally learned about the third member of the Trinity, she said she “told everyone about the Holy Spirit.” She explained she has courage to speak up, but she also has tact, waiting for the Spirit’s leading. When she got to Idaho, she also sought a spouse. “I prayed specifically for a Christian husband,” she said. She met Richard Robinett when they both worked at Simplot, but she confesses she kept asking God if Richard was the one. God finally told her, “Yes! He’s the one!” (The couple is still married.) Anybody who would like information about starting an annual prayer walk in and for their local community may contact Arlene at 208-481-4568. Prayer and exercise make for the perfect combination. n
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Christian Living | May / June 2019 27
OUTDOORS with Dougherty
Blessed by a trip to amazing Australia
moved it ran up the wall and stopped at the By Dan Dougherty intersection with the ceiling. I have never seen “God is good. All the time!” a spider move so quickly. I got a good picture I am thankful God has given me good health, of it. Maintenance came and removed it. It was a good wife, good friends — a great life! The a Huntsman spider, one of the largest species last two weeks of February, with our traveling in the world. It was larger than my hand. They companions, Ileen and Pete Gerstenberger, we can get up to a foot long. They are poisonous traveled to Australia. but non-aggressive, rarely biting humans. They Peggy and I had spent almost three weeks in use their speed to catch prey, thus getting their Australia in the first part of summer of 2013. We name. spent most of the time in Armidale on the high We learned that day that all the beaches were plateau region. It was their winter. We hiked the closed. Cyclone Oma was just off the Brisbane outback in several locations with no other people Coast. It was the first time in six years that they around. There were beautiful marked trails, closed. There went our snorkeling plans. No kangaroos, wallabees, all kinds of birds (mostly worries, we had much to see and do. One Ausmembers of the parrot family). It was a time of tralian thanked us for bringing the weather with Dan Dougherty warm days and cool nights with no insects or us. They had been suffering 52 days of drought reptiles because of the season. We also spent a and above average temperatures. week in downtown Sydney, with its tourist hangouts and people. From where we were staying, a short path through the trees On that trip we were taken on a day excursion to Coffs Harbor led to the beach. On the estuary before the trail, I got a picture on the Tasman Sea near the Gold Coast. It’s a favorite destinaof a sea bird drying its wings. On the trail, we passed bush tion spot for the locals. We loved it. We decided that on this trip turkeys that had no fear of us. The left side of the beach with we would spend a week there and a week north of Brisbane on its sights and sounds was especially impressive as waves rolled the Sunshine Coast. We booked it, packed our bags, snorkels and in smashing on the rocks and sending spray into the air. fins, and started the long journey. Peggy, Ileen, and I headed to the nearby town of Bellinger Sitting alone in a long layover in Los Angeles, I spotted a to visit The Old Butter Factory, a historical place of antiques, gentleman having a conversation with a young man who kept shops, and dining. After lunch, we headed into the town. We having loud verbal outbursts. The younger man (maybe in his went to the IGA store, a subsidiary of our U.S. company, but mid 20s) sat down in an unoccupied area and continued his loud their “A” means Australia not America. soliloquy. The older gentleman and I made eye contact. He just In the store I observed two boys browsing over the candy secshook his head at every outburst and looked at me and smiled. I tion. A boy in the same grade-level uniform was down the aisle felt a special kinship. I walked over and sat by him. He told me about five yards. He was taking products off the shelves and the boy appeared to have serious emotional problems and he reading the labels to his mother. The closest of the boys loudly had prayed for him. I asked the gentleman where he was from. asked, “Can’t your mom read?” He told me, with a big grin, he was a spirit-filled Guatemalan. His mom had a big smile, smothering a laugh. Her son He had been visiting his brothers in LA and was now heading calmly answered, “She has always made me do it to practice home. We had a nice conversation about the goodness of God. my reading.” A short pause and the other boy responded, “No Later, as I was leaving with my companions, he shouted across wonder you are such a good reader!” Mother had another big to me, “God bless you!” My wife asked who he was. Not having smile. With my teacher mind in the context of where we were, instant recall on his name, I answered, “A Spirit-Filled GuateI instantly thought, “Good on yah, mum!” malan.” The name, Carlos, eventually came to mind (must have The next day the three of us went to the rainforest at Dorsomething to do with aging). rigo National Park. Pete stayed back to golf. We had a beautiful We arrived in Melbourne. Ileen’s suitcase and that of thirty four-mile hike. The first people we met on the trail were three other people never made it. We gave airport staff our Coffs couples from Idaho. The older couple were from Burley and Harbor address, and they said the suitcase would be delivered to were Mormon missionaries in Armidale. I asked them if they us in a couple days. We flew on to Brisbane, got our rental car knew my good Burley friend, Gary Belliston. They certainly and drove 244 miles to Coffs Harbor. Peggy drove. She lived in did! It’s a small world! The last forty minutes it rained, and England for a while and she drives well on the “wrong” side. we were soaked. We picked the leeches out of our socks and On our first day, we went to the beach. We had fun floating in headed back. On returning, a fat leech fell out of Peggy’s Coffs River Estuary as the tide was going out to the ocean. We capris with a year’s supply of food. Because their bite contains were in about three and a half feet of water with a pure sand painkillers and anticoagulants, she never felt it and it bled for bottom. The outgoing current was strong. Because of the buoyfour hours. ancy of salt water, you could float very well. With head back, Coffs Harbor grows both bananas and blueberries. You can feet partially out of the water in front of you and arms out to see the banana trees all along the hillsides. Among the trees, the side, you floated as your own personal raft. We repeated the different colored bags were covering the bunches of bananas process many times. We also got a good start on our Australian not yet picked. The bags serve two purposes — one to hasten tan (with just a little burn). the bananas’ ripening, the other to protect them from the The next morning we discovered a large spider on the wall in large fruit bats in the area. The bananas are shorter but with a the entry area between our bedroom and the rest of the living larger diameter than what we are used to in the U.S., but they quarters. I was going to swat it with a towel, but before I barely are quite tasty.
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A few of the hillsides in the area were covered with large areas of netting. Under the netting were blueberry bushes. February was just at the end of their season. The netting is to protect the berries from all the varieties of Australian birds. Because of their antioxidant and nutritional value, the berries have become very popular in the last ten years. They are sold throughout Australia, Southeast Asia, and especially in China. On our last day in the Coffs Harbor, we traveled 118 miles straight inland to Armidale. That was a change in elevation from 65 feet to 3,215 feet. We had dinner with our friends, Thomas and Trish. We visited the university where they work, checking out the trees for koalas. We did not see any but did get some good pictures of kangaroos. It was a good trip for Pete and Ileen to see a different landscape. The high plateau of Armidale is flatter and drier. The next morning we left Coffs Harbor, heading north to the Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s), and Marcoola Beach. A week of unforgettable fun and memories. That is another story for next time. “Life is good because God is great.” n
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YOUR Daily Bread
Crossing a financial fitness finish line By Terry Frisk Summer is just around the corner with a wide array of outdoor activities. Many of these activities require getting your body in shape to prepare for the physical demands necessary to participate. Whether you are walking the Greenbelt or running the Race to Robie Creek, fitness preparation is key to the success and overall enjoyment of the activity. Similarly, financial fitness is a vital element of our faith journey. In the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” — Matthew 6:24 Many modern translations of the Bible substitute the word money for mammon. However, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines mammon as “material wealth or possessions,” which broadens the context of this verse. You do not have to have a lot of money to accumulate possessions, especially with debt. Similarly, you can accumulate wealth without acquiring possessions. Both at the cost of truly serving God. How do you improve your financial fitness? Here are some action steps you can take: 1. Understand how you spend your income. Make a list of where your money goes and prioritize the amounts by importance. Look at the least important items and ask yourself, “Am I receiving value from this expenditure?” If not, eliminate it. By doing this, I have eliminated a telephone land line, movie subscriptions and unneeded maintenance services.
2. Prayerfully consider every major purchase. Avoid purchasing large ticket items on impulse. Before shopping, determine how much you are prepared to pay and stick with it. I maintain a savings fund that I contribute to each month for replacing my auto. When it comes time to trade vehicles, I have a set amount of cash available. This eliminates the temptation to pay too much and reduces the stress of negotiating since I have an established amount to pay. 3. Serve God by giving a portion of your income to your church. Giving to your church is about giving thanks to God for the gifts He has provided for all of us. I rarely write checks anymore. But, I write a check to my church every Sunday, saying a prayer as I compose it. I also like to add a note of thanks in the memo. It is a very spiritually fulfilling moment to do this and drop it in the collection plate. 4. Avoid using debt to accumulate possessions you cannot afford. Not all debt is bad. Very few people purchase a home without a mortgage. However, your mortgage payment should not exceed 25 percent of your income. If it does, you are buying a home that is beyond your means. If you use credit cards, pay them off monthly. If you are carrying a credit card balance, then you are spending beyond your means. 5. Develop a savings plan to provide an emergency fund or for major purchases. Saving for a purpose is different than accumulating money for wealth. However, saving should not override giving. There should be a relationship between the amount you give and the amount you
30 May / June 2019 | Christian Living
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save as implied in the adage “give 10% and save 10%”. 6. Finally, and most importantly, develop a formal written plan for managing your money. Make giving your highest priority followed by saving. Then, add in the essentials including housing, food, utilities, medical, clothing and other needs. It is also important to build in an amount for entertainment. Carve out an amount to spend time with Terry Frisk family and friends. We are fortunate to live in an area with many low-cost recreational opportunities, like camping, fishing, or hiking. Make adjustments to your plan to achieve a balance. This may mean you will need to move to a smaller house or trade for a lower cost car. But, you will find greater peace of mind with a balanced financial plan. Achieving financial fitness is much like preparing to run a marathon. It requires effort and dedication in order to get in shape. There will be pain and anxiety along the way. But crossing the financial fitness finish line is spiritually rewarding. Have a great summer and may God bless. n
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Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at email@example.com.
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Christian Living Magazine May June 2019